These essays explore the history of Turkey, which lies at two critical crossroads – of Asia and Europe and of Islam and Christianity. During the past 4,000 years, the Anatolian Peninsula was a key part of four impressive empires – Hittite, Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman.
The Concise Essay first looks at the origins of the empire or kingdom – how founder-kings exploited favorable circumstances to their advantage. I then turn to an examination of sources of wealth and power in the ancient world – agriculture, foreign trade, and foreign conquest. I move on to means of control – political organization and religious persuasion – used by ruling elites to retain power and extract wealth from the masses. Next I examine causes of decline in Egypt – internal erosion of control followed by foreign incursions by competing enemies. I then summarize the key trends in the aftermath of New Kingdom Egypt– how successful later groups were in holding on to power and creating wealth. At the end of the essay, I draw lessons for contemporary powers from the experiences of ancient empires and kingdoms.
The Complete Essay allows the reader to go more in-depth into Turkey's past. It is divided into three parts. The first section of the essay summarizes key trends in the three millennia of Anatolian history that preceded the rise of the Ottomans. The essay’s central part examines the rise, rule, and fall of the Ottomans – how immigrant Turkic-speaking peoples gained control of Anatolia, created a powerful multiethnic empire, encompassing large parts of southeastern Europe, southwestern Asia, and North Africa, and then gradually lost power after four centuries of dominance. The third and last part of the essay looks at the aftermath of the Ottoman Empire – the evolution of the Republic of Turkey in the past century. A time line, an annotated bibliography, and a description of sites that I visited in Turkey are appended at the end of the essay.
Dalmatian Coast: An Adriatic Sea Adventure Chief Executives Organization (CEO), Ship-based aboard the Le Lyrial, Ephesus, Marco Polo, Land-based and International and Domestic Flights, Istanbul, Kars, Ani, and Dogubayazit, Train, Aboard the Golden Eagle Danube Express, Cappadocia, Ankara, Konya, Antalya, Fethiye and Gulets, Bodrum,