To get a sense of the historical context of the coup attempt in Turkey, check out this article by my friend Claire Sadar. @KARepublic
May 29, 1453 is one of the most significant dates in world history. On this date, 563 years ago, the greatest city of Christendom, Constantinople, fell to Ottoman armies. This event marked the end of the great Byzantine Empire, heir to Rome. To learn more about this momentous event (and its ties to popular culture) check out this episode of the History Buffs Podcast in which I make a guest appearance: King’s Landing & Constantinople.
Featured Image: “Siege of Constantinople.” By Attributed to Philippe de Mazerolles – Bibliothèque nationale de France Manuscript Français 2691 folio CCXLVI v , Public Domain.
“Mehmed the Conqueror.” By Gentile Bellini – The Yorck Project: 10.000 Meisterwerke der Malerei. DVD-ROM, 2002. ISBN 3936122202. Distributed by DIRECTMEDIA Publishing GmbH., Public Domain.
“Mehmed at the Siege of Constantinople.” By Fausto Zonaro – http://www.insecula.com/us/oeuvre/O0025021.html, Public Domain.
“Siege of Constantinople.” By © Sémhur / Wikimedia Commons, FAL.
In the highlands of north central Anatolia is located the capital of a long-forgotten civilization that, even today, is relatively little-known. This site, Hattusa, was the center of the Hittite state that dominated much of modern Turkey and Syria during the second millennium BCE. Hattusa was occupied from the third millennium BCE and went through several stages of occupation – each built atop the ruins of a previous settlement. The most impressive remains date from the 16th – 11th centuries BCE when the city became the capital of the mighty Hittite empire. The origins of the Hittite Empire remain lost to the mists of history, but their capital demonstrates an advanced state of city-building and urban planning. The city was surrounded by a wall with five gates, the most famous of which are called the “Lion Gate” and the “Sphinx Gate” – so named due the sculptures that adorn them. Hattusa was unknown to historians and archaeologists until it was first discovered in 1834. The site has been under excavation for much of the 20th and 21st centuries – interrupted primarily by the two World Wars. It was named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1986 due to its historical importance in the history of Western Asia.
Featured Image: “Great Temple.” By Bernard Gagnon – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0.
“Hattusa.”(Flickr/CC BY 2.0)
“Hattusa.” By China Crisis, CC BY-SA 2.0.
“Lion Gate.” By Bernard Gagnon – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0.
“Hattusa.” Ministry of Culture and Tourism. The Republic of Turkey.