Chronography of Greece &Turkey
below for classical� Olympic Games
Here for map showing frontiers of Greece, 1830 � present day.
See also Cyprus
See also Islam
10/7/2020, The Turkish Council of State voted unanimously to
reconvert the Hagia Sofia museum back into a mosque. There were protests from
Greek Christians, noting that the building had been built as a church in AS 537
for Byzantine Emperor
Justinian, before conversion to a mosque in 1470, and then a museum
in 1934 as Turkey secularised under Attaturk. There were suspicions that the
move by Turkish President
Erdogan was intended to distract from Turkish economic problems.
10/8/2018, US President Trump announced a doubling of
tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminium. The US was in dispute over the
detention of a US pastor on dubious charges of terrorism. There were concerns
President Erdogan�s increasingly authoritarian rule. Erdogan
refused to raise interest rates, and the Turkish lira plummeted in value.
16/4/2017, A referendum in Turkey was narrowly won by President
Erdogan, with 51.3% of the vote. The victory gave him wider powers.
31/12/2016, A nightclub in Istanbul packed with New Year�s Eve
revellers was attacked by a gunman who killed 39 and injured 69.
19/12/2016, The Russian Ambassador to Turkey was shot dead in
an art gallery in Ankara by an Islamist gunman in revenge for the Russian
intervention to support pro-Assad forces in Syria. Turkey was in opposition to
the Russian policy in Syria, being very anti-Assad.
10/12/2016, An explosion at a football match in Istanbul
killed 35 people and injured 155. Kurdish militants were blamed.
15/7/2016, A military coup began in Turkey. The military wanted to preserve the secular nature of Turkey and were
against the Islamist policies of President Erdogan. However by 16/7/2016 the
coup had failed, with 161 dead, over 1,400 injured and some 3,000 arrested.
24/11/2015, Turkey shot down a Russian jet fighter that was
taking part in Russia�s pro-Assad campaign in Syria, against both ISIS and
non-ISIS rebels. Turkey said the aircraft had transgressed into Turkish
airspace, and was warned several times. Russia denied the warnings, and it
appeared the jet had at most been in Turkish airspace for 2 or 3 seconds as it
(might have) crossed a finger of Turkish territory jutting into Syria.
Greek Debt Crisis 2010 (2002, 1992) - 2015
5/7/2015, A referendum
in Greece solidly rejected the austerity measures demanded by the IMF and
Brussels as a condition of further loans to Greece to rescue its economy.
However these measures were largely implemented after the Greek banks and stock
exchange closed and drastic limits were imposed on cashpoint withdrawals.
25/1/2015, In Greece the
Left-Wing populist party Syriza, led
Tsipras, won the elections. Greece was suffering the effects of an
austerity programme having gone through a major recession and owing massive
debts to the EU. Syriza now threatened to default on Greece�s repayment
schedule, much to the consternation of Germany. Greek debts in 2015 amounted to
175% of its GDP, with 25% unemployment.
27/10/2011, An emergency meeting in Brussels concerning
the Greek Debt Crisis.� A writedown of 50% of Greek bonds was agreed,
recapitalisation of European banks, and an increase in the bailout fund of the
European Financial Stability facility.
2/5/2010, The EU and the IMF
agreed a Euro 110 billion bailout for Greece; Greece would adopt austerity
2002, Greece adopted the Euro.
2/12/1992, The Prime
Minister of Greece, Constantine Mitsotakis, dismissed his entire
Cabinet after dissent over austerity measures broke out.
29/10/2014, 150 Kurdish fighters set off from Erbil (Kurdish
Iraq) to travel through� Turkish
territory to reinforce Kurdish fighters across the Turkish-Syria border
battling ISIS in the Syrian border town of Kobani. ISIS began to lose ground
there, as Syrian Kurds were reinforced by US arms drops and US air strikes against ISIS. The
fight for Kobani assumed increased importance as the global TV media focussed
on the battle from just across the border in Turkey. The issue of Turkey
allowing Kurdish reinforcements across its territory was sensitive because
Turkey has its own Kurdish minority region in the south-east.
2013, The European
Court of Human Rights demanded that Turkey pay Euro 90 million compensation in
damages to Greek Cypriots. Turkey refused to comply.
31/5/2013, Turkish police burnt down a protestors camp in Gezi Park, Istanbul. The protests were
against plans to redevelop the park, one of the few green spaces in the city,
for commercial uses.
in Greece after Greek police shot a 15 year old in the head, killing him.
2007, Turkish-Armenian community leader Hrant
Dink was assassinated.
22/7/2007, Recep Tayyip
Erdogan was re-elected President of Turkey. There were concerns that
his Islamic sympathies might threaten the secularism of Turkey.
2006, Talks on Turkey joining the EU broke down over the northern Cyprus
28/11/2006, Pope Benedict XVI
began a visit to Turkey He expressed support for their bid to join the EU, but
also spoke of the need to respect freedom of worship, an oblique reference to
the freedom of Christian worship there.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan of the AK Party became President in Turkey. Restrictions on
using the Kurdish language in Turkey were eased.
Erdogan took power
20/11/2003, Suicide bombers struck again in Istanbul at the
British Consulate and the headquarters of the HSBC bank. They killed 27,
including the British
1/3/2003, Turkey refused to allow
the US to use its territory for attacks on Iraq.
8/2/2000, In Turkey, Kurdish
supporters of Abdullah
Ocalan declared a ceasefire, and Ocalan was granted an indefinite
stay of execution.
29/6/1999, In Turkey, Kurdish
separatist leader Abdullah Ocalan was sentenced to death.
15/2/1999, Turkish agents in Kenya
captured Kurdish separatist leader Abdullah Ocalan and took him to Turkey to
stand trial. His supporters then planted bombs in Turkey, in 3/1999.
23/6/1996, Andreas Papandreou, Greek statesman, born 1919,
Turkey, 40 died in an arson attack on a hotel by Islamist terrorists protesting against Salman
Rushdie�s book The Satanic
14/6/1993, Tansu Ciller
became Turkey�s first woman president.
1991, Turkey relaxed some laws that repressed Kurdish culture.
Speaking Kurdish was now allowed, but publishing or broadcasting in Kurdish
remained banned; it was also an offence to own a recording of Kurdish music.
1987, Turkey applied to join the EEC.
National Security Council dissolved, ending three years of military rule.
24/4/1983. Turkey restored political parties.
18/10/1981. The first Socialist government in Greece was
elected under Andreas
became the 10th member of the European Community.
12/9/1980, General Kenan Evren headed a military takeover
in Turkey. Demirel
15/10/1979, Bulent Ecevit, leader of the governing leftist
secular Republican People�s Party, resigned amidst growing unrest in Turkey. At
the start of 1979, martial law was in force in 13 of Turkey�s 67 provinces, due
to clashes between Sunni and Shia Muslims. In April 1979 unrest in Kurdish
regions caused martial law to be instituted in a further 6 provinces. There
were also Left-Right wing clashes. The Turkish Army began to ally with the
Right wing opposition Justice Party, led by Suleyman Demirel. Demirel
took over governing Turkey, and announced that during Ecevit�s 22-month rule, there
had been 2,444 murders by terrorists. However the killings continued. The US
was hoping to store nuclear weapons at its bases in Turley, but Ecevit
had not allowed this, without USSR approval, which was not given.
24/8/1975, The officers responsible for the military coup in Greece were sentenced to death in Athens � this was later
commuted to life imprisonment.
applied to join the EEC.
8/12/1974, Greece voted against restoring the monarchy by
17/11/1974. The rule of the colonels ended in Greece, and Karamanlis
became Prime Minister.
19/8/1974, The US Ambassador to Nicosia, Rodger Davies, was shot dead
during a Greek Cypriot demonstration outside his Embassy.
1/8/1974, Restoration of the 1952 Constitution in Greece.
27/7/1974.� Greek military leaders handed political power
to a civilian government.
23/7/1974, The Greek �Colonels� military junta resigned.� Civilian rule returned to Greece, under President
25/12/1973, Ismet Inonu, Turkish statesman, died aged 84.
14/11/1973, Greek students, in a protest against the military
rule of the Colonels, occupied the Polytechnical School of Athens. The protest
was ended by brutal police violence.
5/8/1973, A terrorist attack at Athens Airport
left 3 dead and 55 wounded.
1/6/1973. The Greek
monarchy was abolished and George Papadopoulos
became first president of the Republic.�
The Greek Colonels (see 21/4/1967 and 13/12/1967) alleged that ex-King Constantine II
was plotting to overthrow their regime from exile.
15/4/1973, Naim Talu, former civil servant,
formed the new Turkish Government.
23/5/1973, The Greek Government foiled a naval mutiny.
10/4/1970, The Greek
government relaxed martial law.
Crown Princess of Greece, was born
Papandreou, Prime Minister of Greece, died.
after an unsuccessful attempt to overthrow the military junta, see 21/4/1967,
21/4/1967. Colonels in Greece under Papadopolous took power in a military coup;
parliamentary democracy was suspended. King Constantine II initially collaborated
with the colonels until 13/12/1967� but
then unsuccessfully attempted a counter coup.�
He later fled to Rome.
17/8/1964, Greece withdrew its forces from NATO because of
tension with Turkey over Cyprus.
6/3/1964, Constantine II
became king of the Hellenes, succeeding his father Paul I.
29/10/1961, General elections in Greece were won by the
National Radical Union. Constantine Karamanlis became Prime Minister.
17/9/1961. The ex-President of Turkey,
(see 27/5/1960) was executed at the prison on Imrali island, having been
accused of breaking the Turkish Constitution.
27/5/1960, President Adnan
of Turkey was ousted in an army coup.� He
founded the Democratic Party in 1945 and became Prime Minister in 1950.
Pro-Western, he took Turkey into NATO in 1952. However he was also sympathetic
to Islam, and the Turkish army, very secularist, found this intolerable. The
Army believed that Menderes posed a threat to the secularisation
of Turkey begin by Ataturk in the 1920s. Ultimately, severe
inflation from 1954 eroded Menderes�s support in the towns; Menderes
relied on rural peasant support.� Menderes
was forced to assume dictatorial powers in April 1960, just before his
overthrow. See 17/9/1961. In September 1990 Menderes was posthumously
�rehabilitated� and given a State Funeral, attended by the Turkish President.
14/6/1959, The US agreed to provide Greece with nuclear information
and supply ballistic missiles.
27/10/1957, Celal Bayar was re-elected President of
16/10/1957, Syria declared a State of Emergency following
Turkish troop movements on the Syrian border. US Secretary of State John Foster
Dulles warned the USSR against attacking Turkey.
5/10/1955, Karamanlis became Prime Minister of Greece,
Papagos on his death.
6/9/1955, Anti-Greek riots
in Istanbul and Izmir.
24/2/1955, Turkey and Iraq signed the Baghdad Pact. This was an alliance
of mutual support against Communist activity within their borders or as an
external threat. Iran joined later in 1955.
27/11/1954, Istanbul�s ancient bazaar was devastated in a� fire that destroyed 2,000 shops and caused
�178 million damage.
Greece, Yugoslavia and Turkey signed a treaty of mutual assistance.
In Greece, Field Marshal Alexandros Papagos
formed a government after the success of Greek Rally in the elections.
18/2/1952, Greece and Turkey joined NATO.
invited Greece and Turkey
2/4/1950 Recep Peker, Prime Minister of Turkey
1946�1947, died aged 61
16/10/1949, The Greek civil war ended with the defeat of the
20/8/1948, Greek Communists were
defeated by Government forces.
27/12/1947, The Greek Government banned the Communist Party.
22/5/1947, US Congress agreed aid for
Greece and Turkey.
1/4/1947. King George II of
Greece died aged 56, and was succeeded by his brother, 45, as King Paul I.
28/9/1946, King George II returned to Greece. A referendum had shown a majority in favour of
restoring the monarchy.
1/9/1946. A Greek plebiscite favoured return the of the
27/6/1946, Italy ceded the Dodecanese islands to
23/2/1945, Turkey, reluctantly, declared war on Germany
� only because the Allies had announced that only those nations who did so
would be invited to take part in the United Nations Conference at San
Post War civil conflict in Greece
The Treaty of Varkiza was signed. The Greek resistance agreed to disarm and
relinquish control of all the territory it occupied in exchange for legal
recognition, free elections, and the removal of Nazi collaborators from the
armed forces and police.
British troops rescued 350 military personnel from Greek ELAS Communist
fighters at Kifissia, near Athens. Since Greece was liberated from the Nazis,
there has been a vicious power struggle between Communist and Nationalist
British troops in Greece began an offensive against ELAS rebels
Rival partisans in Athens began to fight each other.
World War Two in Greece
was liberated from the Germans, who occupied it on 27/4/1941.
4/10/1944, Allied troops landed on the Greek mainland, at Patras.
2/10/1944. British troops landed on Crete.
2/8/1944. Turkey broke
off relations with Germany,
reluctantly, under pressure from the United Nations to fulfil its treaty
3/1944, The EAM (National Liberation Front) of Greece, a
Leftist coalition dominated by the KKE (Communist
Party of Greece), set up the PEEA (Political
Committee of National Liberation). This was effectively a rival to the
Greek Government-in-exile; the PEEA ran, in areas liberated from the Nazis,
systems of healthcare, education and ustice. It was vehemently opposed to the
return of King
George II. In 1945 the EAM disintegrated and the KKE took over.
After the War, the Communists, Republicans and Royalists started a civil war
that lasted until 1949.
See France-Germany, World War Two for main European events of World War Two
concluded a two-year non-aggression pact with Germany.
29/5/1941. Axis forces took the capital of Crete, Canea.
20/5/1941. Germany began an aerial invasion of Crete. King George II of Greece
fled Crete on 23/5/1941. By 1/6/1941 the
German occupation of Crete was complete.� Guerrilla
action continued on Crete until its liberation in 1945.
began a week-long bombing of Crete. On 20/5/1941 German paratroopers
attacked the islands three airfields. They
managed to seize only one airfield, Maleme, but this was enough, and the British had to evacuate Crete, leaving
13,000 wounded behind.
27/4/1941. The Germans occupied Athens.
They held it until 12/10/1944.
22/4/1941. British forces left Greece.
9/4/1941, Salonika was taken
by the Germans.� This cut off Thrace from Greece
and divided Macedonia
Battle of Matapan, off the coast of Crete. The British navy beat an
Italian fleet, sinking seven warships for no loss of its own.
2/3/1941, Turkey made passage of the Dardanelles by permit only.
22/11/1940. The Greeks routed the Italians at Koritza.
29/10/1940, British troops landed in Greece.
28/10/1940. Italy invaded Greece, from Albania.� This opened a Balkan Front, and was a complication
to Hitler�s plans to invade Russia, as the British would become involved.
2/6/1940, Constantine I, King of the Hellenes, was born
the son of King
24/6/1939, Turkey concluded a pact of mutual assistance with France,
see 12/5/1939.� Turkey enedeavoured to remain neutral in the unfolding conflict.� Its army was poorly equipped.
formerly the Syrian town of Alexandretta, was
incorporated into Turkey.
It had been part of Ottoman territory until 1919, and had been the subject of a
Franco-Turkish dispute which was settled at the League of
Nations in 1937. This said that Alexandretta was to be its own
entity controlling its own internal affairs, with Syria controlling its foreign
policy. Iskenderun is the Turkish name; a city
near this site was established by Alexander the Great in 333 BC to commemorate
his victory over the Persians at Issus.
12/5/1939, Turkey concluded a pact of mutual assistance with Britain.� See 24/6/1939.
people were trampled to death at the funeral of Kemal Attaturk.
11/11/1938. Ismet Inonu succeeded Kemal Ataturk,
who died the day before, as President of
10/11/1938. Kemal Ataturk, founder of the Turkish Republic in 1923, died aged 57. Ismet Inonu, 54, was elected to succeed him.
31/7/1938. Bulgaria signed a non-aggression pact with Greece.
3/7/1938, By agreement with France,
the district of Alexandretta was established as an autonomous part of Syria, but with a legal system conforming mainly
to Turkey.� It was called Hatay, after the Hittites,
considered its ancestors.� Within a� year, Hatay was ceded to Turkey.
27/4/1938. A friendship treaty was signed between Greece and Turkey.
25/10/1937, Celal Bayar became Prime Minister of Turkey.
15/2/1937, The Balkan
Entente Conference was held at Athens.
5/8/1936, The Greek Communist Party attempted to call a General
Strike.� However this precipitated a Right Wing dictatorship which broke up
the Communist Party.
13/4/1936, After the inconclusive Greek general elections of
26/1/1936, a period of uncertainty, and the death of Prime Minister Demerdjis, General John
Metaxas became Greek Prime Minister.
18/3/1936, Eleutherios Venizelos, Greek politician, died.
monarchy was restored in Greece.
3/11/1935, Plebiscite in Greece favoured the restoration of King George II,
with 97% voting in favour.
9/6/1935, General election in Greece. The Populists
(Monarchists) won 243 seats, although the Liberal party boycotted the election,
programme under Ataturk
Kemal changed his name to Kemal Ataturk.
Kemal told all Turks to adopt a surname by 1/1/1935. His was to be �Ataturk�,
of the Turks�. He also banned
hereditary titles in Turkey. Turkey decreed that the Hagia Sofia mosque in
Istanbul was now to be a secular museum.
Republican party of Mustapha Kemal won a landslide in the Turkish
Constantinople had its name changed to Istanbul,
and Angora to Ankara,
Turkey abolished the use of the Arabic script and adopted the Roman alphabet.
The Turkish Post Office was ordered to return to sender all post not bearing
the new-style �correct� addresses.
Turkey abolished Islam as the State religion.
2/9/1927, Mustafa Kemal
made Turkey a one-party state.
marriage was established in Turkey.
Polygamy was prohibited in Turkey.
Ataturk, as part of his Westernisation program, outlawed the traditional fez and substituted western hats.
rebellion broke out in Turkey.
continued its modernisation plan, with the abolition
of tithes and the shortening of military service.
3/3/1924, Mustafa Kemal
formally abolished the caliphate, and exiled all memnbers of the House of
Osman. This ended the Ottoman Dynasty,
founded in 1290.
Turkish National Assembly abolished the caliphate, disestablishing the Islamic religion.
Kemal proclaimed Turkey
a Republic and himself as its first President, called Kemal Ataturk.
The Turkish capital was officially moved from Istanbul to Ankara.
13/8/1923. Mustapha Kemal,
(Ataturk), was elected President of
Kemal announced a new Turkish
5/8/1921, Mustafa Kemal
became ruler of Turkey and Supreme Commander of the army.
16/1/1933, Eleutherios Venizelos again became Prime
Minister of Greece.
31/10/1932, In Greece, after an inconclusive general election,
Prime Minister Eleutherios
Venizelos resigned and was replaced by Panyoti Tsaldaris, a moderate
1930, The Balkan Entente was set up. It included
Greece, Romania, Turkey and Yugoslavia; it was essentially a defensive alliance
against the expansionist aims of Bulgaria, which was seeking to regain
territories lost to Greece and Yugoslavia under the Treaty of Neuilly (1919).
In the 1930, as authoritarian regimes gained power in all members of the Balkan
Entente, the entire region moved politically closer to Germany and Italy.
30/10/1930. Greece and Turkey signed a treaty of
12/8/1930. Turkish and Iranian forces launched attacks on Kurdish
27/6/1929, In Turkey, President Kemal outlawed Communist propaganda.
19/8/1928, Greek elections produced a victory for the
Liberals under Venizelos.
3/7/1928. In Greece, Eleutherios Venizelos was again appointed
Prime Minister, following his return in March.
30/10/1927, Admiral Paul Kondouriotis,
the President of Greece, survived an assassination attempt by a 25-year-old
Goussies shot President
Kondouriotis in the head as the he was leaving a conference of
Greece's mayors in Athens.
5/6/1926, At the Treaty
of Angora, Turkey accepted the
Brussels Line, setting the northern boundary of Iraq,
and including Mosul within Iraq.� Turkey
was to receive a share of oil revenues from Mosul
for the next 25 years, and to be compensated for public works carried out
3/1/1926, In Greece, Pangalos assumed dictatorial powers; in April
1926 he was elected President.
16/12/1925, The League of Nations voted to uphold the Brussels Line, dividing Mosul villayet, see
21/11/1925, The Permanent Court of International Justice agreed to the Brussels Line, dividing Mosul villayet, see
29/10/1924, and 16/12/1925.
29/10/1925, Greek troops withdrew from Bulgaria, on orders from the League
22/10/1925. Border dispute flared between Greece and Bulgaria.
26/6/1925, Coup in Greece; General Theodoros Pangalos
16/4/1925. In Turkey,
the Kurdish uprising ended.
2/4/1925, France and Turkey agreed on the autonomy of
uprising in Turkey.
20/11/1924, Kurds in
Turkey rebelled; they were suppressed with considerable force.
29/10/1924, The Council
of Brussels drew the Brussels Line, dividing
the villayet of Mosul into Turkish and Iraqi areas.� See 21/11/1925, 16,12,1925.
27/1/1924. Rauf Denktash,
Turkish-Cypriot politician, was born.
Return of King Constantine. Turks pushed back Greek forces. King
andicates and Greece becomes a Republic
Venizelos accepted the Premiership of Greece under the National
was proclaimed a Republic, as conformed by plebiscite on 13/4/1924. Admiral Pavlos
Koundouriotis became President.
19/12/1923, King George II
left Greece at the request of the ruling Revolutionary Committee.
Greek Army deposed King George II.
23/8/1923, The last Allied troops left Istanbul.
King of the Hellenes, died of a brain haemorrhage in Palermo (born 2/8/1868).
13/10/1922, The Armistice of Mudanya ended the
Greek-Turkish War. Relations between Ankara and the Allies wree settled, and
the Allies now allowed Turkish troops to enter Istanbul.
Following Greece�s defeat in
Constantine abdicated (see more at 18/3/1913). He was succeeded by King George II.
26/8/1922. Turkey began an
offensive against Greece
to recover land lost after World War One. The Russian government was sending
military aid to Turkey.
On 9/9/1922 Greece
ending its presence on the eastern Aegean coast. Turkish forces now
threatened British forces occupying the southern Dardanelles at Chanak; the
British government authorised an ultimatum to Turkey, but the local British
commander delayed its delivery until local Turkish agreement to respect the
British zone had been secured.� As the
Greek Army retreated it burnt Turkish towns.
29/7/1922. The Allies forbade Greece to occupy Constantinople.
18/12/1920 King Constantine was restored to the Greek
5/12/1920, A Greek referendum result called for the
return of King
Constantine, deposed by the Allies in 1917.
31/8/1923. Italy seized the Greek island of Corfu.� This followed an incident in which an Italian
General and 4 members of his staff were shot
whilst determining the Albanian-Greek border on 27/8/1923.� Mussolini saw the incident as a national
appealed to the League of Nations on 3/9/1923, and under pressure from France and the UK,
Italy withdrew from Corfu on 27/9/1923.�
Greece was compelled to pay a
considerable indemnity to Italy.
24/7/1923. The Treaty
of Lausanne was signed. This restored Adrianople to Turkey after
the Greco-Turkish was of 1923. Turkey
regained the territories lost after World War One, including the eastern Aegean
11/9/1922. The British
Mandate in Palestine began; Britain took
over rulership from the Ottoman Turks.
9/9/1922, The Turkish Army entered Smyrna, and its Christians fled in
Smyrna was burnt on 13/9/1922.
1921, The chief organiser of the
Ottoman massacre of Armenian Christians, Talaat Pasha, was himself assassinated by a
survivor of that genocide. Pasha had rfecorded that the population of
Armenians under Ottoman rule had fallen from 1,265,000 in 1915 to just 284,157
20/10/1921, France recognised the Turkish Government in
13/10/1921, Turkey, Russia,
and the Caucasian Republics signed a treaty in Kars.� Turkey retained Kars,
Ardahan, and Artvin, and Russia
4/4/1921, Greek forces defeated the Turks at Eskiskehr.
concluded a peace with the Republic of Armenia at Alexandropol.� Armenia
had been raiding Turkish frontier villages, which had led Turkey to attack Armenia.� Turkey
took Kars and
was forced to conclude a peace treaty with Turkey
that not only annulled the Wilson Line but gave the district of Kars, formerly Russian/Armenian,
to Turkey.� This treaty also stated that
�there were no Armenian majorities anywhere in Turkey�.
22/11/1920, US President Wilson
set a proposed border (The Wilson Line) between Turkey and Armenia that would
have given Armenia lands as far west as Trebizond, Erzingan, and Bitlis.� However on the ground both Turkey and the USSR
were advancing into Armenia
and the Wilson
line never materialised.� See 2/12/1920.
17/11/1920, Dowager Queen Olga became Regent of Greece.
25/10/1920, King Alexander
of Greece died of blood poisoning after being bitten by a monkey.
His father, who abdicated in 1917, resumed the throne, continuing the struggle
Greece, supporters of Venizelos were heavily defeated in general
10/8/1920. The Ottoman Empire signed the Treaty of Sevres, ceding 80% of
its land area. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_of_S%C3%A8vres
for possible dismemberment of Turkey as proposed by Sevres. Syria became a French mandate (including Lebanon,
see1/9/1920), Palestine and Mesopotamia became British mandates, Rhodes and the
Dodecanese islands went to Italy, and the other Aegean Islands went to Greece.
Greeks took Adrianople.
Greeks took Bursa.
24/6/1920. The Greeks defeated the Turks at Alashehr.
22/6/1920, With British
support, Greek forces attacked Turkish Nationalist troops.
20/3/1920. In response to the Syrian claim of 8/3/1920, the
Lebanese Christians proclaimed their independence, choosing as their flag the
French tricolour with a Lebanese cedar at its centre.
troops occupied Istanbul; Turkey arrested the Nationalists and the Sultan
closed Parliament. Some Nationalists escaped to Ankara.
8/3/1920. Syria proclaimed
independence from Ottoman Turkey, with Emir Faisal, hero of the Arab
revolt, as King. He claimed not just the smaller Syria
agreed by Britain and France,
but of �natural Syria�,
extending to the Euphrates and including Lebanon
12/2/1920, A conference began in London to settle the main frontiers of Turkey to be demarcated in the Treaty of Sevres.� This conference ended on 23/2/1920, see
28/1/1920, The new Turkish Parliament, with a Nationalist
majority, issued the Pact of Ankara affirming the integrity of Turkish
territory, based on the resolutions of the Nationalist Congress of 1919.
Mustapha Kemal against
further loss of Turkish territory
Nationalists set up a provisional government at Ankara, with Mustapha Kemal
5/8/1919, Kemal declared Turkey
independent of the Sultan at the Turkish Nationalist Congress.
23/7/1919, Turkish Nationalists met at Erzurum to
resist Allied plans to carve up Turkey.
11/7/1919, The Turkish Sultan outlawed Kemal.
8/7/1919, The new Turkish Sultan Mohammed VI dismissed Mustapha
19/6/1919, In Turkey, Mustafa Kemal
and other nationalist leaders signed the Amasia Protocol, declaring their
resistance to the Allied plans for Turkey and the Sultan�s co-operation with
19/5/1919, The Turkish war hero Mustapha Kemal
resisted the further reduction of Turkish territory, organising military
15/5/1919, The Greek
Army landed at Smyrna, under the
protection of British,
fleets, beginning an occupation of the area by massacring Turkish civilians.
Papandreou, Prime Minister of Greece, was born.
million Armenians in Turkey were massacred by Turks.
26/12/1918, George Rallis,
Prime Minister of Greece, was born (died 2006).
Communist Party of Greece was founded.
End of World War One
1/11/1918, Anglo-French troops took Constantinople.
Turkey surrendered to the
Allies; the Dardanelles were reopened to
Allied shipping. Anglo-French troops occupied Constantinople.
30/10/1918. (1) An armistice
was concluded aboard the British warship Agamemnon,
at Mudros, between Britain and Turkey.� However Turkey
was to face some four more year�s fighting with Greece, and effectively with the
(2) Lieutenant Colonel Thomas
Lawrence, �Lawrence of Arabia�, shocked King George V by turning down the Order
of the Bath and Distinguished Service Order. Lawrence was disappointed at how
the Arabs had not achieved independence after World War One but their land had
been carved up between Britain and France.�
France, Catholic, took the Christian sites of Lebanon and Syria; Britain
took Jordan and Iraq.
Syria, was captured from the Turks by British
and Arab troops advancing from the south.
13/10/1918, British troops occupied Tripoli, Lebanon.
7/10/1918, British troops took Beirut and Sidon.
1/10/1918. Arab forces under Emir Faisal, including the
British officer T
E Lawrence, captured Damascus from
22/9/1918. Turkish resistance in Palestine
20/9/1918. The British captured Nazareth.
18/9/1918, The British under General Allenby started a major
offensive against the Turks, pushing them north out of Palestine, starting with
a British victory at Megiddo. This offensive pushed the Turks out of Palestine,
captured Damascus, and forced the Turks to accept an armistice on 30/10/1918.
9/9/1918. Allied victory at Megiddo.
29/7/1918. Germany severed diplomatic relations with
13/6/1918. A Turkish offensive in Palestine was halted.
26/4/1918, The Turks captured Kars, Caucasus, from Russia, however their cause was doomed as General Allenby
made major gains in Palestine.
14/4/1918, Following the collapse of the Russians, Turkey captured Batumi
on the Black Sea.� See 26/4/1918.
10/2/1918, Abdul-Hamid II, Sultan of Turkey from
31/8/1876, died (born 21/9/1842).
was surrendered by the Turks to the
British under General Allenby, who had advanced from Gaza in 10/1917 into
Judaea and on to Jerusalem. The Turks had ruled Jerusalem since its capture
from the Crusaders in 1244.
(Joppa) was captured by the British,
under General Allenby, from the Turks.
9/11/1917. Arthur Balfour, the British Foreign Secretary,
unveiled plans for a Jewish national
homeland in Palestine.
The message was conveyed to the Zionist representative, Baron Rothschild. The
British Wear cabinet, under David Lloyd George, believed that Zionist support would help the war effort,
especially against the Ottoman Turks. Arabs outnumber Jews by ten to one in
Zionist leaders like Dr Chaim Weizmann would try and build up their numbers.
31/10/1917. British forces under General Allenby captured Beersheba
from the Turks. This opened the way
for the British capture of Jerusalem and the
rest of Palestine.
Meanwhile in 1916 Britain and France
had secretly signed the Sykes-Picot
agreement to divided up the Ottoman Lands in the Middle East after the War.
France was to get the north-western half of the Fertile Crescent, that is Syria
and Lebanon; Britain was to get the south-east, Jordan and Iraq. The Catholic
church wanted French control of the Mediterranean coast, where many Maronite
Christians lived, and Britain wanted French lands between them and the Russians
to the north. Britain retained an air corridor to Iraq through Jordan; Britain
was dropping poison gas on rebellious Iraqi Arabs. France divided off Lebanon
as a Christian Republic from Syria; it also divided off Hatay and gave that to
Syria, due to lobbying from Hatay�s Turkish minority. The Allies also
considered giving Palestine to Belgium. They also, at the Treaty of Sevres (10/8/1920)
backed the formation of a Kurdish State, but refused to allow the Kurds in Iraq
or Syria to be part of this State; the idea never materialised.
22/7/1917, In Greece, King Constantine was forced to
Battle of Ramadi. Unable to organize any attack on open ground due to
searing heat, British forces were forced to retreat during the night while
hounded by a force of 1,500 pro-Turkish Arabs.
4/7/1917, Lawrence of Arabia reassured the Arabs, who
were wary of attacking the Turkish fort of Kethira under a full moon, that �for
a while there will be no moon�. Lawrence knew a lunar eclipse was due. Turkish
defenders panicked as the moon vanished, and the fort fell to the Arabs.
declared war on Germany.
12/6/1917. The pro-German
Constantine of Greece,
who dismissed the pro-Allied government of Venizelos, was himself forced to abdicate by
British attack the Turks at Gaza (First
Battle of Gaza).
17/3/1917. The British heavily defeated the Turks near Gaza.
11/3/1917. The Allies captured Baghdad
from Ottoman Turkey.
17/10/1916, The Allies formally recognised the Greek Venizelos
16/10/1916. The Allies took Athens.
9/10/1916, In Greece, Venizelos formed a provisional
government at Salonika.
27/9/1916. Greece declared war on Bulgaria, which itself had declared
war on Rumania
earlier in the month.
10/9/1916. The Allies launched an offensive in Salonika.
for main events of World War One
20/8/1916. The Allies began an offensive against Turkey in Mesopotamia.
5/8/1916. The British defeated the Turks in a naval
battle off Port Said.
16/6/1916, The Ottoman garrison at the Red Sea port of
Jeddah surrendered to the Arabs.
9/6/1916. Sherif Hussein of Mecca led a revolt against the Ottoman Turks. The
Arabs were angered by the Young Turks nationalist and secular policies.
16/5/1916, French diplomat Francois-Georges Picot and British diplomat Mark Sykes
began a secret correspondence to decide how the Middle East would be divided up
after World War One (see also 30/10/1917). The Western Powers had already
decided that the Ottoman Empire was too vast and too corrupt to be allowed to
survive. Britain would claim Jordan, most of Iraq, and the port city of Haifa.
France� would take SE Turkey, northern
Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. Palestine would be jointly administered between
Britain and France. Russia would be granted the city of Constantinople and
several Armenian-dominated regions. In fact the Russian Revolution of 1917 and
further diplomatic developments meant that not all these provisions became
reality, but the Sykes-Picot agreement set the scene for many of the issues of
the Middle East during the 20th century.
29/4/1916. British troops surrendered to the Ottoman
Turks after a siege of 143 days at Kut-el-Amara
14/4/1916. The Allied bombarded Istanbul.
2/3/1916, The Russians took Bitlis, in Turkestan, from the Ottoman Turks.
16/2/1916, The Russians
in the Caucasus, from Turkey.
13/2/1916, In the Erzurum Offensive Russian forces advanced on
the Ottoman Third Army, which was too small to defend against the assault.
7/2/1916, The Erzurum Offensive. Russia� captured the Turkish towns of Hınıs
4/2/1916, In Turkey, Crown Prince Yussuf Izzedin
17/1/1916. Russia began an offensive against Turkey.
8/1/1916. Gallipoli was evacuated
by Allied troops. This was the end of an unsuccessful attempt to capture
Constantinople. See 20/12/1915.
20/12/1915. Australian, New Zealand, and British troops were evacuated from the
ill-fated Gallipoli expedition. See 25/4/1915. The aim had been to capture the
Dardanelles and Constantinople, and so knock Turkey out of the war, and link up
with the Russian Black Sea Fleet. However disease, flies, fever, and
mosquitoes, and the incompetence of the Allied commanders, were compounded by
the fact that landings were not made until two months after Turkish positions
here had been bombarded. Hence the element of surprise was lost, and the Turks
had ample time to prepare strong defences. Evacuation was completed by
8/1/1916, without casualties. An ingenious plan involved loading provisions onto
the Gallipoli beaches in daylight, but at night men, guns and horses were
evacuated, leaving rifles set to fire automatically at intervals. At the last
moment an Allied destroyer trained a searchlight on the Turkish lines, the
Turks fired back, and under this exchange of fire the Allies slipped away
15/8/1915, The Allied landings at Suvla, Dardanelles, were completed.
6/8/1915. New Allied landings on Gallipoli. See 8/1/1916.
26/4/1915. Allied forces established
themselves on the Gallipoli Peninsula, having landed the previous day,
25/4/1915. This was an attempt to take
control from the Dardanelles from Turkey, and open up a supply route to Russia.
The Allies hoped, against all evidence, that the landing itself would provoke a
coup in Turkey and remove it from the War. Russian Jews, who saw the ottoman
Empire as a barrier to a Jewish Homeland, supported the exercise. Forces landed
included 27,500 British, 18,100 ANZACs, and 16,800 French. However the landing
site was fully exposed to Turkish fire, and evacuation of Allied troops
was the only option. Also on 25/9/1915 the Germans attacked Serbia and Allied
forces had to go to Salonika to buttress Serbian resistance (see 5/10/1915).
Evacuation began on 8 December 1915 and was completed by 9 January 1916. The Dardanelles expedition cost
70,700 British casualties (26,000 dead), 25,700 Australians (7,800 killed),
23,000 French (8,000 killed), 7,100 New Zealanders (2,445 killed) and 5,500
Indians (1,682 killed). However the evacuation was managed with very
little loss of life.
22/11/1915. General Charles Vere Ferrers Townshend was advancing
by boat on Baghdad with a force of
9,000 men of the 6th Indian Division. The land was roadless, an
�arid billiard table� as he described it. At Ctesiphon, 20 miles short of Baghdad, Townshend came up against a
large, well supplied force. He was short of supplies because a stingy and
over-optimistic government in India expected him to get all the supplies he
needed in Baghdad.� Townshend�s forces
drove out the Turks but at a loss of
40% of his men. He was now unable to withstand any Turkish counter-attack, let
alone advance further, so he retreated to Kut
with 1,600 Turkish prisoners of war and 4,500 wounded from both sides.� The Invasion of Mesopotamia was to secure the
oil but that only required the occupation of a small area around Basra. This
would, keep the Turks away from the
Iranian port of Abadan, terminus of the Anglo-Iranian pipeline which supplied
the Royal navy with oil. Kut was
besieged by the Turks, from 8/12/1915. Townshend had 13,500 inside to
feed, including some 2,500 Indian non-combatants and 2,000 sick and wounded.
There were also 6,000 Arabs. They had to contend with freezing cold and
torrential rain. A relief force never got near enough; three relief attempts
were made, at a cost of 23,000 casualties. The Indians would not eat meat,
although the oxen were slaughtered for food by the British, then the camels,
horses, and finally cats, starlings, dogs, and hedgehogs. Gallipoli had
been evacuated by the British on 8/1/1916 and elated by this, and now with
troops to spare from there, the Turks
refused a ransom of �2million (�67million in 2002 prices) to let the defenders
leave. Kut was the first siege in which supplies were dropped by air,
including flour for the Indian�s chappatis. However the Turks and their German
allies had more and better aircraft. Finally Kut surrendered on 27/4/1916, with rations down to seven ounces of
grain a day for the 12,000 men there. More Indian and British soldiers died
during the forced march from Kut to captivity in Mesopotamia or even all the
way to Turkey. However Townshend was in relatively comfortable captivity near
Constantinople.� Kut finally
fell to the Allies in February 1917, and Baghdad fell in March 1917.
5/10/1915. Allied troops landed at Salonika,
Greece, to help Serbia (see
26/4/1915). These troops probably dissuaded Greece
from joining the German side, and in 1918 took part in an offensive against Bulgaria, but
otherwise played little role in the war.
28/9/1915. The British defeated the Turks at Kut El Amara in Mesopotamia.
23/9/1915. King Constantine of Greece
began mobilising against Bulgaria,
in aid of Serbia.
15/9/1915, The Entente (France, UK) promised Bulgaria part of Macedonia if she declared war on Turkey.
21/8/1915. Italy declared war on the Ottoman
27/5/1915. The Turkish government decided to deport the
entire Armenian population to Syria
and Mesopotamia, suspecting them of lack
of loyalty. The deportation involved much cruelty against the Armenians. Of the
total Armenian population of 1.8 million, a third were deported, a third
escaped deportation, and a third were killed. The Russians conquered Turkish
Armenia in 1916 and proclaimed �the liberation of the Armenian people from the
Turkish yoke� but prevented the Armenians from returning to their homeland as
they planned to settle the area with Cossacks.
24/4/1915. The arrest in Constantinople (now Istanbul) of 235 Armenian academics, politicians,
lawyers and journalists. Another 600 were later detained. All were sent to
Anatolia, most of them slaughtered. Turkey feared they would collaborate with
Russia. On this day the Ottoman Interior Minister, Talaat Pasha, gave the order for
the Armenian Massacre. Many
Armenians were deported to the Syrian desert to die.
19/2/1915 �The Dardanelles
campaign began. A Franco-British fleet began shelling Turkish fortifications
along the Dardanelles, to open up the strategic waterway to get munitions to
Russia via the Black Sea, and deliver Russian grain to France and the UK.
Spotter planes from the aircraft carrier HMS
Ark Royal were directing the gunners by radio.
2/2/1915. The Turks were
defeated on the Suez Canal.
See France-Germany for
main events of World War Two
14/11/1914. The Sultan of Turkey declared a Jihad, or Holy War, against the Allies.
6/11/1914, British troops landed at Fao (now Iraq) and
captured the Turkish fort there.
5/11/1914. Following Russia,
Britain and France
declared war on the Ottoman Empire. Britain
annexed Cyprus. However the Dardanelles were now closed to Allied shipping,
and it was vital to be able to get supplies to support Russia. The ports of
Archangel and Vladivostock were ice-bound, so an attempt was made to seize the Dardanelles by the Gallipoli
campaign (see 25/4/1915).
Russians declared war on Turkey and invaded Armenia,
part of the Ottoman Empire.
warships bombarded the Russian ports of Sevastopol, Odessa and Novorossiysk. This provoked a declaration
of war by Russia against Turkey on 4/11/1919; also by Britain and France on 5/11/1914. In Turkey
the Young Turks, in 1908, had had two aims; to
pull together the disintegrating remains of the Ottoman Empire, and to recover land lost to Russia. However they found the Turkish Treasury in debt to
European banks by the then-colossal sum of �200 million. They sought an
alliance with a wealthy European nation that could help rebuild the Turkish
economy. Britain, which had helped found Turkey�s National Bank in 1908, was approached,
as an enemy of Germany with whom the former Turkish Sultan Abdul Hamid had
been friendly. Britain declined the approach, believing that an alliance with
Turkey would unite Europe against it. Turkey again approached Britain during
the Balkan War (1912-13) and was again rebuffed. In July 1914 France also
rejected overtures by Turkey. Moreover on 1/8/1914 Winston Churchill ordered the
requisition of two warships being built in Britain for the Turkish Navy.
Meanwhile the German General Otto Liman von Sanders was assisting
the modernisation of the Turkish Army. Germany hoped that Turkey, possibly
allied with Bulgaria, would threaten Russia without direct German involvement.
The Young Turk,
Minister for War, approached the German Ambassador in Constantinople� on 22/7/1914 to propose a formal alliance.
The German Ambassador, Freiherr von Wangenheim, declined; Germany
assessed that an alliance with Turkey would exacerbate tensions with Russia,
and therefore be of advantage to Britain and France, but be of no gain to
Germany because of the weak state of the Turkish Army, and the parlous state of
the Turkish economy that retarded the development of the Turkish military.
Wilhelm II, Emperor of Germany, on learning of Enver�s approach, overruled Wangenheim
and instructed Chancellor
Theobald von Bethmann to open negotiations with Turkey. A secret treaty of alliance between
Germany and Turkey was signed on 2/8/1914, essentially a mutual guarantee
of defence against, only, any attack by Russia. The secrecy allowed Enver
to hedge his bets and only intervene against Russia when it suited him.
Therefore although Germany had mobilised against Russia on 1/8/1914 Enver
did not attack immediately. German Admiral Wilhelm von Souchon sailed two
German ships, the SMS Goeben and SMS Breslau, past British ships in the
Mediterranean just hours before Britain declared war on Germany, on 4/8/1914.
Britain chased these ships but did not prevent their arrival at Constantinople,
where they became part of the Turkish navy, replacing the ships confiscated by
Britain. They were renamed the Yavuz
Sultan Selim and the Midilli, and
Turkey also received 20 million marks in gold by train from Germany, to assist
in updating Turkish military capabilities. Once the gold was received, and
Turkey had witnessed German successes against the Russians in East Prussia
(following initial defeats inflicted on Germany at Tannenbirg and the Marne)
the Yavuz Sultan Selim and the Midilli, complete with German crews,
bombarded the Russian ports. Churchill was not too perturbed by Turkey�s
entry into the Great War on the German side. Almost all the Turkish Army�s 43
divisions were only on peacetime strengths of 4,000 men, not the wartime basis
of 10,000. The Turkish divisions based in Mesopotamia (now Iraq), also Arabia
and the Levant, were manned by local recruits of dubious loyalty to the Ottoman
Empire. The British enjoyed easy victories against these divisions in the Basra
area, where the local oilfields were secured. However later in the war the Young Turks
reinforced the fighting capabilities of the army, giving Britain a harder
1/10/1914. Turkey closed the Dardanelles.
2/9/1914. The Ottoman Empire mobilised its forces, in
World War One.
Start of World War One
13/8/1913, Archbishop Makarios, President of Cyprus 1960-77, was born near Paphos, the son of a
Second Balkan War
13/6/1914, Greece annexed the islands of Chios and
Lesbos from Turkey.
12/6/1914, 100 Greeks in Phocaea were massacred by
Turkish irregular troops.
14/3/1914, Peace was concluded between Turkey and Serbia.
14/12/1913, Greece formally annexed Crete.
was concluded between Turkey and Greece.�
Greece acquired Crete
and the Aegean Islands,
excepting Tenedos and Imbros; also the Dodecanese Islands
remained under Italian occupation.
17/10/1913. Serbia invaded Albania.
29/9/1913, The Treaty
of Constantinople, an addition to the Treaty
of Bucharest (see 10/8/1913), settled the frontier between Bulgaria and Turkey.
21/9/1913. Turkey and Bulgaria
settled their border dispute; Turkey
Third Treaty of Bucharest ended the Second Balkan
War.� Rumania gained the fertile area of
Southern Dobruja, which had been Bulgarian since 1878, whilst Serbia and Greece divided Macedonia between them; again� territory that Bulgaria wanted.� Greece received Salonika, a major port.� Bulgaria
merely received the mountainous areas of Pirin and Dospat, and two small
Mediterranean ports called Dedeagach and Lagos; Bulgaria was left resentful.� Turkey�s
possession in Europe were limited to the area around Constantinople and
Adrianople.� Albania was created.� See
6/9/1915.� In the First World War, the
losers by this Treaty (Turkey
and Bulgaria) fought on the
German side; the gainers (Greece,
Romania, Serbia, and Montenegro) fought on the Allied
18/7/1913, Turkish forces recovered Adrianople from
who took the city in March 1917.
12/7/1913, Turkey seized Adrianople.
11/7/1913, Romania invaded Bulgaria.
10/7/1913. Russia declared war on Bulgaria.� 500,000 Romanian troops crossed the frontier
into Bulgaria, occupied
southern Dobruja, and advanced on Sofia.
3/7/1913. Romania mobilised its troops. in response to
attack on its neighbours.
1/7/1913. Greece and Serbia
declared war on Bulgaria.
29/6/1913. Bulgaria launched a surprise attack on Serbia and Greece, thereby starting the Second Balkan War.� Bulgaria
was then invaded by Romania
and Turkey.� See 10/8/1913.
24/6/1913. Greece and Serbia broke their alliance with Bulgaria over a
border dispute. On 29/6/1913 Greece
and Serbia were attacked by Bulgaria.
18/3/1913, George I, King of Greece from 1863, was assassinated in Salonika by a Greek
called Schinasi.� Constantine I became King of Greece, in the
newly-occupied city of Salonika.� Constantine opposed the pro-Allied policy of Venizelos,
and in June 1917 the Allies forced his abdication in favour of his second son, Alexander,
who ruled until dying from a monkey bite in October 1920.� A plebiscite two months later voted
overwhelmingly for the return of Constantine I.�
was unfairly blamed for Greek military failure in action against Turkey in Anatolia and Smyrna, and he abdicated on 27/9/1922.� He died in exile in Sicily a year later.
1912, Electric lighting was
introduced in Istanbul.
First Balkan War
signed a peace treaty with the Balkan League (the Treaty of London), ending
their war.� Under this Treaty Salonika
was formally assigned to Greece. The Great Powers formally recognised Albanian
22/4/1913. Montenegro captured Scutari after a 6 month
16/4/1913, Turkey signed an armistice with Bulgaria.
1/4/1913, The Turkish government approved the terms
of peace to end the First Balkan War,
losing 60,000 square miles of territory to the Balkan nations.
26/3/1913. The Balkan allies took Adrianople from Turkey
after a 155 day siege.
6/3/1913. Hostilities resumed in the Balkans; the
Greeks took Janina, capturing 32,000 Turks.
7/2/1913, 5,000 Turks died in a battle with Bulgaria.
3/2/1913. Bulgaria re-stared the Balkan War. On
7/2/1913 a Turkish-Bulgarian battle left 5,000 Turks dead, and on 26/3/1913 the
Bulgarians captured Adrianople from Turkey.
22/1/1913, Turkey accepted a ceasefire ultimatum.
troops massacred Muslims.
9/1/1913. Turkey breached the armistice by attacking
6/1/1913, A peace conference in London broke down
when Turkey refused to cede Adrianople, the Aegean Islands and Crete.
2/1/1913. Turkey agreed to give up almost all its
Balkan Peace Conference began in London.
4/12/1912. Turkey concluded an armistice with Bulgaria and Serbia;
also ceased fighting.
30/11/1912, Bulgaria and Turkey signed an armistice.
28/11/1912. Albanian independence was proclaimed
and confirmed in London
on 20/12/1912 in principle and the new state�s borders were confirmed on
29/7/1913. However these borders
included less than half of the ethnic Albanians.
18/11/1912. The Serbs occupied Monastir.
Greeks occupied Salonika.� This was
during the First Balkan War, and ended
482 years of Turkish occupation.
5/11/1912, The Serbs and Greelks routed the Turkish
Army at Monastir. Turkey lost some 20,000 men.
3/11/1912. Turkey appealed for mediation in the war
with Italy, by the great European powers.
1/11/1912. The Greeks occupied Samothrace.
31/10/1912, Bulgarian forces defeated the Turks at Lule
24/10/1912, Serbian forces defeated the Turks at
23/10/1912. The Greeks routed the Turks at Sarandaporos.
Balkan armies invaded Turkey.
18/10/1912. The Ottoman Turks agreed to cede Tripoli
and Cyrenaica (now Libya) to Italy, at the Peace of Lausanne.� Greece, Bulgaria and Serbia declared war on
Turkey. The Greek Army had been well-equipped under Venizelos, and the Turks
were pushed back, to the point where Istanbul itself was threatened; the city
was only saved by bad weather making the roads impassable and a cholera
outbreak, halting military operations.
15/10/1912, Turkey made peace with Italy at Ouchy.
14/10/1912. The Turks invaded Serbia.� Greece,
Serbia, and Bulgaria issued ultimatums to Turkey
demanding the demobilisation of the Turkish Army in the Balkans.
8/10/1912. Montenegro declared war on the Ottoman
Bulgaria, and Serbia prepared to fight Turkey.
30/9/1912, Russia mobilised its forces in response to
unrest in the Balkans.�
29/9/1912, British and French forces quelled riots on
Samos, after Turkey withdrew troops from there.�������� ������
3/8/1912. The Ottoman
Turks granted Albania limited
2/7/1912, Serbia allied
with Greece and Bulgaria
against Ottoman Turkey, see 29/5/1912.
29/5/1912. Greece signed an
anti-Ottoman alliance with Bulgaria.
joined this alliance on 2/7/1912.
First Balkan War
25/3/1912, The Greek Liberal Party led by Prime Minister
Eleftherios Venizelos won a majority of seats in elections in
13/3/1912, Under Russian
influence (wanting to undermine Austro-Hungary), Serbia and Bulgaria buried
their territorial rivalries for the time being (but see 29/6/1913), and, along
with Greece and Montenegro, formed the Balkan League. Originally directed
against the large multi-ethnic Austro-Hungarian Empire (which contained many
ethnic Serbs within its borders), the League redirected its efforts against
Ottoman Turkey, ultimately aiming to oust the Turks entirely from all its
European territories. Serbia and Bulgaria signed a mutual defence pact. Balkan
nationalism was on the rise. The pact also divided northern Macedonia between
them. It was assumed that southern Macedonia would be divided between Bulgaria
and Greece. On 30/5/1913 the Treaty of London divided up the Balkans amongst
the members of the Balkan League, leaving Ottoman Turkey with only a sliver of
European territory immediately west of Istanbul.
Italian conquest of Turkish lands
4/5/1912. The Italians occupied the island of Rhodes,
formerly held by the Ottoman Turks.
announced that it had taken from Turkey the territories of Libya, Tripolitania,
defeated the Turks at Tripoli,
30/9/1911. Italian troops attacked the Turks in Tripoli harbour.
29/9/1911. Italy declared
war on Turkey, having been assured
of the neutrality of other European countries.� The Italian Navy bombarded Preveza, and
Italian forces landed at Tripoli
and in Cyrenicia. This was in retaliation for the alleged mistreatment of
Italians in Libya. The Italians expected the Arabs to welcome them as
liberators from Turkish rule, but instead the Arabs sided with the Turks in
resisting Italian rule. In May 1912 Italy invaded some islands off Turkey,
including Rhodes, to put further pressure on Turkey. Then Italy had some
unexpected good fortune when in 1912 Montenegro, Serbia, Bulgaria and Greece
started the Balkan War against Turkey, forcing the Ottomans to surrender Libya
to Italy. However Arab resistance continued and despite a permanent Italian garrison
of 50,000 troops Italian rule only covered Tripoli and other major towns. At
least, though, Italy could now claim to have its own African colony.
See also Italy
6/2/1911. A large part of Constantinople
was destroyed in a fire.
9/12/1910, The Turks suppressed an Arab uprising in
declared independence from Turkey under King Nicholas I, 69, who ruled
for 9 years.
11/12/1910, In elections for the Greek National Assembly,
supporters of Venizelos
received 300 seats out of 364.
18/10/1910, Elentherios Venizelos became Prime Minister of
21/8/1910, First meeting of the Greek National Assembly
(officially opened by the King on 14/9/1910).
27/4/1909, Mehmed V (1844-1918) succeeded his father, Abdul Hamid II
(born 1842, died 1918; Sultan from 1876 � 1909) as Sultan of the Ottoman
24/4/1909, The Turkish Army coup of 13/4/1909 was suppressed,
and its leaders executed.
23/4/1909. Moslem fanatics backed by the sultan massacred
at least 30,000 Armenians.
recognised Bulgarian independence. On 27/4/1909, Germany,
Austria, and Italy also
recognised Bulgarian independence.
insurrection in Constantinople. The First Army Corps deposed Hussein Hilmi
Pasha. See 24/4/1909.
13/2/1909, In Turkey, Kiamil Pasha, 76-year-old Ottoman Grand
Vizier, was deposed and replaced by Hussein Hilmi Pasha.
12/1/1909. Turkey accepted Austria�s offer of 2.5 million
Turkish Pounds for Bosnia-Hercegovina.
1/12/1908, Italy demanded that Austria pay compensation for
the annexation of Bosnia-Herzegovina,
7/10/1908. Austria annexed Bosnia-Herzegovina,
taking advantage of instability within the Ottoman Empire. Though formally part
of the Ottoman Empire, its Serb-Croat population favoured union with Serbia. Other
European countries were shocked at Austria�s move. Serbia was
especially angry that Serbs in the region had not got autonomy. However Russia
agreed with Austria not to oppose this annexation in return for Austria
supporting the opening of the Dardanelles to Russian warships. Turkey accepted
cash compensation for the loss of Bosnia and Hercegovina on
12/1/1909. See 1/12/1908.
threatened Greece with war if it accepted Cretan representatives in Parliament.
declared itself independent of Turkey and
28/1/1906, Markos Vafiadis, Greek General and politician,
was born (died 1992).
16/3/1900, On Crete, British archaeologist Arthur Evans
discovered a previously unknown Bronze Age civilisation. He called it �Minoan� after a legendary Cretan king.
6/11/1898. Turkey evacuated its forces from Crete.
5/10/1908. Prince Ferdinand declared Bulgaria independent of Ottoman Turkey. Russia wanted
Turkey weak so as not to block its plans for expansion.
23/1/1913, Enver Pasha, leader of the Young Turks,
entered the principal council chamber of the Sublime Porte with Talat
and shouted �Death to Kamil Pasha�. They forced the Grand Vizier to
resign at gunpoint and shot dead the Minister of War, General Nazim. Enver
then forced the Sultan to appoint his ally, Shevket, as Grand Vizier. The
British ensured safe passage for Kamil out of Turkey but he was never
reinstated as Grand Vizier. Enver, Talat and Kemal went on to establish a military junta to
4/4/1909, The Young Turk, Mahmud Shevket, entered Constantinople,
and imposed his will on the National Assembly and the Old Turks.
24/7/1908, Sultan Abdulhamid II, ruler
of the Ottoman Empire, was forced to implement reforms by the Young Turk
(Jonturkler) Movement. This included the reinstatement of the 1876
constitution and the recall of Parliament, both suspended under the
Sultan�s autocratic rule. The Young Turk Movement began in 1889 when a group of
medical students at the Istanbul Academy started a campaign to overthrow the
Sultan. The Movement spread to other colleges, and the authorities tried to
suppress it; they exiled many Young Turks to Paris, where they continued to plan
for a revolution.
secret Turkish organization Committee of Union and Progress, composed of
members of the Young Turks movement, approved a plan to assassinate Abdul Hamid II,
Ottoman Sultan. One of the persons at the meeting, however, was a spy for the
Sultan, and informed security forces, who shut down the CUP's centre in
10/1/1900, The Young Turks
published their manifesto in Cairo. It called for the modernisation of Turkey
and an end to �ineffective� Ottoman rule.
1891, The Young Turks
organised in Geneva. They wanted a return to the 23/12/1876 Constitution.
1889, The Young Turk movement was founded by an Albanian, Ibrahim Temo.
Ottoman Turkey, Major
Ahmed Niyazi revolted against the provincial authorities, under the
autocratic rule of Sultan Abdulhamid II. The rebellion quickly
spread to other army divisions, forcing concessions by the Sultan.
8/2/1908. Czar Nicholas II ordered Russian troops to the
Iranian border after Turkey made
incursions into Iran.
13/6/1905, Theodoros Delyanni, Greek statesman, born
1826, was murdered in revenge for the strict measure shad had taken against
21/4/1905, The Crete Assembly voted for Union with Greece.
10/10/1904. Kurdish tribesmen massacred Armenians in Turkey.
Zolotas, Prime Minister of Greece, was born.
besieging Shemshi Pasha massacred 800 Albanians.
17/9/1903, Turks massacred 10,000 in Macedonia.
8/9/1903. Turks massacred 50,000 Bulgarians.
revolutionary organisation VMRO (Vnutrasnja Makedonska Revolucionarska
Organizacija, or Internal Revolutionary Macedonian Organisation) staged the
Illinden Uprising against Ottoman rule. They hoped to bring in the major
European powers, but the rebellion was badly organised and its leader, Gotse Delchev,
was captured and executed before it even began. The European powers avoided
involvement in the uprising and it was brutally suppressed by the Ottomans.
However post-event the Austrian Emperor Francis
Joseph, and Tsar Nicholas II of Russia
forced the Ottoman Government to pay compensation to Macedonia and allow in
14/12/1901, Paul I, King of Greece, was born.
9/11/1901, The Sultan of Turkey accepted a French ultimatum
to stop interfering with French interests in Turkey.
Greco-Turkish War 1897
4/12/1897. Greece and
Turkey signed a peace treaty.
20/5/1897, With Greek
troops demoralised and on the retreat, the Czar of Russia appealed to Turkey,
and an armistice was arranged.
17/5/1897, Only now did
Turkish troops attack Domokos (see 6/5/1897), this delay having given the
Greeks time to entrench good defences.
6/5/1897, The Turks
drove the Greeks from their defensive positions in front of Pharsala. The
Greeks retreated to Domokos.
27/4/1897, Turkish forces
only now reached Larissa. Neither side showed great military skill, with
political considerations interfering with good strategy.
23/4/1997, Turkish forces
reached Deliler. The Greeks could have retreated in good order to Larissa,
where a defensible position was available, but instead fled south in disorder
19/4/1997, Turkish forces
occupied the Meluna Pass, threatening the Greek frontier town of Larissa just
10 miles to the southeast.
18/4/1897, Easter Sunday;
Turkish military leader, began a general advance from his headquarters at
Elassona against Greece. Turkish troops began
broke out between Greece and the Ottoman Empire.� Turkey accused Greece of fomenting revolt in
Crete.� On 19/5/1897, after several
defeats by Turkey and having been forced to withdraw from Crete, Greece signed
an armistice with Turkey at Thessaly. Support for Greece by France
and the UK
saved it from total defeat, but Greece had to pay large war indemnities to
Ottoman Turkey, bankrupting the country.
10/4/1897, Greek irregular troops crossed the frontier
into Macedonia, then under Turkish rule, hoping to provoke insurrection there.
10/2/1897. Greece sent ships and troops to Crete, 4 days after Crete�s
proclamation of union with Greece.
in Canea, Crete, protested over the slow pace of reform by the island�s Turkish
Governor, which reforms were intended to safeguard their rights. Turkish
troops fired at the demonstrators, many of who took refuge on European naval
ships just offshore, and part of the town was burnt down.
Greco-Turkish War 1897
29/8/1896. Many Armenians, perhaps 3,000 or more, were being
killed in Turkey three days after the Armenians seized the Ottoman Bank in
Istanbul, to draw the world�s attention to their fight against Ottoman rule. The Armenian uprising began in 1894, and they
hoped to break free of Turkish rule as Bulgaria had done. Some 200,000 Armenians were
killed in Anatolia. Britain�s support
for Armenia threatened the favoured position it had held for over 40 years in
Istanbul. Germany began to manoeuvre to take Britain�s place, eager
to secure concessions for its Berlin to Baghdad Railway
26/8/1896, Christian Armenian Nationalists attacked
the Ottoman Bank in Constantinople. This provoked a Turkish campaign against
1/10/1895, In Constantinople, Muslim Turks massacred
Christian Armenians. In response, Russia made plans to take the city.
1894, The Armenians within the Ottoman
Empire, numbering some 2.5 million, refused to pay greatly increased taxes
demanded by Sultan Abdu l Hamid II. From the late 1880s, Russia had been encouraging
these Armenians to demand greater autonomy from Turkey. This refusal of the tax
demands precipitated a massacre of thousands of Armenians by Turkish soldiers.
In turn this sparked off the raid by Armenians on the Ottoman Bank in Istanbul,
30/1/1890, Khaireddin, Turkish statesman, died.
19//6/1886, Pasha Hobart, naval commander for Britain and
Turkey, died (born 1/4/1822).
9/3/1883, Alexandros Koumoundouros, Greek statesman,
Turkish lands in Balkans redistributed
7/1881, The Greek frontier was
adjusted northwards at the expense of Turkey, adding some 300,000 people and
34,700 square kilometres to Greece.
12/3/1881, Kemal Attaturk, Turkish President, was born in
Salonika, Greece as Mustafa Kemal Pasha.
13/7/1878. At the Congress of Berlin, (Treaty of Berlin) Britain, Russia,
Austria, Germany, France, Italy, and the Ottoman Empire reached agreement on
the future of the Balkan states, superseding the Treaty of San Stefano.� Northern Dobruja, formerly part of Bulgaria
under Turkish rule, was given to Romania.�
At the same time, Romania ceded Bessarabia to Russia.� Bessarabia was more desirable than Dobruja,
and Romania wanted Transylvania, which belonged to Hungary but had a mainly
Romanian population. The
independence of Romania, Serbia, and Montenegro were recognised by Turkey;
Bulgaria was also divided into two parts, one of which, Eastern Rumelia, was to
be a self-governing Turkish Province.� In
1885 an uprising in Eastern Rumelia resulted in the union of that province with
Bulgaria. Russian naval expansion was limited, Austro-Hungary was allowed to occupy Bosnia-Hercegovina, the location
Russia attacks Turkey; Western Europe alarmed at Russian expansionism
Shumen the Turks capitulated to the Russians; the town of Shumen was ceded by
Turkey to Bulgaria.� It was renamed
Kolarovgrad in 1950.
Britain and Turkey signed a secret agreement by which Britain was allowed to
occupy Cyprus in return for protecting Turkey against Russian advances in
3/3/1878. The Treaty of San Stefano ended the
war between Russia and Turkey. Bulgaria, Russia�s ally, was enlarged to include
much of Thrace and Macedonia, with ports on the Black Sea and Aegean. Britain
objected.� The arrival of a British fleet
on 15/2/1878 as the Russians stood at the gates of Istanbul persuaded the
Russians to make� peace. Russia and Britain were now on the brink of
A British fleet arrived at Istanbul in
support of the faltering Ottoman Empire. An earlier decision to send a
fleet had been reversed in January 1878.
Britain dispatched a fleet to
Constantinople. A Conference concerning the growth of Russian influence in
the Balkans and the waning of Turkish power there had broken down without
agreement. In the summer of 1877 war broke out between Russia and
Turkey. Britain was concerned that if
Russia advanced to the Bosphorus, British interests in the Mediterranean would
be threatened so she intervened in favour of Turkey.
Greece declared war on Turkey.
Following the capture of Plevna (see 15/1/1877), and also Plovdiv and
Adrianople, the Russians closed in on Istanbul. The Ottoman Turks opened
truce negotiations at Adrianople.
The first torpedo was fired in
warfare; a Russian boat sank a Turkish steamer.
Russian forces attacking Turkey captured
Adrianople, threatening Constantinople and the Straits.
forces captured the Turkish city of Plevna (now in northern Bulgaria) after a long
siege. Turkey appealed to the European Powers to mediate.
The Third Battle of Plevna.
second Battle of Plevna.
British Cabinet resolved to declare war on Russia if it occupied
the Turkish Parliament had met on 19/3/1877 and rejected Russian demands,
Russia declared war on Turkey.
18/11/1877. In the
Caucasus, Russia captured the fortress of Kars from Ottoman Turkey.
15/1/1877. Russia and Austria agreed that Austria was
to be neutral in any war in the Balkans between Turkey and Russia. The two states rejected the idea of a
Slav state in the Balkans. Russia declared war on Turkey on 24/4/1877.
Rumania entered the war on the side of Russia in May 1877 and a joint
Russian/Rumanian army laid siege to the Bulgarian town of Plevna. The Turks in Plevna surrendered in December 1877. See 31/1/1878.
23/12/1876, Grand Vizier Midhat Pasha, aged 54, proclaimed
a new Turkish Constitution, allowing
for representative Parliamentary Government, and also stated that the Ottoman
Empire was �indivisible�.
Serbia, Montenegro, attack Turkey but are defeated
pressure from Russia, Turkey agreed to
an armistice with Serbia and Montenegro.
6/9/1876, British public opinion was turned against
Turkey by a pamphlet published by Gladstone, �The Bulgarian Horrors and the
Question of the East�. Russia prepared to attack Turkey, see 1877.
1/9/1876, Serbian forces were heavily defeated by
Ottoman Turkey at Alexinatz.
31/8/1876, Accession of Sultan Abdul Hamid II. Sicceeding his
Aziz, Abdul Hamid gained prestige at home for defeatingGreece in
1897, and followed a pro-German foreign policy.
Turks invaded Serbia and defeated the Serbs
at Aleksinac. On 1/9/1876 the Turks again defeated the Serbs at Aleksinatz.
also declared war on Turkey.
declared war on Ottoman Turkey.
30/5/1876, Abdul Aziz, 32nd Sultan of Ottoman
Turkey, born 9/2/1830, was forced to abdicate.
Succeeding his brother, Abdul Mejid, in 1861, he promised economic and political reform, but instead wasted money on
personal luxuries and grand building projects. Insurrections occurred in
Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1875. He was assassinated on 3/6/1876.
31/1/1876, The �Andrassy Note� (see 30/12/1875) was
handed to the Ottoman Sultan in Constantinople.�
The Sultan promised, but did nothing.
30/12/1875, Russia, Germany, and Austro-Hungary agreed on
the terms of a note to Constantinople calling
for Ottoman Turkey to deliver on its promises of equality for Christians with
Muslims and measures to protect Christians in the Balkans from persecution.� This was the so-called �Andrassy Note�, see 31/1/1876.
the anti-Turkish uprising in Bosnia and Hercegovina on 29/7/1875, the Bulgarians rebelled against the Turks,
led by Khristo Botev,
in Stara Zagora.
14/6/1873. King Priam�s treasure of 8,7000 priceless
pieces was discovered in Turkey by the German � American Heinrich Schliemann. In
disinterring this treasure he destroyed what was left of ancient Troy.
6/9/1871, Death of Pasha Aali Mehmet, Turkish statesman (born
1815). He strongly promoted Western style reforms of his country.
1870, Heinrich Schliemann began
excavating the site of ancient Troy.
1869, Ottoman rule under Sultan
Abdul-Hamid continued to disproportionately benefit the 10% minority
Muslim population of Crete. A further rebellion by Cretan Christians started
civil conflict. European powers intervened, and after the British Vice-Consul
was killed by Muslims, Britain forced the independence of Ctete under Prince George
(1863-1913) of Greece.
11/12/1868, Greece and some European nations had sent aid to
the Christians in Crete; this day Turkey threatened to blockade Greece unless
it stopped this aid. Greece, to avoid another war, complied, but see 1896.
2/8/1868, Constantine, King of the Hellenes, was born in
Athens (died 11/1/1923 of a brain haemorrhage in Palermo).
26/7/1867. King Otto I of Greece died.
18/6/1867, Turkey passed a law allowing, for the first time,
foreigners to own land within Turkey, except in Hejaz.
1866, Christians in Crete, resentful at Ottoman
rule, rebelled. Christian raids from the Sfakua area in the White Mountains of
Ctrete angered the Turks, and the Christians forced the surrender of an entire
Turkish army onh the Plains of Apokoronas in 1866. In 1867 Turkish revenge
raids on the fortified monastery of Arkadi caused its powder store to explode,
killing hundreds of refugee women and children there. See 11/12/1868.
18/8/1865, Alexander Mavrocordato, Greek statesman, died
29/10/1864, The Greek Constitution was adopted. It provided
for a single-House Assembly elected by universal male suffrage. In 1911 a
second Chamber was added.
23/8/1864, Eleutherios Venizelos,
Greek politician, was born in Crete.
6/6/1864, King George of Greece entered the Ionian Islands. They had been
ceded by Britain to Greece.
2/2/1864, Greece occupied Corfu.
ceded the Ionian Islands to Greece.
29/10/1863, The new
King of Greece, George
I, arrived in Athens.
4/6/1863 A protocol between Britain, France, and Russia
provided for the incorporation of the Ionian
Islands with Greece.
1862, King Otto I, King of Greece, second
son of Louis
of Bavaria, abdicated. He had been elected King in 1832. However his
pro-German policies caused disputes. He spent the latter part of his life in
25/6/1861, Sultan Abdul Mejid died. Born 23/4/1823, he
succeeded his father, Mahmud II, as Ottoman ruler in 1839. The Ottomans
had then just been defeated by the Egyptians at the Battle of Nisib under Ibrahim Pasha
and they would have advanced to take Constantinople, where they had
sympathisers, had Europe not intervened.
agreed with the French that Lebanon was to have autonomy, under a Christian
Governor to be appointed with the consent of both European Powers and Turkey.
19/9/1860, Andreas Metaxas, Greek politician, died in
28/2/1857. British and French
troops ended their occupation of Piraeus,
which began on 26/5/1854.
18/2/1856, Abdul Mejid, the Ottoman Sultan, issued the
Hatt-i-Humayun Edict. This guaranteed full civic rights for his Christian
subjects, abolished torture and reformed prisons. These reforms were
effectively forced upon the Sultan by the western European Allies.
to Crimean War (see Russia); Western powers
concerned at Russian intervention in Turkey
26/5/1854. Franco-British forces
occupied the port of Piraeus to prevent Greece from joining the Crimean
War with Russia against Turkey. See 28/2/1857.
27/3/1854. Crimean War began; Britain and France declared
war on Russia.� On 12/3/1854 the British
and French formally allied with Turkey. See 30/11/1853. The ostensible cause
of the Crimean War was a dispute between Russia, France, and Turkey over
control of the Christian Holy Places in Turkish-controlled Palestine. The Turks
refused Russia�s demands and Russia marched into the Turkish vassal states of
Wallachia and Serbia. This threatened Russian occupation of Istanbul and hence
Britain�s communications with its Indian Empire, so Britain entered the war
20/3/1854, Russia sent troops southwards across the Danube, threatening Ottoman
Turkey. Ultimately this posed the threat of Russia on the Mediterranean,
putting communications between Britain and India at risk, and so was
unacceptable to the UK.
12/3/1854, Britain and France made an alliance with Ottoman Turkey.
3/1/1854, An Anglo-French squadron entered the Black
Sea, and insisted that the Russian fleet withdraw from attacking Turkey.
30/11/1853. The Russians destroyed a Turkish fleet at Sinope. On
3/1/1854 British and French fleets entered the Black Sea to protect Ottoman
Turkish coasts and shipping. See 4/10/1853, and 23/3/1854.
Russians refused to withdraw from the Danubian Principalities, and Turkey
declared war on Russia. On 23/10/1853 the Turks, under Omar Pasha, crossed the Danube
into Wallachia. See 30/11/1853.
The British fleet was ordered to Istanbul.
A Russian Army attacking Turkey,
Mikhail Gorchakov, invaded Turkey�s Danubian Principalities.
Nicholas I of Russia despatched troops to protect Christian
minorities in Ottoman-ruled Moldavia and Wallachia.
24/12/1845, George I,
King of Greece, was born.
revolt against King
Otto�s absolute rule. A constitution was introduced, limiting his
1/6/1835, Otto I
assumed the Kingship of Greece.
21/9/1842, Abdul-Hamid II,
Sultan of Turkey from 31/8/1876, was born (died 10/2/1918).
13/7/1841, The Straits Convention, signed by the five
great European powers, guaranteed Ottoman sovereignty and closed the Bosporus
and Dardanelles to all foreign warships. This
was directed at preventing Russian expansion.
by signing the Treaty of Unkiar-Skelessi, gave Russia the right to close the
Dardanelles Straits in times of war. This treaty was signed by the Ottoman
Sultan due to the threat faced by the Ottoman Empire from the revolt in Egypt. Europe became very concerned at growing
Russian influence over Ottoman Turkey.
14/9/1829. The Treaty of Adrianople preserved the
Ottoman Empire. Reeling under a series
of defeats, the Turks faced occupation of Istanbul by the Russians; they held
back from this for fear of destroying the Turkish Empire entirely and starting
another European War. The Turks retained nominal sovereignty over Wallachia
and Moldavia, but Russia has the real power here. Europeans grew anxious over
the growing power of Russia.
11/6/1829. The Russians defeated the Turks at the
Battle of Kulecheva, opening up a route to the Balkan Mountains.
Rebellion in Egypt against Ottoman rule; Russia offers to help Turley whilst
1/6/1841, Mehmet Ali became hereditary Viceroy of Egypt.
13/2/1841, The Ottoman Sultan issued a decree confirming Mehemet Ali as ruler of Egypt, also Nubia and Darfur.
27/11/1840, Under the
Convention of Alexandria, drawn up by Napier, Mohammed Ali of Egypt agreed to
return the Ottoman fleet and renounce claims over Syria, in return for
hereditary rule over Egypt.
3/11/1840, Acre was
taken by British forces.
fell to British forces. The French decided not to support Mehmet Ali of Egypt.
6/10/1840. France, Britain, and Russia
entered the war between Turkey and Egypt on Turkey�s
side. They occupied the Syria-Palestine coastland to cut off the Egyptian
Pasha from the route to Anatolia. On 4/11/1840 the British fleet bombarded the
ports of Beirut and Acre.
gunboats bombarded Beirut and landed troops there.
15/7/1840, The Treaty of London. Britain, Austria,
Prussia and Russia agreed to form a military alliance against Egypt, which was
being pressured to give up the Ottoman fleet it held, and abandon claims on
northern Syria, Medina, Mecca and Crete.
3/10/1839, Beirut fell to the French, and Ibrahim,
surrounded by a hostile population and cut off by sea, retreated hurriedly.
French fleet appeared off Beirut, hostile
and this encouraged a revolt by the Syrians against the tyranny of
Ibrahim.� See 3/10/1839.
2/7/1839, Mahmud II,
Sultan of Turkey, died, aged 54. He had been poisoned, after his fleet surrendered to Egypt at Alexandria.� He was succeeded by his 16-year-old son, Adbul Mejid I.
Mahmud II, launched another offensive against Mohammed Ali, Pasha of Egypt.
However this day at the Battle of Nezib
Egyptian forces under Ibrahim Pasha defeated the Ottomans. The
battle took place near the present day Turkish-Syrian border.
21/4/1839, A revolt
Ali of Egypt began in Hauran,
Arabia.� The Ottoman Army invaded
Syria, only to be heavily defeated
Ali of Egypt captured the Ottoman garrison of Acre.
4/5/1833. A peace
treaty between Turkey and Egypt gave Egypt the territories of Syria and
Cilicia, ending the war between them that began in 1832, see 21/12/1832.
20/2/1833, At Constantinople�s invitation, a Russian
squadron entered the Bosphorus.� The
Russians had promised to protect the Ottoman capital against Mehemet of
Egypt and Russia got to be effective gatekeeper of the entrance to
the Black Sea.� The western European powers had procrastinated about helping
Constantinople, whilst Russia had come up with concrete assistance.
23/12/1832, Mehemet Ali
of Egypt continued to advance towards Constantinople, defeating the Turks at Konia.
21/12/1832. Russia offered military assistance to
Turkey against Egyptian forces who were 50 miles from Istanbul. The
Egyptians had invaded Turkish lands after Turkey broke a promise to give
Syria to Egypt in return for help during the Greek war of Independence. See
1/8/1832, Ibrahim Pasha captured the city of Antioch from Ottoman Turkey during the Syrian War.
9/7/1832, Mehmet Ali
crushed an Ottoman Army at Homs, and on 17/7/1833 defeated the main Ottoman
Army at the Pass of Beilan.
15/6/1832, Mehemet Ali
1/11/1831, Mehemet Ali,
Pasha of Egypt,
began a revolt against Sultam Mahmud, Ottoman ruler in Constantinople.�
of the Kingdom of Greece
21/7/1832, The Greek frontier was fixed, running from
the Gulf of Arta to the Gulf of Lamia.
was proclaimed an independent kingdom, with Otto
I as King. Britain, France and
Russia guaranteed protection. Otto ruled as an absolute monarch, surrounded
by Bavarian advisors, and his rule was unpopular.
Mehemet had helped to
suppress initial rebellions by the Greeks in Morea (southern Greece) but now
feared that Constantinople would not reward but dispose of him.� On this day Mehemet entered Syria and began a
siege of the Ottoman garrison in Acre.�
9/10/1831, The first
Greek President, Ioannes Kapodistrias, aged 55, was assassinated. His brother
was made provisional President.
3/2/1830. At the
London conference, Britain, France, and
Russia guaranteed Greek independence as a kingdom, under the Protocol of
27/9/1829, Mount Ararat was first climbed.
16/6/1826, The insurrection of the Janissaries in Istanbul ended.
10/6/1826, The final revolt of the Janissaries in Turkey began. They
objected to the formation of a new military corps to replace them, by Mahmud.
4/4/1826, The Anglo-Russian protocol was issued.
It proposed that Greece be an autonomous State within the Ottoman Empire,
paying a tribute to the Porte, with its ruler appointed by the Sultan. In
return Ottoman Turkey was to withdraw its troops from Greece. However Sultan Mahmud
II believed he was winning against the secessionist Greeks and would
render the negotiations moot by soon reconquering Greece. Meanwhile the British
Minister George Canning, was in failing health and due to retire;
his successor, the Duke of Wellington, was much less concerned about
the fate of Greece.
18/7/1823, The Treaty
of Erzerum was signed, between the Sultan of Ottoman Turkey and the Qajar
Shah of Persia;
this Treaty defined their common frontier in lower Iraq. However the two powers
continued to dispute possession of the town of Muhammara, at the mouth of the
Karun River, a disagreement dating from 1812. In 1847 a second Treaty of
Erzerum was signed, giving Muhammara to Persia.
Agreement on creation of the modern State of Greece
22/3/1829. At a
conference in London, the boundaries of
the independent state of Greece were agreed, after nearly 400 years of
support of the Greek struggle for independence, Russia
declared war on the Ottoman Empire. On 8/6/1828 the Russians crossed the
Danube, and took Varna on 12/10/1829.
Kapodistrias was elected the first President of Greece.
response to the rebuffed ultimatum of 6/7/1827, British, French, and Russian forces
destroyed the Turkish fleet at the Battle
of Navarino. Over 50 Turkish and Egyptian ships were sunk. This ensured the creation of an independent
Greek State, whose exact boundaries had yet to be established.
troops landed at Navarino (now in southern Greece).
6/7/1827. At the Treaty
of London, France, Britain, and Russia threatened to use force against
Turkey if the Ottoman Empire did not agree to an armistice with Greece. In
August 1827 the Turks refused this. See 20/10/1827.
5/6/1827. Athens was captured by the Ottoman Turks.
11/4/1827, The Greek
National Assembly elected Capo d�Istria as President.
23/4/1826, The Turks captured Missolonghi. This town
was famous in Europe because the poet Lord Byron
had died there in 1824, after a lifetime promoting the cause of an independent
Greece. After a prolonged siege that began in 4/1825 the Greeks attempted a
break-out, but most were massacred. This incident appalled liberal opinion in
western Europe, which led to the intervention at Navarino 20/10/1827.
19/4/1824, Lord Byron
died at sunset of marsh fever (malaria) at Missolonghi, helping the Greeks during their struggle for independence from Ottoman
Turkey; he was 36. See 22/3/1829.
23/4/1823, Sultan Adbul Mejid was born,
25/3/1823, Britain recognised the Greek insurgents as
a belligerent party.� This was
despite fears that the Greek rebellion would spark another Turkish-Russian war.
19/6/1822. The Greeks under Constantine Kanaris destroyed an Ottoman Turkish fleet. A
large Ottoman army invaded Greece in July 1822. In January 1823 the Ottomans
failed to capture the key fort of Missolonghi at the entrance to the Gulf of
Corinth and were forced to withdraw.
rebels proclaimed independence from the Ottoman Turks at Epirus.
19/6/1821, At the Battle of Dragashani, a Greek uprising
against Turkish rule was defeated.
Greeks under Turkish rule began a revolt under Archbishop
Germanos of Patras.� The Greek
population rose en masse, captured the capital of the Morea Peninsula,
Tripolitza, and the revolt then spread north, and to the Greek Islands. These islands were the main recruiting
ground of the Ottoman Navy, so Turkish sea power was weakened.
5/11/1815, By The Treaty of Paris Britain gained the
Ionian Islands, including Corfu.
11/2/1791, Alexander Mavrocordato, Greek statesman, was
born (died 18/8/1865).
11/2/1776, Giovanni Capo d�Istria, President of the Greek
Republic, was born (died 9/10/1831).
End of period of conflict between Ottoman Turkey
and the central European� powers, also
Russia. Turkey was losing power to Russia
5/4/1826, Russia demanded the cessation of Ottoman
military operations on the Danube.
12/5/1812, A peace treaty was signed between Russia and Turkey.
5/6/1809, A peace treaty was signed in Chanak between
England and Turkey.
1808,� Ottoman Grand Vizier Mustafa Bairakdar, aged 33,
marched on Constantinople to restore Sultan Selim III. The Janissaries then strangled Selim; Baraikdar had the new Sultan Mustapha IV deposed and
then installed Selim�s
23-year-old nephew as Sultan, and Baraikdar himself then committed
suicide, to avoid being captured by the Janissaries.
The new Sultan began a 31-year reign as Mahmud II.
Sultan Selim III was deposed by the Janissaries. He was succeeded by
the 28-year-old son of Sultan Abdul
Hamid, who ruled as Mustapha IV.
6/1/1784, Under the Treaty of
Constantinople, Ottoman Turkey ceded the Crimea to Russia.
9/1/1792, Russia and
Turkey signed the Peace of Jassy.
8/1/1792. The Ottoman Turks bowed to the inevitable
and accepted Catherine
the Great�s Russian sovereignty over Georgia. Britain feared further Russian expansion in the Black Sea as this
could threaten British Mediterranean interests.
7/4/1791, Selim III (1761-1808) became Sultan of Ottoman
22/12/1790, Russian Field-Marshal Count Alexander
Vasilyevich Suvorov captured the Ottoman fortress of Ismail, at the mouth of
6/10/1789, Austrian forces under General Gideon von Lauden took
Belgrade form the Ottoman Turks.
22/9/1789, Austrian and Russian troops under Francis Duke of
Coburg and Count Alexander Vasilyevich Suvorov defeated
the Ottoman Turks at Martinesci, on the River rymnik in Moldova.
31/7/1789, Austrian and Russian troops under Francis Duke of
Coburg and Count Alexander Vasilyevich Suvorov defeated
the Ottoman Turks at Fokshany (now, Focsani, Romania).
7/4/1789, Turkish Sultan Abdul Hamid (born 1725) died
aged 64. He had succeeded his brother Mustafa III in 1773.
16/7/1774. The Russians and Turks signed the Treaty of Kuchuk-Kainardji, ending their six-year war. Moldavia
and Wallachia were returned to Turkey and the Crimea became independent. Russia
gained control of much of the northern Black Sea coast. The Sultan was allowed
to remain spiritual leader of the Crimean Moslems; however Russia gained the
right to build and protect an Orthodox church in Istanbul. Russian merchants
were to have unrestricted access to the Black Sea and Mediterranean across
Ottoman territories. This gave Russia a
pretext to intervene in Turkish internal affairs.
of Cecme; the entire Ottoman fleet was destroyed by the Russians in the
28/5/1740, Mahmud I,
ruler of Turkey, agreed to respect Christian rights in the Holy Land.
20/9/1730, Mahmud I
III as Ottoman Sultan.
Ottoman Grand Vizier was strangled in a revolt by the Janissaries. Sultan Ahmed
III (1673-1730) was forced to abdicate, having suffered serious defeats by the Austrians.
21/7/1718, The Peace of Passarowitz ended the conflict between the Ottoman Empire and
the Holy Roman Empire.� The position of
the two Empires was stabilised in the Balkans until �well into the nineteenth century.
5/8/1716, The Ottoman Turks were
defeated by Eugene
of Savoy at Peterwardein.
21/7/1711, Peter the Great of Russia had to
sign the Treaty of Pruth after his defeat
, alongside his Wallachian and Moldavian allies, by the Ottoman Turks. Turkey
recovered the Fortress of Azov, and King Charles XII of Sweden was permitted safe
return to Stockholm.
23/8/1703, Ottoman Sultan Mustafa III
13/6/1700, Peter the Great concluded a peace with Turkey.
26/1/1699, Prince Eugene, having invaded Serbia and Bosnia, forced the Turks to
conclude the Peace of Carlowitz.�
This restored the entire Kingdom of Hungary, with the exception of the
Banat of Temesvar, to Austria from Turkey.�
This was the start of the rise to
power of the Hapsburg Dynasty.
16/11/1698, A congress began in Sremski Karlovici to discuss an end to the war between The
Ottoman Empire and the Holy Roman Empire.
11/9/1697, At the Battle
of Zenta, Prince
Eugene of Savoy, leading an Austrian
army, defeated the Ottomans under Mustafa II,
22/8/1696, Forces of Venice and Turkey fought near Molino.
28/7/1696, Russian forces under Peter the Great captured the
fortress commanding the Sea of Azov from its Ottoman defenders.
1691, Ottoman Sultan Suleiman
III died aged 50 as his army was defeated in Morea (Greece,
Peleponese).� He was succeeded by his
49-year-old brother who ruled until 1695 as Ahmed II.
19/8/1691, Louis of Baden won a major victory overt the
Ottoman Turks at the Battle of Szelankemen. Louis had continued the war against
the Ottomans after his ally Austria had been diverted inti fighting France as
part of the League of Augsburg. Grand Vizier Zade Mustafa Kuprili, aged 54, died in
the battle, which led to the expulsion of the Ottomans from Hungary.
was retaken by the Ottoman Turks.
26/9/1687. The Parthenon and the Propylea were destroyed when
the Venetians bombarded Athens. The Venetian army was besieging the Turks when
a mortar bomb fired by the Venetians set off Turkish gunpowder stored in the
High point of
Ottoman advance into Europe; halted at Vienna
6/2/1695, Ottoman Sultan Ahmed II died (born 1642,
acceded 1691, succeeding his brother Suleiman II). He was defeated by the Austrians
at Slankamen (20/8/1691), which denied possession of Hungary to the
Ottomans, This battle established the Danube as the boundary between
Austria and Ottoman Turkey.
1687, Ottoman Sultan Mohammed
IV, aged 46, was deposed after a reign of nominally 43 years. He was
succeded by his 45-year-old brother who reigned until 1691 as Suleiman III.
He introduced liberalising reforms.
12/8/1687, At the Second
Battle of Mohacs (Hungary), Charles of Lorraine defeated the Ottoman
11/9/1683. The conquering armies of Islam under Vizier Kara Mustafa were defeated at the gates of
Vienna. The Turks had been besieging Vienna since July 1683. Relief came
under Poland�s King
John III and Charles, Duke of Normandy. The Ottoman Sultan
to commit suicide.
reinforcements arrived outside the besieged city of Vienna.
31/7/1683, Invading Turkish forces reached the gates of Vienna.�� If Vienna fell, Germany would be open to a
1/8/1664. The Ottoman
Turkish advance into Austria was halted by Hapsburg (Austrian)
defences at the Battle of St Gotthard.
16/10/1676, The Treaty
of Zuravno ended the 4 year war between Poland and the Ottoman Empire.
Ottoman Turkey acquired Podolia and much of the Polish Ukraine, thereby bringing Ottoman territory up to
the border with Russia.
27/9/1669. Candia, the capital of Crete, was
captured by the Ottoman Turks from
the Venetians after a 21 year siege.
Spain, Britain, France, the Pope, Tuscany, and Malta, had all supplied troops
to the Venetians but to no avail. Towards the end the Ottoman Turks intensified the blockade and disagreements broke out
between the allies leading to the withdrawal of some of the Europeans.
13/5/1654. The Battle of the Dardanelles took place. The
Venetian navy defeated Turkish forces.
Constantinople, the Janissaries deposed Sultan Ibrahim after he ordered
the lifting of the siege of Candia (Heraklion), Crete. On 18/8/1648 Ibrahim
was strangled by his own executioner and replaced by his eldest son, 9-year old
1640, Ottoman Sultan Murad IV died aged 31 after a 17-year reign
during which he had re-established order by a reign of terror. He was succeeded
by his brother Ibrahim
I, aged 25, who began an 8-year reign, dominated by his mother
Kusseem Sultana, and hos story-teller, Sheker-Pare.
II was murdered. He had alienated the powerful Janissaries by attempting to
eliminate them; instead, he was imprisoned in his own palace by them, before
being strangled this day.
Sultan Ahmed I
1617, Ottoman Sultan Ahmed I died (born 1590, acceded 1603).
He fought a long and losing war against Persia, 1602-12.
1616, The Blue Mosque, Constantinople, was completed.
Treaty of Zsitvatorok ended the Long War between the Hapsburgs and the Ottoman
1603, Sultan Mohammed III died aged 37. He was
succeeded by his 14-year-old son who ruled until 1617 as Ahmed I.
18/4/1590, Ahmed I,
Ottoman Emperor, was born.
1595, The last killings under the Law of Fratricide, see 1481. Sultan Mohammed III ordered the execution of his 19
brothers. The succession now automatically went to the eldest male
member of the ruling House. The system of sending Ottoman princes to the
provinces to learn how to rule now ended. Instead they spent their lives in the
kafe (cage), a group of buildings in the royal palace, from which they emerged
only to rule or when dead. They lived lives of ;uxurious imprisonment,
surrounded by concubines. This resulted in a significant decline in the quality
of the Sultans, who often came to rule feeble on body or mind.
defeated Ottoman Turkey at Giurgiu, Wallachia (modern-day Romania).
Ottoman-Safavid Peace Treaty extended the borders of the Ottoman Empire to the
Caucasus and the Caspian.
Selim II, ruled 1566 - 74
12/12/1574, Selim II, Sultan of Turkey, died, aged 50. He was succeeded by
his eldest son, 27-year old Murad III, who had his
in his presence.
7/3/1573. Venice concluded a peace with the Turks by
recognised Turkey�s sovereignty over Cyprus.
7/10/1571. The Ottoman Turkish fleet under Ali Pasha was defeated by the navies of Spain,
Venice, and the Pope at the Battle of Lepanto, in the Gulf of Corinth. Christendom was concerned at the fall of Cyprus to
Turkey, under Selim II, Suleiman the Great�s successor. This was the last battle fought between
galleys. The Turks used ramming tactics, but allied ships used firepower to
defeat the Turks. Although Ottoman
Turkey retained control of Cyprus, its western expansion in the Mediterranean
was halted. The Ottomans lost 230 galleys to the Christians 17.
the Manificant, ruled 1520 - 66
6/9/1566. Suleiman the Magnificent, leader
of the Ottoman Empire for 46 years, died. He had brought the Ottoman� Empire to the peak of its power, ruling an
area from Hungary to Mesopotamia, and promoting justice and culture.
His eldest surviving son, the incompetent drunkard Selim, succeeded him. All other
potential rivals had been eliminated by intrigue and murder.
Great Siege of Malta was raised.
18/5/1565. The Ottoman Turks arrived at Malta to try
and capture it, see 21/12/1522. However
the island held out until relieved by a Christian fleet from Sicily arrived in
September 1565. Casualties had been heavy for both the Turks and the
Maltese; however the Turks had been riven by disputes between their naval and
army commanders. The Turks returned to Istanbul, their hopes of dominating the western Mediterranean dashed.
4/7/1546, Death of Ottoman Admiral Khair el Din,
better known as Barbarossa (born ca.
28/9/1538, At the Battle
of Preveza, the Turkish fleet
the Magnificent, commanded by Barbarossa Hayreddin Pasha, defeated the Holy
League forces of Charles V, commanded by Andrea Doria.
24/2/1538, The Treaty
of Nagyvarad; peace was declared between King Ferdinand and the Turks.�
Zapolya was recognised as King of Hungary, whilst Ferdinand
retained northern and western Hungary and was recognised as heir to the
31/12/1534. The Ottoman
army captured Baghdad. By 1546 they controlled
Yemen, gateway to the Red Sea.
13/7/1534. Ottoman armies captured Tabriz in north western Persia.
25/6/1532, Suleiman I attempted another invasion of
Hungary, but failed.
15/10/1529. The Ottoman Turks withdrew from their siege of Vienna, as winter approached.
forces began a siege of Vienna.
8/9/1529, Invading Turkish forces captured the city of Buda.
also Islam �
North Africa & Middle East
27/5/1529, Ad-Din Barbarossa completed his conquest of Algeria,
bringing the Ottoman Empire to its
10/5/1529, The Turkish
Army under Suleiman
I left Constantinople to invade Hungary.
Battle of Mohacs.� The Turkish army
I defeated the Hungarians
Loius II, who was killed whilst retreating.� Suleiman took Buda, whilst Archduke Ferdinand of Austria and John
Zapolya, Prince of Transylvania, disputed over the succession. As a result of
this dispute, Dubrovnik achieved
independence, although it recognised Turkish overlordship. The Hapsburgs now
ruled Bohemia and Hungary.
21/12/1522. Rhodes, formerly the base of the Knights of St John, was conquered
by the Ottoman Turks, led by Suleiman, after a six-month siege.� The Knights of St John, driven out of Rhodes,
were given permission by Emperor Charles V in 1530 to settle in Malta.� See 18/5/1565.
18/12/1522, The Turks
finally broke into Rhodes, but the Knights continued fierce resistance in the
Suleiman I began a siege of the Knights of St. John in Rhodes.
21/9/1520, Ottoman Sultan Selim
died, aged 53. He was succeeded by his 24-year old son, Suleiman I (The Magnificent).
6/11/1494, Suleiman the Magnificant, Ottoman Sultan, was
1518, Ottoman Turkey took Algiers.
1517, Ottoman Turkey captured the city of Acre.
20/1/1517, The Ottomans
conquered Cairo, Egypt.
1516, The Ottoman Turks captured
5/7/1515. The Ottoman
Turks, led by Sultan Selim, invaded Egypt. The Mameluke dynasty was destroyed.
23/8/1514, At the Battle
of Chaldiran, Selim I , ruler of the Shia Muslim Ottoman
Empire, defeated the Sunni Muslim Persians under Shah Ismail I. Drawing on
lessons learnt from fighting European armies, the Ottoman Army was well
disciplined and equipped with heavy cannon and musket-armed infantry. In
contrast the smaller Persian Army relied on the cavalry charge and possessed no
artillery. The Safavid capital at Tabriz was taken by the Ottoman Turks,
forcing the Persians to move their capital further east. This battle was instrumental in fixing the present day frontier between
Turkey and Iran.
1512, Death of Bayezid I
(1448-1512), Ottoman Sultan 1481-1512. He succeeded his father, Mehmed II.
he fought wars against Hungary, Poland, Venice, Egypt and Persia, establishing
further the power of the Ottoman Empire.
25/8/1499, The Venetian fleet was defeated at the Battle of
Zonchia by the Ottomans. This was the first time cannon had been used in a
naval battle. The Venetian-Ottoman War, 1499-1503, started. Venetian sea-power
in the Mediterranean was an obstacle to Ottoman expansion. Ottoman Turkey
gained the upper hand, and by 1503 Ottoman cavalry raids were reaching into
Venetian territory. Venice was forced to recognise Turkish gains.
17/7/1490, Lightning struck an old Greek church in Constantinople in which the
Ottoman Turks were storing gunpowder; the ensuing explosion killed 5,000.
3/5/1481, Mehmed II, Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, died and was succeeded by his 34-year
old son Bayezid
II.Mehmet II promulgated the Law of Fratricide � that
whichever son inherited the Sultanate should assassinate all his brothers, to
preserve order. This law lasted for over 100 years, see 1595.
13/10/1479, The Battle
of Kenyermezo.� The Hungarian army
Kinizsi and Istvan Bathori defeated the Ottoman army in Transylvania, Hungary.
24/1/1479, The Republic
of Venice and the Ottoman Empire signed a peace treaty.� Venice ceded Argo, Negroponte, Lemnos, and
Scutari, and agreed to pay an annual tribute of 10,000 golden ducats.
11/8/1473, Ottoman Turkey defeated the Turkomans at
the Battle of Otlukbeli. The �White Sheep Turkomans�, under Uzun Hasan, had comprised the
most significant threat to the Ottomans since the
Mongols under Timur in the early 1400s. However at Otlukbeli the overwhelming
firepower of the Ottoman Army
comprehensively defeated the Turkomans.
1468, The Ottomans took Karaman in south-central Turkey.
1467,Ottoman Turkey conquered Albania.
15/8/1461, The Ottomans took
See also Serbia for wars against Ottoman Tirkey in what is now Yugoslavia
1456, The Ottoman Turks
29/5/1453. THE TURKS CONQUERED
CONSTANTINOPLE, following a siege of over a year.�
Ottoman Sultan ordered the walls of Constantinople be bombarded with huge
cannon balls fired from an 8 metre long, 1.05 metre calibre, cannon.
6/4/1453, The Turkish attack on Constantinople began. 80,000 Turkish
troops were faced by just 7,000 in Constatinople, and the city�s walls had been under-maintained
for years due to lack of funds.
17/10/1448, Battle of Kosovo:
Hungarian forces under John Hunyadi were defeated by the Turks.
10/11/1444, Christian forces were heavily defeated at Varna by
27/10/1439. Death of King Albert II of Hungary at Langendorf. He reigned
less than two years and spent this in the defence of Hungary against the
6/7/1439, Emperor John III of Constantinople (by then he
ruled very little outside Constantinople, Salonika and Morea, and was known in
western Europe as �Emperor of the Greeks�, not as he was officially, Roman Emperor)
travelled to an Ecumenical Council in Florence and accepted papal primacy and
union with Rome. The Decree of Union (Laetentur Caeli) formally uniting the Latin and Greek churches
was issued. This was a last-ditch attempt to save his dominions from the Ottoman
Turkish advance. However the Greek clergy rejected this union; there were too
many fundamental differences of doctrine between the two Churches. Those who
had formally accepted the union recanted upon return home. They preferred, in
the words of a Byzantine dignitary, �the
power [in Constantinople] of the Turkish turban rather than the Latin tiara.
1430, The Ottoman Turks took
Thessalonica, holding it for nearly 500 years.
1421, Ottoman Sultan Mohammed
I died aged 34 after an 8-year reign. He was succeeded by hius
8-year-old son who ruled until 1451 as Murad II.
1416, At the naval Battle of
defeated the Ottoman fleet.
1403, Death of Bayazid I
(ca. 1360-1403), Sultan of Turkey 1389-1402. He succeeded his father, Murad I,
who died at the Battle of Kosovo. Within three years of his accession he had
conquered Bulgaria, parts of Serbia, Macedonia and Thessaly, and most of Asia
21/7/1402, The Ottoman Turks were decisively defeated by Timur at the Battle of Ankara. The Ottomans lost
control of Anatolia. However
they had expanded territorially into Europe, and were able to recover Anatolia
after Timur departed.
troops took Trnovo, a town in Bulgaria 124 miles ENE of Sofia.
For more on
Ottoman Turkey in Europe, see Bulgaria, also Serbia
15/6/1389. Serbia was
crushed by the Ottoman Turks. At a
battle in Kosovo, at the �field of the
blackbirds�, the entire Serbian nobility was wiped out. The Ottomans had already invaded Bulgaria.
1362, Edirne (Adrianople) was captured by the Ottoman Turks from Byzantium.
1359, Ottoman Sultan Orkhan died aged 70 and
was succeeded by Murad I, aged 40. Murad continued the Ottoman expansion in the
1353, Ottoman Turkey seized Gallipoli, on the European side of the Dardanelles.
1326, The first Ottoman Emperor,
died aged 67 after a 36-year reign. He was succeeded by his 47-year-old son who
ruled as Orkhan
until 1359. Orkhan extended Ottoman rule from Angora, central Turkey, out into
Thrace in Europe.
6/4/1326. Orhan, son of Osman, the founder of the Ottoman
Empire, captured Bursa from the Byzantines and made it his capital.
By 1341 Orkhan had reinforced his influence in the Byzantine Empire
by marrying twice into it; first to Theodora, daughter of Byzantium�s
new joint Emperor John Cantacuzene, whom he had lent 6,000
troops for his coup. Secondly, Orkhan�s new sister in law, Helen, married the other joint
Emperor and coup victim, John Paleologus.
See also Roman Empire,
27/7/1302, The Ottoman Turks
defeated the Byzantine
Empire in the Battle of Bapheus, heralding the
Turkish conquest of Bithynia.
of the Ottoman Empire
1290, Bithynian King Osman al
Ghazi, aged 31, who succeeded his father Ertogrul as ruler of the Seljuk Turks
in 1288, now established the Islamic Principality of Osmanli (Ottoman), so
founding the Ottoman Empire. He ruled until 1326.
conflict; defeated by Mamluk Turks
29/10/1281, Second Battle of Homs: Mamluk sultan Qalawun
defeated an invasion of Syria by Mongol Ilkhan Abaqa Khan.
3/9/1260, The Mamluks defeated the Mongols at the
Battle of Ain Jalut (Goliath�s Spring) in Galilee, marking their first
decisive defeat and the point of maximum expansion of the Mongol Empire.
Damascus had fallen to the Mongols in 1259 and Hulegu, Mongol leader, now
turned on Egypt, the major military power in the region. The Mongols now ruled
an area from the Pacific to the Mediterranean, The Mameluke rulers of Egypt
responded to Hulegu�s
demands for capitulation by killing Hulegu�s envoys and marching into Palestine to
fight. Mameluke cavalry was crucial in
the Mongol defeat.
23/8/1244. Jerusalem was taken by a mercenary
force of Turks. On 17/12/1244 the Turks joined with Egypt in routing the Latins
26/6/1243. The Mongols routed the Seljuk Turkish
1221, Sultan Osman I acceded as
26/8/1071. The armies of the Byzantine leader Emperor Romanus
Diogenes and the Turkish leader Mohammed Ibn Da�ud clashed at Manzikert, or
Malazagird, north of Lake Van. The Byzantines had entered Armenia with the
French and Normans, and some Turks from the Uzes tribe, and the Turkish leader
had to abandon a campaign in Syria and hurry north to meet this invasion. The
Turkish cavalry under Alp Arsalan routed the enemy. Ibn Da�ud
died on 24/11/1072.
393, Emperor Theodosius outlawed the Olympic Games,
which has been held for 1,000 years.
191 BCE, Roman forces routed Antiochis III
192 BCE, Syrian forces under Antiochus III
invaded Greece at the invitation of the Aetolians.
See also Roman Empire
197 BCE, At the Battle of Cynoscephalae in
Thessaly, the Romans
Quinctius Flaminius defeated the Macedonians under Philip V.
The Romans forced Philip V to surrender Greece to Rome, reduce
his army to 5,00 men and his navy to five ships, promise not to make war
without Rome�s permission, and to pay Rome 1,000 talents over ten years.
17/7/268 BCE, Death of Arsinoe II, Queen of Macedonia
and Thebes, in Egypt.
272 BCE, Antigonus II
defeated an invasion by Pyrrhus of Epirus.
275 BCE, The
Achaean League, of northern Peleponnesian cities, managed to defeat Sparta.
276 BCE, Antigonus II
Gonatus became King of Greece.
Celtic tribes plundered Delphi, also making raids into Anatolia. The Celts in
Anatolia later became the Galatians.
300 BCE, The poor of Athens subsisted mainly on beans, greens,
beechnuts, turnips, wild pears, dried figs, barley, and grasshoppers. Welfare
assistance was sporadic and nugatory.
305 BCE, The
Macedonians under Demetrius attempted to capture Rhodes, After an
unsiccsesful seige, however, they withdrew.
Athens now under Macedonian control.
315 BCE, The
Macedonian port city of Thessalonica was founded by Cassander. It was named after
his wife, whom her father, Philip II of Macedon, had named Thessaloniki
to commemorate his victory (Niki) over Thessaly in 2/8/338 BCE.
Alexander the Great
13/6/323 BCE. Alexander the Great died, of a fever, at Babylon; he was just 32 years old.. His body was taken to
Alexandria, but the location of his grave is unknown. His son, born to
Alexander�s wife Roxana in August 332 BCE, was killed in 310 BCE by one of
the Generals competing for Alexander�s Empire.
the Great organised a mass wedding between his Generals and Persian
princesses, in an attempt to create a Greek-Macedonian-Persian nobility.
30/1/330 BCE, After gaining the Pass of
the Persian Gates, Alexander the Great entered
Persepolis. There he ceremonially
burnt down the palace of Xerxes I, as a symbol that the Panhellenic war
of revenge was at an end
20/1/330 BCE, Alexander the Great
defeated the Persians,
led by satrap Ariobarzanes.
1/10/331 BCE, Alexander the Great defeated the Persians under Darius III
at the Battle of Gaugamela (Arbela).
20/9/331 BCE. The Macedonian army under Alexander the Great crossed the Tigris River.
BCE. Alexander the Great sacked Tyre, a trading city located in present-day Lebanon.
11/333 BCE, Alexander the Great�s army
defeated Darius III, the Persian King, at Issus.
336 BCE, Philip II of Macedon was
killed by an assassin named Pausanius;
in turn Pausanius was cut down by Philip�s bodyguards as he
ran for his horse. Alexander
the Great then mounted military
expeditions to cement his claim to the throne, but these were expensive,
requiring a war on Persia to secure loot and refill the Macedonian royal
356 BCE, Alexander the Great was born,
only son of King Philip II of
Macedon and Olympias of Epirus
II of Macedon defeated an Athenian-Theban alliance at the Battle of Chaeronea,
so ending the last Greek struggle for independence.
359 BCE, King Philip II of Macedon
acceded to the throne, after his brother Amyntas
III was killed in battle. Macedonia was then an unimportant border State, with aggressive Danubian
tribes to the north and west, and the Persian frontier not far to the east. The
cultural centre was Greece to the south. Macedonian governance was weak, with
independent warlords following the monarch�s direction as and when it suited
them to. However King Philip
revolutionised the Macedonian Army with the latest weaponry, making the region
a powerful State by 345 BCE. The Danubian tribes wqere then defeated, and
the Greek city states forced to ally with Macedonia for self-preservation.
4/7/362 BCE, Battle of Mantinea. The Thebans, having been victorious at Leuctra,
were now faced by an alliance of other Greek city states, including Sparta
and Athens. The Theban leader Epaminondas took the offensive to Sparta�s ally,
the city of Mantinea. Epaminondas decided on a� repeat of the flank attack that had worked
well at Leuctra,371 BCE. He did indeed rout the army of Mantinea, but in the
fighting Epaminondas himself was killed. This caused the Thebans, now leaderless, to withdraw as if they had been defeated. Greece was
now open to the assertive Philip II of Macedon, and 27 years later Thebes itself was devastated by Philip II�s son, Alexander the Great.
BCE, Battle of Leuctra. Thebes was leader of a
groups of Boetian city-states that Sparta, the dominant power in the region,
saw as a threat to be squashed. The Spartan
Army moved on Thebes,
which was outnumbered and her allies were unreliable. However Epaminondas, the Theban leader, placed his
best troops to his left flank and used these to deliver a surprise attack to
the Spartan�s right flank As the Spartans pressed forward on the Theban centre. This
resulted in a Theban
victory, and Sparta never recovered her
dominance after this.
Final fall of Athens tro
25/4/404 BCE, Athens, under starvation
from siege, capitulated to Spartan forces, so ending the Peleponnesian Wars. The Spartans allowed Athens
to retain some autonomy, as Theramenes secured terms that saved the city from
destruction. The walls of Athens were demolished. Alcibiades
was murdered in Phyrgia at the request of Sparta.
BCE, The Spartan General
Lysander captured the Athenian fleet without resistance in
September; just 25 ships escaped under the command of Conon. The Spartans, aiming to cut the grain
supplies to Athens, captured the Athenian city of Lampsacus after a siege. The Athenian
fleet sailed out to meet the Spartans but a standoff ensued with SAthens unable
to lure the Spartans
into battle. Finally, against the advice of Alcibiades, with the Athenian
fleet poorly positioned off the Gallipoli Pensinsula, the Athenians went ashore in
large numbers to confront the Spartan forces. Lysander now mounted a surprise
attaclk on the Athenian fleet, capturing 180 of its ships. Athens
had now lost its fleet amnd its grain supply route, and had lost its allies,
apart from Samos.
Meanwhile the Spartan King Pausanius laid siege to Athens,
fleet blockaded Piraeus. In Athens, Cleophon was executed and Athens
endured severe food shortages for 6 months as the siege progressed. Corinth and
Thebes demanded the total destruction of the city.
8/406 BCE, Alcibiades
was replaced by a Board of Governors. An Athenian fleet was blockaded in Mitylene
harbour by a Spartan
fleet under Callicratidas. Athens sent a larghe fleet to relieve
Mitylene, and Callicratidas was drowned in August at the Battle of Arginusae. Sparta
again attemnpted to negotiate peace with Cleophon and again Cleophon spurned
407 BCE, The Spartan
Lysander refused to be lured out of the port of Ephesus to do battle
who then ran low on supplies and had to sail north to plunder enemy towns. Alcibiades
left a squadron at Ephesus under the command of his boyhood friend, Antiochus;
against orders, taunted Lysander; provoking the Spartans to sail out and rout the
Athenian fleet at Notium. This gave the enemies of Alcibiades in Athens
a chance to strip him of his command.
16/6/408 BCE, Alcibiades entered Athens
in triumph after seven years absence. He was appointed General, woth autocratic
powers, and then left for Samos to rejoin his fleet. Meanwhile, however, the Spartan Admiral
Lysander arrived in Ephesus and began to build up a huge fleet with
assistance from the new Persian satrap, Cyrus.
409 BCE, Alcibiades
recaptured Byzantium (which had frebelled against Athens). This opened up a
supply route for grain to Athens from the Euxine (Black) Sea,
through the Bosphorus.
410 BCE, A Spartan
army, with its Persian land army reinforcements, was heavily defeated by Alcibiades
at Cyzicus on the Sea of Marmora. Sparta attempted to negotiate an end to hostilities
with the Athenian
passed the opportunity by.
411 BCE, The Athenian democratic government was overthrown in a revolt
by the oligarchs Antiphon, Peisander and Phrynichus, who then opened
treasonous negotiations with Sparta. However these oligarchs were themselves
deposed by the moderate Theramenes, who then recalled Alcibiades
from Sardis, who was elected ruler of Athens.
9/411 BCE, A Spartan
fleet in the Hellespont at Cynossema was defeated by Athens.
412 BCE, Alcibiades
fell out with King
Agis and retired to the court of the Persian Satrap, Tissaphernes.
He urged Tissaphernes
to withdraw his support for Sparta. Other Spartan allied cities broke away in
a series of revolts.
9/413 BCE, The Athenian fleet was destroyed in the Battle of Syracuse; Demosthenes
were executed. The foot soldiers fled into the hills; many were captured and
died as slaves in the stoine quarries.
27/8/413 BCE, A lunar eclipse aroused
superstitious fears amongst the Athenians occupying Syracuse and Demosthenes
decide to remain in the city.
7/413 BCE, Demosthenes�
fleet arrived at Syracuse but was attacked by night and suffered heavy losses. Demosthenes
to evacuate his forces.
414 BCE, Athens
captured Syracuse and fortified it by land and sea. However (commnded by Nicias)
the Athenians ran short of supplies; meanwhile Sparta reinforced the Syracusans.
Athens sent out a supply fleet of 73 ships under Demosthenes.
11/415 BCE, Athenian
forces landed at Dascom, near Syracuse, but their victory was of little use.
22/5/415 BCE, A bad omen in Athens;
the Hermae Statues were found to be mysteriously damaged. Despite this bad
started its plan to conquer Sicily. Whilst away in Sicily, Alcibiades was recalled for trial
instead he defected to Sparta, and was sentenced to death in absentia.
416 BCE, Alcibiades
to conquer Syracuse, Carthage and Sicily, so gaining extra resources in order
to crush Sparta.
417 BCE, Athenian
forces were defeated at Chalcidice.
8/418 BCE, Battle of Bantinea. The
largest battle in the Peloponnesian Wars; Sparta won a major victory over Argos, which had
broken its treaty with King Agis.
419 BCE, King
Agis of Sparta gathered an army at Philus and attacked
Argos, with his Boetian allies. The Boetian forces proved to be weak, but Agis
managed to conclude a treaty with Argos.
11/4/421 BCE, The Peace of Nicias
temporarily halted the Peloponnesian War.
Alcibades, however, then set up an anti-Sparta alliance between Athens and the democracies
of Argos, Mantinea and Elis. Sparta then allied with Corinth and Boetia.
431 BCE, The Peleponnesian War began,
between Athens and Sparta.
430 BCE, Plague devastated
438 BCE, In Athens, the Parthenon
was completed, and consecrated, after 9 years of construction.
448 BCE, The Acropolis was rebuilt
under Pericles, repairing the damage done by the Persians in 480 BCE.
450 BCE, Death of Cimon, (born 510 BCE) who directed the Greek
victories against Persia.
461 BCE, Pericles
(ca. 495-429 BCE), having failed to have Cimon prosecuted for missing a chance to
invade Macedonia, did manage to have him ostracised/
469 BCE, Athenian
forces won a major victory over Persia on the River Eurymedon, establishing Athenian
hegemony on the region.
470 BCE, Greek forces captured Carystos on the Euboea River, a place that had
submitted to Persian rule earlier.
476 BCE,Greek forces captured Eion, on the Strymon River in Anatolia, from
27/8/479 BCE, Battle of Plataea. Although Xerxes had returned to Asia, and the Persian
fleet now moved to the eastern Mediterranean, the Persian General Mardonius remained in
the area. He had an army still larger than the Greeks, and he established a
base in the territory of Thebes, which was allied to Persia. The
Greeks, commended by the Spartan Pausanius, assembled on the hills above the
Persian camp. The Persians raided the Greek supply lines and blocked up some of
the springs the Greeks used for water supplies, so Pausanius decided to move camp
at night. The Persians attacked at this time but the disordered nature of the Greek position gave them the advantage
over the Persians, with the hoplites infantry picking off individual Persian
soldiers. The Persian Army was routed and�
withdrew north into Thessaly. Skirmished between the Greeks and Persians
continued for years afterwards, but Persia never again attempted a full scale
invasion of Greece.
Persian General Mardonius
routed by the Greeks, Persian advance into Greece halted.
25/9/480 BC Battle
of Salamis. King
Xerxes of Persia, after his victory at
Salamis, now advanced on Athens. The outnumbered Greek Alliance
withdrew across the narrow isthmus of Corinth into the Peloponnese. Athens was
evacuated by its citizens, who moved to the island of Salamis nearby. Xerxes
should perhaps have blockaded the Greek fleet where it had assembled inside the
Bay of Salamis, then taken his army across into the Peloponnese and
outflanked the Greek Army, routing it on land., Instead, Xerxes opted for a naval
battle, ordering his fleet to attack the Greek fleet., Xerxes even set up a throne on a
nearby hill to watch the naval battle unfold. In fact choppy seas and the
cramped nature of the Bay sent the
Persian naval lines into disarray, whilst the smaller and more manoeuvrable
Greek ships carried out pinprick attacks on individual Persian vessels,
eventually causing it to retreat in chaos. Xerxes now realised winter was approaching and
his supply lines were vulnerable to Greek attack, so he took most of his army
home to Persia. Some Persian forces
remained in Greece, but were routed at Plataea the following year. This proved to be a turning point in history, with Greece now left in
control of the eastern Mediterranean, not Persia; a position maintained until
the rise of Rome.
11/8/480 BCE, Battle of Thermopylae. Persian forces under Xerxes defeated the Spartans.
However the heroic Greek defence, at this narrow pass, against a superior
Persian force, bought time for Athens to be evacuated (it was burnt by
the Persians) and for Greek forces to regroup and subsequently fight off the
28/9/490 BCE. The original Marathon was run by a
breathless messenger who ran 24 miles from the scene of the Battle of Marathon
to the city of Athens. �Rejoice, we conquer� he gasped,
the dropped dead. The Athenians had beaten a huge Persian fleet. Athens then
expanded its own fleet and military power. By
500 BCE the Persian Empire had expanded to encompass modern-day Turkey and
Macedonia, whilst Greece was split into small city-States. Persia now resolved
to conquer Greece too. To accomplish this conquest, Persia sent a huge army
and 600 ships which landed at Marathon, 24 miles from Athens. Athens sent
its smaller army of 10,000 men, supported by a contingent from Plataea, to meet
them. After a 5-day stand-off, the Greeks attacked. Their tactics were based on
the hoplite; a soldier with a large shield and long stabbing spear. They
charged at the Persians, through a hail of Persian arrows, taking them by
surprise. Persia could not believe the Greeks would attack, in smaller numbers,
without support of cavalry or archers. In fact the Greeks got the upper hand in
the close combat, and the Persians, routed, retreated to their ships. Persian
casualties amounted to 6,000 out of 20,000; Greek casualties were 200 out of
527 BCE, Peisistratus died and was succeeded by his sons,
546 BCE, Peisistratus regained power for a third time in Athens;
he had the support of Thessaly and also from Lydarnis of Naxos. He exiuled his
opponents, redistributed land to peasants, and encouraged insudtry and trade.
556 BCE, Peisistratus
was removed from power a second time, having split with Megacles. He went on to make a
fortune from his mines in Thrace.
559 BCE, Peisistratus was restored to power with the
support of Megacles.
561 BCE, The Athenian General Peisistratus
made himself dictator, but was then deposed by the city nobility under Lycurgus.
He introduced the cult of Dionysius.
594 BCE, Solon
reformed government in Athens. Aristocratic rule was ended and a
(male) citizen based rule intituted. Women and slaves remained excluded.
650 BCE, At the 33rd Olympic Games, a new event was added; the pancratium,
a freestyle no-holds-barred combination of boxing and wrestling.
682 BCE, At the 25th Olympic Games, the first equestrian
even was added. A four-horse chariot race was held at the new Hippodrome.
690 BCE, At the 23rd Olympic Games, boxing was added as an event.
704 BCE, At the 19th Olympic Games, wrestling was added as an event.
708 BCE, The 18th
Olympic Games. A pentathlon event was now added, comprising a
long jump, a javelin throw, a 200 yard sprint, a discus throw and wrestling,
720 BCE, A third event was added to the 15th Olympic Games, a 2.5 mile long
distance race of 12 circuits around the stadium.
724 BCE, The 14th Olympic Games. The games now comprised a
second foot race (see 23/7/776 BCE), of 880 yards, twice around the stadium.
750 BCE, First recorded use of Greek alphabet, adapted from Phoenician and
23/7/776 BCE. The first Olympic Games (see also Sports
for modern Olympic Games) opened in Olympia (in some form, the Olympic Games
may have been staged since 1350 BCE). The games, consisting only of a 200 yard
foot race (see 724 BCE), was won by a cook called Coroibos.
24/4/1184 BCE, Greeks stormed the city of
Troy after hiding inside the Trojan Horse.
6,500 BCE, Copper smelting began at Catal
7,000 BCE, Estimated date of foundation of Catal
Huyuk, Anatolia, largest Neolithic site in the Near East. Greek seafarers
were sailing to Milos, 75 miles across the sea, to obtain obsidian.
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