The Romans did not reach Turkey until the 1st century BC. The country was originally settled by indigenous Anatolian peoples. Around 1900 BC these early peoples were joined by the Indo-European Hittites, under whom it became an international power. After their collapse around 1200 BC Phrygians and Lydians invaded Anatolia, but in the east the Urartu (Armenian) kingdom was in power. The major Greek migrations took place soon after the end of the Bronze Age (c.1200 BC). Before that there were probably only Greek speaking communities in Anatolia and in Mycenean settlements on the Halicarnassus peninsula and at Miletus and Colophon. The later migrations stretched north of the Hermus (Gediz) river up to Pitane, with Cyme the most important settlement. Under Persian rule the Greeks penetrated into the interior. ‘Archaeological finds indicate considerable Greek colonizing activity on the south coast of Anatolia in the 8th century BC and on the north coast in the 7th century. From the middle of the 8th century Greek merchants were active on the Cilician coast. The two main Ionian cities were Ephesus and Miletus’.1

The coastal regions of Caria and Lycia, Pamphylia and Cilicia were developed in the Hellenistic period. In 334 – 333 the Macedonians under Alexander the Great conquered Anatolia from the Persians, but his empire did not last long and by 275 Anatolia was divided again. In 197 Antiochus conquered the whole coast of Anatolia from Cilicia to the Hellespont, took the war into Europe and was defeated by the Romans who became the strongest power in the Hellenistic East.
A new and final stage of Roman involvement was reached when Attalus III (138-133 BC), the last in the line of the Attalids, bequeathed the kingdom of Pergamon to Rome. All of Western Anatolia was then reorganized as the Roman province of Asia. The remainder of the peninsula came under Roman rule in the 1st century BC and remained part of the Roman and later Byzantine Empire, until the 11th century AD when it was partially occupied by the Seljuq Turks. All of Anatolia was taken over by the Ottoman Turks in the 14th century.

The references for cipollino in Turkey are in the Roman sites of Ephesus and Pergamon, and in Istanbul itself. These are the areas of research in the 1980s and the main sites which will be covered in this report.

1 The New Encyclopaedia Britannica, 15th Edition, Vol 28, Encyclopaedia Inc: Chicago, etc. 1987, pp. 909-912.
2 The New Encyclopaedia Britannica, 15th Edition, Vol. 28, pp. 909-912.