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This empire, which would later be branded by historians as the Byzantine Empire, ruled most of the territory of present-day Turkey until the Late Middle Ages; although the eastern regions remained in firm Sasanian hands up to the first half of the seventh century.The frequent Byzantine-Sassanid Wars, as part of the centuries long-lasting Roman-Persian Wars, fought between the neighbouring rivalling Byzantines and Sasanians, took place in various parts of present-day Turkey and decided much of the latter's history from the fourth century up to the first half of the seventh century.
It remained powerful and influential for two more centuries, until important setbacks in the 18th and 19th century forced it to cede strategic territories in Europe, which signalled the loss of its former military strength and wealth.
After the 1913 Ottoman coup d'état, which effectively put the country under the control of the Three Pashas, the Ottoman Empire decided to join the Central Powers during World War I.
In its wake, one of the Turkish principalities governed by Osman I would evolve over the next 200 years into the Ottoman Empire.
In 1453, the Ottomans completed their conquest of the Byzantine Empire by capturing its capital, Constantinople.
Numerous important cities were founded by these colonists, such as Miletus, Ephesus, Smyrna (now İzmir) and Byzantium (now Istanbul), the latter founded by Greek colonists from Megara in 657 BC.
The first state that was called Armenia by neighbouring peoples was the state of the Armenian Orontid dynasty, which included parts of eastern Turkey beginning in the 6th century BC.
Turkey is bordered by eight countries with Greece and Bulgaria to the northwest; Georgia to the northeast; Armenia, the Azerbaijani exclave of Nakhchivan and Iran to the east; and Iraq and Syria to the south.
The country is encircled by seas on three sides with the Aegean Sea to the west, the Black Sea to the north, and the Mediterranean Sea to the south.
In 1071, the Seljuks defeated the Byzantines at the Battle of Manzikert, starting the Turkification process in the area; the Turkish language and Islam were introduced to Armenia and Anatolia, gradually spreading throughout the region.
The slow transition from a predominantly Christian and Greek-speaking Anatolia to a predominantly Muslim and Turkish-speaking one was underway.
During the war, the Ottoman government committed genocides against its Armenian, Assyrian and Pontic Greek subjects.