Turkey has been inhabited since the paleolithic age. After Alexander the Great’s conquest, the area was Hellenized, which continued with the Roman rule and the transition into the Byzantine Empire. The Seljuk Turks began migrating into the area in the 11th century, resulting in the Seljuk victory over the Byzantines at the Battle of Manzikert in 1071. Starting from the late 13th century, the Ottoman beylik united Anatolia and created an empire encompassing much of Southeastern Europe, Western Asia and North Africa, becoming a major power in Eurasia and Africa during the early modern period. The Turkish War of Independence, initiated by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and his colleagues, resulted in the establishment of the modern Republic of Turkey in 1923, with Atatürk as its first president.