The city today known as Istanbul has been the site of human settlement for approximately three thousand years. Thracian tribes founded a settlement here; its earliest known name was Lygos. It fell to the Roman Republic in BC,  and was known as Byzantium in Latin until , when the city, soon renamed as Constantinople , became the new capital of the Roman Empire. During late antiquity , the city rose to be the largest in the western world, with a population peaking at close to half a million people. Constantinople then became the capital of the Ottoman Turks.
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Christianity in Turkey has had a long history dating back to the 1st-century AD. In modern times the percentage of Christians in Turkey has declined from 20 to 25 percent in to 3—5. Exact numbers are difficult to estimate as many Muslim converts to Christianity often hide their faith for fear of discrimination or familial pressure. This was due to events which had a significant impact on the country's demographic structure, such as the First World War , the genocide of Greeks , Armenians and Syriacs including: Arameans , Assyrians , and Chaldeans , and the population exchange between Greece and Turkey ,  and the emigration of Christians such as Assyrians , Greeks , Armenians etc. There is also a small group of ethnic Orthodox-Christian Turks mostly living in Istanbul or Izmir who follow the Greek Orthodox or Syriac Orthodox church and additionally Protestant Turks who still face difficulties regarding social acceptance and also historic claims to churches or property in the country because they are from recent converts from Muslim Turkish backgrounds rather than ethnic minorities.
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