A Travellerspoint blog

October 2006

Amasya to Sivas


I had had enough of museums for a while and when the next morning dawned mainly overcast I gave up any further diversionary plans and jumped on a bus for Sivas. It was during my night in Amasya that another misfortune had dawned on me. Since leaving Ankara I had basically been making a beeline for Erzurum in the far east and its Iranian Consulate, but I now realised that I would hit it right at the start of the weekend. And being Iranian I didnt know if they would also be closed on Fridays, their holy day. Contemplating the alternatives there were stark choices to be made. It was only Wednesday today but the soonest I would be able to apply for the visa would be the following Monday. I perhaps could have just made it if I'd headed immediately direct for Erzurum but that would have rather negated the point of being there, I wanted to see stuff on the way after all. It basically meant that I could either take my time even though I was way behind schedule, or come up with a detour in the meantime. That presented its own set of problems but the Black Sea coast was one obvious tangent. First of all though I had certainly decided to go to Divrigi, a small poorly served town in the middle of the mountains. From what scant information I could collate on travel connections it didnt look good.

The road from Amasya to Sivas was a scenic affair. We passed by many tomato groves and trees in autumnal colours, many more tractors pulled sugar beet. The roadside houses were noticably of a different squarish plan with red tiled roofs and whitewashed in the main, it was reminiscent of the Balkans. In the centre of tiny Turhal, houses climbed up the side of a rock plug and we passed through the functional town of Tokat. The mountains had steadily started to encroach from all sides. It was around here at a spot known these days as Zile that Julius Caesar came one day and made his famous "Veni,vidi,vici" declaration. Me, I came, I saw, I conked out.

Another convenient lift from the Otogar later and I was in central Sivas, a big university town about the size of Dundee. At mid distance across the country it had a reputation as being where the influence of the east could now be seen to be making serious inroads, it was a halfway house. The headscarf count had gone up, women in Purdah could be seen for the first time in numbers and some of the men had started to wear funny hats. Thankfully, it still also had young things in tight jeans though. I rebelled against the straightjacket guidebook one more time and went in search of an anonymous pensionhouse.

Although by now I at least had the tricky standard phrase "Pardon, anlamiyorum" (sorry, I dont understand) down pat, the young boy on duty at the hotel freaked and amidst verbal dhiorrea dragged me heavily loaded around the whole joint looking for someone who spoke English. If he had just chilled out I might have managed, I had done so everywhere else, but we finally stumbled upon "Jımmy", a boy who taught English at the Uni. He explained to me that the place was really a long term doss house for students and so they werent used to walk-in custom. This being Turkey however they would quite happily take my money off me though all the same. With no guide price it still took a while to get a reasonable deal and I found myself in a top bunk in a 3 bed dorm with 2 young good natured Turkish boys. Stuck with no common tongue we resorted to consulting their high school French phrasebook and bounced meagre phrases off each other. The freshly appropriate "the room is too small" went down well, very entertaining. More good timing too, an Arsenal match had just started on TV, the international language which really helped the mix. Rather than try to explain the backpacker culture and what the hell a Scottish postman was doing here I had fallen back on the old chestnut of calling myself a French teacher. I was a history student too sometimes, most convenient. Arsenal missed a barrel load of chances against CSKA Moscow and the game ended 0-0.

Posted by andyhay 23:00 Archived in Turkey Comments (0)

Hattusha and Amasya


The Muezzin woke me at 10 past 5, still black outside. It now dawned on me why they were such late risers in this country, it was because they got woken up in the middle of the night to pray. How many actually did so was another matter. I rose at 6 to the cockerels crow and honk of geese outside in the main square and by 0630 was out on the road headed uphill for the ruins of Hattusha.


Upon heading down from the Great Fortress, the last and largest ruin which had housed the royal palace, I spotted one final gate which had eluded me in the early morning gloom. Still having the 2nd site at Yazilkaya to visit I had come up with a cunning plan to go bush as a short cut and simultaneously dodge the ticket office which was now open (anyone see a pattern forming?), but upon exploration a sheer cliff scuppered that plan. You could see why they had chosen this site for their city! It was obvious however that this other gate would lead directly back into the village, cattle had clearly been regularly driven through its quagmire, and I ended up back in the village centre quicker and better off than anticipated, if somewhat muddier. I'd hardly eaten the day before but with no cafe in town I ODed on chay at one of the grungy teahouses on the square and resolved that I could now kill 2 birds with one stone by catching the museum on the road out to Yazilkaya. In the teahouse the TV showed a boy, I presume the Turkish Finance Minister, giving the 2006 Inflation Report. It would have made interesting listening.

Out at the tiny museum I already knew that it would be underwhelming compared to the pick of the atrifacts I had seen in the big city museums. It did however bring to my attention that some of the items were Phrygian, they had resettled parts of the site after the Hittites had dissolved into oblivion. The most impressive however were actually a collection of very fine Byzantine bronze crosses, worthy of any museum. Just like the ruins, the museum was deserted, the lone caretaker pointed out a few obvious facts but I knew he was just on the make to try and sell me a guidebook. He was as successful as all the others. The museum had also described the site at Yazilkaya which was small and consisted of rock tombs covered in carved reliefs. After arguing with myself over it I decided I had already seen plenty of such carvings and could well do without the 6K round trip walk. I was selling myself short and knew it but it would ensure I would surely catch a bus sooner or later to Amasya that day.

I had only just returned to the hotel when Mustafa the owner called that the dolmus was leaving and I asked him to hold it for me. It ran me out to the highway where I would catch the coach at one of its rest stop points and it was by chance perfect timing, the coach was already there and about to leave. That unfortunately meant that I still had no chance to eat however. I had to make do with more tea which the concierge strangely served straight after their stop, daft. He also put an onboard movie on called Transporter 2, some garbage about a dude going around in a shiny black Audi and getting into one fight after another. Utterly ridiculous and not a patch on Black Scorpion 3 (eh Baz?) I saw women sat in circles in the fields around large piles of beets, they chopped and sorted them whilst the men hoed the ground by hand to dislodge more. Boys collected all the cuttings which were piled high on trailers, presumably for animal feed, and other men spread seed by hand along freshly ploughed furrows. Half an hour later I saw lines of literally hundreds of large trucks loaded with sugar beet queued up outside a refining plant.

My good fortune continued that day when most unexpectedly rather than being dumped at the Otogar we were transferred onto a minibus and the kindly old boy driver after enquiry dropped me right by my proposed digs. It was actually the only budget option recommended in the guidebook which gave me reservations about going there, but a half hearted and heavily loaded search for an alternative proved fruitless. The boy on the desk quoted me the book price to which I readily agreed, only to discover en route to the room that the whole hotel was a building site. Walls had been torn down to reveal gutted rooms, materials lay around the corridoors and the carpet lay thick with dust. One of the few times I hadnt asked to see the room first and now I remembered why. On first sight it was actually the plushest room I had stayed in, apparently one of only 2 still intact, with a spotless en suite and even a TV. I was in dire need of a shave and shower and the habitually loose dangling shower head readily gushed hot water. I switched the TV on to find a Fenerbache match just starting, these were the minutae which stopped me just short of complaining, not an easy thing to do in Turkish anyhow, but they must have known they were chancing their arm and I couldnt help feeling a little ripped off. To top it all I got pestered by a mosquito that night for the first time since Cyprus.

After my first real food in 36 hours I headed off for the nearby Pontic Tombs, last resting places of the kings of the local Pontic Empire, staring out over the whole town from the mountainside just the other side of the river. It was quite a clamber in parts and though devoid of any inscription or embellishment the tombs were impressive for their dramatically perched location which afforded great views of the whole town and along the valley. They had actually been excavated around all sides and though hewn from the solid rock stood distinct like houses within enveloping caves. It was too late by this time to hoof the 3Ks up to the even higher castle but the views from the tombs had been good enough. A walk along the riverfront and back along the main drag revealed some fine buildings including an especially aesthetic Hamam (bathhouse) and I popped inside a nice mosque too. It was the traditional Ottoman style houses along the river for which the town was known however, together with the hemmed in location they made it just about the prettiest town in Turkey.

Posted by andyhay 23:00 Archived in Turkey Comments (0)

Ankara to Bogazkale


Having never used the Metro whilst in Istanbul it had proved a necessary and useful tool in Ankara. It took me straight to the Otogar without hassle this morning. Unfortunately I just missed the bus to Sungurlu and so had 90 minutes to kill, I wouldnt get much done that day. I found a net cafe at the station too late and chastised myself that I was losing too many days like this for the sake of an extra hour in bed. The Ankara Otogar must be a candidate for one of the biggest bus stations in the world, a constant stream of coaches cruised by searching for their assigned bay, clearly not enough bays to have dedicated ones. In such a big country transport was clearly big business.

Off to Sungurlu, the bus concierge was a friendly soul who wanted to show off his wee bit of English. We had another fantastic display of driving Turkish style when an articulated lorry decided to abruptly do a U turn right in front of us, our driver had to go hard on the brakes and only just managed to pass behind him. 10 seconds earlier and I would have had hot coffee in my lap. And for once I think I would have given the boy more than just the short cursory peep he got. They normally dont even need half an excuse in this country.

Now is perhaps the time to note the local driving standards, though it must be said standards dont really come into it. If a driving test exists at all in Turkey then it would seem that the only prerequisite is to be able to operate the throttle and horn simultaneously and if you dont hit anything going round the block then you pass. Brakes seemingly are a last resort. They peep their horn on the slightest whim, usually if theyre just not happy with the pace of the traffic. They weave in and out of lanes, seem to make a point of overtaking just as they pass a Do Not Overtake sign and have scant respect for road markings. Its clearly the survival of the fittest in this game and generally the biggest bullies get their way. Not a good place to be a pedestrian then. Taxi drivers swerve into the kerbside towards you and slam on the brakes at the last minute, likewise traffic stopping at pedestrian crossings pulls up abruptly half way over it until almost touching the pedestrians, and zebra crossings without lights might as well not be there. So far I've been nudged in the shins by a guy in a car on his mobile phone in a pedestrian zone and reversed into and shoved out the way twice. One day I saw a really nasty accident on the front page of a newspaper between two coaches and a lorry. The front half of one of the coaches was completely obliterated. But of course its all just Allah's will, the universal cop out.

The rolling Anatolian plain alternated between rocky ranges reminiscent of Morocco to more pastural lands which reminded me of East Fife (the region not the fitba team). Although I did see some headscarved peasant women manually loading a trailer with what I took to be piles of sugar beet, their aim was certainly more accurate than the boys fae Leven. We had a good view of Kirikkale as we bypassed it, an uninspiring town known only for its state gun factories which could be visited if you were that way inclined. In this country though you only had to turn a corner to find a guy in one of many uniforms brandishing a weapon, and they sold them in shops as freely as mobile phones. It made me wonder what was the country's most common vocation. I reckoned the sentries came pretty close to outnumbering the kebab boys. Frequent roadside stalls proferred melons and pumpkins, backed by eroded red rock formations similar to Cappadocia.

In Sengurlu the bus dropped me into the nothing if not expected taxi shark melee at the bus station but fortunately I had the resolve that only came with experience to stick to my guns and fight them off. The secret was not to be intimidated, easier said than done! I was obviously just the latest slice of tourist commodity in a long line of victims, burning the same predictable path. One boy even phoned ahead to the pension he'd presumed I would be staying at to let the hotelier arbitrate, as if I was going to change my mind and jump in a rip off taxi on the basis of what he said. Now it could have just been coincidence, but the minute he gave up and drove away, hey presto the allegedly non-existant dolmus minibus materialised and ran me into the town centre free gratis. A boy led me to the dolmus stand where other minibuses for Bogazkale waited to fill up and another tout with good English here tried his luck. He tried every angle in the book he could think of, he was going anyway, he had just been leaving, but I was the epitome of stubbornness and he always had to stop short of saying it was a free lift. It was almost laughable. On the other hand the minibus driver even bought me tea and wouldnt let me pay, which was fair enough, he was getting my money anyhow. From what little I saw of Sengurlu it was obviously a farming service town. Numerous shops selling and hiring tractors lined its main street and many more of them were on the road. People like me on the well worn trail to Hattusha were probably the main source of excitement in such a place. But you had to be careful how you dealt with such situations, there was a network which was there to catch you out if you let it. Far from being in competition with each other the transport workers doubtless knew each other and were perhaps even related. But he who has the dollar is king and right now that was me. I was going to do what I had first intended, their efforts were futile.

I arrived in Bogazkale to find the village a bit larger than expected, not that it was large, with 4 teashops, 4 small stores, one lit street and umpteen stray dogs. After securing myself a bed in the deserted hotel, talk about off season, I took a short wander round to confirm that I must have been the only tourist in town. An apple and crisps was all the place could offer for dinner and then I hit the worlds dodgiest internet cafe. It had early generation PCs and must have been dial-up but I was just glad it was there. The single unexpected ATM in the square shone like a beacon of civilisation in the dark. It was already dark by 5 and very cold here so I had an early night for an early start in the morning.

Posted by andyhay 23:00 Archived in Turkey Comments (0)

Day 4 - Republic Day


The 29th of October was Republic Day, the day when 83 years ago Turkey had finally succeeded in completing her difficult path to nationhood. You dont have to spend long in Turkey to realise that they are a remarkably patriotic bunch, they fly their flag everywhere and even the tiniest hamlet or kiosk shop proudly displays a picture, statue or bust of Ataturk, the founder of the nation. I had delayed my travels by a day or 2 to join the party.

It was the same ridiculous scenario as in Cyprus however, no-one seemed to know where the party was to be held and I just had to use my wits and go looking for it. As it turned out the adjacent Republic Museum and Museum of the War of Independence were just a block away and were a fair bet I reckoned. Indeed when I got there a crowd of around 40 people stood around with flags and they promptly unravelled a banner. With the help of my newly purchased dictionary I managed to decipher the slogan: Unconditional Victory - Turkish Kemalist Organisation. It was more like a student protest however and they rolled it up when the cops arrived a whole 20 seconds later. Because of the occasion the museums were handily free entry, the first being the building used as the 1st National Assembly during April and May 1920. Inside the displays were unfortunately almost entirely in Turkish but there were the personal effects of many assembly members including Ataturk's rifle walking stick. It also housed weapons used in the national struggle, such as a British Lewis gun and the first and original Turkish flag, first flown from here on 23rd April 1920. The chamber was like a small dark courtroom. Ankara resembled a village then with no restaurant and insufficient accommodation for all the delegates, they had to rough it.

Next door was the Museum of the Republic, the building which had subsequently acted as the Turkish Parliament from 1924 to 1960. The chamber was larger and held effigies of the founding delegates, pride of place given to Ataturk up on the rostrum as if delivering a speech.


A stroll around the stadium sized mausoleum revealed Ataturk's cars, the gun carriage used to carry his coffin and also his sidekick Inonu's humble tomb opposite. Air display - Helicopters, F-16s, F-4s, the Turkish Stars, sloppy display but very cloudy. Caught a film on Ataturk and happily missed the rain. Massive queue for the museum. Sound effects with dioramas, pretty well done and huge, went on forever. Came out to blue skies. Walked to Kizilay. Metro back, walked to the Citadel up hundreds of stairs in the pitch dark. Small bastion still full of ramshackle houses.


Hatay Flag - Flag of Hatay, region that joined Turkey from present day Syria 29/6/1939. Still disputed territory.

Ataturk awarded the Iron Cross 1917.

Interesting to see the Ottoman Empire referred to as the Allied States and the "Allies" as the Enemy States, also known as the Entente States.

The Greeks invaded Anatolia at Izmir 15/5/1919. Massacres, local clergy complicit. Greeks defeated the Turks at Eskishehir, they retreated to the Sakarya River. Greeks aimed for Ankara, attacked 23/8/1921, got within 70Ks of it. Pitch battle spread over a large area as opposed to a front. Lasted 22 days, Greeks defeated 13/9/1921. Ataturk was promoted to Marshall. Great Attack designed to push the Greeks out and cut off Izmir from them started 26/8/1922. Turks took Izmir 9/9/1922, victory realised. Turks lost about 15,000 men in total, the Greeks tens of thousands.

The Ottoman Empire was to be carved up according to the Treaty of Sevres of 1920. Divided between Greece, France, Italy, the UK, Russia and the Turks. They would be granted the northern centre of Anatolia only. A Kurdish state and a possible Armenian state would be created under US umpireship. Ataturk landed in Samsun 19/5/1919 after the Mudros Armistice, signed on the Isle of Lemnos 30/10/1918 between the Ottomans and Entente powers. It gave the victors carte blanche, consequently the Greek attack in 1919 was sanctioned by the US, UK and France. 22/6/1919 - The Amasya Circular Declaration of intention to establish a rival Congress in Sivas, a second in Erzurum. Resolution of the Erzurum Congress decreed a policy of national integrity - "All parts of the country within the national boundaries are an indivisible entirety". Ataturk chairs it all.

"The nation as a whole will resist and defend itself against all foreign invasion and intervention".

"No mandate or protectorate can be accepted".

The National Covenant accepted by the final sitting of the Ottoman Parliament says Arab territories should be accepted by plebiscite, all others where Islam and Turkish are the majority are indivisible.

The French were kicked out of the SE cities of Antep, Marash and Urfa. Chukurova and Trakya (Thrace) were secured with the Treaty of Mudanya after the Great Victory. The last Sultan, Vahdettin, accepted the Treaty of Sevres in order to survive at all. The National Assembly didnt recognise it. Armenians and Georgians seized ground, the Turks retaliated 28/9/1920. 2/11/1920- The Gumru Treaty was signed with the Armenians but the Soviets invaded Armenia 2 days later and it was nullified. Georgia gave back land upon threats to the Soviets and the borders were finalised. General mobilisation was called on 14/9/1921. Mudanya Armistice gave Thrace back to Turkey, the Entente Powers would broker the Greek withdrawal.

The Laussane Peace Treaty 24/7/1923 - Not only finalised the peace but documented a reorganisation of the nature of the relationship between Europe and Turkey. The National assembly abolished the rival Sultanate 1/11/1922, the Sultan fled to Malta. Ankara was selected as the new capital 9/10/1923. The republic of Turkey was declared 29/10/1923. The Ottoman Caliphate was abolished 3/3/1924 since some still regarded it as head of state, a crucial move to democracy.

1/11/1928 - New Latin alphabet adopted and transliteration of many Arab and Persian words. Surnames were made compulsory in 1934, Ataturk was given his by the state, meaning "Father of Turks", he in turn chose Inonu for his brother in arms, after a famous battle. Dress reform in 1925 encouraged westernisation, the Fez hat and religious clothing were banned outwith religious ceremonies. Turkey went metric in 1931. Gregorian calendar replaced the Roman and Hejira calendars in 1926, Sunday was made the day of rest not Friday. There was a plot to assassinate Ataturk in 1926.


Named Mustafa Pasha, a schoolteacher nicknamed him Kemal - "Perfection". Edward VII visited him in 1936, I wondered if a whisper here had kept Turkey out of WWII. Ataturk died 10/11/1938 of cirrhosis, he was a big Raki drinker.

"Colonialism and Imperialism will vanish from the Earth and in their place a new era of harmony and co-operation will reign, an age which recognises no privilege of colour, religion or race among nations".

"The dominating force in the lives of men is their creativity and their ability to discover".


"Friends, the centuries rarely produce a genius. It is our misfortune that in our own age such a great genius fell to the lot of the Turkish people. Against the genius of Mustafa Kemal, what could be done?".

Posted by andyhay 01:00 Archived in Turkey Comments (0)

Day 3 - Museum of Anatolian Civilisations


After the museum I had to split at 3 in order to catch the inconveniently situated tourist office before it shut, which was a pain because the museum lay uphill right in the shadow of the beckoning Citadel. The girl on the desk had basic English but knew next to nothing about the parade I wished to catch taking place tommorrow, it had basically been a wasted journey and I had blown the chance to see the Citadel or another of the museums for nothing. Perhaps it showed something about the power of my enquiring mind though that every backpacker I met had relegated Ankara as only being worth a day. I was now struggling to fit all the distractions into 4. I wasnt sure if I was being thorough, obsessive or just plain daft. Later that night at one of the dodgy beer dens I watched Galatasaray beat Genclerberligi, the Istanbul boys won 1-0 but it should have been 5. It was also the night the clocks went back an hour and boy was I glad for it.


The Paleolithic gave way to the Neolithic circa 8000 BC, warmer climes allowing animal domestication and crops instead of hunter gathering (7250-5500BC). Started to make pottery and cook food. Wall paintings of hunting scenes and the earliest known plan of human settlement. Textiles created. During the Paleolithic 4 ice ages known as the Pleistocene Period occurred, Anatolia was not affected but remained cold. Neanderthal Man gave way to Homo Sapiens circa 40,000 years ago, better adapted to climate change but life expectancy was only 20-25.

Catal Hoyuk, near Konya, 6500-5600BC.

One of Anatolia's most ancient sites. Buildings of sun dried mud brick. No party walls, all houses were separate but no streets, people walked over the roofs where the entrances were also located. No external city walls. Walls plastered and white washed, some paintings. Buried dead under the houses once their flesh had been removed by vultures, known as excarnation, for the sake of hygiene. 40 shrines tell us they had beliefs. All Anatolian sites revered the naked female figure (not the only ones!) and pregnancy in particular. A mother goddess was the main idol, they were believed to be matriarchical societies. A well known figurine found at Catal Hoyuk shows the mother goddess giving birth on a throne of leopards. Nearby volcanoes provided obsidian (black glass) for nearly all weapons and tools. Bull heads were found in shrines which symbolised man gods. They used woolen cloth and made fish nets with it.

Chalcolithic Period

Copper tools developed, agriculture developed, first urban civilisations, first religious leadership who controlled the agriculture. First appearance of regional cultural variation, individual identity forming. Trade begins. Outer walls developed 4th millenium BC, oldest known fortress in Anatolia. First graveyards. First copper alloys eg. bronze. Silver was later discovered. Highly painted pottery and complex shapes become a form of art. Best site is Hacilar, Lake District. Male figurines first appear. Mother goddess figurines at Canhasan show matriarchical society continued in the Chalcolithic.

Alaca Hoyuk, Early Bronze Age (3000-2000BC).

Start to see bronze idols especially the stag statuettes, held up upon staffs. Gold also in much use, high quality craftsmanship becomes evident. Jewellry, gold jugs and goblets. Gold swastikas show it to be a very old symbol. Also worked in Electrum, an alloy of silver and gold. Painted pottery appeared at this time.


Kultepe/Kanis-Nesa near Kayseri, centre of the ancient Cappadocian Kingdom, important city of the Seljuk State. First capital of the Hittite state, the oldest international commercial centre. Assyrian merchants established them, paid tax to the Anatolian kings 1950-1750BC. Cuneiform tablets introduced to Anatolia, mainly trade records. Many Rhytons, animal cult figurines discovered, lions, kestrels, deer, bulls.


Stories of Sargon the Akkadian king. Starts "King Sarra-kin, the Akkadian king, king of the whole world, mighty king". Recounts how he conquered 70 "cities" in one day, then destroyed them. Also a legal report on the "Water Ordeal". The accused is thrown in the river and the river god allowed to judge. Those who survive are considered innocent. Wills quoted wives as the main beneficiaries, emphasising their important social status. Marriage documents decreed divorce punishable by fine for the husband and monogamy enforcable also. There was equality though and divorce permissible by mutual consent. In the slave trade, a boy Irna was sold by his family, to be released upon payment. Nae luck pal. Guitar shaped idols like the one I saw in situ at Vouni, depicts the mother goddess in curvy abstract form. Start to see mainly wheeled formed pottery. Stone moulds for metallurgy used.


Capital moved from Kanis-Nesa to Hattusa by Hattusili I after the Syrian trading colonies disappeared. Wained due to infighting for a while then became a renewed empire alongside Babylon and Egypt. Art flourished 1400BC until the empire collapsed 1200BC. One record found at Boyazkoy was the Treaty of Kades, the oldest ever. The bull was their weather god. An original bronze tablet was also found citing a border agreement between the Hittites and Tarhuntassa, the only original found. Upheaval circa 1200BC, Phrygians and "Sea People" arrived. The Phrygians created tumuli, over 100 to be found at Gordion. The largest, known as the Midas Mound is about 53 metres high, second largest in the ancient world. Too early to be Midas though, it may be Gordios. The skeleton inside was a man about 60, 1.59 metres high. Many bronze vessels including 3 large cauldrons accompanied him.


They came from SE Europe and founded their capital Gordion, believed to be from Macedonia. Became powerful until invasion of the Cimmerians circa 700BC. Came under control of the Kingdom of Lydia until falling to the Persians in 550BC. They worshipped Cybele, continuing the mother goddess tradition, usually represented together with lions. They introduced the cult to the Greek and Roman civilisations at Sardis. Their art was influenced by Assyrian, Hittite and west Anatolian styles eg. sphinxes, griffons. Fibulae (dress pins) are their most common and distinctive legacy, usually in bronze. Their bronze work is very accomplished. The earliest Anatolian glass vessel was found in one of the Gordion tumuli. Inlaid wooden furniture, largest and finest collection of wooden artifacts from the Near East. Phrygian script resembles Greek but it is not yet fully deciphered (thus the Macedonian heritage).


Established a state (Urartu) around Lake Van circa 1000BC, united to resist Assyrian attacks. The capital was Tushpa, modern day Van. Neither Semitic or Indo-european, they spoke a dialect of the Hurrian lingo, probably descended from it. Also used heiroglyphic script. Renowned for canal building and irrigation/drainage. Feudal system, city states under a ruler. They carved ivory and used sarcophogi. Stretched from Caucases to NW Iran, south to Malatya and Urfa. One of the finest metal producers.


Gilgamesh (meaning Master of Animals). Friezes of the Herald's Wall, Carchemish, Late Hittite period. Lion men, bull men, a chimera, griffons, winged horses, scorpion men, a winged demon. The Lion Gate, twin lions in top nick.


The Hittite Empire ended circa 1200BC, invaded by "Sea People", the "Aegean Migrations". They moved South and East until they disappeared after Assyrian incursion. Small city states didnt manage to centralise eg. Carchemish. They built walled cities with sculptured facades. They no longer used cuneiform but Hittite hieroglyphics instead.


The Hittite Empire fell due to the Aegean Migration. In its place Neo-Hittite, Urartian and Phrygian kingdoms took over. Greek peoples arrived in the West due to the Dorian invasion of Greece. They founded the Ionian civilisation. The Carian and Lydian civilisations flourished in SW Anatolia between 700-300BC. Lydia expanded east and incorporated Phrygia. Persia defeated Lydia in 546BC and ruled until 334BC. Eck the Great kicked them out and started the Hellenistic period. Upon the 4 way split on his death another area became the Kingdom of Pergamom. Strangely when the king died he bequeathed his kingdom to Rome. Since there was no invasion, regional identity was preserved. Costantinople was founded in AD330 and became the Eastern capital when the Roman Empire split. The Byzantine civilisation merged Roman, Christian and Anatolian art and lasted nearly 1000 years. The Turks raided them in the 10th Century to spread Islam and poured into Anatolia after the victory of Malazgirt in 1071. The Seljuk Turks swept west, made Iznik their capital and made it a province of the great Seljuk state. It collapsed and a new capital was founded in Konya. It was destroyed by the Mongols then Anatolia split into dynasties during the Beylik Period (1071-1300). Among the Turkic tribes were the "Descendants of Osman", the Ottomans. They increased their territory and founded their capital Bursa, then later Edirne. In 1453 they captured Istanbul and held their empire until World war I.

Posted by andyhay 00:00 Archived in Turkey Comments (0)

(Entries 1 - 5 of 32) Page [1] 2 3 4 5 6 7 » Next