Turkey's Official Travel and Tourism Guide
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Part of the Fertile Crescent, Anatolia is situated between Europe and Asia, and is the home to some of the earliest civilizations in the world. Early urban society began in Anatolia during the Neolithic Age (10th-5th millennium BC), with Göbeklitepe, Çatalhöyük and Istanbul (Yenikapı). Followed by the Chalcolithic Age (5th-3rd millennium BC) and the Early Bronze Age (3rd-2nd millennium BC) with Troy, Aslantepe, Alacahöyük, and Kültepe. After the period of Assyrian (25th or 24th millennium BC – 608 BC) and Hittites (18th millennium BC – 800 BC), with Hattusha, the Anatolian kingdoms of Urartu (860-580 BC), Phrygia (750-600 BC), Lydia (680-546 BC) with Aphrodisias, Caria (11th-6th century BC), and Lycia (395 BCE-1176 AD) grew in importance beginning at the dawn of the first millennium BC. Following the invasion of Anatolia, Ephesus and the Commagene kingdom, by the Achaemenid Persian Empire (546-334 BC) in the 6th century BC, they became its provinces. Alexander the Great then conquered Anatolia in the 4th century BC, and Greek cultural influence and power penetrated into Europe and Asia. Under the Roman Empire (133BC – 395 AD), Anatolia was absorbed into Roman territory, and the civilizations surrounding the Mediterranean, including Pergamon, Assos, Miletus, and Didyma, lived their “Pax Romana.” Ancient times aside, Turkey has been home to other great empires that have shaped history, most importantly the Seljuk, Byzantine, and Ottoman empires.