The significance of Asia Minor to the Empire (Proud East Roman Empire)
Asia Minor can be divided into two sub – regions, the western and the eastern one. The western sub – region is the fertile part of Asia Minor. Preserved from raids and invasions, it had always prospered and provided the Empire with wealth and manpower. The eastern sub – region, on the other hand, has been rather barren and thinly populated. However, its real importance lays with the fact that it had always been a natural buffer zone, a stronghold that preserved the western, fertile, part.
The battle of Manzikert triggered the loss of Anatolia (the east sub – region) and thus it signified the beginning of the end for the Byzantine Empire – in my opinion at least. Ever since, the Seljuk Turks, and after a while the Ottoman Turks, gradually incorporated Asia Minor into their own territory. Now, the Turkish could invade directly to the west part of Asia Minor, causing considerable financial and moral damage to the Empire. The Greek, Christian Orthodox population of western Asia Minor was eventually slaughtered, expelled or converted to Islam, while there was a continuous arrival of Turkic populations into Asia Minor.
Approximately four centuries after this battle Constantinople fell to the Ottomans and not much later the Ottoman Empire was established.