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Friday, February 22, 2008

Turkish Army launches ground assault into Kurdish Iraq.

HISTORY IN THE NEWS:



History never dies. It is reborn every minute of every day.

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DEDICATED TO THE ORIGINS OF CONTEMPORARY EVENTS AROUND THE WORLD.


"The Kurds generally bear a very indifferent reputation, a worse reputation perhaps than they really deserve. Being aliens to the Turks in language and to the Persians in religion, they are everywhere treated with mistrust , and live as it were in a state of chronic warfare with the powers that be." -Encyclopedia Britannica, 11th edition, 1911.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: Mesopotamia was once part of Turkey's Ottoman Empire. Ancient Kurdistan, part of Persia in 1515, was conquered by the Ottoman Sultan, Selim I. In the wake of the decay and collapse of the empire early in the 20th century, movements to create an independent Kurdistan (northern Mesopotamia) have been seen by Istanbul as threats to the integrity of the modern Turkish State.

TAG: Turkey attempts to impose security on an area of northern Iraq which, as part the Ottoman Empire, it had once ruled from 1515 t0 1914.

IN THE NEWS: 10,000 TURKISH TROOPS CROSS INTO NORTHERN IRAQ TO DESTROY BASES OPERATED BY KURDISH SEPARATISTS IF THE PKK. TURKISH PRIME MINISTER ERDOGAN PROMISES THAT THE OPERATION HAS STRICT LIMITS; LIMITS THAT WASHINGTON HAD ASKED FOR WHEN WARNED IN ADVANCE OF THE OPERATION.

IN A NUTSHELL: The Kurds, lost among the myriad peoples ruled by the great empires of the past, only began to achieve prominence after nationalist ideas emerged in Europe in the 19th century and filtered into the Middle East. Turkey, itself forged as a national entity out of the defeated Ottoman Empire, is loathe to acknowledge the the right to autonomy of its Kurds. In the policy of Washington, by contrast, the claims of small peoples defended in the name of a new internationalism shared by Europe and the West are a threat to the older nationalism of Turkey. Moreover, the autonomous Kurdistan which the US has helped to make in Iraq is an additional threat to Turkey's rule of its own restive Kurds across the border.

REAR VIEW MIRROR:
-800-700 BC (circa) A Kurdish region with its capital at Saaquez in Iran forms part of the Scythian Empire.
1515- the Ottoman Sultan Selim I conquers eastern Turkey, Diyarbakir and Kurdistan.
1923- The Treaty of Lausanne. The Turks renegotiate the treaty of Sevres, establishing the present day borders of Turkey. Contrary to promises in the Treaty of Sevres, which is quashed by Kemal Atattuk, there will be no state of Kurdistan.
2007- Oct. -Turkey announces it is considering a cross-border military incursion to neutralize PKK units in northern Iraq. The US objects strongly to any attempts by Turkey to destabilize northern Iraq, the relatively stable region, strongly supported by Washington.

THEN AND NOW:
Under the Ottoman Empire, Kurdish tribes of herders and pastoralists migrated freely through ancestral lands which lay across a region that later became the borderlands od Syria, Iraq, Turkey and Iran. After the fall of the Ottoman Empire and the Treaties of Sevres in 192o and Lausanne in 1923, modern, western-style borders with all the associated controls broke what they had understood as their homeland, into four parts and their migratory way of life became all but impossible.

CONTENTS: SCROLL DOWN FOR:

DISTANT BACKGROUND TO THE EVENTS
PREVIOUS ENTRIES.
RELEVANT DATES
RECENT BACKGROUND TO THE EVENTS
REMOTE BACKGROUND TO THE EVENTS
LOCATION OF NOTE:
PROFILE:
CROSS-CENTURY SUMMARY
EYEWTNESS
PRESENT SITUATION
PLUS CA CHANGE
CURIOSITY:

DISTANT BACKGROUND TO THE EVENTS. The system of local Kurdish rule established by Selim I in 1515 endured until the end of the Russo-Turkish war of 1828-1829, when local Kurdish power was seen as dangerous in the face of the threat from Russia. Kurdish attempts at independence in 1834 and 1843 were repressed and another came to nought in 1881. By the late 19th century, the Kurds had caught the bug of European nationalism. After the end of the Ottoman Empire in World War One, the 1920 Treaty of Sevres promised the Kurds a homeland. But in 1923, the treaty was renegotiated and by the Treaty of Lausanne, Kurdish dreams of self-determination became a chimera. In the mid-1920s, the Kurds rebelled against Turkey and against the British mandate in Kurish northen Iraq, where Britain wanted to maintain control over oil. In Turkey, the Kurds would be subject to military rule until 1946. With the liberal rule of Turkish President Menderes in the 1950s. the Kurds were able to launch a Kurdish renaissance. But after Menderes was overthrown in 1961, repression resumed and Kurdish militancy increased into the 1970s. In Iraq, meanwhile, the Kurdish Democratic Party had obtained agreement in principle for a Kurdish autonomous region in the north, bordering on Turkey. It became official in 1974.

In Turkey, another military coup took place in 1971. Meanwhile, the poor and the disenfranchised looked increasingly to Islamic movements. An economic and political slow-down further empowered Islamic parties, provoking the military to take power again in 1980. In the late 80s, the Islamic Welfare Party benefited from anger against austerity measures. The same adversity and repression resulted in the founding, in 1984, of the PKK, the Kurdish Workers' Party, a militia dedicated to the secession of the Kurdish region from Turkey. Its bloody struggle against the Turkish military was to last 15 years. In 1991, in the wake of the Gulf War, Kurdish autonomy across the border in Iraq came a step closer with the formation by NATO of a Kurdish safe haven and no-fly zone enforced from NATO bases in Turkey. Soon after, however, the suppression of a Kurdish uprising in Iraq resulted in a large flow or refugees into Kurdish Turkey. Turkey began to recognize Kurdish cultural rights, while little changed politically. In 1999, the PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan was captured and sentenced to death. The PKK disbanded but even then its political representatives were harrassed.

PREVIOUS ENTRIES

TURKISH PARLIAMENT DEBATES HEADSCARF- Feb 6, 2008
http://blackdog2.blogspot.com/2008/02/bulletin-turlish-parliament-debates.html

TURKEY PROTESTS AS US CONGRESS CENSURES ARMENIAN GENOCIDE; WASHINGTON FEARS TURKISH FORAYS AGAINST KURDISH IRAQ- Oct. 12, 2007
http://blackdog2.blogspot.com/2007/10/turkey-protests-and-white-house-tried.html

RELEVANT DATES:

-800-700 BC (circa) A Kurdish region with its capital at Saaquez in Iran forms part of the Scythian Empire.
-600s BC- history records a Kurdish people in the Zagros mountains of Southeastern Turkey and adjoining areas of Syria, Iraq and Iran.
-the Persians, Greeks and Romans successively control Armenia.
-600s AD- the Kurds convert to Sunni Islam.
1169-1250- the Kurdish chieftain Saladin, overthrows the Fatamids of Egypt and founds the Ayyubid Dynasty.
1512-1520-- Under Selim the Magnificent, Ottoman power is extended through Kurdistan to upper Tigris and Euphrates.
1514- Aug 23 Selim the Great defeats the Persians at Caldiran, east of the Euphrates. His conquests extend as far as Tabriz east of Anatolia, when his Janissaries refuse to advance further.
1515- Selim conquers eastern Turkey, Diyarbakir and Kurdistan.
-Selim delegates rule of Kurdistan to the Kurdish historian Idris of Bitlis. Idris divides the area into Turkish sanjaks but maintains Kurdish principles of hereditary rule and installing local chieftains as governors. Idris's system will remain in place until the end of the Russo-Turkish war of 1828-1829.
1828-1829- the Russo-Turkish war. The system of Kurdish local rule installed by Idris in 1515 comes to an end.
-by this time Kurdish local power has increased and spread as far as Angora.
1834- After the Kurds attempt independence, the Ottomans dismantle the system of local rule adopted by Idris. Under Rashid Pasha, the Kurds are subjugated and Kurdish Beys are replaced by Turkish governors.
1843- another Kurdish rebellion led by Bedr Khan Bey is suppressed.
-late 19th century- a sense of nationalism begins to develop among the Kurds.
-harmony between Kurds and Armenians
1880-81- Kurds under Sheikh Obaidullah attempt to found an independent principality under Turkish protection. The Ottomans approve but then rescind the idea after Obaidullah carries out a raid into Persia.
1891- in response to Armenian activism the ottomans strengthen the Kurds by raising the 'Hamidieh', a corps of irregular Kurdish cavalry. Kurds and Armenians, previously friendly are turned against one another.
1894-97- first Armenian genocide. Kurds, armed by the Ottomans against the Armenians, take part in massacres.
1918- Oct. 18- Sultan Muhammed VI signs an armistice with the allied powers. The Ottoman empire comes to an end.
1920- Aug. 10 -the Treaty of Sevres makes Syria a French protectorate and Palestine and Jordan a British protectorate. It also promises a separate state of Kurdistan.
1922- Turkish nationalists led by Kemal Atatutk refuse to accept the peace terms of the Treaty of Sevres (1920).
1923- The Treaty of Lausanne. The Turks renegotiate the treaty of Sevres, establishing the present day borders of Turkey. Contrary to promises in the Treaty of Sevres, which is quashed by Kemal Atattuk, there will be no state of Kurdistan.
-hope for a nation of Kurdistan further declines as Britain pursues its own interests in Kurdish oil fields aided by her League of Nations Mandate.
-national boundaries formed after WW I restrict a nomadic, herding and agricultural practices of the Kurds who had previously roamed across borders, further reducing any hope of national integrity.
1924-32- First Kurdish Revolt directed against the British Mandate.
1925- Turkey represses a Kurdish revolt in the eastern provinces. The region will be subject to military rule until 1946
1946- military rule is lifted in the Kurdish eastern provinces and deportees are allowed to return.
1950s- President Menderes restores limited autonomy and political freedom at the tribe and village level to Kurdish areas.
1950s and 1960s- a Kurdish nationalist renaissance flourishes.
1961- Menderes us overthrown. Inonu’s RRP comes to power.
-in the wake of Menderes, repression returns to Kurdish areas,the army uses emergency powers to exile several Kurdish agas. The power of the agas is destroyed and the tribal structure broken.
1958-74- Iraq: second Kurdish Revolt sparked by the new Iraqi revolutionary government's disregard for Kurdish rights.
1970- Iraq and the Kurdistan Democratic Party agree to the formation in principle of an autonomous Kurdistan in the north of Iraq.
1974- the autonomous Iraqi region of Kurdistan, with its own governing bodies, becomes official.
1984- PKK- the Kurdish Worker’s Party (Marxist) is formed. It begins a campaign of attacks on the Turkish state and military in order to form an independent Kurdistan.
1984-94- PKK terror attacks claim 6,000 lives.
1987- the True Path party (DYP) comes to power as successor to the JP and DP. It attempts economic reform, tries to stop the rise of Islamism under the Welfare Party and to put down the PKK.
1991- after Iraq's defeat in the 1st Gulf War, northern Iraq is declared a Kurdish safe haven with Kurds north of the 38th parallel protected by a 'no-fly-zone' enforced from NATO airbases in Turkey.
-Masoud Barzani leads a Turkish rebellion against Baghdad. When the uprising is brutally suppressed, Kurdish refugees flood into Turkey.
1992- fighting breaks out involving the Kurdish PKK; it results in the bombing of Kurdish bases in Iraq and Syria.
-Turkey recognizes Kurdish cultural distinctiveness but not Kurdish political rights.
-1999- Abdullah Ocalan, leader of the PKK is captured by the Turkish military and sentenced to death. The PKK begins to disband. But Kurdish political leaders continue to be harassed.
-1999- WP loses badly to Ecevit who applies for entry to the EU, cracks down on the PKK
-2000- Kurdistan, or the region of southeast Turkey and adjoining areas of Syria, Iraq, Iran and southern Armenia where there is a Kurdish majority, has a population of about 24 million, 13 million of which are in Turkey. Although they have claims on a homeland, they are a linguistic, rather than a territorial or religious minority.
2002- legislation is passed in Ankara which will allow Turkey to enter the EU. Abolition of death penalty and press censorship; political and cultural rights for minority groups. This eases a good deal of pressure on the Kurds.
2003--Turkish parliament votes not to let the US use Turkey for the invasion of Iraq.
-parliament passes more on Kurdish rights and restrictions on the military to qualify for the EU.
2004- PKK ends ceasefire in response to military operations against it.
2006- spring- Kurdish protesters killed in clashes with Turkish military in southeast.
2006- September- terrorist bombings of Turkish resorts. Kurdish Freedom Falcons claim responsibility.
2006- 30 September- PKK declares unilateral ceasefire.
-Turkish military prepares for a possible incursion into Iraq to quell PKK insurgents.
2007- October- PPK Kurdish separatists guerrillas inflict high casualties in an attack on Turkish troops in the south-eastern Kurdish border region.
-Turkey announces it is considering a cross-border military incursion to neutralize PKK units in northern Iraq. The US abjects strongly to any attempts by Turkey to destabilize northern Iraq, the relatively stable region, strongly supported by Washington.
-Oct. 11- The US House of Representatives passes a resolution condemning the Armenian genocide.
-Oct. 12- The White House, CIA boss Robert Gates and Condoleeza Rice warn that censuring Turkey for the genocide at this time will endanger the US alliance with Turkey, US dependence on its Turkish air base for transporting military supplies to Iraq and to Afghanistan, as well as the stability of the border region in Iraqi Kurdistan.
Oct 14-15- Turkish troops shell areas around Kurdish villages across the Iraqi border. Iraqi Kurds promise Turkey a long and protracted "Viet Nam" if Turkey dares invade.

RECENT BACKGROUND TO THE EVENTS: Since November of 2002, the Islamic AK Party's president Recep Erdogan won a large majority and reforms launched to qualify Turkey for entry into the European Union resulted in improvements for the Kurds and restrictions on the military. In 2003, however, fears that a liberated Iraq would result in the secession of Turkey's Kurdish region to join an Kurdistan independent from Baghdad resulted in parliament voting against Turkish participation in the US invasion of Iraq. However, Turkey did consent to allow Turkish bases to be used for US transport to Iraq and to Afghanistan, Since 2004, Kurdish militancy has increased again in Turkey, the Kurds claiming provocation by the military. A new group, the Kurdish Freedom Falcons claimed responsibility for bombings at Turkish resorts in September, 2006. Shortly afterward, Kurdish militants declared a unilateral ceasefire.

Losses by the Turkish military in strikes launched by Kurds from Iraqi Kurdistan in September of 2007 brought about threats by the Erdogan government to send the Turkish military across the border into Iraq. Washington objected strongly to any attempt by Turkey to destabilize Kurdish, northern Iraq, the only region to reap benefits from Washington's Iraq policy. On October 11, the White House, which needs its Turkish bases for supply to Iraq and Afghanistan, urged congress to reconsider its resolution.

REMOTE BACKGROUND TO THE EVENTS. The Kurds have a regional identity reaching back to antiquity. In the 9th century BC, a Kurdish region with its capital at Saaquez in Iran formed part of the Scythian Empire. By the 7th century BC there is evidence of a Kurdish people in the Zagros Mountains of southeastern Turkey. The Kurds, however, were more a linguistic and less strictly a territorial group. Moreover, they were nomadic herders; although they did occupy a single region defined by southeastern Turkey, northwestern Syria, northern Iraq and northwestern Iran they continually crossed the changing frontiers in the region. In the 8th century BC an Armenian people invaded and migrated into the Assyrian region of Urgartu. By the 6th century BC, there was an independent kingdom of Armenia. Thereafter, Armenia, as well as the Kurds were successively ruled by Persia, Greece, Rome and Byzantium. In the 7th century AD the Kurds converted to Sunni Islam.

The Kurdish region came under the sway of Constantinople in 1512-1520 when Selim I extended Ottoman power from Turkey through Kurdistan to the upper Tigris and Euphrates. The cause began as war declared on Persia by Selim who suspected that his brother and rival Ahmed as well as Shia heretics in Turkey were receiving support from the Savafid Shah Ismail. Selim conquered northern Mespotamia, taking it from Persia. In 1515 he secured Kurdistan to which he appointed a Kurd, Idris, as administrator. Idris left local rule largely intact, preserving Kurdish traditions of Kurdish rule.

LOCATION OF NOTE: Kurdistan. The traditional Kurdish homeland: roughly 500,000 square kilometres in northeastern Syria, northern Iraq, northwestern Iran, southeastern Turkey, the Nakhichevan enclave of Azerbaijan and in southern Armenia. Population in 2000: roughly 16 million with another 8 million scattered in the remaining areas of the host countries.

PROFILE: Idris, a Kurdish historian of Bitlis. Appointed by Selim I to set up the administration of Kurdistan after its conquest in 1515. He found it heavily fortified by tribal chieftains of Armenian, Arab and Kurdish stock who were mostly occupied with raiding and tribal warfare Idris divided the area into Turkish sanjaks but wisely left Kurdish chieftains as governors and preserved Kurdish hereditary rule. Idris's system was to last three hundred years.

CROSS-CENTURY SUMMARY
: The Kurds, despite ancient identification with specific regions, were subordinated to all the waves of invasion and all the hegemonies and empires that swept the Middle East up to and including the Ottoman Empire. No lasting sense of national self-determination grew until the late nineteenth century, when the great nationalist movements ignited by the French Revolution in Europe, reached the Middle East. Ancient empires, however, appear more likely to tolerate ethnicity than modern nations.

Kurdistan, never had political borders and fared a little better under the old empires than they did under new nation states. Moreover, with the establishment of strict national frontiers for Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran after World War I, the traditionally nomadic Kurds were faced for the first time with rigid borders and terrible persecuction inside the borders of all those countries. In Turkey, after World War Two, the secular tradition had in some ways become more reactionary and rigid than the Ottoman, the army intervening and suspending democracy whenever it felt national interests were threatened- especially by the Kurds. However, a slow but steady Islamic revival has brought with it promises of tolerance toward minorities including the Kurds and the Armenians. And yet, even the relatively lenient Erdogan regime is unable to capitulate entirely to international pressure to recognize the Armenian genocide; nor can it tolerate further Kurdish militancy in the face of Kurdish autonomy in Iraq across the border from its own Kurdish regions.

EYEWITNESS
: From the eleventh edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica (1911): "There was up to a recent period no more picturesque or interesting scene to be witnessed in the east than the court of one of the great Kurdish chiefs where, like Saladin, the bey ruled in patriarchal state, surrounded by an hereditary nobility, regarded by his clansmen with reverence and affection, and attended by a body guard of young Kurdish warriors, clad in chain armour, while flaunting silken scarfs and bearing javelin, lance and sword as in the time of the crusades."

PRESENT SITUATION
: The old bugbear of a separate Kurdistan taking with it chunks of Syria, Iraq, Turkey and Iran has been wakened with Kurdish guerilla operations on Turkey's border with semi-autonomous Iraqi Kurdistan. As the United States begins to contemplate the partition of Iraq into entities that would include a fully autonomous Kurdistan, Turkey fears, indeed knows, that an independent Kurdistan would become a home base for Kurdish separatist ambitions in Turkey. So vital to the Turks are the the 1923 borders laid down at the Treaty of Lausanne, that they remain ready to defy the United States openly with a move against the Kurds in US-supported Kurdish Iraq.

PLUS CA CHANGE: in 2008 Turkish troops cross the southeastern frontier to destroy Kurdish bases across the border in Iraq. In 1515, the armies of the Ottoman sultan, Selim I crossed the same border to annex northern Mesopotamia, now the region of Kurdistan.

CURIOSITY: For the Ottomans, governing and collecting taxes meant acknowledging a wide variety of migrant and farming peoples in difficult mountain regions throughout the empire. In the highlands of Kurdistan alone, they had to recognize a dozen different tribal governments.

TIMELINE FOR THE HISTORY OF TURKEY AND FOR THE HISTORY OF THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE.

The Hittites

1900 BC- Hittites migrate from the Caucasus to Northern Anatolia.

1680-1650- Labarna established as capital of Hittite Kingdom.

1550- the Hittite New Kingdom.

-Hittites defeated by Egypt and forced to pay tribute.

1380- Hittite King Shubbiluliu defeats the Mitanni. The Hittites are the first to smelt Iron- explaining some of their military superiority.

1380-1200- the Hittite Empire.

1294- Battle of Kadesh, Syria: Hittites push back the Egyptians.

1260- Destruction of Troy.

1200- Hittites defeated by the Hyksos.

The Greeks and Persians

1200- beginning of the Iron Age.

1200-700- the Dark Age of Greece.

-decline of Mycenae and of the Anatolian Hittites

-the Greeks colonize the Anatolian coast,

-800-700 BC (circa) A Kurdish region with its capital at Saaquez in Iran forms part of the Scythian Empire.

-700s BC Armenians invade and migrate into the Assyrian region of Urgartu

-600s BC- history records a Kurdish people in the Zagros mountains of Southeastern Turkey and adjoining areas of Syria, Iraq and Iran.

-500s BC- existence of an idenpendent kingdom of Armenia.

546 BC- Persian conquest of Anatolia and Armenia.

521-486- BC- Darius the Great extends the empire as far as the Aegean and Macedonia;

490- Darius the Great invades Greece. He is defeated at Marathon.

480- Darius the Great’s army is defeated at Thermopylae; his navy is destroyed at Salamis

Alexander and the Seleucids

336- Alexander the Great takes Anatolia.

312-280- Seleucus controls Alexander’s empire which includes Anatolia and most of the Middle East including Armenia.

263- the Greek Seleucid kings begin to lose Anatolia.

175- Antioch IV, Epiphanes consolidates Cilicia (SE Anatolia), Syria, Babylonia, Media. Encourages Hellenism and Greek manners. Tries to abolish Judaism in order to unify everyone against Rome

Rome

100 AD- Rome controls Asia Minor (Anatolia)

63 AD- Rome begins to conquer the Seleucid Levant..

-Roman control of Armenia.

Byzantium

305-324 AD Constantine and the eastern Empire victorious in civil war.

313- Conversion of Constantine to Christianity.

325- the Council of Nicea.

330- Rome replaced by Constantinople as capital of the empire. Founding of Constantinople and Byzantium.

-400s-800s AD- Armenia is successively overrun by Byzantine and Central Asian invaders.

527-565- Reign of Justinian

610-641- Reign of Heraclitus of Byzantium.

The Arrival of Islam

-600s AD- the Kurds convert to Sunni Islam.

717- Muslim siege of Constantinople.

-the Kurds convert to Sunni Islam.

800-1000- Byzantine and Islamic Arab rivalry over Jerusalem.

The Seljuk Turks

1040-1170- the Middle East dominated by the Seljuk Turks.

1071- Battle of Manzikert- Byzantines lose Anatolia and Armenia to the Central Asian Seljuk Turks under Malik Shah. Seljuks establish tolerance toward Christians and Jews.

-Seljuks set up their capital in the Hittite city of Konia. Konia becomes a great cultural center.

The Crusaders

1169-1250- the Kurdish chieftain Saladin, overthrows the Fatamids of Egypt and founds the Ayyubid Dynasty.

1204- Constantinople sacked by the Crusaders.

1204-1261- Latin empire of Constantinople.

1243- Mongols break up the Seljuk empire into rival principalities.

The Ottomans

-Osman rallies followers in Sogut, in north-central Anatolia.

1249- the Mamluks, a Turkish slave corps under the Fatimids, found a dynasty in Egypt, overthrowing the Ayyubids and taking Palestine

1261-1453- Constantinople retaken by the Palaeologi. Byzantium is restored.

-in Palestine, the Mamluks try to resist the growing power of the Ottoman Turks by making trade contact with Europe

1326- Osman unites central Turkey as far as Anatolia. As he is dying. Osman takes Bursa in north-east Anatolia by siege.

-the zenith of highly sophisticated Armenian cultural development.

The Ottoman Invasion of the Balkans

-Osman’s son Othan expands Ottoman rule into the Balkans.

1354- the Ottoman Turks under Murad invade the Balkans.

-the zenith of Armenian cultural development.

-1386-94- Tamerlane invades and massacres the Armenians.

1389- Murad and the Ottomans take the southern Balkans at the Battle of Kosovo.

1395- the Sultan Bayezid lays siege to Constantinople and defeats Christian armies.

1402- Bayezid defeated by Tamerlane at Ankara.

-1405- ottomans invade Armenia.

1421- Mehmet consolidates Ottoman power.

- Murad II extends Ottoman conquests as far as Hungary.

1451- Mehmet II.

Ottomans Take Constantinople

1453- Constantinople falls to the Turks under Mehmet II. Mehmet rebuilds Constantinople as a tolerant center of learning.

-Mehmett II takes Greece as far as the Adriatic.

1508-1533- Iraq ruled by Persia.

Selim the Magnificent

-Selim takes the ottoman throne by killing his father, Bayazid and his brothers and nephews.

1512-1520-- Under Selim the Magnificent, Ottoman power is extended through Kurdistan to the upper Tigris and Euphrates using Janissari slave armies made up of Christian men and boys indoctrinated in Islam and given strict training.

-early 16th century- Savafids of Persia adopt Shiism.

-France joins the Italian city states in trade with the Ottoman Levant.
-Persian support for Semin's brother Ahmed and for a heretical Shia minority leads Selim to attack Persia.
1514- War between the Ottoman Sultan Selim, a fanatical Sunni, and newly Shia Persia's Sha Ismail who had intervened on behalf of the Shia Kizilbash minority in Turkey.
-Selim, a fanatical Sunni, is then said to have massacred 40,000 Turkish Kizilbash Shia.


1514- Aug 23 Selim the Great defeats the Persians at Caldiran, east of the Euphrates. His conquests extend as far as Tabriz when his Janissaries refuse to advance further.
1515- Selim conquers eastern Turkey, Diyarbakir and Kurdistan.
-Selim delegates rule of Kurdistan to the Kurdish historian Idris of Biylis. Idris divides the area into Turkish sanjaks but maintains Kurish principles of Heredity, installing local hereditatry chieftains as governors. Idris's system will remain in place until the end of the Russo-Turkish war of 1828-1829.
1516- August- Selim takes Aleppo and Damascus.
1516- Selm' second campaign against Persia is diverted to Palestine.
-Ottomans under Selim take Jerusalem and Egypt from the Mamluks.

Palestine

1517- Palestine and Gaza come under the rule of the Ottoman Empire. But for the Ottomans, there is no single entity called Palestine. It is divided into the Sanjak (district) of Jerusalem in the south and the vilayat (province) of Beirut in the north. The city of Jerusalem is ruled directly from Constantinople.

-the Ottomans bring an end to strife between Turks and Mamluks in Palestine.

-the Ottomans restore security to trade routes throughout the Middle East.

-Palestine begins a short-lived economic and cultural recovery with the renewed flourishing of Arab traders

- under Ottoman rule, the Mamluk territory of southern Syria and Palestine is ruled from Damascus.

-the Ottomans isolate Palestine from outside influences. However, they grant Francis I of France the right to protect Christian shrines in Palestine.
Suleiman the Magnificent, 1520-1566
1520-1566- Suleiman takes Rhodes, Baghdad and southern Mesopotamia, Libya, defeats the Portuguese on the Red Sea.
1524-1638- Baghdad taken and retaken by Persians and Turks. This conflict over Iraq between the Turkish Ottomans and the Persian Safavids has the character of a Sunni-Shia religious rivalry.
1526- battle of Mohacs- conquest of Hungary by the Ottomans.

-Egypt is still administered by the Mameluks.

1529- Suleiman promises to help the King of Hungary against the Habsburgs in return for Hungarian assistance in laying siege to Vienna. The siege fails when the weather turns cold.

Ottoman Engagement with Europe; France and Lebanon.
Ottomans take Iraq.

1533- Ottomans take Iraq- Iraq a frontier zone under pressure from Persian Shiite Safavids. Bedouins convert to Shiism to escape Ottoman control.
Far-flung Conquests.

-1536- Francis I of France and the sultan, Suleiman I, sign a treaty of capitulations concerning permanent French trading settlements in the Levant and Turks trading in France; free trade and freedom of religion in one another's countries. Right to be tried in court by one's own consul or nationals. The agreement is renewable upon expiry.

1541- Ottoman Sultan Suleiman the magnificent rebuilds city walls of Jerusalem.

1555- Ottoman rule of Iraq is confirmed in a peace with Persia.

-Iraq divided between 3 Ottoman provinces.

-Sunnis granted key positions in Ottoman government. The Shiites stayed apart.

1560- the Ottomans control Armenia.

1566- death of Suleiman the Magnificent.

1571- the Christian Holy League (Venice, the Italian city states and Spain) defeats the Ottoman navy in the battle of Lepanto off the coast of Greece. Ottoman expansion ends.

-1580 (circa)- in Rome, Gregory XIII founds a seminary to train Maronite seminarians for the clergy.

1585-1635- Fakhr al Din, Druze leader in Lebanon conducts his own foreign policy and invites Christian missionaries.

-European powers begin to close in on the Ottoman Empire but they want the sultan kept in place so that no country can seize the overall advantage.

-1600-1900- Lebanese tribal chiefs encourage French Catholic missionaries to develop education in the country. Rome-educated Maronite priests return to Lebanon and spread western ideas.

1642-91- Suleiman II.

1649- Ottoman Sultan issues a decree allowing France's Louis XIV to protect the Maronites. French clergy and French-educated Maronite priests begin to influence political institutions.

Seeds of Ottoman Weakness

Selim II and weak rulers after him become the instruments of their own bureaucracy and advisors. Bureaucrats become power-hungry, corrupt and undisciplined.

-outlying regions like Egypt, Yemen, Arabia, Kurdish provinces in east Turkey, Moldavia and Walachia are only loosely controlled, keeping their own systems of rule and having only a tributary relationship. As government from the center weakens, their autonomy increases.

1656- Grand Vizier Mehmet Koprulu slows Ottoman decline by instituting reforms. Thousands executed for corruption.

The Ottoman Defeat at Vienna

-the Koprulu dynasty takes Turkey into Poland and the Ukraine but by 1700 the empire has lost territory to Poland, Russia and Austria.

1683- the Ottoman siege of Vienna fails when the city is relieved by the Polish king, John Sobieski. Henceforth, the Ottoman Empire will gradually shrink until its end in 1920.

1699- the Ottomans begin to release territories in the Balkans.

Rapprochement with France

1703-1730- the Ottoman court attempts to adopt the styles of French royalty. Some Enlightenment ideas begin to filter into the intelligentsia. The first Arabic printing press.

The French form close trade relations with Ottoman Syria.

-1736- with Ottoman approval, France becomes protector of the Maronite Christians. The Church of Rome grants the Maronites recognition.

-1740- trade agreements between France and the Ottomans confirmed in perpetuity.
-the coastal area around Beirut and Tyre becomes the most Europeanized part of the Muslim world.

Conflict with Russia

-1757- contrary to the agreement with the French, the Ottomans agree to Russia being the protector of Christians in the Levant.

1772-1774- the First Russo Turkish War.

1774- Ottoman forces routed by Russia under Catherine II. Peace of Kuchuk Kainarji.

-Russia consolidates control over the Black sea and reduces Turkish power in the Crimean, clearing the way for Crimea’s annexation. This treaty is seen as the beginning of Ottoman decline. The Ottomans reaffirm Russia as the protector of Christians in the Levant.

-the Treaty of Kuchuk Kainarji also allows Russia to be protector of Greek Orthodox Christians in the Ottoman empire.

-prompted by French protection of the Maronites, Lebanon's Ottoman rulers incite the Druzes to move against the Maronites

Bonaparte Invades Egypt.

1798-99- to cut India off from the British, the French, under General Bonaparte, launch an invasion of Egypt and from Egypt to Palestine and Syria, breaking the rule of the Mamluks. Appealing to English strategic help and Turkish armies, Bonaparte is forced back to Egypt. Though their attempt at domination fails, the French manage to sustain a presence in the region dating back to the Crusades.

Ottoman Attempts at Reform.

-Ottoman rulers are convinced that the only way to overcome defeat at the hands of Europe is to adopt European military methods and technology

1789-1808- Selim III- By reducing his advisors to a cabinet of 12 ministers, he cuts the power of the Grand Vizier. Turkey is opened to western ideas and education. Permanent embassies are opened in London, paris, Vienna and Berlin.

-French military assistance and supply is secured via Napoleon’s ambassador. But the Janissaries rebel and force Selim to cancel the idea..

1807- Selim III launches a modernization program.

1808- rejecting Selim’s modernization attempts, the Janissaries force him to abdicate. Reformers in his court are massacred.

-July- Mahmud II succeeds Selim- preparing for a new attempt at reform by creating a group of loyal officers and advisors. When the Janissaries refuse the reforms, Mahmud has them isolated and killed throughout the empire. All Janissarie institutions razed and rooted out.

-a new military corps is reorganized bys sending officers to school in England and using Prussian trainers and advisers.

1828- parts of Armenia not controlled by the Ottomans are taken over by Russia.

1828-1829- the Russo-Turkish war. The system of Kurdish local rule installed by Idris in 1515 comes to an end.

-by this time Kurdish local power has increased and spread as far as Angora.



Invasion by the Egyptian Viceroy, Muhammed Ali.

-1831- Muhammed Ali, Egyptian viceroy to the Ottomans, deals with rebellions against the Ottomans in Saudi Arabia and in Greece. The Ottoman Sultan, Mahmoud, having promised him Syria and Palestine as a reward, renegs. Ali rebels, takes Syria and from Syria occupies Palestine. He and his son open the area to European influence.

1831-40- Egyptian occupation of Syria and Palestine. Because Ali is a protege of France, France refuses to help the Sultan. Ali wins Cilicia, Palestine and Syria.

-Mohammed Ali invites the French Jesuits to set up in Lebanon where the Jesuits become protectors of the Maronite Christians.

-Britain, meanwhile, allies itself with Druze chieftains in southern Lebanon

1834- After the Kurds attempt independence, the Ottomans dismantle the system of local rule adopted by Idris. Under Rashid Pasha, the Kurds are subjugated and Kurdish Beys are replaced by Turkish governors.


Ottoman Reforms.

1834- a national militia is set up by the Ottomans to supervise military training in the remote provinces.

-the power of the provinces is reduced. Roads, trade, postal service and communications are reformed. Corruption is reduced.

-education of medical and army personnel in French, English and German and leads to enlightenment and adoption of western ideas. Western books printed. When the clergy objected or blocked the reforms, they were ignored or killed outright.

-western style dress is introduced and sometimes enforced; Turkish dress is moderated. However, all of Mahmud’s reforms only reached the elite in and around Istanbul- elsewhere their application was only superficial. The administration remains conservative.

1839- death of Mahmud II.

-Mahmud’s proclamation of constitutional reform, the Tanzimat, inspired by British reforms of the 1830s, is issued after his death.

-Reshid Pasha, his advisor, promotes the reform. It promises protection of life and property for all creeds, tax reform, reform of conscription pratices. Enforcement of the rule of law for all classes. Attack on corruption. Reshid’s reform movement is known at the Tanzimat.

Muhammed Ali of Egypt is Stopped by the English.

-1840-1 -in a bid to stop the center of power in the Middle East moving to French-supported Egypt, the British invade and expel Muhammed Ali from Syria and Palestine and the Ottomans reassert control. Nevertheless, western influence continues to penetrate the area.the allied powers in Europe, minus France, force Ali to withdraw from Syria to Egypt.

Lebanon: the Maronite-Druze Civil War.

-1840- the Maronite-Druze feudal system falls apart. A civil war begins which will last until 1860.

1841- Reshid is dismissed and his campaign of reform is dropped as the regime becomes more conservative while turning anti-Christian.

1843- France and Britain persuade the Sultan to allow French-backed administration by the Maronites in the north and British-backed Druze administration by the British in the south.

-the treaties of capitulation 0f 1536 and 1740 become the means for the French to intervene in Lebanon in local affairs.

-peasant uprising against both Druze and Maronite rule in Lebanon.

1843- another Kurdish rebellion led by Bedr Khan Bey is suppressed.

Ottoman Reforms Backfire.

1845- Reshid attempts his reforms again by attempting to westernize the education system.

1851- religious conservatives block Reshid’s education reforms. Local conservative notables co-opt his attempts to strengthen provincial governments.

-the young, upper class Ottoman intelligentsia profits by the reforms and begin to write modern scholarly works.

-the remote non-Muslim corners of the empire also exploit the influx of western ideas to undermine Ottoman dominance. In the Balkans, Christian nationalist sentiments are aroused and rebellions are put down by force

-Anatolia, the most Turkish part of the empire, remains the most backward. Everywhere else, the Turks are in a minority.

-Muslims tend to compete for political positions, while entrepreneurship and progress in commerce is left to Jews, Greeks and Armenians and through them, the Europeans. Increasingly the Muslim population has contempt for Christians and their modernizing tendencies.

-all reform and modernization took place mostly at the top of society and even then it was superficial.

The Crimean War.

-Britain regards Turkey as a barrier to Russian expansion.

-The Sultan begins to give in to Russian pressure to restore Russia as the guarantor of Christianity and the Holy Places of the Middle East. In the end, however, the Sultan sides with England and France. In response, Russia occupies neighbouring Ottoman provinces of Wallachia and Moldovia under the pretext of protecting Russian Orthodoxy. The Russian action sparks the Crimean war.

-1854- under threat of war, Napoleon III forces the Ottoman Sultan to recognize France as protector of the Christians in the Levant. In this he had British support against the ambitions of Russia in the Middle East

1853-1856. Crimean war. Ottoman westernizers attempt to weaken Russian claims that non-Muslims are suffering under Ottoman rule. Istanbul is urged to adopt reforms. Even conservatives, influenced by young westernizers begin to back reform.

-after the Crimean war the Ottomans strengthen their hold over the Kurds.

-in Lebanon, Maronite Christians, with French support and European cultural influence begin to challenge the Druzes. The local Ottoman governor inflames the conflict in hopes that the groups would destroy one another.

1855- Jerusalem expands beyond its city walls. Its population, once small and stagnant, increases.

-the Palestinian Arab Husayni family takes over large tracts of land in southern Palestine
Failed Attempts at Economic Reform

1856 -French and English allies of Turkey pressure the Sultan to adopt reforms with the “Hatti-Humayun”, a second edict of reform promoting tolerance, tax reform, modernization of the role of banks and investment houses.. However the reforms are mostly ignored by. anti-Christian Muslims. Officials, enraged by Christian-revolts in the Balkans, evade all implementation.

-Midhat Pasha, governor of Bulgaria crushes Christian rebellions but builds roads, hospitals, schools, cooperatives. He is equally hard on Muslims and Christians.

-Midhat Pasha then becomes governor of Iraq and later of Salonika.

-Sultan Abdul Aziz almost bankrupts the empire with spending.

Lebanon- bloody climax of civil war.

-1860- in Ottoman Lebanon, Druze Muslims clash again with Maronite Christians. Maronites were considered to be dhimmi, like Jews and Christians- 2nd class citizens.

-Lebanon: Druze Muslims massacre Maronite Christians, killling 14,000. The violence spreads to Damascus where Kurdish, Druze and Syrian Muslims kill 5,000 Christians and Jews.

-the Vatican conducts its affairs in Lebanon through French diplomats

-1861- France intervenes and forces the Ottoman sultan to appoint an Osmanli Christian governor for a special province or 'Sanjak' of Lebanon. As a result the Maronite Christians are awarded a special enclave.

-a Majlis or administrative council is set up on the basis of equal representation of Maronites, Greek Catholics, Greek Orthodox, Druzes, Metawilas Muslims and other Muslim sects...

-Britain forces France to withdraw from Lebanon. An international commission declares it an autonomous region. French influence is sustained, however, through commerce, trade and religion.

-1864- Lebanon is to be governed separately from Syria as an autonomous region.

1864-1914- the Ottoman province of Mount Lebanon retains semi-autonomous status. But during this period many Lebanese Christians flee Ottoman rule or internal violence. The links maintained between Lebanese abroad and those still at home form an important cultural bridge between Lebanon and Europe.

-however, Muslims educated in Europe did not form the same bonds with the west and western ways. Even Lebanese Muslims educated abroad continued to identify with their Osmanli rulers

Kurish and Armenian nationalism

-a sense of nationalism begins to develop among the Kurds.

-strong nationalism among the Armenians results in aggressive treatment both by the Russians and the Ottomans.

Grand Vizier Midhat Pasha and the New Constitution.

1876--Midhat Pasha overthrows Sultan Aziz in a coup. The new sultan dies and is replaced by his brother, Abdul Hamid II. He appoints Midhat Pasha as his vizier. Midhat and Hamid adopt a new constitution. Belgian and French constitutions are used as models. Universal equality before the law is declared and a two-chamber assembly along with some decentralization of government.

-however, Midhat refuses to delegate control of treasury, support abolition of the slave trade or allow mixed Muslim-Christian schools.

-Midhat modernizes the army with British and German advisors and armaments.

1877-78- Hamid III suspends the constitution under the pretext of a new Russo-Turkish war. Midhat is exiled. Reformers were fired and some imprisioned.

-1878- French predominance in Lebanon is recognized by the Berlin Treaty. Lebanese eastern Christians become a means of French influence in the Levant.

-by 1880--2.5 million persecuted Armenians in the Ottoman Empire are encouraged by Russia to seek autonomy.

1880- Ottoman government, in debt to Europe, is bankrupted by the war with Russia. Taxes and tarrifs used to pay off the debt.

-as debt is paid off, European business interests penetrate the empire, bring more western ideas, innovation and modernization.

-as Hamid modernizes he turns the Ottoman empire into a police state. Tries to distract the public with an Islamic revivial.

1880-81- Kurds under Sheikh Obaidullah attempt to found an independent principality under Turkish protection. The Ottomans approve but then rescind the idea after Obaidullah carries out a raid into Persia.

1882- settlement in Palestine by a first wave of Russian Jews in flight from pogroms in Russia.

-Palestinian peasants are impoverished under absentee landlords and Osmanli tax collectors. Palestinian Arabs and Christians, ruled in separate “millets” by the Ottomans, have little contact.

-northern Palestine is controlled by landlords based in Damascus and Beirut. The southern half is populated by nomadic Bedouin who range over the region from Jordan and Sinai

-most Palestinians associate themselves with Syria while the Husayni family takes on leadership of Palestinian Arabs. Between 1865 and World War I, 6 of Jerusalem’s 13 mayors are Husaynis.

-Arab nationalism begins to develop in opposition to Ottoman rule.

1883- Hamid has Midhat and other reformers strangled in prison.

-western-educated men in the Medical academy, the army and the engineering schools, develop an atheist, secular reform-minded movement against the sultan. They are concentrated in the Committee for Union and Progress (CUP).

-the Ottomanists, influenced by the multiethnic Austro-Hungarian Empire, support complete equality of all the peoples of the Ottoman empire. The Pan Turanists declare a Turkic racial-ethnic ideology.

-Kemal Ataturk, an army officer, helps found ‘Vatan’ (Fatherland), a secret society.

1891- in response to Armenian activism the ottomans strengthen the Kurds by raising the 'Hamidieh', a corps of irregular Kurdish cavalry. Kurds and Armenians, previously frendly are turned against one another.

Beginning of the Armenian Genocide.

-2.5 million persecuted Armenians in the Ottoman Empire are encouraged by Russia to seek autonomy.

1894- Armenians refuse to pay increased taxes. Sultan Abd al Hamid II begins the systematic killing of the Armenian population.

1894-97- first Armenian genocide. Kurds, armed by the Ottomans against the Armenians, take part in massacres.

1896- Armenians seizure of the First Ottoman Bank sets off riots in Istanbul in which 50,000 Aremanians perish.

1904-14- a second wave of Jewish settlers in Palestine- primarily intellectual and middle class. So far there is only desire for refuge, not for a state.

-to Arabist scholars and to Arab nationalists, Palestine is historically a part of southern Syria and as such is no less Arab than any other Arab region in the Middle East.

1907- all Ottoman revolutionary groups from home and abroad convene at Paris and form the middle class, liberal and nationalist Society of Union and Progress under the auspices of the CUP.

1908- the Young Turks of CUP threaten an uprising and demand from Hamid the restoration of the 1876 constitution. Hamid reconvenes the long defunct parliament and appoints a new cabinet acceptable to the CUP. Muslims, Jews and Christians celebrate a new area of freedom.

-women discard the veil and western advisors are brought in.

-the CUP dominates the government and parliament. It becomes authoritarian and alienates the empire with free-thinking, atheism and Turkic ultra-nationalism.

1909- 14 April- Andul Hamid and the conservative League of Mohammed overthrow the CUP government.

-in 11 days, CUP storms Istanbul, deposes Hamid and puts his brother Mehmet V on the throne. A general purge follows.

-CUP’s repressive Turkocentric rule results in rebellions all over the empire. The Balkans are lost. Arab uprisings in Syria and Yemen. Pan Turanism takes over. CUP wants to force all subjects to become Turks.

1912- Tripoli (Libya) is lost to Italy.

1913- the Young Turks of CUP consolidate their power in a coup d’etat.

-1913-1918- Ottoman empire is under the dictatorial triumvirate of Talat Bey, Enver Pasha and Jemal Pasha. Ottoman empire is effectively a police state. More attempts are made to westernize the military.

-Enver Pasha, enamoured of Prussia, brings in German military advisors.

1914- post-Ottoman Turkey retains the ‘sanjak’ of Lebanon

1914- the Ottoman empire falls into alliance with Germany, Austria-Hungary and Bulgaria.

1915- April- Australian and allied troops defeated by the Turks in Gallipoli after an attempt to invade Turkey at the Dardanelles

Slaughter of the Armenians

-Russia secretly recruits Armenians to fight against Turkey.

April- Turkey accuses Armenia of assisting Russian invasion. The Young Turk government continues the policy of liquidation begun by Sultan Hamid II in 1894, deporting 1.7 million Armenians (2/3 of the population) to Syria and Palestine. 600,000 were either murdered or died during transportation.

April 20- Armenian rebellion centered on the fortress of Van.

Aug 3-5- Russians forced by Turkish troops to withdraw from Van which is then occupied by Turkey.

May 19- Russian troops relieve the Armenians at Van. But the campaign of extermination by the Turks will continue until 1923.

The British-Arab Invasion of Palestine and Transjordan.

-the British, with the help of the Arabs, wrest Palestine from the Ottomans

1917- Arabia revolts against Turkish rule with the assistance of TE Lawrence.

-Baghdad and Jerusalem also rebel against Istanbul.

1917- the Balfour Declaration: Britain declares support for the idea of a Jewish homeland in Palestine.

1918- Turkey is defeated on its Middle Eastern and European fronts.

Oct. 18- Sultan Muhammed VI signs an armistice with the allied powers. The Ottoman empire comes to an end.

1918- urged by Lenin, declaration of an Armenian Republic takes advantage of collapse of Ottomans and Russian Civil War. Russia occupies the remainder as a bulwark against Turkey.

1919- French troops under General Gouraud replace British troops in the Lebanon.

-the British allow the Emir Faisal to be military governor of Damascus.

-1919- the US King-Crane Commission finds that Maronites want to retain close ties with France while the Muslim majority opposes separating Lebanon from Syria. The Commission recommends the compromise of an autonomous Lebanese province within a larger Syrian State.

1920- Aug. 10 -the Treaty of Sevres makes Syria a French protectorate and Palestine and Jordan a British protectorate. It also promises a separate state of Kurdistan.

-the Turkish ‘sanjak’ of Lebanon is enlarged by the French into ‘Greater Lebanon’.

-the Lebanese Maronite Christian enclave is expanded to form modern Lebanon, governed separately from Syria but still under French mandate. It includes coastal Muslim regions despite Muslim protest.

-Turkey occupies eastern Armenia. The Russians, disregarding earlier guarantees of independence, occupy the remainder.

1920- the nationalists defy the sultan and set up a national government in Ankara.

1921- the government in Ankara concludes a friendship treaty with the USSR.

-the allies encourage a Greek offensive against the Turkish nationalists from Izmir.

1922- the Turks capture Izmir, defeating the Greeks.

1922- Turkish nationalists led by Kemal Atatutk refuse to accept the peace terms of the Treaty of Sevres (1920).

Nov. 1 The Turkish nationalist government deposes the Sultan.

1922- the USSR annaxes Armenia.

1923- The Treaty of Lausanne. The Turks renegotiate the treaty of Sevres, establishing the present day borders of Turkey. Greeks living in Turkey repatriated to Greece Turks livin in Greece and Blugaria are repatriated to Turkey. Contrary to expressed intentions at Sevres which is quashed anyway by Kemal Atattuk, the allies declare no state of Kurdistan.

-hope for a Kurdistan further declines as Britain pursues its own interests in Kurdish oil fields , aided by her League of Nations Mandate.

-national boundaries formed after WW I restrict a nomadic, herding and agricultural practices of the Kurds who had previously roamed across borders, further reducing any sense of national integrity.

1923- 29 Oct.- Republic of Turkey founded by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk on 6 principles: 1) republicanism 2) nationalism 3) populism. 4) statism 5) secularism 6) reformism (Westernization).

1924- the religious Caliphate is abolished. The constitution established democracy and universal male suffrage. Most Islamic customs are abolished during a successful program of westernization.

1924-32- First Kurdish Revolt directed against the British Mandate.

1925- Turkey represses a Turkish revolt in the eastern provinces. The region will be subject to military rule intil 1946.

1926- European codes of criminal, civil and commercial law are adopted.

1927- Ataturk re-elected.

1932- Turkey enters the League of nations.

1931- Ataturk re-elected

1934- women win the right to vote.

1935- Ataturk re-elected. Turkey is almost completely modernized and westernized

1938- death of Kemal Ataturk.

-Ismet Inonu succeeds Ataturk.

1939-1944- Turkey neutral in World War II.

1945- Turkey declares war on Japan and Germany in order to join the UN.

1945- President Inonu brings in relaxed rule with People’s Republican Party (RPP) and allies formation of new parties.

1946- right wing Democratic Party (DP) formed.

1946- military rule is lifted in the Kurdish eastern provinces and deportees are allowed to return.

1950- the DP wins elections.

1952- abandoning neutrality, Turkey joins NATO as its easternmost member. It has control over passage of the Soviet fleet through the Bosporus.

-President Menderes (DP) liberalizes the economy and relaxes controls on Islam provoking the ire of the RPP.

-Menderes restores limited autonomy and political freedom at the tribe and village level to Kurdish areas

1950s and 1960s- Kurish nationalist renaissance flourishes.

1960-Menderes becomes authoritarian until overthrown in a coup by the army. Henceforth the army is seen as protector of the legacy of Ataturk.

1958-74- Iraq: Second Kurdish Revolt sparked by the new Iraqi revolutionary government's disregard for Kurdish rights.

1961- Inonu’s RRP is re-elected.

-the army uses emergency powers to exile several Kurdish agas. The power of the agas is destroyed and the tribal structure broken.

1965- RRP is defeated in elections by Demerel of the Justice Party (JP), successor to the DP.

1960s- Rise of Islamic fundamentalism and radical Marxism. They garner support as Turks protest the West’s discouragement of Turkish abitions in Cyprus.

-in the wake of Menderes liberalism toward the Kurds, repression returns to Kurdish areas,

1970- Iraq and the Kurdistan Democratic Party agree to the formation in principle of an autonomous Kurdistan in the north of Iraq.

1971- Military coup. Constitution of 1961 suspended.

1973- military rule ends with the election of Ecevit.

1974- the autonomous Iraqi region of Kurdistan, with its own governing bodies, becomes official.

1974- Turkish military invades, taking control of northeastern Cyprus. Relations with the allies are strained and the US imposes a four year trade embargo.

1970s- minority governments prevent progress and reform, encouraging Islamic fundamentalism.

1980- military takes power in a coup.

1980-85- Martial law imposed.

1984- PKK- the Kurdish Worker’s Party (Marxist) is formed. It begins a campaign of attacks on the Turkish state and military in order to form an independent Kurdistan.

1984-94- PKK terror attacks claim 6,000 lives.

1987- the True Path party (DYP) comes to power as successor to the JP and DP. It attempts economic reform, tries to stop the rise of Islamism under the Welfare Party and to put down thPKK.

-Turkey plunges into an economic crisis. Regimes of Demirel (JP) and Ciller (DYP) bring about austerity which only strneghtens Islamic Fundamentalism.

-1990- with the falll of the Sovoet Union Turkey attempts to be mother of all Turkic Islamic nations in Asia.

1991- after Iraq's defeat in the 1st Gulf War, northern Iraq is declared a Kurdish safe haven with Kurds north of the 38th parallel protected by a 'no-fly-zone' enforced from NATO airbases in Turkey.

-Masoud Barzani leads a Turkish rebellion against Baghdad. When the uprising is burutally suppressed, Kurdish refugees flood into Turkey.

1992- fighting breaks out involving the Kurdish PKK results in the bombing of Kurdish bases in Iraq and Syria.

-Turkey recognizes Kurdish cultural distinctiveness but not Kurdish political rights.

1995- Nekmettin Erbekan elected with the Welfare Party, the largest single party, with 21.3 % of the vote.

-the WP forms an alliance with Ciller’s DYP.

-the WP changes into the Virtue Party (VP)

1998- the court bans the WP for offences against the secular constitution. Erbekan is banned from political life for 5 years.

1999- Abdullah Ocalan, leader of the PKK is captured by the Turkish military and sentenced to death. The PKK begins to disband. But Kurish political leaders continue to be harassed.

1999- WP loses badly to Ecevit who applies for entry to the EU, cracks down on the PKK

1999- Helsinki Conferecne- Turkey’s application is recognized pending improvements in human rights, democracy etc.

2000- VP is banned by the courts.

-Kurdistan, or the region of southeast Turkey and adjoining areas of Syria, Iraq, Iran and southern Armenia where there is a Kurdish majority, has a population of about 24 million, 13 million of which are in Turkey. Although they have claims on a homeland, they are a linguistic, rather than a territorial or religious minority.

2001- Turkey protests as France recognizes victims of the Armenian genocide of_____

2001- Court bans the Virtue party for anti-secular activities.

2002- women achieve legal equality with men.

2002- eight ministers resing over Ecevit’s handling of the economic crisis. Foregin Minister Cem launches new social democratic party for EU membership.

2002- legislation is passed in Ankara which will allow Turkey to enter the EU. Abolition of death penalty and press censorship; political and cultural rights for minority groups. This eases a good deal of pressure on the Kurds.

2002- Nov. –Recep Erdogan’s Islamic Justice and Development Party (JDP) winds landslide election.

2003- Erdogan wins a seat in parliament and replaces Abdullah Gul as Prime Minister.

-Turkish parliament votes not to let the US use Turkey for the invasion of Iraq.

-parliament passes more on Kurdish rights and restrictions on the military to qualify for the EY.

2004- PKK ends ceasefire in response to military operations against it.

2004- March  12-Syria- the Qamishli Massacre. After an incident in a foorball stadium in Al Qamishli, 65 people were killed and more than 160 were injured in days of clashes starting from 12 March. Kurdish sources indicated that Syrian security forces used live ammunition against civilians after clashes broke out at a football match between Kurdish fans of the local team and Arab supporters of a visiting team from the city of Deir el-Zor.

-EU agrees to 2005 talks on Turkish membership on condition that Turkey recognize Cyprus as member of the EU.

2005- President Sezer vetos amendment on restrictions on teaching of the Koran but parliament overturns his veto.

2006- spring- Kurdish protestors killed in clashes with Turkish military in southeast.

2006- May- Islamist gunman shoots four to death in Turkish high court.

2006- September- terrorist bombings of Turkish resorts. Kurdish Freedom Falcons claim responsibility.

2006- 30 September- PKK declares unilateral ceasefire.

2007- Armenian journalist and activist Hrant Dink is assassinated. Prime Minister Erdogan calls it an offence against democracy and freedom of expression.

April- thousands of demonstrators for secularism protest Erdgan’s decision to run again for office because of his Islamist past.

April Erdogan steps down and the AK party (JDP) has his foreign minister Abdullah Gul run in his place. Standoff between Islamists and secularists.

May- Elections are moved up to July 22 to end the standoff.

Turkish military prepares for a possible incursion into Iraq to quell PKK insurgents.

July 22- AK party wins elections.

October- PPK Kurdish separatists guerillas score high casualties in an attack on Turkish troops in the south-eastern Kurish border region.

-Turkey announces it is considering a cross-border military incursion to neutralize PKK units in northern Iraq. The US abjects strongly to any attempts by Turkey to destabilize northern Iraq, the relatively stable region, strongly supported by Washington.

-Oct. 11- The US House of Representatives passes a resolution condenming the Armenian genocide; the mass extermination and relocation of Armenians carried out in Arenia by Turkey in 1915.

-Oct. 12- The White House, CIA boss Robert Gates and Condoleeze Rice warn that censuring Turkey for the genocide at this time will endanger the US alliance with Turkey, its dependence on its Turkish air base for transporting military supplies to iraq and to Afghanistan, as well as the stibility of the boder region in Iraq.

 Turkish attacks

2007 October - Turkish parliament gives go-ahead for military operations in Iraq in pursuit of Kurdish rebels. Turkey comes under international pressure to avoid an invasion.

2007 December - Turkey launches air strikes on fighters from the Kurdish PKK movement inside Iraq.

2008 February - Turkish forces mount a ground offensive against PKK Kurdish rebel bases in northern Iraq.

2008 September - Iraqi parliament passes provincial elections law. City of Kirkuk, claimed by Kurdistan Region, is excluded from provisions of law until its status is settled.

2009 April - Turkish warplanes bomb PKK Kurdish rebel positions in northern Iraq after Turkey accused the group of killing Turkish soldiers in two attacks.

2009 June - The Kurdish government begins crude oil exports to foreign markets. Contractors are to pump 90,000-100,000 barrels a day from two northern oilfields to Turkey. The central government is allowing its pipeline to be used in return for a share of revenues.

2009 July - Massoud Barzani is re-elected as president of Kurdish autonomous region.
Ruling two-party coalition wins parliamentary election, but with reduced majority. Recently-formed group Change Movement (Gorran) wins 25 seats in 111-seat regional parliament.

2011 February - Public protests against corruption and power held by KDP and PUK start in Sulaymaniyah city, heartland of opposition Change Movement; at least two protestors killed.

 Syrian Civil War

The Kurds are Syria's largest ethnic minority, making up more than 10% of the population at between two and three million people, concentrated largely in the north of the country. (BBC)

2011- Kurds participated in the early stages of the Syrian Uprising in smaller numbers than their Syrian Arab counterparts. This was explained as being due to the Turkish endorsement of the opposition and Kurdish under representation in the Syrian National Council. (Wikipedia)

 2011- March- Since the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad began in Syria in March 2011, the Kurds have largely sought to keep the fighting out of the areas under their control, by avoiding conflict both with the regime and the opposition.

2011, Oct 7-  Kurdish leader Mashall Tammo was gunned down in his apartment by masked men widely believed to be government agents. During Tammo's funeral procession the next day in the town of Qamishli Syrian security forces fired into a crowd of more than 50,000 mourners, killing five people (Wikipedia)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2012_Syrian_Kurdish_rebellion

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kurds_in_Syria#Kurdish_rebellion

2012- July 12- Protests in the Kurdish inhabited areas of Syria evolved into armed clashes after the opposition Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) and ursich National Council (KNC) signed a cooperation agreementthat created the Kurdish Supreme Cimmittee as the governing body of all Kurdish controlled areas
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