Country Briefs: The mother of Olympic games, the land of gods and goddesses, comprising of 1400 beautiful islands and breathtakingly beautiful sites such as Santorini, Greece is the place where fun and excitement never ends.
The beautiful country of Greece lies in the southern Europe and on the tip of the Balkan Peninsula. Greece is a border nation to Bulgaria, former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Albania and Turkey.
Bordered by the Aegean Sea in the east and the Ionian and Mediterranean Sea to the west and south respectively Greece covers an area of 309,050 square kilometers. Greece is ranked 74th in the world on the basis of its population that does not exceed 12 million.
If we ponder over the rich history of Greece we find that the country had its foremost civilization, the Minoans and the Mycenaeans near the Aegean Sea.
The Greeks established their colonies along the Mediterranean during the Dark Age.
Around 168 BC Greece was conquered and dominated by the Roman Empire. But the Greeks had full control over the eastern Mediterranean side of the country and so when the Roman Empire bifurcated into the eastern Roman Empire and the western one, the eastern half of it i.e. the Byzantine Empire was primarily Greek in nature.
The Byzantine Empire lasted for eleven centuries. Around 15th century the Ottoman Turks attacked and overpowered the Byzantines as a result of which Greece came under the domination of the Ottomans.
But while the Ottoman Turks were busy conquering the entire Greece the Greek intelligentsia migrated to the Western Europe particularly to Italy. While the Greeks residing in the plains went and settled in the Greek regions that were not under the Ottoman Empire.
Greece was under the Ottomans till 19th century. It was in 1821 that Greeks rose to nationalism and demanded their county's freedom. So they rebelled and declared their independence in 1829 but could not succeed in it.
However the Greeks did not lose hope and continued to rebel against the atrocious Turks. But the latter were still powerful and tried to suppress the Greek revolts when France, Great Britain and Russia made a military intervention.
Around 1774 Europe was a witness to the Eastern Question, when the Russio-Turkish War ended in defeat for the Ottoman Turks. As a result of this the Russian ex-minister of foreign affairs, Ioannis Kapodistrias was made the president of the new Republic of Greek independence. But soon that Republic was replaced by a Greek monarchy.
Greece persisted with its revenge and dislike for Ottomans and so stood against the Turks as well as the central powers (Austria-Hungary, Ottomans, Germany, Bulgaria) in the First World War. After this war Greece was awarded with a small portion of Asia Minor, located near the city of Izmir.
But Asia Minor was seized back by the Turks after emerging victorious in the Greco-Turkish war in 1919 to 1922. The war ended in the Treaty of Lausanne, a peace treaty that encircled the boundaries of Greece and Turkey.
During 1940, Greece was engaged in conflict with Italian dictator Mussolini. In 1941 Greece was invaded by Germany. Germany continued to rule over Greece till 1944 when the Greeks revolted against German empire. British, Australia and New Zealand also helped Greeks in its rebellion.
From 1946 to 1949 Greece witnessed the Greece civil war. The victory of government anti-communist forces led to Greece's membership in NATO, as a founding member in 1949.
In 1973 the head of the junta abolished him Greek monarchy.
On 1st January 1981 Greece joined the European union.
At present Greece is one of the most successful nations of the world.
- Prefecture: except for Mount Athos, which is an autonomous monastic community.
- HASC: Hierarchical administrative subdivision codes.
- ISO: Codes from ISO 3166-2.
- FIPS: Codes from FIPS PUB 10-4. Note: Mount Athos is not specifically mentioned in the standard, so I assume it's included in GR15 Khalkidiki.
- NUTS: Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics. Same note applies for Mount Athos.
- Population: 1991-03-17 census.
- Reg: Region, keyed to the Abv column in the table of regions below.
- Capital: Where two names are given, the first is the name most commonly found in English text. The second is a variant transliteration, a more Greek-like version, or an older name for the same city.