Iron is a metal that literally changed history. It changed the way that people could farm, build things, and make weapons. When it was made into tools (either for everyday life or warfare) it was stronger than bronze. It made such an impact that a period of history is named after it. The beginning of the iron age effectively ended the bronze age. While this may not seem like a big deal, before bronze, most of mankind was still using stone implements. It was known as the Stone Age. This sets the stage. Traditional human history goes from the Stone Age, to the Bronze Age, and eventually into the Iron Age.
Iron solved many problems but it had it own setbacks. Eventually man would move to the next step, steel. Steel is a product that we still use today. The major problem with steel is that it is an alloy. You don't go dig a hole in the ground and pull out a chunk of steel that can be shaped into a sword. You have to add elements and other metals to get steel. The amounts of various materials will make different types of steel. This is important because the steel that you would use to build a skyscraper is not the same as the steel that is used in making a sword.
The question is, how did man make the jump from naturally occurring iron to a metal that requires a complex smelting process. While you use iron ore in the process of making steel, it has to be very high grade iron. For many years the only source of iron that was pure enough to be of any use came from remnants of iron heavy meteors that were found. While often, this may have just been a piece of metal that was found, occasionally people would see the actual object fall from the sky.
Because it came from the "gods" the metal was considered to have magical qualities. This could have very easily helped to give rise to legends surrounding certain weapon . Many warrior groups have a legends of weapons that have almost supernatural powers. Why wouldn't they? The material that is used to make the sword came from the sky, which in their minds is where the Gods live. Another reason that magical powers may have been attributed to it is many meteorites have an iron core. Pure iron core, which would make for a better weapon. When the transformation was made to steel, these sky stones contained pure iron and making it into steel would have been easier.
Since the iron that was pure enough to make steel often came from the meteorites it was very rare. There are pockets of civilizations that dominated various regions. This could be because the meteorite iron was more abundant. In other parts of the world, the steel that could be made from this iron was very precious and was usually used as jewelry and other adornments. It basically was used in the same way that gold or silver would have been used.
In a relatively short period of time, iron was replaced by steel on a much larger scale. It was done with the difficult smelting process. Using this process, steel became cheaper, more abundant and of a better quality. There is proof to this because the iron from meteors usually had a high nickel content. The remains found from this time period lacked the iron and had carbon. This combination made a light, strong, and powerful alloy that was perfect for swords and other weapons.
It is possible that the people of what is modern Turkey miraculously stumbled across a completed smelting process as well as a correct recipe for weapons grade steel? Of course that is a possibility, but with the history of war all over the planet and all the weapons, it is unlikely that a single guy came up with the "big secret".
Another possibility (and with the History Channel's show "Ancient Aliens", more and more people are becoming believers) is that beings from an extraterrestrial origin may have intervened to help mankind. While this may seem outlandish in traditional scientific circles, it is gaining popularity with the general public. Many, many people believe in beings from other worlds.
Why would aliens want to help mankind to build better weapons? There are two theories that could answer this question.
1. If mankind is fighting among itself, there can be no unified front. If the extraterrestrials wanted to use planet Earth for any particular reason, maybe resources, a new home world or colony, or even a slave labor force, any of these would be easier if they can control the humans. A people that is unified would be much harder to control than 7 billion people (in today's population) that get along and put up a single unified front to stop the plans of these aliens.
2. The aliens want to help humankind. Weapons were not the primary reason for the sharing of technology. While the new nickel free carbon steel did make better weapons, it also revolutionized farming and other industries. From that period on, constructions projects took on different characteristics. As an example, without this kind of steel, our modern cities would be impossible. If the aliens wanted to help their galactic brothers, this would be a good way to do it.
Whether or not you believe that aliens came from space and taught man a new trick to make his life easier doesn't matter. There is still the question of how in, what amounts to a blink of time, the entire metallurgic history of mankind was changed. From the area around modern day Turkey, the spread of this "new process" can be historically traced. Given the history of mankind, this probably happened by warfare and trade, basically the same ways that new technologies are spread around the world today.
I think that the answer is, without a doubt, aliens did intervene and share a minor bit of knowledge for them yet it changed history for us. Of course that is a lay person's opinion, until we have absolute proof of extraterrestrial life, these topics will always be guesses and theories. Whatever the case, a few thousand years ago, something happened that showed man how to make steel from iron. What we take for granted just happened to change everyday life for almost all of mankind.