Jewish communities have lived in Asia Minor since Roman times, the fourth century BCE. Ottoman rulers welcomed the Jews of Iberia into the Ottoman lands after their expulsions from Spain in 1492 and Portugal in 1497. The Ottoman lands became the new core for the development of Sephardic Jewish culture and most Ottoman cities had populations of Sephardic, that is Judeo-Spanish or Ladino speaking Jews. There were roughly 500,000 Jews in the Ottoman Empire at the turn of the nineteenth century, but the loss of Balkan territories from 1829-1913 did severely reduce these numbers. The largest populations of Ottoman Jews by far were in the capital, Istanbul, with roughly 30,000 Jews and in Thessaloniki with its population of over 61,000 Jews. The latter was lost to Greece after the First Balkan War in 1912-1913. An estimated 26,000 Jews live in modern Turkey.