East Thrace

East Thrace

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East Thrace or Eastern Thrace ( or simply Trakya; , Iztochna Trakiya; , Anatoliki Thraki), also known as Turkish Thrace, is the part of the modern republic of Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

 that is geographically part of Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

, all in the eastern part of the historical region of Thrace
Thrace
Thrace is a historical and geographic area in southeast Europe. As a geographical concept, Thrace designates a region bounded by the Balkan Mountains on the north, Rhodope Mountains and the Aegean Sea on the south, and by the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara on the east...

; most of Turkey is in Anatolia
Anatolia
Anatolia is a geographic and historical term denoting the westernmost protrusion of Asia, comprising the majority of the Republic of Turkey...

, also known as Asia Minor. Turkish Thrace is also called European Turkey. This area includes the historic centre
Historic Areas of Istanbul
The Historic Areas of Istanbul were added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1985.It includes locations such as the Galata Bridge, the Seraglio Point where the Topkapı Palace, the Hagia Sophia, the Sultan Ahmed Mosque, the Yeni Mosque near the Galata Bridge, the Beyazıt Tower and the Süleymaniye...

 of old İstanbul
Istanbul
Istanbul , historically known as Byzantium and Constantinople , is the largest city of Turkey. Istanbul metropolitan province had 13.26 million people living in it as of December, 2010, which is 18% of Turkey's population and the 3rd largest metropolitan area in Europe after London and...

 (medieval Constantinople
Constantinople
Constantinople was the capital of the Roman, Eastern Roman, Byzantine, Latin, and Ottoman Empires. Throughout most of the Middle Ages, Constantinople was Europe's largest and wealthiest city.-Names:...

), as well as such cities as Edirne
Edirne
Edirne is a city in Eastern Thrace, the northwestern part of Turkey, close to the borders with Greece and Bulgaria. Edirne served as the capital city of the Ottoman Empire from 1365 to 1453, before Constantinople became the empire's new capital. At present, Edirne is the capital of the Edirne...

 (the historical capital of the Ottoman vilayet that comprised all Thrace), Tekirdağ
Tekirdag
Tekirdağ , the ancient Bisanthi , is a city in Eastern Thrace, in the European part of Turkey. Tekirdağ is the capital of Tekirdağ Province, felt by the local people to be a quieter and more pleasant town than the industrial centre of Çorlu, which it administers. The city population as of 2009 was...

, Çorlu
Çorlu
Çorlu is a northwestern Turkish city in inland Eastern Thrace that falls under the administration of the Province of Tekirdağ. It is a rapidly developing industrial center built on flatland located off the E80 highway between Istanbul and Turkey's border with Greece and Bulgaria. As of the 2000...

, Lüleburgaz
Lüleburgaz
Lüleburgaz, is a town and district of Kırklareli Province in the Marmara region of Turkey.-Facts:The city has a population of 100,412 and is the largest town in Kırklareli Province....

 and Kırklareli
Kirklareli
Kırklareli is the capital of Kırklareli Province in Eastern Thrace, on the European part of Turkey. The province has a coastline on the Black Sea. There is a Jewish community.-Name:It is not clearly known when the city was founded, nor under what name...

.

Geography


East Thrace, which is also known as European Turkey, holds about 12 percent of the population and has an area of 23 764 km² (3 percent of the country). Asiatic Turkey, called Anatolia or Asia Minor, has an area of 755 688 km² (97 percent of the country). The two are separated by the Dardanelles, Sea of Marmara and Straits of the Bosphorus, a route of about 361 km. The European portion is bordered on the west by Greece for 212 km and on the north by Bulgaria for 269 km.

History


East Thrace was the setting for several important historical events.
  • The Greek myth of Hero and Leander
    Hero and Leander
    Hero and Leander is a Byzantine myth, relating the story of Hērō and like "hero" in English), a priestess of Aphrodite who dwelt in a tower in Sestos on the European side of the Dardanelles, and Leander , a young man from Abydos on the opposite side of the strait. Leander fell in love with Hero...

     takes place in the ancient city of Sestus.
  • Aeneas
    Aeneas
    Aeneas , in Greco-Roman mythology, was a Trojan hero, the son of the prince Anchises and the goddess Aphrodite. His father was the second cousin of King Priam of Troy, making Aeneas Priam's second cousin, once removed. The journey of Aeneas from Troy , which led to the founding a hamlet south of...

     founded the city of Aenus
    Aenus (Thrace)
    Aenus , modern Enez in Turkey, was an ancient Greek city on the southeastern coast of Thrace. Formerly called Poltyobria , it was located near the mouth of the Hebrus River, not far from the Melas Gulf , which is formed by the Thracian Chersonesus to the east...

     while trying to find new lands during his mythological conquests.
  • After the death of Alexander the Great, in the period called the Diadοchi, Alexander's general Lysimachus
    Lysimachus
    Lysimachus was a Macedonian officer and diadochus of Alexander the Great, who became a basileus in 306 BC, ruling Thrace, Asia Minor and Macedon.-Early Life & Career:...

     (360-281 BC) became king of Thrace and established his capital in Lysimachia
    Lysimachia (Thrace)
    Lysimachia was an important Hellenistic Greek town on the north-western extremity of the Thracian Chersonese in what is now the European part of Turkey, not far from the bay of Melas .- History :...

    .
  • Çimpe Castle
    Çimpe Castle
    Çimpe Castle was a medieval fortification on the Gallipoli peninsula in modern Turkey. Its site is located along the Istanbul Caddesi between Bolayir and Gallipoli, commanding the narrowest point on the peninsula....

     was the first European territory held by the Ottoman Empire
    Ottoman Empire
    The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

    .
  • Edirne
    Edirne
    Edirne is a city in Eastern Thrace, the northwestern part of Turkey, close to the borders with Greece and Bulgaria. Edirne served as the capital city of the Ottoman Empire from 1365 to 1453, before Constantinople became the empire's new capital. At present, Edirne is the capital of the Edirne...

     was the second capital of the Ottoman Empire after Bursa.
  • The Gallipoli Campaign, one of the most important of the First World War, was fought near the city of Gelibolu
    Gelibolu
    Gelibolu, also known as Gallipoli , is the name of a town and a district in Çanakkale Province of the Marmara region, located in Eastern Thrace in the European part of Turkey on the southern shore of the peninsula named after it on the Dardanelles strait, two miles away from Lapseki on the other...

    .

Prior to the population exchange between Greece and Turkey
Population exchange between Greece and Turkey
The 1923 population exchange between Greece and Turkey was based upon religious identity, and involved the Greek Orthodox citizens of Turkey and the Muslim citizens of Greece...

, the distribution of nationalities in the local Sanjacks was as follows:
Ottoman Official Statistics, 1910
Sanjack Turks Greeks Bulgarians Others Total
Edirne 128,000 113,500 31,500 14,700 287,700
Kirk Kilisse 53,000 77,000 28,500 1,150 159,650
Tekirdağ 63,500 56,000 3,000 21,800 144,300
Gallipoli 31,500 70,500 2,000 3,200 107,200
Çatalca 18,000 48,500 - 2,340 68,840
Istambul 450,000 260,000 6,000 130,000 846,000
Total
%
744,000
46,11%
625,500
38,76%
71,000
4,40%
173,190
10,74%
1,613,690
Ecumenical Patriarchate Statistics, 1912
Total
%
604,500
36,20%
655,600
39,27%
71,800
4,30%
337,600
20,22%
1,669,500

Provinces


The region comprises the three il
Provinces of Turkey
Turkey is divided into 81 provinces, called il in Turkish .A province is administered by an appointed governor , and was formerly termed a "governorate" ....

(republican provinces) of Edirne
Edirne Province
Edirne Province is the westernmost province of Turkey, located in Eastern Thrace along the Greek and Bulgarian border. The city's wealth, population and importance increased after it was declared as the capital city of the Ottoman Empire...

, Kırklareli
Kirklareli Province
Kırklareli Province is a province in northwestern Turkey on the west coast of the Black Sea. The province neighbours Bulgaria to the north along a 180 kilometers long border. It borders the province of Edirne to the west and the province of Tekirdağ to the south and province of Istanbul to the...

 and Tekirdağ
Tekirdag Province
The Tekirdağ Province is in Trakya , the northwestern part of Turkey. The capital city is Tekirdağ. It is famous for its meatball called "Tekirdağ köfte" and the Turkish alcoholic drink called Tekirdağ rakısı.-Districts:...

, along with the European parts of İstanbul
Istanbul Province
Istanbul Province is a province located in north-west Turkey. It has an area of 5,196 km² and a population of 13,255,685. The population was 10,018,735 in 2000. It is surrounded by the provinces of Tekirdağ to the west, Kocaeli to the east, the Black Sea to the northern part and the Sea of...

 (Çatalca
Çatalca
Çatalca is a city and a rural district in Istanbul, Turkey. It is in Thrace, on the ridge between the Marmara and the Black Sea. Most people living in Çatalca are either farmers or those visiting vacation homes. Many families from Istanbul come to Çatalca during weekends to hike in the forests or...

 Peninsula or Avrupa Yakası for people of İstanbul) and Çanakkale
Çanakkale Province
Çanakkale Province is a province of Turkey, located in the northwestern part of the country. It takes its name from the town of Çanakkale.Like Istanbul, Çanakkale province has a European and an Asian part. The European part is formed by the Gallipoli peninsula, while the Asian part is largely...

. On the other hand, Istanbul, the Gelibolu (Gallipoli) Peninsula
Gallipoli
The Gallipoli peninsula is located in Turkish Thrace , the European part of Turkey, with the Aegean Sea to the west and the Dardanelles straits to the east. Gallipoli derives its name from the Greek "Καλλίπολις" , meaning "Beautiful City"...

 and Gökçeada (both part of Çanakkale Province
Çanakkale Province
Çanakkale Province is a province of Turkey, located in the northwestern part of the country. It takes its name from the town of Çanakkale.Like Istanbul, Çanakkale province has a European and an Asian part. The European part is formed by the Gallipoli peninsula, while the Asian part is largely...

) may not always be considered part of Thrace by Turks today .
Province Area
(km²)
Population
(2008 estimate)
Population density
(per km²)
Provinces formerly in the Vilayet of Edirne:
Edirne
Edirne Province
Edirne Province is the westernmost province of Turkey, located in Eastern Thrace along the Greek and Bulgarian border. The city's wealth, population and importance increased after it was declared as the capital city of the Ottoman Empire...

6,279 394,644 62.8
Kırklareli
Kirklareli Province
Kırklareli Province is a province in northwestern Turkey on the west coast of the Black Sea. The province neighbours Bulgaria to the north along a 180 kilometers long border. It borders the province of Edirne to the west and the province of Tekirdağ to the south and province of Istanbul to the...

6,550 336,942 51.4
Tekirdağ
Tekirdag Province
The Tekirdağ Province is in Trakya , the northwestern part of Turkey. The capital city is Tekirdağ. It is famous for its meatball called "Tekirdağ köfte" and the Turkish alcoholic drink called Tekirdağ rakısı.-Districts:...

6,218 770,772 123.9
Sub-total 19,047 1,502,358 78.8
İstanbul
Istanbul Province
Istanbul Province is a province located in north-west Turkey. It has an area of 5,196 km² and a population of 13,255,685. The population was 10,018,735 in 2000. It is surrounded by the provinces of Tekirdağ to the west, Kocaeli to the east, the Black Sea to the northern part and the Sea of...

 (European part)
3,421 8,232,849 2406.5
Çanakkale
Çanakkale Province
Çanakkale Province is a province of Turkey, located in the northwestern part of the country. It takes its name from the town of Çanakkale.Like Istanbul, Çanakkale province has a European and an Asian part. The European part is formed by the Gallipoli peninsula, while the Asian part is largely...

 (European part)
1,296 64,268 49.5
Total 23,764 9,799,745 824.7

See also

  • Geography of Turkey
    Geography of Turkey
    Turkey is situated in Anatolia and the Balkans, bordering the Black Sea, between Bulgaria and Georgia, and bordering the Aegean Sea and the Mediterranean Sea, between Greece and Syria. The geographic coordinates of the country lie at:...

  • Thrace
    Thrace
    Thrace is a historical and geographic area in southeast Europe. As a geographical concept, Thrace designates a region bounded by the Balkan Mountains on the north, Rhodope Mountains and the Aegean Sea on the south, and by the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara on the east...

  • Northern Thrace
    Upper Thracian Plain
    The Upper Thracian Plain constitutes the northern part of the historical region of Thrace. It is located in southern Bulgaria, between the Sredna Gora mountains to the north and west; the Rhodopes, Sakar and Strandzha to the south; and the Black Sea to the east. A fertile agricultural region, the...

  • Western Thrace
    Western Thrace
    Western Thrace or simply Thrace is a geographic and historical region of Greece, located between the Nestos and Evros rivers in the northeast of the country. Together with the regions of Macedonia and Epirus, it is often referred to informally as northern Greece...

  • Edirne Vilayet