Anatolia, known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula in Western Asia and the westernmost protrusion of the Asian continent.
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Eastern border of Anatolia has been held to be a line between the Gulf of Alexandretta and the Black Sea, bounded by the Armenian Highlands to the east and Mesopotamia to the southeast.
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Today, Anatolia is sometimes considered to be synonymous with Asian Turkey, thereby including the western part of the Armenian Highlands and northern Mesopotamia and making its eastern and southern borders coterminous with Turkey's borders.
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The Turkification of Anatolia began under the rule of the Seljuk Empire in the late 11th century and it continued under the rule of the Ottoman Empire between the late 13th and the early 20th century and it has continued under the rule of today's Republic of Turkey.
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However, various non-Turkic languages continue to be spoken by minorities in Anatolia today, including Kurdish, Neo-Aramaic, Armenian, North Caucasian languages, Laz, Georgian and Greek.
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Under this definition, Anatolia is bounded to the east by the Armenian Highlands, and the Euphrates before that river bends to the southeast to enter Mesopotamia.
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Vazken Davidian terms the expanded use of "Anatolia" to apply to territory in eastern Turkey that was formerly referred to as Armenia an "ahistorical imposition" and notes that a growing body of literature is uncomfortable with referring to the Ottoman East as "Eastern Anatolia.
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English-language name Anatolia derives from the Greek meaning "the East" and designating (from a Greek point of view) eastern regions in general.
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Oldest known name for any region within Anatolia is related to its central area, known as the "Land of Hatti" – a designation that was initially used for the land of ancient Hattians, but later became the most common name for the entire territory under the rule of ancient Hittites.
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Neolithic Anatolia has been proposed as the homeland of the Indo-European language family, although linguists tend to favour a later origin in the steppes north of the Black Sea.
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The Phrygian expansion into southeast Anatolia was eventually halted by the Assyrians, who controlled that region.
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In classical antiquity, Anatolia was described by Herodotus and later historians as divided into regions that were diverse in culture, language and religious practices.
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Anatolia is known as the birthplace of minted coinage as a medium of exchange, some time in the 7th century BCE in Lydia.
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In 133 BCE the last Attalid king bequeathed his kingdom to the Roman Republic, and western and central Anatolia came under Roman control, but Hellenistic culture remained predominant.
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Anatolia was one of the first places where Christianity spread, so that by the 4th century CE, western and central Anatolia were overwhelmingly Christian and Greek-speaking.
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Anatolia's wealth grew during the 4th and 5th centuries thanks, in part, to the Pilgrim's Road that ran through the peninsula.
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Control of Anatolia was then split between the Byzantine Empire and the Seljuk Sultanate of Rum, with the Byzantine holdings gradually being reduced.
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Western and southern Anatolia, which have a Mediterranean climate, contain Mediterranean forests, woodlands, and scrub ecoregions.
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Largest cities in Anatolia are Izmir, Bursa, Antalya, Konya, Adana, Izmit, Mersin, Manisa, Kayseri, Samsun, Balikesir, Kahramanmaras, Aydin, Tekirdag, Adapazari, Denizli, Mugla, Eskisehir, Trabzon, Ordu, Afyonkarahisar, Sivas, Tokat, Zonguldak, Kutahya, Canakkale, Osmaniye, Sirnak and Corum.
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