Ottoman Empire

Ottoman Empire

Overview
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries (since 1923, the name "Ottoman Empire" is preferred to avoid confusion with the Republic of Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

, see Names of the Ottoman Empire
Names of the Ottoman Empire
The state of the Ottomans which began as part of the Anatolian Seljuk Sultanate and became an independent Empire, has been known historically by different names at different periods and in various languages...

).
or Sublime Ottoman State (Ottoman Turkish
Ottoman Turkish language
The Ottoman Turkish language or Ottoman language is the variety of the Turkish language that was used for administrative and literary purposes in the Ottoman Empire. It borrows extensively from Arabic and Persian, and was written in a variant of the Perso-Arabic script...

: دَوْلَتِ عَلِيّهٔ عُثمَانِیّه Devlet-i ʿAliyye-yi ʿOsmâniyye, (also عثمانلى دولتى Osmanlı Devleti),After 1800s this phrase was being widely used by Ottoman citizens and officials.
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Timeline

1298   The reign of Osman I, founder of the Ottoman Empire, begins

1302   Battle of Bapheus: decisive Ottoman victory over the Byzantines opening up Bithynia for Turkish conquest.

1389   Battle of Kosovo: The Ottoman Empire defeats Serbs and Bosnians.

1389   The Ottomans defeat the Serbian army in the bloody Battle of Kosovo, opening the way for the Ottoman conquest of Southeastern Europe (see Vidovdan).

1444   Battle of Varna: The crusading forces of King Vladislaus III of Varna (aka ''Ulaszlo I of Hungary'' and ''Wladyslaw III of Poland'') are crushed by the Turks under Sultan Murad II and Vladislaus is killed.

1448   Second Battle of Kosovo, where the mainly Hungarian army led by John Hunyadi is defeated by an Ottoman army led by Sultan Murad II.

1451   Sultan Mehmed II inherits the throne of the Ottoman Empire.

1453   Fall of Constantinople: Ottoman armies under Sultan Mehmed II Fatih capture Constantinople after a 53-day siege, ending the Byzantine Empire. Although the date of May 29, 1453 is that of the Julian Calendar, the event is commemorated in Istanbul on this day of the present Gregorian calendar.

1475   Stephen III of Moldavia defeats the Ottoman Empire at the Battle of Vaslui.

1480   Battle of Otranto: Ottoman troops behead 800 Christians for refusing to convert to Islam.

 
Encyclopedia
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries (since 1923, the name "Ottoman Empire" is preferred to avoid confusion with the Republic of Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

, see Names of the Ottoman Empire
Names of the Ottoman Empire
The state of the Ottomans which began as part of the Anatolian Seljuk Sultanate and became an independent Empire, has been known historically by different names at different periods and in various languages...

).
or Sublime Ottoman State (Ottoman Turkish
Ottoman Turkish language
The Ottoman Turkish language or Ottoman language is the variety of the Turkish language that was used for administrative and literary purposes in the Ottoman Empire. It borrows extensively from Arabic and Persian, and was written in a variant of the Perso-Arabic script...

: دَوْلَتِ عَلِيّهٔ عُثمَانِیّه Devlet-i ʿAliyye-yi ʿOsmâniyye, (also عثمانلى دولتى Osmanlı Devleti),After 1800s this phrase was being widely used by Ottoman citizens and officials. Before 1800s, it was not popular but there are records showing Ottoman state was also called Osmanlı Devleti by its citizens Modern Turkish
Turkish language
Turkish is a language spoken as a native language by over 83 million people worldwide, making it the most commonly spoken of the Turkic languages. Its speakers are located predominantly in Turkey and Northern Cyprus with smaller groups in Iraq, Greece, Bulgaria, the Republic of Macedonia, Kosovo,...

: Yüce Osmanlı Devleti or Osmanlı İmparatorluğu) which lasted from 27 July 1299 to 29 October 1923, is one of 16 Turkish empires established throughout history.

The Ottoman Empire was one of the largest and longest lasting empires in history. It was an empire inspired and sustained by Islam, and Islamic institutions. At the height of its power, in the 16th and 17th centuries, it controlled territory in southeast Europe
Southeast Europe
Southeast Europe or Southeastern Europe is a relatively recent political designation for the states of the Balkans. Writers such as Maria Todorova and Vesna Goldsworthy have suggested the use of the term Southeastern Europe to replace the word Balkans for the region, to minimize potential...

, western Asia, and North Africa
North Africa
North Africa or Northern Africa is the northernmost region of the African continent, linked by the Sahara to Sub-Saharan Africa. Geopolitically, the United Nations definition of Northern Africa includes eight countries or territories; Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, South Sudan, Sudan, Tunisia, and...

. The Ottoman Empire contained 29 provinces and numerous vassal states
Vassal and tributary states of the Ottoman Empire
Vassal States were a number of tributary or vassal states, usually on the periphery of the Ottoman Empire under suzerainty of the Porte, over which direct control was not established, for various reasons.-Functions:...

, some of which were later absorbed into the empire, while others were granted various types of autonomy during the course of centuries.The empire also temporarily gained authority over distant overseas lands through declarations of allegiance to the Ottoman Sultan and Caliph
Ottoman Dynasty
The Ottoman Dynasty ruled the Ottoman Empire from 1299 to 1922, beginning with Osman I , though the dynasty was not proclaimed until Orhan Bey declared himself sultan...

, such as the declaration by the Sultan of Aceh in 1565, or through temporary acquisitions of islands such as Lanzarote
Lanzarote
Lanzarote , a Spanish island, is the easternmost of the autonomous Canary Islands, in the Atlantic Ocean, approximately 125 km off the coast of Africa and 1,000 km from the Iberian Peninsula. Covering 845.9 km2, it stands as the fourth largest of the islands...

 in the Atlantic Ocean
Atlantic Ocean
The Atlantic Ocean is the second-largest of the world's oceanic divisions. With a total area of about , it covers approximately 20% of the Earth's surface and about 26% of its water surface area...

 in 1585, Turkish Navy Official Website: "Atlantik'te Türk Denizciliği"


With Constantinople
Constantinople
Constantinople was the capital of the Roman, Eastern Roman, Byzantine, Latin, and Ottoman Empires. Throughout most of the Middle Ages, Constantinople was Europe's largest and wealthiest city.-Names:...

 (present-day Istanbul, Ottoman Turkish
Ottoman Turkish language
The Ottoman Turkish language or Ottoman language is the variety of the Turkish language that was used for administrative and literary purposes in the Ottoman Empire. It borrows extensively from Arabic and Persian, and was written in a variant of the Perso-Arabic script...

: استنبول, Istanbul and قسطنطينيه, Kostantiniyye) as its capital city, and vast control of lands around the eastern Mediterranean
Eastern Mediterranean
The Eastern Mediterranean is a term that denotes the countries geographically to the east of the Mediterranean Sea. This region is also known as Greater Syria or the Levant....

 during the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent
Suleiman the Magnificent
Suleiman I was the tenth and longest-reigning Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, from 1520 to his death in 1566. He is known in the West as Suleiman the Magnificent and in the East, as "The Lawgiver" , for his complete reconstruction of the Ottoman legal system...

 (ruled 1520 to 1566), the empire was at the center of interactions between the Eastern
Eastern world
__FORCETOC__The term Eastern world refers very broadly to the various cultures or social structures and philosophical systems of Eastern Asia or geographically the Eastern Culture...

 and Western
Western world
The Western world, also known as the West and the Occident , is a term referring to the countries of Western Europe , the countries of the Americas, as well all countries of Northern and Central Europe, Australia and New Zealand...

 worlds for six centuries.

The Ottoman Empire came to an end, as a regime
Regime
The word regime refers to a set of conditions, most often of a political nature.-Politics:...

 under a monarchy
Monarchy
A monarchy is a form of government in which the office of head of state is usually held until death or abdication and is often hereditary and includes a royal house. In some cases, the monarch is elected...

, on 1 November 1922. It formally ended, as a de jure
De jure
De jure is an expression that means "concerning law", as contrasted with de facto, which means "concerning fact".De jure = 'Legally', De facto = 'In fact'....

state
Sovereign state
A sovereign state, or simply, state, is a state with a defined territory on which it exercises internal and external sovereignty, a permanent population, a government, and the capacity to enter into relations with other sovereign states. It is also normally understood to be a state which is neither...

, on 24 July 1923, under the Treaty of Lausanne
Treaty of Lausanne
The Treaty of Lausanne was a peace treaty signed in Lausanne, Switzerland on 24 July 1923, that settled the Anatolian and East Thracian parts of the partitioning of the Ottoman Empire. The treaty of Lausanne was ratified by the Greek government on 11 February 1924, by the Turkish government on 31...

. The Republic of Turkey, which was officially proclaimed on 29 October 1923, became one of the successor states
Successor States
In the fictional BattleTech universe, the Successor States are the major military powers of the Inner Sphere, each governed by one of the Great Houses...

 of the Ottoman Empire as part of the treaty.

Rise of the Ottoman Empire (1299–1453)


With the demise of the Seljuk Sultanate of Rum
Sultanate of Rûm
The Sultanate of Rum , also known as the Anatolian Seljuk State , was a Turkic state centered in in Anatolia, with capitals first at İznik and then at Konya. Since the court of the sultanate was highly mobile, cities like Kayseri and Sivas also functioned at times as capitals...

 (c. 1300), Anatolia
Anatolia
Anatolia is a geographic and historical term denoting the westernmost protrusion of Asia, comprising the majority of the Republic of Turkey...

 was divided into a patchwork of independent states, the so-called Ghazi emirates. By 1300, a weakened Byzantine Empire
Byzantine Empire
The Byzantine Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire during the periods of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, centred on the capital of Constantinople. Known simply as the Roman Empire or Romania to its inhabitants and neighbours, the Empire was the direct continuation of the Ancient Roman State...

 had lost most of its Anatolian provinces to ten Ghazi principalities. One of the Ghazi emirates was led by Osman I
Osman I
Osman I or Othman I or El-Gazi Sultan Osman Ghazi, or Osman Bey or I. Osman, Osman Gazi Han), nicknamed "Kara" for his courage, was the leader of the Ottoman Turks, and the founder of the dynasty that established and ruled the Ottoman Empire...

 (from which the name Ottoman is derived), son of Ertuğrul
Ertugrul
Ertuğrul was the father of Osman I, the founder of the Ottoman Empire. He was the leader of the Kayı clan of the Oghuz Turks...

, around Eskişehir
Eskisehir
Eskişehir is a city in northwestern Turkey and the capital of the Eskişehir Province. According to the 2009 census, the population of the city is 631,905. The city is located on the banks of the Porsuk River, 792 m above sea level, where it overlooks the fertile Phrygian Valley. In the nearby...

 in western Anatolia. In the foundation myth expressed in the medieval Turkish story known as "Osman's Dream
Osman's Dream
Osman's Dream is an Old Turkish epic poem, narrative history, attributed to Osman I of Ottoman Empire, but most probably unknown authorship, dating at the 13th century. The work alludes to a dream experienced by the first sultan, Osman I, consisting of a summary of the rise and growth of the...

", the young Osman was inspired to conquest by a prescient vision of empire (according to his dream, the empire is a big tree whose roots spread through three continents and whose branches cover the sky). According to his dream the tree, which was Osman's Empire, issued four rivers from its roots, the Tigris
Tigris
The Tigris River is the eastern member of the two great rivers that define Mesopotamia, the other being the Euphrates. The river flows south from the mountains of southeastern Turkey through Iraq.-Geography:...

, the Euphrates
Euphrates
The Euphrates is the longest and one of the most historically important rivers of Western Asia. Together with the Tigris, it is one of the two defining rivers of Mesopotamia...

, the Nile
Nile
The Nile is a major north-flowing river in North Africa, generally regarded as the longest river in the world. It is long. It runs through the ten countries of Sudan, South Sudan, Burundi, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda and Egypt.The Nile has two major...

 and the Danube
Danube
The Danube is a river in the Central Europe and the Europe's second longest river after the Volga. It is classified as an international waterway....

. Additionally, the tree shaded four mountain ranges, the Caucasus
Caucasus Mountains
The Caucasus Mountains is a mountain system in Eurasia between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea in the Caucasus region .The Caucasus Mountains includes:* the Greater Caucasus Mountain Range and* the Lesser Caucasus Mountains....

, the Taurus
Taurus Mountains
Taurus Mountains are a mountain complex in southern Turkey, dividing the Mediterranean coastal region of southern Turkey from the central Anatolian Plateau. The system extends along a curve from Lake Eğirdir in the west to the upper reaches of the Euphrates and Tigris rivers in the east...

, the Atlas
Atlas Mountains
The Atlas Mountains is a mountain range across a northern stretch of Africa extending about through Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia. The highest peak is Toubkal, with an elevation of in southwestern Morocco. The Atlas ranges separate the Mediterranean and Atlantic coastlines from the Sahara Desert...

 and the Balkan
Balkan Mountains
The Balkan mountain range is a mountain range in the eastern part of the Balkan Peninsula. The Balkan range runs 560 km from the Vrashka Chuka Peak on the border between Bulgaria and eastern Serbia eastward through central Bulgaria to Cape Emine on the Black Sea...

 ranges. During his reign as Sultan, Osman I, extended the frontiers of Ottoman settlement toward the edge of the Byzantine Empire
Byzantine Empire
The Byzantine Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire during the periods of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, centred on the capital of Constantinople. Known simply as the Roman Empire or Romania to its inhabitants and neighbours, the Empire was the direct continuation of the Ancient Roman State...

. He also moved the Ottoman capital to Bursa, and shaped the early political development of the nation.

In this period, a formal Ottoman government
Ruling institution of the Ottoman Empire
The governing of the Ottoman Empire is more than the description of its court, customs, ceremonies, and officials with catalogues of their provinces and duties....

 was created whose institutions would change drastically over the life of the empire. The government used the legal entity known as the millet
Millet (Ottoman Empire)
Millet is a term for the confessional communities in the Ottoman Empire. It refers to the separate legal courts pertaining to "personal law" under which communities were allowed to rule themselves under their own system...

, under which religious and ethnic minorities were allowed to manage their own affairs with substantial independence from central control.

In the century after the death of Osman I, Ottoman rule began to extend over the Eastern Mediterranean and the Balkans
History of the Balkans
The Balkans is an area of southeastern Europe situated at a major crossroads between mainland Europe and the Near East. The distinct identity and fragmentation of the Balkans owes much to its common and often violent history and to its very mountainous geography.-Neolithic:Archaeologists have...

. The important city of Thessaloniki
Thessaloniki
Thessaloniki , historically also known as Thessalonica, Salonika or Salonica, is the second-largest city in Greece and the capital of the region of Central Macedonia as well as the capital of the Decentralized Administration of Macedonia and Thrace...

 was captured from the Venetians
Republic of Venice
The Republic of Venice or Venetian Republic was a state originating from the city of Venice in Northeastern Italy. It existed for over a millennium, from the late 7th century until 1797. It was formally known as the Most Serene Republic of Venice and is often referred to as La Serenissima, in...

 in 1387. The Ottoman victory at the Battle of Kosovo
Battle of Kosovo
The Battle of Kosovo took place on St. Vitus' Day, June 15, 1389, between the army led by Serbian Prince Lazar Hrebeljanović, and the invading army of the Ottoman Empire under the leadership of Sultan Murad I...

 in 1389 effectively marked the end of Serbian
Kingdom of Serbia
The Kingdom of Serbia was created when Prince Milan Obrenović, ruler of the Principality of Serbia, was crowned King in 1882. The Principality of Serbia was ruled by the Karađorđevic dynasty from 1817 onwards . The Principality, suzerain to the Porte, had expelled all Ottoman troops by 1867, de...

 power in the region, paving the way for Ottoman expansion into Europe. The Battle of Nicopolis
Battle of Nicopolis
The Battle of Nicopolis took place on 25 September 1396 and resulted in the rout of an allied army of Hungarian, Wallachian, French, Burgundian, German and assorted troops at the hands of an Ottoman force, raising of the siege of the Danubian fortress of Nicopolis and leading to the end of the...

 in 1396, widely regarded as the last large-scale crusade
Crusades
The Crusades were a series of religious wars, blessed by the Pope and the Catholic Church with the main goal of restoring Christian access to the holy places in and near Jerusalem...

 of the Middle Ages
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

, failed to stop the advance of the victorious Ottomans. With the extension of Ottoman dominion into the Balkans, the strategic conquest of Constantinople became a crucial objective. The Empire controlled nearly all former Byzantine lands
Byzantine Empire
The Byzantine Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire during the periods of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, centred on the capital of Constantinople. Known simply as the Roman Empire or Romania to its inhabitants and neighbours, the Empire was the direct continuation of the Ancient Roman State...

 surrounding the city, but the Byzantines
Byzantine Greeks
Byzantine Greeks or Byzantines is a conventional term used by modern historians to refer to the medieval Greek or Hellenised citizens of the Byzantine Empire, centered mainly in Constantinople, the southern Balkans, the Greek islands, Asia Minor , Cyprus and the large urban centres of the Near East...

 were temporarily relieved when Timur
Timur
Timur , historically known as Tamerlane in English , was a 14th-century conqueror of West, South and Central Asia, and the founder of the Timurid dynasty in Central Asia, and great-great-grandfather of Babur, the founder of the Mughal Dynasty, which survived as the Mughal Empire in India until...

 invaded Anatolia in the Battle of Ankara
Battle of Ankara
The Battle of Ankara or Battle of Angora, fought on July 20, 1402, took place at the field of Çubuk between the forces of the Ottoman sultan Bayezid I and the Turko-Mongol forces of Timur, ruler of the Timurid Empire. The battle was a major victory for Timur, and it led to a period of crisis for...

 in 1402. He took Sultan Bayezid I
Bayezid I
Bayezid I was the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, from 1389 to 1402. He was the son of Murad I and Valide Sultan Gülçiçek Hatun.-Biography:Bayezid was born in Edirne and spent his youth in Bursa, where he received a high-level education...

 as a prisoner. Part of the Ottoman territories in the Balkans (such as Thessaloniki, Macedonia and Kosovo) were temporarily lost after 1402, but were later recovered by Murad II
Murad II
Murad II Kodja was the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1421 to 1451 ....

 between the 1430s and 1450s.

The capture of Bayezid I threw the Turks into disorder. The state fell into a civil war that lasted from 1402 to 1413, as Bayezid's sons fought over succession. It ended when Mehmed I
Mehmed I
Mehmed I Çelebi was a Sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1413 to 1421. He was one of the sons of Bayezid I and Valide Sultan Devlet Hatun Mehmed I Çelebi (Ottoman: چلبی محمد, Mehmed I or Mehmed Çelebi) (1382, Bursa – May 26, 1421, Edirne, Ottoman Empire) was a Sultan of the Ottoman Empire...

 emerged as the sultan and restored Ottoman power, bringing an end to the Interregnum
Ottoman Interregnum
The Ottoman Interregnum began in 20 July 1402, when chaos reigned in the Ottoman Empire following the defeat of Sultan Bayezid I by the Turco-Mongol warlord Timur...

. His grandson, Mehmed the Conqueror
Mehmed II
Mehmed II , was Sultan of the Ottoman Empire for a short time from 1444 to September 1446, and later from...

, reorganized the state and the military, and demonstrated his martial prowess by capturing Constantinople
Fall of Constantinople
The Fall of Constantinople was the capture of the capital of the Byzantine Empire, which occurred after a siege by the Ottoman Empire, under the command of Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II, against the defending army commanded by Byzantine Emperor Constantine XI...

 on 29 May 1453, at the age of 21.

Growth (1453–1683)



This period in Ottoman history can roughly be divided into two distinct eras: an era of territorial, economic, and cultural growth before 1566, followed by an era of relative military and political stagnation.

Expansion and apogee (1453–1566)



The Ottoman conquest of Constantinople
Constantinople
Constantinople was the capital of the Roman, Eastern Roman, Byzantine, Latin, and Ottoman Empires. Throughout most of the Middle Ages, Constantinople was Europe's largest and wealthiest city.-Names:...

 in 1453 by Mehmed II cemented the status of the Empire as the preeminent power in southeastern Europe and the eastern Mediterranean. After taking Constantinople, Mehmed met with the Orthodox patriarch, Gennadios and worked out an arrangement in which the Orthodox Church, in exchange for being able to maintain its autonomy and land, accepted Ottoman authority. Because of bad relations between the latter Byzantine Empire and the states of western Europe as epitomized by Loukas Notaras
Loukas Notaras
Loukas Notaras was the last Megas Doux of the Byzantine Empire. This position had been expanded under the late Palaiologid emperors and functioned as an unofficial Prime Minister, overseeing the Imperial Bureaucracy in place of the Megas Logothetes who had previously...

's famous remark "Better the Sultan's turban than the Cardinal's Hat", the majority of the Orthodox population accepted Ottoman rule as preferable to Venetian rule.

Mehmed II made Constantinople (present-day Istanbul
Istanbul
Istanbul , historically known as Byzantium and Constantinople , is the largest city of Turkey. Istanbul metropolitan province had 13.26 million people living in it as of December, 2010, which is 18% of Turkey's population and the 3rd largest metropolitan area in Europe after London and...

) the new capital of the Ottoman Empire, and he assumed the title of Kayser-i Rûm (Caesar Romanus = Roman Emperor). The Russian Tsar
Tsar
Tsar is a title used to designate certain European Slavic monarchs or supreme rulers. As a system of government in the Tsardom of Russia and Russian Empire, it is known as Tsarist autocracy, or Tsarism...

s also claimed to be the successors to the eastern imperial title. To consolidate his claim, Mehmed II wanted to gain control over the Western capital, Rome, and Ottoman forces occupied parts of the Italian Peninsula
Italian Peninsula
The Italian Peninsula or Apennine Peninsula is one of the three large peninsulas of Southern Europe , spanning from the Po Valley in the north to the central Mediterranean Sea in the south. The peninsula's shape gives it the nickname Lo Stivale...

. They started with the invasion of Otranto
Ottoman invasion of Otranto
In 1480 and 1481 the city and fort of Otranto, in Apulia, southern Italy, were held by Ottoman troops.-Attack:On July 28, 1480, an Ottoman fleet of 128 ships of which 28 were galleys arrived near the Neapolitan city of Otranto in the region Apulia. Possibly these troops came from the siege of Rhodes...

 and Apulia
Apulia
Apulia is a region in Southern Italy bordering the Adriatic Sea in the east, the Ionian Sea to the southeast, and the Strait of Òtranto and Gulf of Taranto in the south. Its most southern portion, known as Salento peninsula, forms a high heel on the "boot" of Italy. The region comprises , and...

 on 28 July 1480. After Mehmed II's death on 3 May 1481 the campaign in Italy was cancelled and Ottoman forces retreated.

During this period in the 15th and 16th centuries, the Ottoman Empire entered a long period of conquest and expansion
Growth of the Ottoman Empire
The Growth of the Ottoman Empire is the period followed after the Rise of the Ottoman Empire in which the Ottoman state reached the Pax Ottomana. In this period, the Ottoman Empire expanded southwestwards into North Africa and battled with the re-emergent Persian Shi'ia Safavid Empire to the east...

, extending its borders deep into Europe and North Africa. Conquests on land were driven by the discipline and innovation of the Ottoman military; and on the sea, the Ottoman Navy aided this expansion significantly. The navy also contested and protected key seagoing trade routes, in competition with the Italian city states in the Black Sea
Black Sea
The Black Sea is bounded by Europe, Anatolia and the Caucasus and is ultimately connected to the Atlantic Ocean via the Mediterranean and the Aegean seas and various straits. The Bosphorus strait connects it to the Sea of Marmara, and the strait of the Dardanelles connects that sea to the Aegean...

, Aegean
Aegean Sea
The Aegean Sea[p] is an elongated embayment of the Mediterranean Sea located between the southern Balkan and Anatolian peninsulas, i.e., between the mainlands of Greece and Turkey. In the north, it is connected to the Marmara Sea and Black Sea by the Dardanelles and Bosporus...

 and Mediterranean seas and the Portuguese in the Red Sea
Red Sea
The Red Sea is a seawater inlet of the Indian Ocean, lying between Africa and Asia. The connection to the ocean is in the south through the Bab el Mandeb strait and the Gulf of Aden. In the north, there is the Sinai Peninsula, the Gulf of Aqaba, and the Gulf of Suez...

 and Indian Ocean.

The state also flourished economically thanks to its control of the major overland trade routes between Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

 and Asia.

The Empire prospered under the rule of a line of committed and effective Sultans
Ottoman Dynasty
The Ottoman Dynasty ruled the Ottoman Empire from 1299 to 1922, beginning with Osman I , though the dynasty was not proclaimed until Orhan Bey declared himself sultan...

. Sultan Selim I
Selim I
Selim I, Yavuz Sultân Selim Khan, Hâdim-ül Haramain-ish Sharifain , nicknamed Yavuz "the Stern" or "the Steadfast", but often rendered in English as "the Grim" , was the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1512 to...

 (1512–1520) dramatically expanded the Empire's eastern and southern frontiers by defeating Shah Ismail
Ismail I
Ismail I , known in Persian as Shāh Ismāʿil , was a Shah of Iran and the founder of the Safavid dynasty which survived until 1736. Isma'il started his campaign in Azerbaijan in 1500 as the leader of the Safaviyya, an extremist heterodox Twelver Shi'i militant religious order and unified all of Iran...

 of Safavid
Safavid dynasty
The Safavid dynasty was one of the most significant ruling dynasties of Iran. They ruled one of the greatest Persian empires since the Muslim conquest of Persia and established the Twelver school of Shi'a Islam as the official religion of their empire, marking one of the most important turning...

 Persia, in the Battle of Chaldiran
Battle of Chaldiran
The Battle of Chaldiran or Chaldoran occurred on 23 August 1514 and ended with a victory for the Ottoman Empire over the Safavid Empire of Persia . As a result, the Ottomans gained immediate control over eastern Anatolia and northern Iraq...

. Selim I established Ottoman rule in Egypt, and created a naval presence on the Red Sea
Red Sea
The Red Sea is a seawater inlet of the Indian Ocean, lying between Africa and Asia. The connection to the ocean is in the south through the Bab el Mandeb strait and the Gulf of Aden. In the north, there is the Sinai Peninsula, the Gulf of Aqaba, and the Gulf of Suez...

. After this Ottoman expansion, a competition started between the Portuguese Empire
Portuguese Empire
The Portuguese Empire , also known as the Portuguese Overseas Empire or the Portuguese Colonial Empire , was the first global empire in history...

 and the Ottoman Empire to become the dominant power in the region.

Selim's successor, Suleiman the Magnificent
Suleiman the Magnificent
Suleiman I was the tenth and longest-reigning Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, from 1520 to his death in 1566. He is known in the West as Suleiman the Magnificent and in the East, as "The Lawgiver" , for his complete reconstruction of the Ottoman legal system...

 (1520–1566), further expanded upon Selim's conquests. After capturing Belgrade
Belgrade
Belgrade is the capital and largest city of Serbia. It is located at the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers, where the Pannonian Plain meets the Balkans. According to official results of Census 2011, the city has a population of 1,639,121. It is one of the 15 largest cities in Europe...

 in 1521, Suleiman conquered the southern and central parts of the Kingdom of Hungary
Kingdom of Hungary
The Kingdom of Hungary comprised present-day Hungary, Slovakia and Croatia , Transylvania , Carpatho Ruthenia , Vojvodina , Burgenland , and other smaller territories surrounding present-day Hungary's borders...

. (The western, northern and northeastern parts remained independent.)



After his victory in the Battle of Mohács
Battle of Mohács
The Battle of Mohács was fought on August 29, 1526 near Mohács, Hungary. In the battle, forces of the Kingdom of Hungary led by King Louis II of Hungary and Bohemia were defeated by forces of the Ottoman Empire led by Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent....

 in 1526, he established Ottoman rule
Ottoman Hungary
History of Ottoman Hungary refers to the history of parts of the Ottoman Empire situated in what today is Hungary, in the period from 1541 to 1699.-History:...

 in the territory of present-day Hungary (except the western part) and other Central Europe
Central Europe
Central Europe or alternatively Middle Europe is a region of the European continent lying between the variously defined areas of Eastern and Western Europe...

an territories, (See also: Ottoman–Hungarian Wars). He then laid siege to Vienna
Siege of Vienna
The Siege of Vienna in 1529 was the first attempt by the Ottoman Empire, led by Suleiman the Magnificent, to capture the city of Vienna, Austria. The siege signalled the pinnacle of the Ottoman Empire's power, the maximum extent of Ottoman expansion in central Europe, and was the result of a...

 in 1529, but failed to take the city after the onset of winter forced his retreat.

In 1532, he made another attack
Little War in Hungary
The Little War is a name given to a series of conflicts between the Habsburgs and their allies and the Ottoman Empire between 1529 and 1552...

 on Vienna, but was repulsed in the Siege of Güns
Siege of Güns
The Siege of Güns or Siege of Kőszeg was a siege of Kőszeg in the Kingdom of Hungary within Habsburg Monarchy. In the siege that happened in 1532, Croatian Captain Nikola Jurišić defended the small border fort of Kőszeg with only 700-800 Croatian soldiers with no cannons and few guns, preventing...

, 97 kilometres (60.3 mi) south of the city at the fortress of Güns
Koszeg
----Kőszeg is a town in Vas county, Hungary. The town is famous for its historical character.- History :The origins of the only free royal town in the historical garrison county of Vas go back to the third quarter of the 13th century...

. In the other version of the story, the city's commander, Nikola Jurišić
Nikola Jurišic
Baron Nikola Jurišić was a Croatian nobleman, soldier, and diplomat, who led the armies of the territory of the Croatian Krajina in defense against the invasion of the Ottoman Empire under Suleiman I, advancing towards Vienna.After the Battle of Mohács in 1526, Jurisic's vote helped Ferdinand of...

, was offered terms for a nominal surender. However, Suleiman withdrew at the arrival of the August rains and did not continue towards Vienna as previously planned, but turned homeward instead.

After further advances by the Ottomans in 1543, the Habsburg ruler Ferdinand
Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor
Ferdinand I was Holy Roman Emperor from 1558 and king of Bohemia and Hungary from 1526 until his death. Before his accession, he ruled the Austrian hereditary lands of the Habsburgs in the name of his elder brother, Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor.The key events during his reign were the contest...

 officially recognized Ottoman ascendancy in Hungary in 1547. During the reign of Suleiman, Transylvania
Transylvania
Transylvania is a historical region in the central part of Romania. Bounded on the east and south by the Carpathian mountain range, historical Transylvania extended in the west to the Apuseni Mountains; however, the term sometimes encompasses not only Transylvania proper, but also the historical...

, Wallachia
Wallachia
Wallachia or Walachia is a historical and geographical region of Romania. It is situated north of the Danube and south of the Southern Carpathians...

 and, intermittently, Moldavia
Moldavia
Moldavia is a geographic and historical region and former principality in Eastern Europe, corresponding to the territory between the Eastern Carpathians and the Dniester river...

, became tributary principalities of the Ottoman Empire. In the east, the Ottomans took Baghdad
Baghdad
Baghdad is the capital of Iraq, as well as the coterminous Baghdad Governorate. The population of Baghdad in 2011 is approximately 7,216,040...

 from the Persians in 1535, gaining control of Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia is a toponym for the area of the Tigris–Euphrates river system, largely corresponding to modern-day Iraq, northeastern Syria, southeastern Turkey and southwestern Iran.Widely considered to be the cradle of civilization, Bronze Age Mesopotamia included Sumer and the...

 and naval access to the Persian Gulf
Persian Gulf
The Persian Gulf, in Southwest Asia, is an extension of the Indian Ocean located between Iran and the Arabian Peninsula.The Persian Gulf was the focus of the 1980–1988 Iran-Iraq War, in which each side attacked the other's oil tankers...

. By the end of Suleiman's reign, the Empire's population totaled about 15,000,000 people.

Suleiman's expansion into the Central Mediterranean was however halted in Malta
Malta
Malta , officially known as the Republic of Malta , is a Southern European country consisting of an archipelago situated in the centre of the Mediterranean, south of Sicily, east of Tunisia and north of Libya, with Gibraltar to the west and Alexandria to the east.Malta covers just over in...

 in 1565. During a summer-long siege which was later to be known as the Siege of Malta
Siege of Malta (1565)
The Siege of Malta took place in 1565 when the Ottoman Empire invaded the island, then held by the Knights Hospitaller .The Knights, together with between 4-5,000 Maltese men,...

, the Ottoman forces which numbered around 50,000 fought the Knights of St.John and the Maltese
Maltese people
The Maltese are an ethnic group indigenous to the Southern European nation of Malta, and identified with the Maltese language. Malta is an island in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea...

 garrison which in total numbered around 6,000. Stubborn resistance by the Knights and the Maltese as well as infighting between the Turkish leaders led to the lifting of the Siege in September. The Ottomans' defeat in Malta in 1565 was the second and last one experienced by Suleiman the Magnificent, after the Ottoman defeat in Vienna in 1529.

Under Selim and Suleiman, the Empire became a dominant naval force, controlling much of the Mediterranean Sea
Mediterranean Sea
The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean surrounded by the Mediterranean region and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Anatolia and Europe, on the south by North Africa, and on the east by the Levant...

. The exploits of the Ottoman admiral Barbarossa Hayreddin Pasha, who commanded the Ottoman Navy
Ottoman Navy
The Ottoman Navy was established in the early 14th century. During its long existence it was involved in many conflicts; refer to list of Ottoman sieges and landings and list of Admirals in the Ottoman Empire for a brief chronology.- Pre-Ottoman:...

 during Suleiman's reign, led to a number of military victories over Christian navies. Among these were the conquest of Tunis
Tunis
Tunis is the capital of both the Tunisian Republic and the Tunis Governorate. It is Tunisia's largest city, with a population of 728,453 as of 2004; the greater metropolitan area holds some 2,412,500 inhabitants....

 and Algeria
Algeria
Algeria , officially the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria , also formally referred to as the Democratic and Popular Republic of Algeria, is a country in the Maghreb region of Northwest Africa with Algiers as its capital.In terms of land area, it is the largest country in Africa and the Arab...

 from Spain; and the capture of Nice
Nice
Nice is the fifth most populous city in France, after Paris, Marseille, Lyon and Toulouse, with a population of 348,721 within its administrative limits on a land area of . The urban area of Nice extends beyond the administrative city limits with a population of more than 955,000 on an area of...

 from the Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire
The Holy Roman Empire was a realm that existed from 962 to 1806 in Central Europe.It was ruled by the Holy Roman Emperor. Its character changed during the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period, when the power of the emperor gradually weakened in favour of the princes...

 in 1543.

This last conquest occurred on behalf of France as a joint venture between the forces of the French king Francis I
Francis I of France
Francis I was King of France from 1515 until his death. During his reign, huge cultural changes took place in France and he has been called France's original Renaissance monarch...

 and those of Barbarossa. France
Early Modern France
Kingdom of France is the early modern period of French history from the end of the 15th century to the end of the 18th century...

 and the Ottoman Empire, united by mutual opposition to Habsburg
Habsburg
The House of Habsburg , also found as Hapsburg, and also known as House of Austria is one of the most important royal houses of Europe and is best known for being an origin of all of the formally elected Holy Roman Emperors between 1438 and 1740, as well as rulers of the Austrian Empire and...

 rule in both Southern
Southern Europe
The term Southern Europe, at its most general definition, is used to mean "all countries in the south of Europe". However, the concept, at different times, has had different meanings, providing additional political, linguistic and cultural context to the definition in addition to the typical...

 and Central Europe
Central Europe
Central Europe or alternatively Middle Europe is a region of the European continent lying between the variously defined areas of Eastern and Western Europe...

, became strong allies during this period. The alliance was economic and military, as the sultans granted France the right of trade within the Empire without levy of taxation. By this time, the Ottoman Empire was a significant and accepted part of the European political sphere. It made a military alliance with France, the Kingdom of England
Kingdom of England
The Kingdom of England was, from 927 to 1707, a sovereign state to the northwest of continental Europe. At its height, the Kingdom of England spanned the southern two-thirds of the island of Great Britain and several smaller outlying islands; what today comprises the legal jurisdiction of England...

 and the Dutch Republic
Dutch Republic
The Dutch Republic — officially known as the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands , the Republic of the United Netherlands, or the Republic of the Seven United Provinces — was a republic in Europe existing from 1581 to 1795, preceding the Batavian Republic and ultimately...

 against Habsburg Spain
Habsburg Spain
Habsburg Spain refers to the history of Spain over the 16th and 17th centuries , when Spain was ruled by the major branch of the Habsburg dynasty...

, Italy and Habsburg Austria
Archduchy of Austria
The Archduchy of Austria , one of the most important states within the Holy Roman Empire, was the nucleus of the Habsburg Monarchy and the predecessor of the Austrian Empire...

.

As the 16th century progressed, Ottoman naval superiority was challenged by the growing sea powers of western Europe, particularly Portugal
Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

, in the Persian Gulf
Persian Gulf
The Persian Gulf, in Southwest Asia, is an extension of the Indian Ocean located between Iran and the Arabian Peninsula.The Persian Gulf was the focus of the 1980–1988 Iran-Iraq War, in which each side attacked the other's oil tankers...

, Indian Ocean
Indian Ocean
The Indian Ocean is the third largest of the world's oceanic divisions, covering approximately 20% of the water on the Earth's surface. It is bounded on the north by the Indian Subcontinent and Arabian Peninsula ; on the west by eastern Africa; on the east by Indochina, the Sunda Islands, and...

 and the Spice Islands
Maluku Islands
The Maluku Islands are an archipelago that is part of Indonesia, and part of the larger Maritime Southeast Asia region. Tectonically they are located on the Halmahera Plate within the Molucca Sea Collision Zone...

. With the Ottomans blockading sea-lanes to the East and South, the European powers were driven to find another way to the ancient silk and spice routes, now under Ottoman control. On land, the Empire was preoccupied by military campaigns in Austria
Ottoman-Habsburg wars
The Ottoman–Habsburg wars refers to the military conflicts between the Ottoman Empire and the Habsburg dynasties of the Austrian Empire, Habsburg Spain and in certain times, the Holy Roman Empire and the Kingdom of Hungary. The war would be dominated by land campaigns in Hungary and present day...

 and Persia, two widely separated theatres of war. The strain of these conflicts on the Empire's resources, and the logistics of maintaining lines of supply and communication across such vast distances, ultimately rendered its sea efforts unsustainable and unsuccessful. The overriding military need for defence on the western and eastern frontiers of the Empire eventually made effective long-term engagement on a global scale impossible.

Revolts and revival (1566–1683)



The effective military and bureaucratic structures of the previous century also came under strain during a protracted period of misrule by weak Sultans. But in spite of these difficulties, the Empire remained a major expansionist power until the Battle of Vienna
Battle of Vienna
The Battle of Vienna took place on 11 and 12 September 1683 after Vienna had been besieged by the Ottoman Empire for two months...

 in 1683, which marked the end of Ottoman expansion into Europe
Ottoman wars in Europe
The wars of the Ottoman Empire in Europe are also sometimes referred to as the Ottoman Wars or as Turkish Wars, particularly in older, European texts.- Rise :...

.

European states initiated efforts at this time to curb Ottoman control of the traditional overland trade routes between East Asia and Western Europe, which started with the Silk Road
Silk Road
The Silk Road or Silk Route refers to a historical network of interlinking trade routes across the Afro-Eurasian landmass that connected East, South, and Western Asia with the Mediterranean and European world, as well as parts of North and East Africa...

. Western European states began to avoid the Ottoman trade monopoly by establishing their own maritime routes to Asia through new discoveries at sea
Age of Discovery
The Age of Discovery, also known as the Age of Exploration and the Great Navigations , was a period in history starting in the early 15th century and continuing into the early 17th century during which Europeans engaged in intensive exploration of the world, establishing direct contacts with...

. The Portuguese
Kingdom of Portugal
The Kingdom of Portugal was Portugal's general designation under the monarchy. The kingdom was located in the west of the Iberian Peninsula, Europe and existed from 1139 to 1910...

 discovery of the Cape of Good Hope
Cape of Good Hope
The Cape of Good Hope is a rocky headland on the Atlantic coast of the Cape Peninsula, South Africa.There is a misconception that the Cape of Good Hope is the southern tip of Africa, because it was once believed to be the dividing point between the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. In fact, the...

 in 1488 initiated a series of Ottoman-Portuguese naval wars
Indian Ocean campaigns
The Ottoman naval expeditions in the Indian Ocean were a series of Ottoman amphibious operations in the Indian Ocean in the 16th century...

 in the Indian Ocean
Indian Ocean
The Indian Ocean is the third largest of the world's oceanic divisions, covering approximately 20% of the water on the Earth's surface. It is bounded on the north by the Indian Subcontinent and Arabian Peninsula ; on the west by eastern Africa; on the east by Indochina, the Sunda Islands, and...

 throughout the 16th century. Economically, the huge influx
Spanish treasure fleet
The Spanish treasure fleets was a convoy system adopted by the Spanish Empire from 1566 to 1790...

 of Spanish silver
Spanish dollar
The Spanish dollar is a silver coin, of approximately 38 mm diameter, worth eight reales, that was minted in the Spanish Empire after a Spanish currency reform in 1497. Its purpose was to correspond to the German thaler...

 from the New World
New World
The New World is one of the names used for the Western Hemisphere, specifically America and sometimes Oceania . The term originated in the late 15th century, when America had been recently discovered by European explorers, expanding the geographical horizon of the people of the European middle...

 caused a sharp devaluation of the Ottoman currency and rampant inflation. This had serious negative consequences at all levels of Ottoman society.

The expansion of Muscovite Russia
Tsardom of Russia
The Tsardom of Russia was the name of the centralized Russian state from Ivan IV's assumption of the title of Tsar in 1547 till Peter the Great's foundation of the Russian Empire in 1721.From 1550 to 1700, Russia grew 35,000 km2 a year...

 under Ivan IV (1533–1584) into the Volga and Caspian region at the expense of the Tatar khanates disrupted the northern pilgrimage and trade routes. A highly ambitious plan to counter this conceived by Sokollu Mehmed Pasha, Grand Vizier under Selim II
Selim II
Selim II Sarkhosh Hashoink , also known as "Selim the Sot " or "Selim the Drunkard"; and as "Sarı Selim" or "Selim the Blond", was the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1566 until his death in 1574.-Early years:He was born in Constantinople a son of Suleiman the...

, in the shape of a Don-Volga canal (begun June 1569), combined with an attack on Astrakhan, failed, the canal being abandoned with the onset of winter. Henceforth the Empire returned to its existing strategy of utilizing the Crimean Khanate as its bulwark against Russia. In 1571, the Crimean khan Devlet I Giray
Devlet I Giray
Devlet I Giray was a khan of the Crimean Khanate during whose long reign the khanate rose to the pinnacle of its power....

, supported by the Ottomans, burned Moscow. The next year, the invasion was repeated but repelled at the Battle of Molodi
Battle of Molodi
The Battle of Molodi was one of the key battles of Ivan the Terrible's reign. It was fought near the village of Molodi, 40 mi south of Moscow, in July-August 1572 between the 120,000-strong horde of Devlet I Giray of Crimea and about 60,000 Russians led by Prince Mikhail Vorotynsky...

. The Crimean Khanate
Crimean Khanate
Crimean Khanate, or Khanate of Crimea , was a state ruled by Crimean Tatars from 1441 to 1783. Its native name was . Its khans were the patrilineal descendants of Toqa Temür, the thirteenth son of Jochi and grandson of Genghis Khan...

 continued to invade Eastern Europe in a series of slave raids
Tatar invasions
The Mongol invasion of Europe from the east took place over the course of three centuries, from the Middle Ages to the early modern period.The terms Tatars or Tartars are applied to nomadic Turkic peoples who, themselves, were conquered by Mongols and incorporated into their horde...

, and remained a significant power in Eastern Europe and a threat to Muscovite Russia in particular until the end of the 17th century.

In southern Europe, a coalition of Catholic powers, led by Philip II of Spain
Philip II of Spain
Philip II was King of Spain, Portugal, Naples, Sicily, and, while married to Mary I, King of England and Ireland. He was lord of the Seventeen Provinces from 1556 until 1581, holding various titles for the individual territories such as duke or count....

, formed an alliance to challenge Ottoman naval strength in the Mediterranean Sea
Mediterranean Sea
The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean surrounded by the Mediterranean region and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Anatolia and Europe, on the south by North Africa, and on the east by the Levant...

. Their victory over the Ottoman fleet at the Battle of Lepanto (1571)
Battle of Lepanto (1571)
The Battle of Lepanto took place on 7 October 1571 when a fleet of the Holy League, a coalition of Catholic maritime states, decisively defeated the main fleet of the Ottoman Empire in five hours of fighting on the northern edge of the Gulf of Patras, off western Greece...

 was a startling blow to the image of Ottoman invincibility. However, historians today stress the symbolic and not the strictly military significance of the battle, for within six months of the defeat a new Ottoman fleet of some 250 sail including eight modern galleass
Galleass
The galleass developed from large merchant galleys.Converted for military use they were higher and larger than regular galleys. They had up to 32 oars, each worked by up to 5 men. They usually had three masts and a forecastle and aftcastle. Much effort was made in Venice to make these galleasses...

es had been built, with the harbours of Constantinople turning out a new ship every day at the height of the construction. In discussions with a Venetian minister, the Ottoman Grand Vizier commented: "In capturing Cyprus from you, we have cut off one of your arms; in defeating our fleet you have merely shaved off our beard". The Ottoman naval recovery persuaded Venice to sign a peace treaty in 1573, and the Ottomans were able to expand and consolidate their position in North Africa. However, what could not be replaced were the experienced naval officers and sailors. The Battle of Lepanto was far more damaging to the Ottoman navy in sapping experienced manpower than the loss of ships, which were rapidly replaced.

By contrast, the Habsburg
Habsburg
The House of Habsburg , also found as Hapsburg, and also known as House of Austria is one of the most important royal houses of Europe and is best known for being an origin of all of the formally elected Holy Roman Emperors between 1438 and 1740, as well as rulers of the Austrian Empire and...

 frontier had settled into a reasonably permanent border, marked only by relatively minor battles concentrating on the possession of individual fortresses. The stalemate was caused by a stiffening of the Habsburg defences and reflected simple geographical limits: in the pre-mechanized age, Vienna
Vienna
Vienna is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.723 million , and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre...

 marked the furthest point that an Ottoman army could march from Constantinople during the early spring to late autumn campaigning season. It also reflected the difficulties imposed on the Empire by the need to support two separate fronts: one against the Austrians (see: Ottoman wars in Europe
Ottoman wars in Europe
The wars of the Ottoman Empire in Europe are also sometimes referred to as the Ottoman Wars or as Turkish Wars, particularly in older, European texts.- Rise :...

), and the other against a rival Islamic state, the Safavids of Persia (see: Ottoman wars in Near East
Ottoman wars in Near East
Ottoman wars in the Near East covers wars in the Levant, Anatolia, Mesopotamia and the Caucasus.In August 1400, Timur Lenk and his horde burned the town of Sivas to the ground and advanced into the mainland...

).

On the battlefield, the Ottomans gradually fell behind the Europeans in military technology as the innovation that fed the Empire's forceful expansion became stifled by growing religious and intellectual conservatism. Changes in European military tactics and weaponry in the military revolution
Military Revolution
The Military Revolution refers to a radical change in military strategy and tactics with resulting major changes in government. The concept was introduced by Michael Roberts in the 1950s as he focused on Sweden 1560–1660 searching for major changes in the European way of war caused by introduction...

 caused the once-feared Sipahi
Sipahi
Sipahi was the name of several Ottoman cavalry corps...

 cavalry to lose military relevance. The Long War
Long War (Ottoman wars)
The Long War took place from 1591 or 1593 to 1604 or 1606 and was one of the numerous military conflicts between the Habsburg Monarchy and the Ottoman Empire that developed after the Battle of Mohács.- History :The major participants of this war were the Habsburg Monarchy ,...

 against Habsburg
Habsburg
The House of Habsburg , also found as Hapsburg, and also known as House of Austria is one of the most important royal houses of Europe and is best known for being an origin of all of the formally elected Holy Roman Emperors between 1438 and 1740, as well as rulers of the Austrian Empire and...

 Austria (1593–1606) created the need for greater numbers of infantry equipped with firearms. This resulted in a relaxation of recruitment policy and a significant growth in Janissary
Janissary
The Janissaries were infantry units that formed the Ottoman sultan's household troops and bodyguards...

 corps numbers. This contributed to problems of indiscipline, lack of effectiveness, and outright rebelliousness within the corps, which the government wrestled with but never fully solved during (and beyond) this whole period. The development of pike and shot
Pike and shot
Pike and shot is a historical method of infantry combat, and also refers to an era of European warfare generally considered to cover the period from the Italian Wars to the evolution of the bayonet in the late seventeenth century...

 and later linear tactics with increased use of firearms by Europeans proved deadly against the massed infantry in close formation used by the Ottomans. Irregular sharpshooters (Sekban) were also recruited for the same reasons and on demobilization turned to brigandage in the Jelali revolts
Jelali Revolts
Jelali revolts , were a series of rebellions in Anatolia of irregular troops led by provincial administrations known as celalî, against the authority of the Ottoman Empire in the 16th and 17th centuries. They arose partly as an effort to attain tax privileges...

 (1595–1610), which engendered widespread anarchy in Anatolia in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. With the Empire's population reaching 30,000,000 people by 1600, shortage of land placed further pressure on the government.

However, the 17th century was not simply an era of stagnation and decline, but also a key period in which the Ottoman state and its structures began to adapt to new pressures and new realities, internal and external.
The Sultanate of women
Sultanate of Women
The Sultanate of Women was the near 130-year period during the 16th and 17th centuries when the women of the Imperial Harem of the Ottoman Empire exerted extraordinary political influence. Many of the Sultans during this time were minors and it was their mothers, leaders of the Harem, who...

 (1648–1656) was a period in which the political influence of the Imperial Harem
Imperial Harem
The Imperial Harem of the Ottoman Empire was one of the most important elements of the Ottoman court. It was known in the West as "the Seraglio", an Italian term.- Harem quarters:...

 was dominant, as the mothers of young sultans exercised power on behalf of their sons. This was not wholly unprecedented; Hürrem Sultan
Roxelana
Haseki Hürrem Sultan was the wife of Süleyman the Magnificent of the Ottoman Empire.-Names:Sixteenth-century sources are silent as to her maiden name, but much later traditions, for example Ukrainian folk traditions first recorded in the 19th century, give it as "Anastasia" , and Polish...

, who established herself in the early 1530s as the successor of Nurbanu, the first Valide Sultan
Valide Sultan
Valide Sultan was the title held by the mother of a ruling Sultan in the Ottoman Empire. The Turkish pronunciation of the word Valide is . The title is sometimes translated as Queen Mother, although the position of Valide Sultan was quite different.The position was perhaps the most important...

, was described by the Venetian Baylo
Baylo
A bailo, also spelled baylo, was a diplomat who oversaw the affairs of the Venetians in Constantinople, and was a permanent fixture in Constantinople around 1454...

 Andrea Giritti as "a woman of the utmost goodness, courage and wisdom" even though she "thwarted some while rewarding others". But the inadequacy of Ibrahim I
Ibrahim I
Ibrahim I was the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1640 until 1648. He was born in Istanbul the son of Ahmed I by Valide Sultan Kadinefendi Kösem Sultan, an ethnic Greek originally named Anastasia...

 (1640–1648) and the minority accession of Mehmed IV
Mehmed IV
Mehmed IV Modern Turkish Mehmet was the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1648 to 1687...

 in 1646 created a significant crisis of rule, which the dominant women of the Imperial Harem
Imperial Harem
The Imperial Harem of the Ottoman Empire was one of the most important elements of the Ottoman court. It was known in the West as "the Seraglio", an Italian term.- Harem quarters:...

 filled. The most prominent women of this period were Kösem Sultan and her daughter-in-law Turhan Hatice
Turhan Hatice
Turhan Hatice Valide Sultan, Devletlu İsmetlu Turhan Hadice Valide Sultan Aliyyetü'ş-şân Hazretleri , was one of the hasekis of the Ottoman sultan Ibrahim I and the mother of his successor, Mehmed IV .Turhan Hatice is prominent for the regency of her young son and her building patronage.-From...

, whose political rivalry culminated in Kösem's murder in 1651.


This period gave way to the highly significant Köprülü Era
Köprülü era
The Köprülü era was the period which Ottoman Empire's politics were set by the Grand Viziers, mainly the Köprülü family, which was a notable family of imperial bureaucrats of Albanian origin. Köprülü family generated grand viziers to the Empire, combining ambition with genuine talent...

 (1656–1703), during which effective control of the Empire was exercised by a sequence of Grand Vizier
Grand Vizier
Grand Vizier, in Turkish Vezir-i Azam or Sadr-ı Azam , deriving from the Arabic word vizier , was the greatest minister of the Sultan, with absolute power of attorney and, in principle, dismissable only by the Sultan himself...

s from the Köprülü family. On September 15, 1656 the octogenarian Köprülü Mehmed Pasha
Köprülü Mehmed Pasha
Köprülü Mehmed Pasha , was the Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire from 1656 until his death. He was the first leader and founder of the Albanian Köprülü noble dynasty/family.- Life :He was recruited as a part of the devshirmeh system and was trained in the palace school...

 accepted the seals of office having received guarantees from the Valide Turhan Hatice
Turhan Hatice
Turhan Hatice Valide Sultan, Devletlu İsmetlu Turhan Hadice Valide Sultan Aliyyetü'ş-şân Hazretleri , was one of the hasekis of the Ottoman sultan Ibrahim I and the mother of his successor, Mehmed IV .Turhan Hatice is prominent for the regency of her young son and her building patronage.-From...

 of unprecedented authority and freedom from interference. A fierce conservative disciplinarian, he successfully reasserted the central authority and the empire's military impetus. This continued under his son and successor Köprülü Fazıl Ahmed
Köprülü Fazil Ahmed
Köprülü Fazıl Ahmed Pasha Was a member of the renowned Köprülü family originated from Albania, that had given three grand viziers to the Ottoman Empire. He served as a Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire from...

 (Grand Vizier 1661–1676). The Köprülü Vizierate saw renewed military success with authority restored in Transylvania
Transylvania
Transylvania is a historical region in the central part of Romania. Bounded on the east and south by the Carpathian mountain range, historical Transylvania extended in the west to the Apuseni Mountains; however, the term sometimes encompasses not only Transylvania proper, but also the historical...

, the conquest of Crete
Crete
Crete is the largest and most populous of the Greek islands, the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, and one of the thirteen administrative regions of Greece. It forms a significant part of the economy and cultural heritage of Greece while retaining its own local cultural traits...

 completed in 1669 and expansion into Polish southern Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

, with the strongholds of Khotyn
Khotyn
Khotyn is a city in Chernivtsi Oblast of western Ukraine, and is the administrative center of Khotyn Raion within the oblast, and is located south-west of Kamianets-Podilskyi. According to the 2001 Ukrainian census, it has a population of 11,124...

 and Kamianets-Podilskyi
Kamianets-Podilskyi
Kamyanets-Podilsky or Kamienets-Podolsky is a city located on the Smotrych River in western Ukraine, to the north-east of Chernivtsi...

 and the territory of Podolia
Podolia
The region of Podolia is an historical region in the west-central and south-west portions of present-day Ukraine, corresponding to Khmelnytskyi Oblast and Vinnytsia Oblast. Northern Transnistria, in Moldova, is also a part of Podolia...

 ceding to Ottoman control in 1676.

This period of renewed assertiveness came to a calamitous end when Grand Vizier Kara Mustafa Pasha in May 1683 led a huge army to attempt a second Ottoman siege of Vienna
Vienna
Vienna is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.723 million , and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre...

 in the Great Turkish War
Great Turkish War
The Great Turkish War refers to a series of conflicts between the Ottoman Empire and contemporary European powers, then joined into a Holy League, during the second half of the 17th century.-1667–1683:...

 of 1683-1687. The final assault being fatally delayed, the Ottoman forces were swept away by allied Habsburg, German and Polish forces spearheaded by the Polish king Jan
John III Sobieski
John III Sobieski was one of the most notable monarchs of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, from 1674 until his death King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania. Sobieski's 22-year-reign was marked by a period of the Commonwealth's stabilization, much needed after the turmoil of the Deluge and...

 at the
Battle of Vienna
Battle of Vienna
The Battle of Vienna took place on 11 and 12 September 1683 after Vienna had been besieged by the Ottoman Empire for two months...

.

The alliance of the Holy League
Holy League (1684)
Holy League of 1684 was initiated in by Pope Innocent XI, and composed of the Holy Roman Empire, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and the Venetian Republic. Tsardom of Russia joined the League in 1686. This alliance opposed the Ottoman Empire in the Great Turkish War and lasted until the Treaty...

 pressed home the advantage of the defeat at Vienna and, thus, fifteen (15) years of see-sawing warfare, culminated in the epochal Treaty of Karlowitz
Treaty of Karlowitz
The Treaty of Karlowitz was signed on 26 January 1699 in Sremski Karlovci , concluding the Austro-Ottoman War of 1683–1697 in which the Ottoman side had been defeated at the Battle of Zenta...

 (26 January 1699), which ended the Great Turkish War. For the first time, the Ottoman Empire surrender control of significant European territories (many permanently), including Ottoman Hungary
Ottoman Hungary
History of Ottoman Hungary refers to the history of parts of the Ottoman Empire situated in what today is Hungary, in the period from 1541 to 1699.-History:...

. The Empire had reached the end of its ability to effectively conduct an assertive, expansionist policy against its European rivals and it was to be forced from this point to adopt an essentially defensive strategy within this theatre.

Only two Sultans in this period personally exercised strong political and military control of the Empire: the vigorous Murad IV
Murad IV
Murad IV Ghazi was the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1623 to 1640, known both for restoring the authority of the state and for the brutality of his methods...

 (1612–1640) recaptured Yerevan
Yerevan
Yerevan is the capital and largest city of Armenia and one of the world's oldest continuously-inhabited cities. Situated along the Hrazdan River, Yerevan is the administrative, cultural, and industrial center of the country...

 (1635) and Baghdad (1639) from the Safavids and reasserted central authority, albeit during a brief majority reign. Mustafa II
Mustafa II
Mustafa II Ghazi was the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1695 to 1703.-Life:...

 (1695–1703) led the Ottoman counter attack of 1695–6 against the Habsburgs in Hungary, but was undone at the disastrous defeat at Zenta
Battle of Zenta
The Battle of Zenta or Battle of Senta, fought on 11 September 1697 just south of Zenta , on the east side of the Tisza river, was a major engagement in the Great Turkish War and one of the most decisive defeats in Ottoman history...

 (September 11, 1697).

Stagnation and reform (1683–1827)


During this period threats to the Ottoman Empire were presented by the traditional foe—the Austrian Empire—as well as by a new foe—the rising Russian Empire. The Ottomans ceded much territory in the Balkans to Austria
Habsburg Monarchy
The Habsburg Monarchy covered the territories ruled by the junior Austrian branch of the House of Habsburg , and then by the successor House of Habsburg-Lorraine , between 1526 and 1867/1918. The Imperial capital was Vienna, except from 1583 to 1611, when it was moved to Prague...

. Certain areas of the Empire, such as Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

 and Algeria, became independent in all but name, and later came under the influence of Britain
Kingdom of Great Britain
The former Kingdom of Great Britain, sometimes described as the 'United Kingdom of Great Britain', That the Two Kingdoms of Scotland and England, shall upon the 1st May next ensuing the date hereof, and forever after, be United into One Kingdom by the Name of GREAT BRITAIN. was a sovereign...

 and France. Later, in the 18th century, centralized authority within the Ottoman Empire, gave way to varying degrees of provincial autonomy enjoyed by local governors and leaders.

However, Russian expansion presented large and growing threat. Accordingly, King Charles XII of Sweden
Charles XII of Sweden
Charles XII also Carl of Sweden, , Latinized to Carolus Rex, Turkish: Demirbaş Şarl, also known as Charles the Habitué was the King of the Swedish Empire from 1697 to 1718...

 was welcomed as an ally in the Ottoman Empire following his defeat by the Russians at the Battle of Poltava
Battle of Poltava
The Battle of Poltava on 27 June 1709 was the decisive victory of Peter I of Russia over the Swedish forces under Field Marshal Carl Gustav Rehnskiöld in one of the battles of the Great Northern War. It is widely believed to have been the beginning of Sweden's decline as a Great Power; the...

 in 1709 (part of the Great Northern War
Great Northern War
The Great Northern War was a conflict in which a coalition led by the Tsardom of Russia successfully contested the supremacy of the Swedish Empire in northern Central Europe and Eastern Europe. The initial leaders of the anti-Swedish alliance were Peter I the Great of Russia, Frederick IV of...

 of 1700–1721.) Charles XII persuaded the Ottoman Sultan Ahmed III
Ahmed III
Ahmed III was Sultan of the Ottoman Empire and a son of Sultan Mehmed IV . His mother was Mâh-Pâre Ummatullah Râbi'a Gül-Nûş Valide Sultan, originally named Evmania Voria, who was an ethnic Greek. He was born at Hajioglupazari, in Dobruja...

 to declare war on Russia, which resulted in the Ottoman victory at the Pruth River Campaign of 1710–1711. The subsequent Treaty of Passarowitz
Treaty of Passarowitz
The Treaty of Passarowitz or Treaty of Požarevac was the peace treaty signed in Požarevac , a town in Ottoman Empire , on 21 July 1718 between the Ottoman Empire on one side and the Habsburg Monarchy of Austria and the Republic of Venice on the other.During the years 1714-1718, the Ottomans had...

 signed on July 21, 1718, brought a period of peace between wars. However, the Treaty also revealed that the Ottoman Empire was on the defensive and unlikely to present any further aggression in Europe.
During the Tulip Era
Tulip Era in the Ottoman Empire
The Tulip Period or Tulip Era is a period in Ottoman history from The Treaty of Passarowitz on 21 July 1718 to The Patrona Halil Rebellion on 28 September 1730...

 (1718–1730), named for Sultan Ahmed III's love of the tulip
Tulip
The tulip is a perennial, bulbous plant with showy flowers in the genus Tulipa, which comprises 109 species and belongs to the family Liliaceae. The genus's native range extends from as far west as Southern Europe, North Africa, Anatolia, and Iran to the Northwest of China. The tulip's centre of...

 flower and its use to symbolize his peaceful reign, the Empire's policy towards Europe underwent a shift. The Empire began to improve the fortifications of its cities in the Balkan peninsula to act as a defence against European expansionism. Cultural works, fine arts and architecture flourished, with more elaborate styles that were influenced by the Baroque
Baroque
The Baroque is a period and the style that used exaggerated motion and clear, easily interpreted detail to produce drama, tension, exuberance, and grandeur in sculpture, painting, literature, dance, and music...

 and Rococo
Rococo
Rococo , also referred to as "Late Baroque", is an 18th-century style which developed as Baroque artists gave up their symmetry and became increasingly ornate, florid, and playful...

 movements in Europe. A classic example is the Fountain of Ahmed III
Fountain of Ahmed III
The Fountain of Sultan Ahmed III is a fountain in a Turkish rococo structure located in the great square in front of the Imperial Gate of Topkapı Palace in Istanbul, Turkey. It was built under Ottoman sultan Ahmed III in 1728, in the style of the Tulip period...

 in front of the Topkapı Palace
Topkapi Palace
The Topkapı Palace is a large palace in Istanbul, Turkey, that was the primary residence of the Ottoman Sultans for approximately 400 years of their 624-year reign....

. The famous Flemish
Flemish people
The Flemings or Flemish are the Dutch-speaking inhabitants of Belgium, where they are mostly found in the northern region of Flanders. They are one of two principal cultural-linguistic groups in Belgium, the other being the French-speaking Walloons...

-French
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 painter Jean-Baptiste van Mour
Jean-Baptiste van Mour
Jean-Baptiste van Mour or Vanmour was a Flemish-French painter, remembered for his detailed portrayal of life in the Ottoman Empire during the Tulip Era and the rule of Sultan Ahmed III.-Biography:...

 visited the Ottoman Empire during the Tulip Era and crafted some of the most renowned works of art depicting scenes from daily life in the Ottoman society and the imperial court.

Upon the death of Peter the Great in 1725, Catherine, Peter's wife succeeded to the throne of the Russian Empire as Czarina Catherine I. Together with Austria, Russia, under Catherine I, engaged in a war against the Ottoman Empire from 1735 until 1739. The Treaty of Belgrade
Treaty of Belgrade
The Treaty of Belgrade was the peace treaty signed on September 18, 1739 in Belgrade, Habsburg Kingdom of Serbia , by the Ottoman Empire on one side and the Habsburg Monarchy on the other....

 signed on September 18, 1739, ended this war and resulted in the loss of Serbia and "Little Walachia" to Austria and the port of Azov to the Russians. However following the Treaty of Belgrade, the Ottoman Empire was able to enjoy a generation of peace as Austria and Russia were forced to deal with the rise of the Prussians under King Frederick the Great. This long period of Ottoman peace and, indeed, stagnation is typically characterized by historians as an era of failed reforms. In the latter part of this period there were educational and technological reforms, including the establishment of higher education institutions such as the Istanbul Technical University
Istanbul Technical University
Istanbul Technical University is an international technical university located in Istanbul, Turkey. It is the world's third oldest technical university dedicated to engineering sciences as well as social sciences recently, and is one of the most prominent educational institutions in Turkey...

. Ottoman science and technology
Science and Technology in the Ottoman Empire
Science and Technology in the Ottoman Empire covers the topics related to achievements and distinguished events that happened during the existence of the empire. The study of scientific, cultural and intellectual aspects of Ottoman history is a very new area...

 had been highly regarded in medieval times, as a result of Ottoman scholars' synthesis of classical learning with Islamic philosophy and mathematics, and knowledge of such Chinese advances in technology as gunpowder and the magnetic compass. By this period, though, the influences had become regressive and conservative. In 1734, when an artillery school was established with French teachers in order to impart Western-style artillery methods, the Islamic clergy successfully objected under the grounds of theodicy. Not until 1754 was the artillery school re-opened on a semi-secret basis. Earlier, the guilds of writers had denounced the printing press
Printing press
A printing press is a device for applying pressure to an inked surface resting upon a print medium , thereby transferring the ink...

 as "the Devil's Invention", and were responsible for a 53-year lag between its invention by Johannes Gutenberg in Europe in c. 1440 and its introduction to the Ottoman society with the first Gutenberg press in Constantinople that was established by the Sephardic Jews of Spain in 1493 (who had migrated to the Ottoman Empire a year earlier, escaping from the Spanish Inquisition
Spanish Inquisition
The Tribunal of the Holy Office of the Inquisition , commonly known as the Spanish Inquisition , was a tribunal established in 1480 by Catholic Monarchs Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile. It was intended to maintain Catholic orthodoxy in their kingdoms, and to replace the Medieval...

 of 1492.) However, the printing press was used only by the non-Muslims in the Ottoman Empire until the 18th century. In 1726, Ibrahim Muteferrika
Ibrahim Muteferrika
Ibrahim Müteferrika or Ibrahim Müteferrika or Ibrahim Müteferrika or (1674 born in Kolozsvár (present-day Cluj-Napoca, Romania)– died 1745, in Istanbul, (Ottoman Empire now Turkey); was a Transylvanian-born Ottoman diplomat, polymath: a publisher, printer, courtier, economist, man of letters,...

 convinced the Grand Vizier
Grand Vizier
Grand Vizier, in Turkish Vezir-i Azam or Sadr-ı Azam , deriving from the Arabic word vizier , was the greatest minister of the Sultan, with absolute power of attorney and, in principle, dismissable only by the Sultan himself...

 Nevşehirli Damat İbrahim Pasha
Nevsehirli Damat Ibrahim Pasha
Nevşehirli Damad Ibrahim Pasha served as Grand Vizier for Sultan Ahmed III of the Ottoman Empire during the Tulip period. He was also the head of a ruling family which had great influence in the court of Ahmed III...

, the Grand Mufti
Grand Mufti
The title of Grand Mufti refers to the highest official of religious law in a Sunni or Ibadi Muslim country. The Grand Mufti issues legal opinions and edicts, fatwā, on interpretations of Islamic law for private clients or to assist judges in deciding cases...

, and the clergy on the efficiency of the printing press, and later submitted a request to Sultan Ahmed III, who granted Muteferrika the permission to publish non-religious books (despite opposition from some calligraphers
Islamic calligraphy
Islamic calligraphy, colloquially known as Perso-Arabic calligraphy, is the artistic practice of handwriting, or calligraphy, and by extension, of bookmaking, in the lands sharing a common Islamic cultural heritage. This art form is based on the Arabic script, which for a long time was used by all...

 and religious leaders.) Muteferrika's press published its first book in 1729, and, by 1743, issued 17 works in 23 volumes (each having between 500 and 1,000 copies.)

Other tentative reforms were also enacted: taxes
Taxation in the Ottoman Empire
Taxation in the Ottoman Empire changed drastically over time, and was a complex feudal patchwork of different taxes, exemptions, and local customs.-Inheritance:...

 were lowered, there were attempts to improve the image of the Ottoman state, and the first instances of private investment and entrepreneurship occurred.

Following the period of peace, which had lasted since 1739, Russia began to assert its expansionistic desires again in 1768. Under the pretext of pursuing fugitive Polish revolutionaries, Russian troops entered Balta
Balta, Ukraine
Balta is a small city in the Odessa Oblast of south-western Ukraine. It is the administrative center of the Baltsky Raion , and located approximately 200 kilometers from the oblast capital, Odessa...

 an Ottoman-controlled city on the border of Bessarabia and massacred its citizens and burned the town to the ground. This action provoked the Ottoman Empire into the First Russo-Turkish War of 1768-1774. The Treaty of Kuchuk Kainraji of 1774 ended the First Russo-Turkish War and allowed that the Christian citizens of the Ottoman-controlled Rumanian provinces of Wallachia and Moldavia would be allowed freedom to worship. Russia was made the guarantor of their right to Christian worship.

A series of wars were fought between the Russian
Russian Empire
The Russian Empire was a state that existed from 1721 until the Russian Revolution of 1917. It was the successor to the Tsardom of Russia and the predecessor of the Soviet Union...

 and Ottoman empires from the 18th to the 19th century. By the late 18th century, a number of defeats in several wars with Russia led some people in the Ottoman Empire to conclude that the reforms of "Deli Petro" (Peter the Mad, as Peter the Great was known in Turkey) had given the Russians an edge, and the Ottomans would have to keep up with Western technology in order to avoid further defeats.
Ottoman military reform efforts
Ottoman military reform efforts
Ottoman military reform efforts began after the Belle Époque of European civilization. Ottoman military reforms follow the empire's transformation to become a modern country. It followed the same period only a couple decade later of Russia's reforms, and Japan's opening of its doors to west during...

 begin with Selim III
Selim III
Selim III was the reform-minded Sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1789 to 1807. The Janissaries eventually deposed and imprisoned him, and placed his cousin Mustafa on the throne as Mustafa IV...

 (1789–1807) who made the first major attempts to modernize the army along European lines. These efforts, however, were hampered by reactionary movements, partly from the religious leadership, but primarily from the Janissary corps, who had become anarchic and ineffectual. Jealous of their privileges and firmly opposed to change, they created a Janissary revolt. Selim's efforts cost him his throne and his life, but were resolved in spectacular and bloody fashion by his successor, the dynamic Mahmud II
Mahmud II
Mahmud II was the 30th Sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1808 until his death in 1839. He was born in the Topkapi Palace, Istanbul, the son of Sultan Abdulhamid I...

, who massacred the Janissary corps in 1826.

The Serbian revolution
Serbian revolution
Serbian revolution or Revolutionary Serbia refers to the national and social revolution of the Serbian people taking place between 1804 and 1835, during which this territory evolved from an Ottoman province into a constitutional monarchy and a modern nation-state...

 (1804–1815) marked the beginning of an era of national awakening
Romantic nationalism
Romantic nationalism is the form of nationalism in which the state derives its political legitimacy as an organic consequence of the unity of those it governs...

 in the Balkans
Balkans
The Balkans is a geopolitical and cultural region of southeastern Europe...

 during the Eastern Question
Eastern Question
The "Eastern Question", in European history, encompasses the diplomatic and political problems posed by the decay of the Ottoman Empire. The expression does not apply to any one particular problem, but instead includes a variety of issues raised during the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries, including...

. Suzerainty
Suzerainty
Suzerainty occurs where a region or people is a tributary to a more powerful entity which controls its foreign affairs while allowing the tributary vassal state some limited domestic autonomy. The dominant entity in the suzerainty relationship, or the more powerful entity itself, is called a...

 of Serbia as a hereditary monarchy under its own dynasty was acknowledged de jure in 1830. In 1821, the Greeks
Ottoman Greece
Most of Greece gradually became part of the Ottoman Empire from the 15th century until its declaration of independence in 1821, a historical period also known as Tourkokratia ....

 declared war
Greek War of Independence
The Greek War of Independence, also known as the Greek Revolution was a successful war of independence waged by the Greek revolutionaries between...

 on the Sultan. A rebellion that originated in Moldavia as a diversion was followed by the main revolution in the Peloponnese
Peloponnese
The Peloponnese, Peloponnesos or Peloponnesus , is a large peninsula , located in a region of southern Greece, forming the part of the country south of the Gulf of Corinth...

, which, along with the northern part of the Gulf of Corinth
Gulf of Corinth
The Gulf of Corinth or the Corinthian Gulf is a deep inlet of the Ionian Sea separating the Peloponnese from western mainland Greece...

, became the first parts of the Ottoman empire to achieve independence (in 1829). By the mid-19th century, the Ottoman Empire was called the "sick man"
Sick man of Europe
"Sick man of Europe" is a nickname that has been used to describe a European country experiencing a time of economic difficulty and/or impoverishment...

 by Europeans. The suzerain states
Suzerainty
Suzerainty occurs where a region or people is a tributary to a more powerful entity which controls its foreign affairs while allowing the tributary vassal state some limited domestic autonomy. The dominant entity in the suzerainty relationship, or the more powerful entity itself, is called a...

 – the Principality of Serbia, Wallachia, Moldavia
Moldavia
Moldavia is a geographic and historical region and former principality in Eastern Europe, corresponding to the territory between the Eastern Carpathians and the Dniester river...

 and Montenegro
Principality of Montenegro
The Principality of Montenegro was a former realm in Southeastern Europe. It existed from 13 March 1852 to 28 August 1910. It was then proclaimed a kingdom by Knjaz Nikola, who then became king....

 -- moved towards de jure independence during the 1860s and 1870s.

Decline and modernization (1828–1908)


During this period, the Empire faced challenges in defending itself against foreign invasion and occupation. The Empire ceased to enter conflicts on its own and began to forge alliances with European countries such as France, the Netherlands, Britain, and Russia. As an example, in the 1853 Crimean War
Crimean War
The Crimean War was a conflict fought between the Russian Empire and an alliance of the French Empire, the British Empire, the Ottoman Empire, and the Kingdom of Sardinia. The war was part of a long-running contest between the major European powers for influence over territories of the declining...

, the Ottomans united with Britain, France
Second French Empire
The Second French Empire or French Empire was the Imperial Bonapartist regime of Napoleon III from 1852 to 1870, between the Second Republic and the Third Republic, in France.-Rule of Napoleon III:...

, and the Kingdom of Sardinia
Kingdom of Sardinia
The Kingdom of Sardinia consisted of the island of Sardinia first as a part of the Crown of Aragon and subsequently the Spanish Empire , and second as a part of the composite state of the House of Savoy . Its capital was originally Cagliari, in the south of the island, and later Turin, on the...

 against Russia
Russian Empire
The Russian Empire was a state that existed from 1721 until the Russian Revolution of 1917. It was the successor to the Tsardom of Russia and the predecessor of the Soviet Union...

.

Modernization


During the Tanzimat
Tanzimat
The Tanzimât , meaning reorganization of the Ottoman Empire, was a period of reformation that began in 1839 and ended with the First Constitutional Era in 1876. The Tanzimât reform era was characterized by various attempts to modernize the Ottoman Empire, to secure its territorial integrity against...

 period (from Arabic
Arabic language
Arabic is a name applied to the descendants of the Classical Arabic language of the 6th century AD, used most prominently in the Quran, the Islamic Holy Book...

 تنظيم tanẓīm, meaning "organization") (1839–1876), the government's series of constitutional reforms led to a fairly modern conscripted army, banking system reforms, the decriminalisation of homosexuality, the replacement of religious law with secular law and guild
Guild
A guild is an association of craftsmen in a particular trade. The earliest types of guild were formed as confraternities of workers. They were organized in a manner something between a trade union, a cartel, and a secret society...

s with modern factories
Factory
A factory or manufacturing plant is an industrial building where laborers manufacture goods or supervise machines processing one product into another. Most modern factories have large warehouses or warehouse-like facilities that contain heavy equipment used for assembly line production...

. In 1856, the Hatt-ı Hümayun
Hatt-i humayun
Hatt-i humayun , also known as hatt-i sharif , is the diplomatics term for a document or handwritten note of an official nature by an Ottoman Sultan. The terms come from hatt , hümayun and şerif...

promised equality for all Ottoman citizens regardless of their ethnicity and religious confession; which thus widened the scope of the 1839 Hatt-ı Şerif of Gülhane
Hatt-i Sharif
The Hatt-i Sharif of Gülhane or Tanzimât Fermânı was an 1839 proclamation by Ottoman Sultan Abdülmecid I that launched the Tanzimât period of reforms and reorganization....

.

Overall, the Tanzimat reforms had far-reaching effects. Those educated in the schools established during the Tanzimat period included Mustafa Kemal Atatürk
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk was an Ottoman and Turkish army officer, revolutionary statesman, writer, and the first President of Turkey. He is credited with being the founder of the Republic of Turkey....

 and other progressive leaders and thinkers of the Republic of Turkey and of many other former Ottoman states in the Balkans
Balkans
The Balkans is a geopolitical and cultural region of southeastern Europe...

, the Middle East
Middle East
The Middle East is a region that encompasses Western Asia and Northern Africa. It is often used as a synonym for Near East, in opposition to Far East...

 and North Africa
North Africa
North Africa or Northern Africa is the northernmost region of the African continent, linked by the Sahara to Sub-Saharan Africa. Geopolitically, the United Nations definition of Northern Africa includes eight countries or territories; Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, South Sudan, Sudan, Tunisia, and...

. These reforms included guarantees to ensure the Ottoman subjects perfect security for their lives, honour, and property; the introduction of the first Ottoman paper banknotes (1840) and opening of the first post office
Post office
A post office is a facility forming part of a postal system for the posting, receipt, sorting, handling, transmission or delivery of mail.Post offices offer mail-related services such as post office boxes, postage and packaging supplies...

s (1840); the reorganization of the finance system according to the French model (1840); the reorganization of the Civil and Criminal Code according to the French model (1840); the establishment of the Meclis-i Maarif-i Umumiye (1841) which was the prototype of the First Ottoman Parliament
First Constitutional Era (Ottoman Empire)
The First Constitutional Era of the Ottoman Empire was the period of constitutional monarchy from the promulgation of the Kanûn-ı Esâsî , written by members of the Young Ottomans, on 23 November 1876 until 13 February 1878...

 (1876); the reorganization of the army and a regular method of recruiting, levying the army, and fixing the duration of military service (1843–44); the adoption of an Ottoman national anthem
Ottoman imperial anthem
The Ottoman Empire used anthems since its foundation in the late 13th century, but did not use a specific royal or national anthem until the 19th century. During the reign of Sultan Mahmud II, when the military and imperial band were re-organized along Western lines, Giuseppe Donizetti was invited...

 and Ottoman national flag
Ottoman Flag
The term Ottoman flag refers to any of the flags used by the ruling Sultans of the Ottoman Dynasty. Various flags were used within the Ottoman Empire during its existence, and the sultan also used different personal flags on different occasions of state...

 (1844); the first nationwide Ottoman census
Census
A census is the procedure of systematically acquiring and recording information about the members of a given population. It is a regularly occurring and official count of a particular population. The term is used mostly in connection with national population and housing censuses; other common...

 in 1844 (only male citizens were counted); the first national identity cards (officially named the Mecidiye identity papers, or informally kafa kağıdı (head paper) documents, 1844); the institution of a Council of Public Instruction (1845) and the Ministry of Education (Mekatib-i Umumiye Nezareti, 1847, which later became the Maarif Nezareti, 1857); the abolition of slavery and slave trade (1847); the establishment of the first modern universities (darülfünun, 1848), academies (1848) and teacher schools (darülmuallimin, 1848); establishment of the Ministry of Healthcare (Tıbbiye Nezareti, 1850); the Commerce and Trade Code (1850); establishment of the Academy of Sciences (Encümen-i Daniş, 1851); establishment of the Şirket-i Hayriye which operated the first steam-powered commuter ferries (1851); the first European style courts (Meclis-i Ahkam-ı Adliye, 1853) and supreme judiciary council (Meclis-i Ali-yi Tanzimat, 1853); establishment of the modern Municipality of Istanbul (Şehremaneti, 1854) and the City Planning Council (İntizam-ı Şehir Komisyonu, 1855); the abolition of the capitation (Jizya) tax
Jizya
Under Islamic law, jizya or jizyah is a per capita tax levied on a section of an Islamic state's non-Muslim citizens, who meet certain criteria...

 on non-Muslims, with a regular method of establishing and collecting taxes (1856); non-Muslims were allowed to become soldiers (1856); various provisions for the better administration of the public service and advancement of commerce; the establishment of the first telegraph networks (1847–1855) and railroads (1856); the replacement of guilds with factories; the establishment of the Ottoman Central Bank (originally established as the Bank-ı Osmanî in 1856, and later reorganized as the Bank-ı Osmanî-i Şahane in 1863) and the Ottoman Stock Exchange (Dersaadet Tahvilat Borsası, established in 1866); the Land Code (Arazi Kanunnamesi, 1857); permission for private sector publishers and printing firms with the Serbesti-i Kürşad Nizamnamesi (1857); establishment of the School of Economical and Political Sciences (Mekteb-i Mülkiye, 1859); the Press and Journalism Regulation Code (Matbuat Nizamnamesi, 1864); among others.

The Ottoman Ministry of Post was established in Istanbul on 23 October 1840. The first post office was the Postahane-i Amire near the courtyard of the Yeni Mosque. In 1876 the first international mailing network between Istanbul and the lands beyond the vast Ottoman Empire was established. In 1901 the first money transfers were made through the post office
Post office
A post office is a facility forming part of a postal system for the posting, receipt, sorting, handling, transmission or delivery of mail.Post offices offer mail-related services such as post office boxes, postage and packaging supplies...

s and the first cargo services became operational.

Samuel Morse received his first ever patent for the telegraph in 1847, at the old Beylerbeyi Palace (the present Beylerbeyi Palace
Beylerbeyi Palace
The Beylerbeyi Palace is located in the Beylerbeyi neighbourhood of Istanbul, Turkey at the Asian side of the Bosphorus...

 was built in 1861–1865 on the same location) in Constantinople, which was issued by Sultan Abdülmecid
Abdülmecid I
Sultan Abdülmecid I, Abdul Mejid I, Abd-ul-Mejid I or Abd Al-Majid I Ghazi was the 31st Sultan of the Ottoman Empire and succeeded his father Mahmud II on July 2, 1839. His reign was notable for the rise of nationalist movements within the empire's territories...

 who personally tested the new invention. Following this successful test, installation works of the first telegraph line (Istanbul-Edirne
Edirne
Edirne is a city in Eastern Thrace, the northwestern part of Turkey, close to the borders with Greece and Bulgaria. Edirne served as the capital city of the Ottoman Empire from 1365 to 1453, before Constantinople became the empire's new capital. At present, Edirne is the capital of the Edirne...

-Şumnu) began on 9 August 1847. In 1855 the Ottoman telegraph network became operational and the Telegraph Administration was established. In 1871 the Ministry of Post and the Telegraph Administration were merged, becoming the Ministry of Post and Telegraph. In July 1881 the first telephone
Telephone
The telephone , colloquially referred to as a phone, is a telecommunications device that transmits and receives sounds, usually the human voice. Telephones are a point-to-point communication system whose most basic function is to allow two people separated by large distances to talk to each other...

 circuit in Istanbul was established between the Ministry of Post and Telegraph in the Soğukçeşme quarter and the Postahane-i Amire in the Yenicami quarter. On 23 May 1909, the first manual telephone exchange
Telephone exchange
In the field of telecommunications, a telephone exchange or telephone switch is a system of electronic components that connects telephone calls...

 with a 50 line capacity entered service in the Büyük Postane (Grand Post Office) of Sirkeci
Sirkeci
Sirkeci is an area in the Eminönü neighborhood of the Fatih district of the city of Istanbul, Turkey. It has evolved as the place name of the area in Eminönü surrounding Sirkeci Station, the Southeastern long distance passenger train terminus in Europe for the Orient Express.The neighborhood...

.

The first two railway lines in the Ottoman Empire entered service in 1856; these were the Cairo
Cairo
Cairo , is the capital of Egypt and the largest city in the Arab world and Africa, and the 16th largest metropolitan area in the world. Nicknamed "The City of a Thousand Minarets" for its preponderance of Islamic architecture, Cairo has long been a centre of the region's political and cultural life...

-Alexandria
Alexandria
Alexandria is the second-largest city of Egypt, with a population of 4.1 million, extending about along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea in the north central part of the country; it is also the largest city lying directly on the Mediterranean coast. It is Egypt's largest seaport, serving...

 line (1856) and the İzmir
Izmir
Izmir is a large metropolis in the western extremity of Anatolia. The metropolitan area in the entire Izmir Province had a population of 3.35 million as of 2010, making the city third most populous in Turkey...

-Aydın
Aydin
Aydın is a city in and the seat of Aydın Province in Turkey's Aegean Region. The city is located at the heart of the lower valley of Büyük Menderes River at a commanding position for the region extending from the uplands of the valley down to the seacoast...

 line (1856), the latter being operated by the Oriental Railway Company
Oriental Railway Company
The Oriental Railway Company or the İzmir-Aydın Railway was the first railway in Anatolia. The railway operated from 1856 to 1935 when TCDD absorbed it.-History:...

. They were followed by the Köstence
Constanta
Constanța is the oldest extant city in Romania, founded around 600 BC. The city is located in the Dobruja region of Romania, on the Black Sea coast. It is the capital of Constanța County and the largest city in the region....

-Boğazköy
Cernavoda
Cernavodă is a town in Constanţa County, Dobrogea, Romania with a population of 20,514.The town's name is derived from the Slavic černa voda , meaning "black water". This name is regarded by some scholars as a calque of the earlier Thracian name Axíopa, from IE *n.ksei "dark" and upā "water"...

 railway line (1860); the Smyrne Cassaba & Prolongements
Smyrne Cassaba & Prolongements
The Smyrne Cassaba & Prolongements , formerly The Smyrna Cassaba Railway, was a railway company operating in Western Anatolia from 1863 to 1934.-History:...

 (1863) which operated between İzmir, Afyon and Bandırma
Bandirma
Bandırma is a city in northwestern Turkey with 113,385 inhabitants on the Sea of Marmara. Also, Bandırma is a district of Balıkesir....

; the Rusçuk–Varna
Varna
Varna is the largest city and seaside resort on the Bulgarian Black Sea Coast and third-largest in Bulgaria after Sofia and Plovdiv, with a population of 334,870 inhabitants according to Census 2011...

 railway line (1866); the Bükreş
Bucharest
Bucharest is the capital municipality, cultural, industrial, and financial centre of Romania. It is the largest city in Romania, located in the southeast of the country, at , and lies on the banks of the Dâmbovița River....

-Yergöğü
Giurgiu
Giurgiu is the capital city of Giurgiu County, Romania, in the Greater Wallachia. It is situated amid mud-flats and marshes on the left bank of the Danube facing the Bulgarian city of Rousse on the opposite bank. Three small islands face the city, and a larger one shelters its port, Smarda...

 railway line (1869); the Chemins de fer Orientaux
Chemins de fer Orientaux
The Chemins de fer Orientaux was an Ottoman railway company operating in the northwestern Ottoman Empire. It served 2 main lines between Vienna and İstanbul with branch lines to nearby cities. The railway operated between 1869 and 1937...

 (1869) which operated between Vienna
Vienna
Vienna is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.723 million , and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre...

, Banja Luka
Banja Luka
-History:The name "Banja Luka" was first mentioned in a document dated February 6, 1494, but Banja Luka's history dates back to ancient times. There is a substantial evidence of the Roman presence in the region during the first few centuries A.D., including an old fort "Kastel" in the centre of...

, Saraybosna
Sarajevo
Sarajevo |Bosnia]], surrounded by the Dinaric Alps and situated along the Miljacka River in the heart of Southeastern Europe and the Balkans....

, Niš
Niš
Niš is the largest city of southern Serbia and third-largest city in Serbia . According to the data from 2011, the city of Niš has a population of 177,972 inhabitants, while the city municipality has a population of 257,867. The city covers an area of about 597 km2, including the urban area,...

, Sofia
Sofia
Sofia is the capital and largest city of Bulgaria and the 12th largest city in the European Union with a population of 1.27 million people. It is located in western Bulgaria, at the foot of Mount Vitosha and approximately at the centre of the Balkan Peninsula.Prehistoric settlements were excavated...

, Filibe
Plovdiv
Plovdiv is the second-largest city in Bulgaria after Sofia with a population of 338,153 inhabitants according to Census 2011. Plovdiv's history spans some 6,000 years, with traces of a Neolithic settlement dating to roughly 4000 BC; it is one of the oldest cities in Europe...

, Edirne
Edirne
Edirne is a city in Eastern Thrace, the northwestern part of Turkey, close to the borders with Greece and Bulgaria. Edirne served as the capital city of the Ottoman Empire from 1365 to 1453, before Constantinople became the empire's new capital. At present, Edirne is the capital of the Edirne...

 and Istanbul
Istanbul
Istanbul , historically known as Byzantium and Constantinople , is the largest city of Turkey. Istanbul metropolitan province had 13.26 million people living in it as of December, 2010, which is 18% of Turkey's population and the 3rd largest metropolitan area in Europe after London and...

 (starting from 1889 between Paris
Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

 and Istanbul as the Orient Express
Orient Express
The Orient Express is the name of a long-distance passenger train service originally operated by the Compagnie Internationale des Wagons-Lits. It ran from 1883 to 2009 and is not to be confused with the Venice-Simplon Orient Express train service, which continues to run.The route and rolling stock...

); the Chemin de Fer Moudania Brousse
Chemin de Fer Moudania Brousse
The Chemin de Fer Moudania Brousse, , , or CFMB was a long railway line from the port of Mudanya to Bursa.-History:...

 (1871) which operated between Mudanya
Mudanya
Mudanya , is a town and district of Bursa Province in the Marmara region of Turkey. It is located on the Gulf of Gemlik, part of the south coast of the Sea of Marmara. As of 1911, it was connected with Bursa by a railway and a carriage road, and with Istanbul by steamers...

 and Bursa; the Istanbul-Belovo
Belovo, Bulgaria
Belovo is a town in South West Bulgaria. It is located in Pazardzhik Province, where the Yadenitza flows into the Maritza river, at the foot of three mountain ranges , on the western end of the Thracian Plain...

 railway line (1873); the Üsküp
Skopje
Skopje is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Macedonia with about a third of the total population. It is the country's political, cultural, economic, and academic centre...

-Selânik
Thessaloniki
Thessaloniki , historically also known as Thessalonica, Salonika or Salonica, is the second-largest city in Greece and the capital of the region of Central Macedonia as well as the capital of the Decentralized Administration of Macedonia and Thrace...

 railway line (1873); the Mersin-Tarsus-Adana Railway (1882); the Chemins de Fer Ottomans d'Anatolie
Chemins de Fer Ottomans d'Anatolie
The Chemins de Fer Ottomans d'Anatolie was an Ottoman railway founded on October 4, 1888. The railway was headquartered in İstanbul.The CFOA was the busiest railway in the Ottoman Empire and was one of the two railways operating into İstanbul, along with the Chemins de fer Orientaux...

 (1888) which operated between Istanbul, Izmit
Izmit
İzmit is a city in Turkey, administrative center of Kocaeli Province as well as the Kocaeli Metropolitan Municipality. It is located at the Gulf of İzmit in the Sea of Marmara, about east of Istanbul, on the northwestern part of Anatolia. The city center has a population of 294.875...

, Adapazarı
Adapazari
Adapazarı is a city in northwestern Turkey and the capital of Sakarya Province. The province itself was originally named Adapazarı as well. Adapazarı is a part of the densely populated region of the country, known as the Marmara Region. As of 2010, the city has a population of 560,876 ...

, Bilecik
Bilecik
-External links:* http://www.eksisozluk.com/show.asp?t=bilecik%20diye%20bir%20yerin%20asl%C4%B1nda%20olmamas%C4%B1%20 Bilecik Conspiracy* http://www.bilecikaktuel.com* * http://www.voyagerbook.com/eng/iller/11/11.asp*...

, Eskişehir
Eskisehir
Eskişehir is a city in northwestern Turkey and the capital of the Eskişehir Province. According to the 2009 census, the population of the city is 631,905. The city is located on the banks of the Porsuk River, 792 m above sea level, where it overlooks the fertile Phrygian Valley. In the nearby...

, Ankara
Ankara
Ankara is the capital of Turkey and the country's second largest city after Istanbul. The city has a mean elevation of , and as of 2010 the metropolitan area in the entire Ankara Province had a population of 4.4 million....

, Kütahya
Kütahya
Kütahya is a city in western Turkey with 212,444 inhabitants , lying on the Porsuk river, at 969 metres above sea level. It is the capital of Kütahya Province, inhabited by some 517 804 people...

 and Konya
Konya
Konya is a city in the Central Anatolia Region of Turkey. The metropolitan area in the entire Konya Province had a population of 1,036,027 as of 2010, making the city seventh most populous in Turkey.-Etymology:...

; the Jaffa–Jerusalem railway
Jaffa–Jerusalem railway
The Jaffa–Jerusalem railway is a railroad that connected Jaffa and Jerusalem. The line was built in Ottoman Palestine by the French company Société du Chemin de Fer Ottoman de Jaffa à Jérusalem et Prolongements and inaugurated in 1892, after previous attempts by the Jewish philanthropist Moses...

 (1892); the Beirut-Damascus railway
Rail transport in Lebanon
Rail transport in Lebanon began in the 1890s and continued for most of the 20th century, but has ceased as a result of the country's political difficulties.-The Ottoman Empire:...

 (1895); the Baghdad Railway
Baghdad Railway
The Baghdad Railway , was built from 1903 to 1940 to connect Berlin with the Ottoman Empire city of Baghdad with a line through modern-day Turkey, Syria, and Iraq....

 (1904) which operated between Istanbul, Konya, Adana
Adana
Adana is a city in southern Turkey and a major agricultural and commercial center. The city is situated on the Seyhan River, 30 kilometres inland from the Mediterranean, in south-central Anatolia...

, Aleppo
Aleppo
Aleppo is the largest city in Syria and the capital of Aleppo Governorate, the most populous Syrian governorate. With an official population of 2,301,570 , expanding to over 2.5 million in the metropolitan area, it is also one of the largest cities in the Levant...

 and Baghdad
Baghdad
Baghdad is the capital of Iraq, as well as the coterminous Baghdad Governorate. The population of Baghdad in 2011 is approximately 7,216,040...

; the Jezreel Valley railway
Jezreel Valley railway
The Jezreel Valley railway, or simply the Valley railway refers to a historical railroad in Ottoman and British Palestine, which was part of the larger Hejaz railway and ran along the Jezreel Valley....

 (1905) which operated between Acre
Acre, Israel
Acre , is a city in the Western Galilee region of northern Israel at the northern extremity of Haifa Bay. Acre is one of the oldest continuously inhabited sites in the country....

, Haifa
Haifa
Haifa is the largest city in northern Israel, and the third-largest city in the country, with a population of over 268,000. Another 300,000 people live in towns directly adjacent to the city including the cities of the Krayot, as well as, Tirat Carmel, Daliyat al-Karmel and Nesher...

, Bosra
Bosra
Bosra , also known as Bostra, Busrana, Bozrah, Bozra, Busra Eski Şam, Busra ash-Sham, and Nova Trajana Bostra, is an ancient city administratively belonging to the Daraa Governorate in southern Syria...

, Hauran
Hauran
Hauran, , also spelled Hawran or Houran, is a volcanic plateau, a geographic area and a people located in southwestern Syria and extending into the northwestern corner of Jordan. It gets its name from the Aramaic Hawran, meaning "cave land." In geographic and geomorphic terms, its boundaries...

, Yagur
Yagur
Yagur is a kibbutz in northern Israel. Located on the slopes of Mount Carmel about 9 km southeast of Haifa, it is one of the two largest kibbutzim in the country, with a population of 1,124 in 2008. It falls under the jurisdiction of Zevulun Regional Council....

, Daraa, Samakh
Samakh, Tiberias
Samakh was a Palestinian Arab village located at the southern end of the Lake Tiberias in Palestine . It had a population of 3,320 Arab Muslims and Arab Christians in 1945...

, Beit She'an and Silat ad-Dhahr
Silat ad-Dhahr
Silat adh Dhahr is a Palestinian town in the Jenin Governorate in the Northern area of the West Bank, located 14 kilometers South west of Jenin. According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, the town had a population of over 6,259 inhabitants in mid-year 2006...

; the Hejaz Railway (1908) which operated between Istanbul, Konya, Adana, Aleppo, Damascus
Damascus
Damascus , commonly known in Syria as Al Sham , and as the City of Jasmine , is the capital and the second largest city of Syria after Aleppo, both are part of the country's 14 governorates. In addition to being one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, Damascus is a major...

, Amman
Amman
Amman is the capital of Jordan. It is the country's political, cultural and commercial centre and one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. The Greater Amman area has a population of 2,842,629 as of 2010. The population of Amman is expected to jump from 2.8 million to almost...

, Tabuk and Medina
Medina
Medina , or ; also transliterated as Madinah, or madinat al-nabi "the city of the prophet") is a city in the Hejaz region of western Saudi Arabia, and serves as the capital of the Al Madinah Province. It is the second holiest city in Islam, and the burial place of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad, and...

; the Eastern Railway
Eastern Railway (Israel)
The Eastern Railway refers to a railroad in central Israel stretching from Lod to Hadera. As of 2011, the section between Kfar Saba and Lod, as well as a short section just north of Hadera are in use, while the rest of the railway has not been operative since 1969, though there are plans to...

 (1915) which operated between Tulkarm
Tulkarm
Tulkarem or Tulkarm is a Palestinian city in the northern Samarian mountain range in the Tulkarm Governorate in the extreme northwestern West Bank adjacent to the Netanya and Haifa districts to the west, the Nablus and Jenin Districts to the east...

 and Lod
Lod
Lod is a city located on the Sharon Plain southeast of Tel Aviv in the Center District of Israel. At the end of 2010, it had a population of 70,000, roughly 75 percent Jewish and 25 percent Arab.The name is derived from the Biblical city of Lod...

; and the Beersheba Railway
Railway to Beersheba
The Railway to Beersheba is the common name for the railroad which currently stretches from central Israel to the Zin Factories in southern Israel, with spurs to the Be'er Sheva Center Railway Station, Ramat Hovav and the Arad phosphate mines and factories in Tzefa...

 (1915) which connected Nahal Sorek with Beit Hanoun
Beit Hanoun
Beit Hanoun is a city on the north-east edge of the Gaza Strip. According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, the town had a population of 32,187 in mid-year 2006. It is administered by the Palestinian Authority...

 and Beersheba
Beersheba
Beersheba is the largest city in the Negev desert of southern Israel. Often referred to as the "Capital of the Negev", it is the seventh-largest city in Israel with a population of 194,300....

.

The reformist period peaked with the Constitution, called the Kanûn-ı Esâsî
Kanûn-i Esâsî
The Ottoman constitution of 1876 was the first constitution of the Ottoman Empire. Written by members of the Young Ottomans, particularly Midhat Pasha, during the reign of Sultan Abdülhamid II , the constitution was only in effect for two years, from 1876 to 1878.A large part of the reason for the...

(meaning "Basic Law
Basic Law
The term basic law is used in some places as an alternative to "constitution", implying it is a temporary but necessary measure without formal enactment of constitution. A basic law is either a codified constitution, or in countries with uncodified constitutions, a law given to have constitution...

" in Ottoman Turkish), written by members of the Young Ottomans
Young Ottomans
The Young Ottomans were a secret organization of Ottoman nationalist intellectuals formed in 1865, influenced by such Western thinkers as Montesquieu and Rousseau and the French Revolution. They developed the concept of Ottomanism, aligned with these thinkers...

, which was promulgated on November 23, 1876. It established the freedom of belief and equality of all citizens before the law. The Empire's First Constitutional era
First Constitutional Era (Ottoman Empire)
The First Constitutional Era of the Ottoman Empire was the period of constitutional monarchy from the promulgation of the Kanûn-ı Esâsî , written by members of the Young Ottomans, on 23 November 1876 until 13 February 1878...

, was short-lived. But the idea of Ottomanism
Ottomanism
Ottomanism was a concept which developed prior to the First Constitutional Era of the Ottoman Empire. Its proponents believed that it could solve the social issues that the empire was facing. Ottomanism was highly affected by thinkers such as Montesquieu and Rousseau and the French Revolution. It...

 proved influential. A group of reformers known as the Young Ottomans
Young Ottomans
The Young Ottomans were a secret organization of Ottoman nationalist intellectuals formed in 1865, influenced by such Western thinkers as Montesquieu and Rousseau and the French Revolution. They developed the concept of Ottomanism, aligned with these thinkers...

, primarily educated in western universities
University
A university is an institution of higher education and research, which grants academic degrees in a variety of subjects. A university is an organisation that provides both undergraduate education and postgraduate education...

, believed that a constitutional monarchy
Constitutional monarchy
Constitutional monarchy is a form of government in which a monarch acts as head of state within the parameters of a constitution, whether it be a written, uncodified or blended constitution...

 would give an answer to the Empire's growing social unrest. Through a military coup in 1876, they forced Sultan Abdülaziz
Abdülâziz
Abdülaziz I or Abd Al-Aziz, His Imperial Majesty was the 32nd Sultan of the Ottoman Empire and reigned between 25 June 1861 and 30 May 1876...

 (1861–1876) to abdicate in favour of Murad V
Murad V
Murad V was the 33rd Sultan of the Ottoman Empire who reigned from 30 May to 31 August 1876.He was born at Istanbul , Topkapı Palace. His father was Abdülmecid I...

. However, Murad V was mentally ill and was deposed within a few months. His heir-apparent, Abdülhamid II (1876–1909), was invited to assume power on the condition that he would declare a constitutional monarchy, which he did on November 23, 1876. The parliament survived for only two years before the sultan suspended it. When forced to reconvene it, he abolished the representative body instead. This ended the effectiveness of the Kanûn-ı Esâsî
Kanûn-i Esâsî
The Ottoman constitution of 1876 was the first constitution of the Ottoman Empire. Written by members of the Young Ottomans, particularly Midhat Pasha, during the reign of Sultan Abdülhamid II , the constitution was only in effect for two years, from 1876 to 1878.A large part of the reason for the...

.

The Christian millets
Millet (Ottoman Empire)
Millet is a term for the confessional communities in the Ottoman Empire. It refers to the separate legal courts pertaining to "personal law" under which communities were allowed to rule themselves under their own system...

 gained privileges, such as in the Armenian National Constitution
Armenian National Constitution
Armenian National Constitution or Regulation of the Armenian Nation was Ottoman Empire approved form of the "Code of Regulations" composed of 150 articles drafted by the Armenian intelligentsia Armenian National Constitution or Regulation of the Armenian Nation (Armenian:"Հայ ազգային...

 of 1863. This Divan-approved form of the Code of Regulations consisted of 150 articles drafted by the Armenian intelligentsia. Another institution was the newly formed Armenian National Assembly
Armenian National Assembly (Ottoman Empire)
Armenian National Assembly was the governing body of the Armenian Millet established by Armenian National Constitution of 1863 under Ottoman Empire....

. The Christian population of the empire, owing to their higher educational levels, started to pull ahead of the Muslim majority, leading to much resentment on the part of the latter. In 1861, there were 571 primary and 94 secondary schools for Ottoman Christians with 140,000 students in total, a figure that vastly exceeded the number of Muslim children in school at the same time, who were further hindered by the amount of time spent learning Arabic and Islamic theology. In turn, the higher educational levels of the Christians allowed them to play a large role in the economy. In 1911, of the 654 wholesale companies in Constantinople, 528 were owned by ethnic Greeks.

Crimean War


The Crimean War
Crimean War
The Crimean War was a conflict fought between the Russian Empire and an alliance of the French Empire, the British Empire, the Ottoman Empire, and the Kingdom of Sardinia. The war was part of a long-running contest between the major European powers for influence over territories of the declining...

 (1853–1856) was part of a long-running contest between the major European powers for influence over territories of the declining Ottoman Empire
Decline of the Ottoman Empire
The Decline of the Ottoman Empire is the period that followed after the Stagnation of the Ottoman Empire in which the empire experienced several economic and political setbacks. Directly affecting the Empire at this time was Russian imperialism...

. Most of the conflict took place on the Crimea
Crimea
Crimea , or the Autonomous Republic of Crimea , is a sub-national unit, an autonomous republic, of Ukraine. It is located on the northern coast of the Black Sea, occupying a peninsula of the same name...

n Peninsula, but there were smaller campaigns in western Anatolia
Anatolia
Anatolia is a geographic and historical term denoting the westernmost protrusion of Asia, comprising the majority of the Republic of Turkey...

, the Caucasus
Caucasus
The Caucasus, also Caucas or Caucasia , is a geopolitical region at the border of Europe and Asia, and situated between the Black and the Caspian sea...

, the Baltic Sea
Baltic Sea
The Baltic Sea is a brackish mediterranean sea located in Northern Europe, from 53°N to 66°N latitude and from 20°E to 26°E longitude. It is bounded by the Scandinavian Peninsula, the mainland of Europe, and the Danish islands. It drains into the Kattegat by way of the Øresund, the Great Belt and...

, the Pacific Ocean
Pacific Ocean
The Pacific Ocean is the largest of the Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south, bounded by Asia and Australia in the west, and the Americas in the east.At 165.2 million square kilometres in area, this largest division of the World...

 and the White Sea
White Sea
The White Sea is a southern inlet of the Barents Sea located on the northwest coast of Russia. It is surrounded by Karelia to the west, the Kola Peninsula to the north, and the Kanin Peninsula to the northeast. The whole of the White Sea is under Russian sovereignty and considered to be part of...

. It is often considered to be one of the first "modern" wars, as it introduced technical changes which affected the future course of warfare, including the first tactical use of railways and the telegraph. It is also famous for the work of Florence Nightingale
Florence Nightingale
Florence Nightingale OM, RRC was a celebrated English nurse, writer and statistician. She came to prominence for her pioneering work in nursing during the Crimean War, where she tended to wounded soldiers. She was dubbed "The Lady with the Lamp" after her habit of making rounds at night...

 and Mary Seacole
Mary Seacole
Mary Jane Seacole , sometimes known as Mother Seacole or Mary Grant, was a Jamaican nurse best known for her involvement in the Crimean War. She set up and operated boarding houses in Panama and the Crimea to assist in her desire to treat the sick...

, who pioneered modern nursing practices while caring for wounded British soldiers. The Crimean War was one of the first wars to be documented extensively in written reports and photographs
War photography
War photography captures photographs of armed conflict and life in war-torn areas.Although photographs can provide a more direct representation than paintings or drawings, they are sometimes manipulated, creating an image that is not objectively journalistic.-History:Photography, presented to the...

: notably by William Russell
William Howard Russell
William Howard Russell was an Irish reporter with The Times, and is considered to have been one of the first modern war correspondents, after he spent 22 months covering the Crimean War including the Charge of the Light Brigade.-Career:As a young reporter, Russell reported on a brief military...

 (for The Times
The Times
The Times is a British daily national newspaper, first published in London in 1785 under the title The Daily Universal Register . The Times and its sister paper The Sunday Times are published by Times Newspapers Limited, a subsidiary since 1981 of News International...

newspaper) and Roger Fenton
Roger Fenton
Roger Fenton was a pioneering British photographer, one of the first war photographers.-Early life:Roger Fenton was born in Crimble Hall, Heap, Bury, Lancashire, 28 March 1819. His grandfather was a wealthy cotton manufacturer and banker, his father a banker and Member of Parliament...

, respectively. News correspondence reaching Britain from the Crimea
Crimea
Crimea , or the Autonomous Republic of Crimea , is a sub-national unit, an autonomous republic, of Ukraine. It is located on the northern coast of the Black Sea, occupying a peninsula of the same name...

 was the first time the public were kept informed of the day-to-day realities of war.

The Ottoman Empire took its first foreign loans
Ottoman public debt
The Ottoman public debt was a term which dated back to 4 August 1854, when the Ottoman Empire first entered into loan contracts with its European creditors shortly after the beginning of the Crimean War. The Empire entered into subsequent loans, partly to finance railway construction and partly to...

 on 4 August 1854, shortly after the beginning of the Crimean War.

The war caused an exodus of the Crimean Tatars
Crimean Tatars
Crimean Tatars or Crimeans are a Turkic ethnic group that originally resided in Crimea. They speak the Crimean Tatar language...

. From the total Tatar population of 300,000 in the Tauride Province, about 200,000 Crimean Tatars moved to the Ottoman Empire in continuing waves of emigration. Toward the end of the Caucasian Wars, many Circassians fled their homelands in the Caucasus
Caucasus
The Caucasus, also Caucas or Caucasia , is a geopolitical region at the border of Europe and Asia, and situated between the Black and the Caspian sea...

 and settled in the Ottoman Empire. Since the 19th century, the exodus to present-day Turkey by the large portion of Muslim
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

 peoples from the Balkans, Caucasus, Crimea
Crimea
Crimea , or the Autonomous Republic of Crimea , is a sub-national unit, an autonomous republic, of Ukraine. It is located on the northern coast of the Black Sea, occupying a peninsula of the same name...

 and Crete
Crete
Crete is the largest and most populous of the Greek islands, the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, and one of the thirteen administrative regions of Greece. It forms a significant part of the economy and cultural heritage of Greece while retaining its own local cultural traits...

, had great influence in molding the country's fundamental features. These people were called Muhacir
Muhajir (Turkey)
Muhacir is a term of Arabic origin in Turkish language, used across ethnicities, and that corresponds to people whose ancestors migrated from formerly Muslim territories , considered lost to the non-Muslims : the Balkans Muhacir (sometimes maacir in colloquial Turkish) is a term of Arabic origin...

under a general definition. By the time the Ottoman Empire came to an end in 1922, half of the urban population of Turkey was descended from Muslim refugees from Russia. Crimean Tartar refugees in the late 19th century played an especially notable role in seeking to modernize Turkish education.

The subsequent Treaty of Paris (1856)
Treaty of Paris (1856)
The Treaty of Paris of 1856 settled the Crimean War between Russia and an alliance of the Ottoman Empire, the British Empire, Second French Empire, and the Kingdom of Sardinia. The treaty, signed on March 30, 1856 at the Congress of Paris, made the Black Sea neutral territory, closing it to all...

 secured Ottoman control over the Balkan peninsula and the Black Sea
Black Sea
The Black Sea is bounded by Europe, Anatolia and the Caucasus and is ultimately connected to the Atlantic Ocean via the Mediterranean and the Aegean seas and various straits. The Bosphorus strait connects it to the Sea of Marmara, and the strait of the Dardanelles connects that sea to the Aegean...

 basin until the Russo-Turkish War of 1877–1878.

Ethnic nationalism


The rise of nationalism
Rise of nationalism under the Ottoman Empire
The rise of the Western notion of nationalism under the Ottoman Empire eventually caused the break-down of the Ottoman millet concept...

 swept through many countries during the 19th century, and it affected territories within the Ottoman Empire. A burgeoning national consciousness
Nationalism
Nationalism is a political ideology that involves a strong identification of a group of individuals with a political entity defined in national terms, i.e. a nation. In the 'modernist' image of the nation, it is nationalism that creates national identity. There are various definitions for what...

, together with a growing sense of ethnic nationalism
Ethnic nationalism
Ethnic nationalism is a form of nationalism wherein the "nation" is defined in terms of ethnicity. Whatever specific ethnicity is involved, ethnic nationalism always includes some element of descent from previous generations and the implied claim of ethnic essentialism, i.e...

, made nationalistic thought one of the most significant Western ideas imported to the Ottoman empire. It was forced to deal with nationalism both within and beyond its borders. The number of revolutionary political parties rose dramatically. Uprisings in Ottoman territory had many far-reaching consequences during the 19th century and determined much of Ottoman policy during the early 20th century. Many Ottoman Turks questioned whether the policies of the state were to blame: some felt that the sources of ethnic conflict were external, and unrelated to issues of governance. While this era was not without some successes, the ability of the Ottoman state to have any effect on ethnic uprisings was seriously called into question.

In 1804 the Serbian revolution
Serbian revolution
Serbian revolution or Revolutionary Serbia refers to the national and social revolution of the Serbian people taking place between 1804 and 1835, during which this territory evolved from an Ottoman province into a constitutional monarchy and a modern nation-state...

 against Ottoman rule erupted in the Balkans
Balkans
The Balkans is a geopolitical and cultural region of southeastern Europe...

, running in parallel with the Napoleonic invasion
Illyrian provinces
The Illyrian Provinces was an autonomous province of the Napoleonic French Empire on the north and east coasts of the Adriatic Sea between 1809 and 1816. Its capital was established at Laybach...

. By 1817, when the revolution ended, Serbia was raised to the status of self-governing monarchy under nominal Ottoman suzerainty
Suzerainty
Suzerainty occurs where a region or people is a tributary to a more powerful entity which controls its foreign affairs while allowing the tributary vassal state some limited domestic autonomy. The dominant entity in the suzerainty relationship, or the more powerful entity itself, is called a...

. In 1821 the First Hellenic Republic
First Hellenic Republic
The First Hellenic Republic is a name used to refer to the provisional Greek state during the Greek War of Independence against the Ottoman Empire...

 became the first Balkan country to achieve its independence from the Ottoman Empire. It was officially recognized by the Porte in 1829, after the end of the Greek War of Independence
Greek War of Independence
The Greek War of Independence, also known as the Greek Revolution was a successful war of independence waged by the Greek revolutionaries between...

.

Balkans



The Tanzimat reforms did not halt the rise of nationalism in the Danubian Principalities
Danubian Principalities
Danubian Principalities was a conventional name given to the Principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia, which emerged in the early 14th century. The term was coined in the Habsburg Monarchy after the Treaty of Küçük Kaynarca in order to designate an area on the lower Danube with a common...

 and the Principality of Serbia, which had been semi-independent for almost six decades. In 1875 the tributary principalities of Serbia and Montenegro
Principality of Montenegro
The Principality of Montenegro was a former realm in Southeastern Europe. It existed from 13 March 1852 to 28 August 1910. It was then proclaimed a kingdom by Knjaz Nikola, who then became king....

, and the United Principalities
United Principalities
The United Principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia, also known as the Romanian Principalities, was the official name of Romania following the 1859 election of Alexandru Ioan Cuza as prince or domnitor of both territories...

 of Wallachia and Moldavia
Moldavia
Moldavia is a geographic and historical region and former principality in Eastern Europe, corresponding to the territory between the Eastern Carpathians and the Dniester river...

, unilaterally declared their independence from the Empire. Following the Russo-Turkish War of 1877–1878, the empire granted independence to all three belligerent nations. Bulgaria
History of Bulgaria
The history of Bulgaria spans from the first settlements on the lands of modern Bulgaria to its formation as a nation-state and includes the history of the Bulgarian people and their origin. The first traces of human presence on what is today Bulgaria date from 44,000 BC...

 also achieved virtual independence (as the Principality of Bulgaria
Principality of Bulgaria
The Principality of Bulgaria was a self-governing entity created as a vassal of the Ottoman Empire by the Treaty of Berlin in 1878. The preliminary treaty of San Stefano between the Russian Empire and the Porte , on March 3, had originally proposed a significantly larger Bulgarian territory: its...

); its volunteers had participated in the Russo-Turkish war on the side of the rebelling nations.
Congress of Berlin

The Congress of Berlin
Congress of Berlin
The Congress of Berlin was a meeting of the European Great Powers' and the Ottoman Empire's leading statesmen in Berlin in 1878. In the wake of the Russo-Turkish War of 1877–78, the meeting's aim was to reorganize the countries of the Balkans...

 (13 June – 13 July 1878) was a meeting of the leading statesmen of Europe's Great Powers and the Ottoman Empire. In the wake of the Russo-Turkish War (1877–1878) that ended with a decisive victory for Russia and her Orthodox Christian allies (subjects of the Ottoman Empire before the war) in the Balkan peninsula
Balkans
The Balkans is a geopolitical and cultural region of southeastern Europe...

, the urgent need was to stabilize and reorganize the Balkans, and set up new nations. German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck
Otto von Bismarck
Otto Eduard Leopold, Prince of Bismarck, Duke of Lauenburg , simply known as Otto von Bismarck, was a Prussian-German statesman whose actions unified Germany, made it a major player in world affairs, and created a balance of power that kept Europe at peace after 1871.As Minister President of...

, who led the Congress, undertook to adjust boundaries to minimize the risks of major war, while recognizing the reduced power of the Ottomans, and balance the distinct interests of the great powers.

As a result, Ottoman holdings in Europe declined sharply; Bulgaria
History of Bulgaria
The history of Bulgaria spans from the first settlements on the lands of modern Bulgaria to its formation as a nation-state and includes the history of the Bulgarian people and their origin. The first traces of human presence on what is today Bulgaria date from 44,000 BC...

 was established as an independent principality inside the Ottoman Empire, but was not allowed to keep all its previous territory. Bulgaria lost Eastern Rumelia
Eastern Rumelia
Eastern Rumelia or Eastern Roumelia was an administratively autonomous province in the Ottoman Empire and Principality of Bulgaria from 1878 to 1908. It was under full Bulgarian control from 1885 on, when it willingly united with the tributary Principality of Bulgaria after a bloodless revolution...

, which was restored to the Turks under a special administration; and Macedonia, which was returned outright to the Turks, who promised reform. Romania achieved full independence, but had to turn over part of Bessarabia
Bessarabia
Bessarabia is a historical term for the geographic region in Eastern Europe bounded by the Dniester River on the east and the Prut River on the west....

 to Russia. Serbia
History of Serbia
The history of Serbia, as a country, begins with the Slavic settlements in the Balkans, established in the 6th century in territories governed by the Byzantine Empire. Through centuries, the Serbian realm evolved into a Kingdom , then an Empire , before the Ottomans annexed it in 1540...

 and Montenegro
Montenegro
Montenegro Montenegrin: Crna Gora Црна Гора , meaning "Black Mountain") is a country located in Southeastern Europe. It has a coast on the Adriatic Sea to the south-west and is bordered by Croatia to the west, Bosnia and Herzegovina to the northwest, Serbia to the northeast and Albania to the...

 finally gained complete independence, but with smaller territories.

In 1878, Austria-Hungary
Austria-Hungary
Austria-Hungary , more formally known as the Kingdoms and Lands Represented in the Imperial Council and the Lands of the Holy Hungarian Crown of Saint Stephen, was a constitutional monarchic union between the crowns of the Austrian Empire and the Kingdom of Hungary in...

 unilaterally occupied the Ottoman provinces of Bosnia-Herzegovina and Novi Pazar
Sanjak of Novi Pazar
The Sanjak of Novi Pazar was an Ottoman sanjak that existed until the Balkan Wars of 1912-1913 in the territory of present day Montenegro, Serbia and Kosovo.-History:It was part of the Bosnia Vilayet and later Kosovo Vilayet and included...

, but the Ottoman government contested this move and maintained its troops in both provinces. The stalemate lasted for 30 years (Austrian and Ottoman forces coexisted in Bosnia and Novi Pazar for three decades) until 1908, when the Austrians took advantage of the political turmoil in the Ottoman Empire that stemmed from the Young Turk Revolution
Young Turk Revolution
The Young Turk Revolution of 1908 reversed the suspension of the Ottoman parliament by Sultan Abdul Hamid II, marking the onset of the Second Constitutional Era...

 and annexed Bosnia-Herzegovina
Bosnian crisis
The Bosnian Crisis of 1908–1909, also known as the Annexation crisis, or the First Balkan Crisis, erupted into public view when on 6 October 1908, Austria-Hungary announced the annexation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Russia, the Ottoman Empire, Britain, Italy, Serbia, Montenegro, Germany and France...

, but pulled their troops out of Novi Pazar in order to reach a compromise and avoid a war with the Turks. The Ottoman Empire lost Novi Pazar with the First Balkan War
Balkan Wars
The Balkan Wars were two conflicts that took place in the Balkans in south-eastern Europe in 1912 and 1913.By the early 20th century, Montenegro, Bulgaria, Greece and Serbia, the countries of the Balkan League, had achieved their independence from the Ottoman Empire, but large parts of their ethnic...

 in 1912.

In return for British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli's advocacy for restoring the Ottoman territories on the Balkan peninsula during the Congress of Berlin, Britain assumed the administration of Cyprus
Cyprus
Cyprus , officially the Republic of Cyprus , is a Eurasian island country, member of the European Union, in the Eastern Mediterranean, east of Greece, south of Turkey, west of Syria and north of Egypt. It is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea.The earliest known human activity on the...

 in 1878 and later sent troops to Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

 in 1882 with the pretext of helping the Ottoman government to put down the Urabi Revolt
Urabi Revolt
The Urabi Revolt or Orabi Revolt , also known as the Orabi Revolution, was an uprising in Egypt in 1879-82 against the Khedive and European influence in the country...

; effectively gaining control in both territories (Britain formally annexed the still nominally Ottoman territories of Cyprus and Egypt on 5 November 1914, in response to the Ottoman Empire's decision to enter World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 on the side of the Central Powers
Central Powers
The Central Powers were one of the two warring factions in World War I , composed of the German Empire, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Ottoman Empire, and the Kingdom of Bulgaria...

.) France, on its part, occupied Tunisia
Tunisia
Tunisia , officially the Tunisian RepublicThe long name of Tunisia in other languages used in the country is: , is the northernmost country in Africa. It is a Maghreb country and is bordered by Algeria to the west, Libya to the southeast, and the Mediterranean Sea to the north and east. Its area...

 in 1881.

The results were first hailed as a great achievement in peacemaking and stabilization. However, most of the participants were not fully satisfied, and grievances regarding the results festered until they exploded in world war in 1914. Serbia, Bulgaria, and Greece made gains, but far less than they thought they deserved. The Ottoman Empire, called at the time the "sick man of Europe," was humiliated and significantly weakened, rendering it more liable to domestic unrest and more vulnerable to attack. Although Russia had been victorious in the war that occasioned the conference, it was humiliated at Berlin, and resented its treatment. Austria gained a great deal of territory, which angered the South Slavs, and led to decades of tensions in Bosnia and Herzogovina. Bismarck became the target of hatred of Russian nationalists and Pan-Slavists, and found that he had tied Germany too closely to Austria in the Balkans.

In the long-run, tensions between Russia and Austria-Hungary intensified, as did the nationality question in the Balkans. The Congress succeeded in keeping Constantinople in Ottoman hands. It effectively disavowed Russia's victory. The Congress of Berlin returned to the Ottoman Empire territories that the previous treaty had given to the Principality of Bulgaria
Principality of Bulgaria
The Principality of Bulgaria was a self-governing entity created as a vassal of the Ottoman Empire by the Treaty of Berlin in 1878. The preliminary treaty of San Stefano between the Russian Empire and the Porte , on March 3, had originally proposed a significantly larger Bulgarian territory: its...

, most notably Macedonia
Macedonia (region)
Macedonia is a geographical and historical region of the Balkan peninsula in southeastern Europe. Its boundaries have changed considerably over time, but nowadays the region is considered to include parts of five Balkan countries: Greece, the Republic of Macedonia, Bulgaria, Albania, Serbia, as...

, thus setting up a strong revanchist demand in Bulgaria that in 1912 led to the First Balkan War
First Balkan War
The First Balkan War, which lasted from October 1912 to May 1913, pitted the Balkan League against the Ottoman Empire. The combined armies of the Balkan states overcame the numerically inferior and strategically disadvantaged Ottoman armies and achieved rapid success...

 in which the Ottomans were defeated and lost nearly all of Europe.

Egypt


In 1882 British forces occupied Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

 on the pretext of bringing order. Egypt and Sudan remained as Ottoman provinces de jure
De jure
De jure is an expression that means "concerning law", as contrasted with de facto, which means "concerning fact".De jure = 'Legally', De facto = 'In fact'....

until 1914, when the Ottoman Empire joined the Central Powers
Central Powers
The Central Powers were one of the two warring factions in World War I , composed of the German Empire, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Ottoman Empire, and the Kingdom of Bulgaria...

 of World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

. Great Britain officially annexed these two provinces and Cyprus
Cyprus
Cyprus , officially the Republic of Cyprus , is a Eurasian island country, member of the European Union, in the Eastern Mediterranean, east of Greece, south of Turkey, west of Syria and north of Egypt. It is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea.The earliest known human activity on the...

 in response. Other Ottoman provinces in North Africa were lost between 1830 and 1912, starting with Algeria (occupied by France in 1830), Tunisia
Tunisia
Tunisia , officially the Tunisian RepublicThe long name of Tunisia in other languages used in the country is: , is the northernmost country in Africa. It is a Maghreb country and is bordered by Algeria to the west, Libya to the southeast, and the Mediterranean Sea to the north and east. Its area...

 (occupied by France in 1881) and Libya
Libya
Libya is an African country in the Maghreb region of North Africa bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Egypt to the east, Sudan to the southeast, Chad and Niger to the south, and Algeria and Tunisia to the west....

 (occupied by Italy in 1912).

Armenia


Although granted their own constitution
Armenian National Constitution
Armenian National Constitution or Regulation of the Armenian Nation was Ottoman Empire approved form of the "Code of Regulations" composed of 150 articles drafted by the Armenian intelligentsia Armenian National Constitution or Regulation of the Armenian Nation (Armenian:"Հայ ազգային...

 and national assembly
Armenian National Assembly (Ottoman Empire)
Armenian National Assembly was the governing body of the Armenian Millet established by Armenian National Constitution of 1863 under Ottoman Empire....

 with the Tanzimat reforms, the Armenians attempted to demand implementation of Article 61 from the Ottoman government as agreed upon at the Congress of Berlin in 1878. Following pressure from the European powers and Armenians, Sultan Abdul Hamid II, in response, assigned the Hamidiye regiments to eastern Anatolia (Ottoman Armenia). These were formed mostly of irregular cavalry
Cavalry
Cavalry or horsemen were soldiers or warriors who fought mounted on horseback. Cavalry were historically the third oldest and the most mobile of the combat arms...

 units of recruited Kurds. From 1894–96, between 100,000 to 300,000 Armenians living throughout the empire were killed in what became known as the Hamidian massacres
Hamidian massacres
The Hamidian massacres , also referred to as the Armenian Massacres of 1894–1896, refers to the massacring of Armenians by the Ottoman Empire, with estimates of the dead ranging from anywhere between 80,000 to 300,000, and at least 50,000 orphans as a result...

. Armenian militants seized the Ottoman Bank headquarters in Constantinople in 1896 to bring European attention to the massacres, but they failed to gain any help.

Economy


Economically, the Empire had difficulty in repaying the Ottoman public debt
Ottoman public debt
The Ottoman public debt was a term which dated back to 4 August 1854, when the Ottoman Empire first entered into loan contracts with its European creditors shortly after the beginning of the Crimean War. The Empire entered into subsequent loans, partly to finance railway construction and partly to...

 to European banks, which caused the establishment of the Council of Administration of the Ottoman Public Debt
Ottoman Public Debt Administration
The Ottoman Public Debt Administration , was a European-controlled organization that was established in 1881 to collect the payments which the Ottoman Empire owed to European companies in the Ottoman public debt...

. By the end of the 19th century, the main reason the Empire was not overrun by Western powers was their attempt to maintain a balance of power
Balance of power in international relations
In international relations, a balance of power exists when there is parity or stability between competing forces. The concept describes a state of affairs in the international system and explains the behavior of states in that system...

 in the area. Both Austria and Russia wanted to increase their spheres of influence and territory at the expense of the Ottoman Empire, but were kept in check mostly by Britain, which feared Russian dominance in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Dissolution (1908–1922)




The Second Constitutional Era
Second Constitutional Era (Ottoman Empire)
The Second Constitutional Era of the Ottoman Empire began shortly after Sultan Abdülhamid II restored the constitutional monarchy after the 1908 Young Turk Revolution. The period established many political groups...

 began after the Young Turk Revolution
Young Turk Revolution
The Young Turk Revolution of 1908 reversed the suspension of the Ottoman parliament by Sultan Abdul Hamid II, marking the onset of the Second Constitutional Era...

 (3 July 1908) with the sultan's announcement of the restoration of the 1876 constitution and the reconvening of the Ottoman Parliament. It marks the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire
Dissolution of the Ottoman Empire
The Dissolution of the Ottoman Empire included the watershed events of the Young Turk Revolution and the establishment of the Second Constitutional Era, and ended with the Partitioning of the Ottoman Empire by the victorious sides of World War I.- Establishment of the Second Constitutional Era, 24...

. This era is dominated by the politics of the Committee of Union and Progress
Committee of Union and Progress
The Committee of Union and Progress began as a secret society established as the "Committee of Ottoman Union" in 1889 by the medical students İbrahim Temo, Abdullah Cevdet, İshak Sükuti and Ali Hüseyinzade...

, and the movement that would become known as the Young Turks
Young Turks
The Young Turks , from French: Les Jeunes Turcs) were a coalition of various groups favouring reformation of the administration of the Ottoman Empire. The movement was against the absolute monarchy of the Ottoman Sultan and favoured a re-installation of the short-lived Kanûn-ı Esâsî constitution...

.

Profiting from the civil strife, Austria-Hungary
Austria-Hungary
Austria-Hungary , more formally known as the Kingdoms and Lands Represented in the Imperial Council and the Lands of the Holy Hungarian Crown of Saint Stephen, was a constitutional monarchic union between the crowns of the Austrian Empire and the Kingdom of Hungary in...

 officially annexed Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina , sometimes called Bosnia-Herzegovina or simply Bosnia, is a country in Southern Europe, on the Balkan Peninsula. Bordered by Croatia to the north, west and south, Serbia to the east, and Montenegro to the southeast, Bosnia and Herzegovina is almost landlocked, except for the...

 in 1908, but pulled its troops out of the Sanjak of Novi Pazar
Sanjak of Novi Pazar
The Sanjak of Novi Pazar was an Ottoman sanjak that existed until the Balkan Wars of 1912-1913 in the territory of present day Montenegro, Serbia and Kosovo.-History:It was part of the Bosnia Vilayet and later Kosovo Vilayet and included...

, another contested region between the Austrians and Ottomans, to avoid a war. During the Italo-Turkish War
Italo-Turkish War
The Italo-Turkish or Turco-Italian War was fought between the Ottoman Empire and the Kingdom of Italy from September 29, 1911 to October 18, 1912.As a result of this conflict, Italy was awarded the Ottoman provinces of Tripolitania, Fezzan, and...

 (1911–12) in which the Ottoman Empire lost Libya
Libya
Libya is an African country in the Maghreb region of North Africa bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Egypt to the east, Sudan to the southeast, Chad and Niger to the south, and Algeria and Tunisia to the west....

, the Balkan League
Balkan League
The Balkan League was an alliance formed by a series of bilateral treaties concluded in 1912 between the Balkan states of Bulgaria, Greece, Montenegro and Serbia, and directed against the Ottoman Empire, which at the time still controlled much of the Balkan peninsula...

 declared war against the Ottoman Empire, which lost its Balkan territories except East Thrace
East Thrace
East Thrace or Eastern Thrace , also known as Turkish Thrace, is the part of the modern republic of Turkey that is geographically part of Europe, all in the eastern part of the historical region of Thrace; most of Turkey is in Anatolia, also known as Asia Minor. Turkish Thrace is also called...

 and the historic Ottoman capital city of Edirne
Edirne
Edirne is a city in Eastern Thrace, the northwestern part of Turkey, close to the borders with Greece and Bulgaria. Edirne served as the capital city of the Ottoman Empire from 1365 to 1453, before Constantinople became the empire's new capital. At present, Edirne is the capital of the Edirne...

 (Adrianople) during the Balkan Wars
Balkan Wars
The Balkan Wars were two conflicts that took place in the Balkans in south-eastern Europe in 1912 and 1913.By the early 20th century, Montenegro, Bulgaria, Greece and Serbia, the countries of the Balkan League, had achieved their independence from the Ottoman Empire, but large parts of their ethnic...

 (1912–13). Some 400,000 Muslims, out of fear for Greek, Serbian or Bulgarian atrocities, left with the retreating Ottoman army. The Baghdad Railway
Baghdad Railway
The Baghdad Railway , was built from 1903 to 1940 to connect Berlin with the Ottoman Empire city of Baghdad with a line through modern-day Turkey, Syria, and Iraq....

 under German control became a source of international tension and played a role in the origins of World War I.

World War I (1914–1918)


The Young Turk government had signed a secret treaty with Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 and established the Ottoman-German Alliance
Ottoman-German Alliance
The Ottoman–German Alliance was established between the Ottoman Empire and the German Empire on August 2, 1914. It was this binding alliance that ultimately led the Ottoman Empire to enter the First World War on the side of the Central Powers....

 in August 1914, aimed against the common Russian enemy but aligning the Empire with the German
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 side. The Ottoman Empire entered World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 after the Goeben and Breslau incident
Pursuit of Goeben and Breslau
The pursuit of Goeben and Breslau was a naval action that occurred in the Mediterranean Sea at the outbreak of the First World War when elements of the British Mediterranean Fleet attempted to intercept the German Mittelmeerdivision comprising the battlecruiser and the light cruiser...

, in which it gave safe harbour to two German ships that were fleeing British ships. These ships then—after having officially been transferred to the Ottoman Navy
Ottoman Navy
The Ottoman Navy was established in the early 14th century. During its long existence it was involved in many conflicts; refer to list of Ottoman sieges and landings and list of Admirals in the Ottoman Empire for a brief chronology.- Pre-Ottoman:...

, but effectively still under German control—attacked the Russian port of Sevastopol
Sevastopol
Sevastopol is a city on rights of administrative division of Ukraine, located on the Black Sea coast of the Crimea peninsula. It has a population of 342,451 . Sevastopol is the second largest port in Ukraine, after the Port of Odessa....

, thus dragging the Empire into the war on the side of the Central Powers
Central Powers
The Central Powers were one of the two warring factions in World War I , composed of the German Empire, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Ottoman Empire, and the Kingdom of Bulgaria...

, in which it took part in the Middle Eastern theatre
Middle Eastern theatre of World War I
The Middle Eastern theatre of World War I was the scene of action between 29 October 1914, and 30 October 1918. The combatants were the Ottoman Empire, with some assistance from the other Central Powers, and primarily the British and the Russians among the Allies of World War I...

. There were several important Ottoman victories in the early years of the war, such as the Battle of Gallipoli
Battle of Gallipoli
The Gallipoli Campaign, also known as the Dardanelles Campaign or the Battle of Gallipoli, took place at the peninsula of Gallipoli in the Ottoman Empire between 25 April 1915 and 9 January 1916, during the First World War...

 and the Siege of Kut
Siege of Kut
The siege of Kut Al Amara , was the besieging of 8,000 strong British-Indian garrison in the town of Kut, 100 miles south of Baghdad, by the Ottoman Army. Its known also as 1st Battle of Kut. In 1915, its population was around 6,500...

, but there were setbacks as well, such as the disastrous Caucasus Campaign
Caucasus Campaign
The Caucasus Campaign comprised armed conflicts between the Ottoman Empire and the Russian Empire, later including Azerbaijan, Armenia, Central Caspian Dictatorship and the UK as part of the Middle Eastern theatre or alternatively named as part of the Caucasus Campaign during World War I...

 against the Russians. The United States never declared war against the Ottoman Empire.
In 1915, as the Russian Caucasus Army continued to advance in eastern Anatolia with the help of Armenian volunteer units
Armenian volunteer units
Armenian volunteer units, also known the Armenian volunteer corps were Armenian battalions in Russian and British armies during the World War I. Majority of these units support the military activities at the Middle Eastern theatre of World War I. The origin of these units were varied. Some units...

 from the Caucasus
Caucasus
The Caucasus, also Caucas or Caucasia , is a geopolitical region at the border of Europe and Asia, and situated between the Black and the Caspian sea...

 region of the Russian Empire
Russian Empire
The Russian Empire was a state that existed from 1721 until the Russian Revolution of 1917. It was the successor to the Tsardom of Russia and the predecessor of the Soviet Union...

, and aided by some Ottoman Armenians, the Ottoman government decided to issue the Tehcir Law
Tehcir Law
The Tehcir Law was passed by the Ottoman Parliament on May 27, 1915 and allegedly came into force on June 1, 1915, with publication in Takvim-i Vekayi, the official gazette of the Ottoman State...

, which started the deportation
Deportation
Deportation means the expulsion of a person or group of people from a place or country. Today it often refers to the expulsion of foreign nationals whereas the expulsion of nationals is called banishment, exile, or penal transportation...

 of the ethnic Armenians, particularly from the provinces close to the Ottoman-Russian front, resulting in what became known as the Armenian Genocide
Armenian Genocide
The Armenian Genocide—also known as the Armenian Holocaust, the Armenian Massacres and, by Armenians, as the Great Crime—refers to the deliberate and systematic destruction of the Armenian population of the Ottoman Empire during and just after World War I...

. Through forced marches and massacres, the Armenians living in eastern Anatolia were uprooted from their ancestral homelands and sent southwards to the Ottoman provinces in Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

 and Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia is a toponym for the area of the Tigris–Euphrates river system, largely corresponding to modern-day Iraq, northeastern Syria, southeastern Turkey and southwestern Iran.Widely considered to be the cradle of civilization, Bronze Age Mesopotamia included Sumer and the...

. Estimates vary on how many Armenians perished during the Armenian Genocide but scholars give figures ranging from 300,000 (per the modern Turkish state), 600,000 (per early estimates by Western researchers) to up to 1.0 million to up to 1.5 million (per modern Western and Armenian scholars).

The Arab Revolt
Arab Revolt
The Arab Revolt was initiated by the Sherif Hussein bin Ali with the aim of securing independence from the ruling Ottoman Turks and creating a single unified Arab state spanning from Aleppo in Syria to Aden in Yemen.- Background :...

 which began in 1916 turned the tide against the Ottomans at the Middle Eastern front, where they initially seemed to have the upper hand during the first two years of the war. When the Armistice of Mudros
Armistice of Mudros
The Armistice of Moudros , concluded on 30 October 1918, ended the hostilities in the Middle Eastern theatre between the Ottoman Empire and the Allies of World War I...

 was signed on October 30, 1918, the only parts of the Arabian peninsula
Arabian Peninsula
The Arabian Peninsula is a land mass situated north-east of Africa. Also known as Arabia or the Arabian subcontinent, it is the world's largest peninsula and covers 3,237,500 km2...

 that were still under Ottoman control were Yemen
Yemen
The Republic of Yemen , commonly known as Yemen , is a country located in the Middle East, occupying the southwestern to southern end of the Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the north, the Red Sea to the west, and Oman to the east....

, Asir, the city of Medina
Medina
Medina , or ; also transliterated as Madinah, or madinat al-nabi "the city of the prophet") is a city in the Hejaz region of western Saudi Arabia, and serves as the capital of the Al Madinah Province. It is the second holiest city in Islam, and the burial place of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad, and...

, portions of northern Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

 and portions of northern Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

. These territories were handed over to the British forces on 23 January 1919. The Ottomans were also ordered to evacuate the parts of the former Russian Empire in the Caucasus (in present-day Georgia
Georgia (country)
Georgia is a sovereign state in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded to the west by the Black Sea, to the north by Russia, to the southwest by Turkey, to the south by Armenia, and to the southeast by Azerbaijan. The capital of...

, Armenia
Armenia
Armenia , officially the Republic of Armenia , is a landlocked mountainous country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia...

 and Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan , officially the Republic of Azerbaijan is the largest country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded by the Caspian Sea to the east, Russia to the north, Georgia to the northwest, Armenia to the west, and Iran to...

), which they had gained towards the end of World War I, following Russia's retreat from the war with the Russian Revolution in 1917.

Under the terms of the Treaty of Sèvres
Treaty of Sèvres
The Treaty of Sèvres was the peace treaty between the Ottoman Empire and Allies at the end of World War I. The Treaty of Versailles was signed with Germany before this treaty to annul the German concessions including the economic rights and enterprises. Also, France, Great Britain and Italy...

, the partitioning of the Ottoman Empire
Partitioning of the Ottoman Empire
The Partitioning of the Ottoman Empire was a political event that occurred after World War I. The huge conglomeration of territories and peoples formerly ruled by the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire was divided into several new nations.The partitioning was planned from the early days of the war,...

 was solidified. The new countries created from the former territories of the Ottoman Empire currently number 39.

Turkish War of Independence (1919–1922)


The occupation of Constantinople along with the occupation of İzmir
Occupation of İzmir
The Occupation of Smyrna occurred from 15 May 1919 to 8 September 1922 by Greek forces under the High Commissioner Aristidis Stergiadis in the Smyrna district, aligned with the Allied partitioning of the Ottoman Empire. There were no military hostilities between Greece and the Ottoman Empire...

 mobilized the establishment of the Turkish national movement, which won the Turkish War of Independence
Turkish War of Independence
The Turkish War of Independence was a war of independence waged by Turkish nationalists against the Allies, after the country was partitioned by the Allies following the Ottoman Empire's defeat in World War I...

 (1919–22) under the leadership of Mustafa Kemal Pasha. The Sultanate was abolished on 1 November 1922, and the last sultan, Mehmed VI Vahdettin
Mehmed VI
Mehmet VI was the 36th and last Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, reigning from 1918 to 1922...

 (reigned 1918–22), left the country on 17 November 1922. The new independent Grand National Assembly of Turkey
Grand National Assembly of Turkey
The Grand National Assembly of Turkey , usually referred to simply as the Meclis , is the unicameral Turkish legislature. It is the sole body given the legislative prerogatives by the Turkish Constitution. It was founded in Ankara on 23 April 1920 in the midst of the Turkish War of Independence...

 (GNA) was internationally recognized with the Treaty of Lausanne on 24 July 1923. The GNA officially declared the Republic of Turkey on 29 October 1923. The Caliphate
Caliphate
The term caliphate, "dominion of a caliph " , refers to the first system of government established in Islam and represented the political unity of the Muslim Ummah...

 was constitutionally abolished several months later, on 3 March 1924. The Sultan and his family were declared personae non gratae of Turkey
150 personae non gratae of Turkey
After the Turkish War of Independence , the newly established Republic of Turkey presented a list of 600 names to the Conference of Lausanne, which were to be declared personae non gratae. Later, a list comprising only 150 of these, put into effect by the Grand National Assembly of Turkey on April...

 and exiled.


Ottoman descendants during and after the exile


In 1974, descendants of the dynasty were granted the right to acquire Turkish citizenship by the Grand National Assembly, and were notified that they could apply. Mehmed Orhan
Mehmed Orhan
Mehmed Orhan was the 42nd head of the Ottoman dynasty from 1983 to 1994. He succeeded as head of the Ottoman dynasty on December 9, 1983, following the death of Ali Vâsib...

, son of Prince Mehmed Abdul Kadir of the Ottoman Empire, died in 1994, leaving the grandson of Ottoman Sultan Abdülhamid II, Ertuğrul Osman, as the eldest surviving member of the deposed dynasty. Osman for many years refused to carry a Turkish passport, calling himself a citizen of the Ottoman Empire. Despite this attitude, he put the matter of an Ottoman restoration to rest when he told an interviewer "no" to the question of whether he wished the Ottoman Empire to be restored. He was quoted as saying that "democracy works well in Turkey." He returned to Turkey in 1992 for the first time since the exile, and became a Turkish citizen with a Turkish passport in 2002.

On 23 September 2009, Osman died at the age of 97 in Istanbul, and with his death the last of the line born under the Ottoman Empire was extinguished. In Turkey, Osman was known as "the last Ottoman".

Bayezid Osman
Bayezid Osman
Osman Bayezid Osmanoğlu is the 44th Head of the Imperial House of Osman, which ruled the Ottoman Empire from 1281 to 1922. The monarchy was abolished in 1922, with the modern Republic of Turkey replacing it. He is the second son of Sultan Abdülmecid I's grandson Ibrahim Tevfik by his fourth wife...

, the second son of Sultan Abdülmecid I
Abdülmecid I
Sultan Abdülmecid I, Abdul Mejid I, Abd-ul-Mejid I or Abd Al-Majid I Ghazi was the 31st Sultan of the Ottoman Empire and succeeded his father Mahmud II on July 2, 1839. His reign was notable for the rise of nationalist movements within the empire's territories...

's younger grandson, Ibrahim Tevfik, is now the current eldest surviving member of the former ruling dynasty.

Fall of the Empire


In many ways, the circumstances surrounding the Ottoman Empire's fall closely paralleled those surrounding the decline of the Roman Empire
Decline of the Roman Empire
The decline of the Roman Empire refers to the gradual societal collapse of the Western Roman Empire. Many theories of causality prevail, but most concern the disintegration of political, economic, military, and other social institutions, in tandem with foreign invasions and usurpers from within the...

, particularly in the ongoing tensions between the Empire's different ethnic groups, and the various governments' inability to deal with these tensions. In the case of the Ottomans, the introduction of increased cultural rights
Cultural rights
The cultural rights movement has provoked attention to protect the rights of groups of people, or their culture, in similar fashion to the manner in which the human rights movement has brought attention to the needs of individuals throughout the world....

, civil liberties
Civil liberties
Civil liberties are rights and freedoms that provide an individual specific rights such as the freedom from slavery and forced labour, freedom from torture and death, the right to liberty and security, right to a fair trial, the right to defend one's self, the right to own and bear arms, the right...

 and a parliamentary system
Parliamentary system
A parliamentary system is a system of government in which the ministers of the executive branch get their democratic legitimacy from the legislature and are accountable to that body, such that the executive and legislative branches are intertwined....

 during the Tanzimat
Tanzimat
The Tanzimât , meaning reorganization of the Ottoman Empire, was a period of reformation that began in 1839 and ended with the First Constitutional Era in 1876. The Tanzimât reform era was characterized by various attempts to modernize the Ottoman Empire, to secure its territorial integrity against...

 proved too late to reverse the nationalistic
Rise of nationalism under the Ottoman Empire
The rise of the Western notion of nationalism under the Ottoman Empire eventually caused the break-down of the Ottoman millet concept...

 and secession
Secession
Secession is the act of withdrawing from an organization, union, or especially a political entity. Threats of secession also can be a strategy for achieving more limited goals.-Secession theory:...

ist trends that had already been set in motion since the early 19th century.

Economy



Ottoman government deliberately pursued a policy for the development of Bursa, Edirne (Adrianople) and Constantinople, successive Ottoman capitals, into major commercial and industrial centres, considering that merchants and artisans were indispensable in creating a new metropolis. To this end, Mehmed and his successor Bayezid, also encouraged and welcomed migration of the Jews from different parts of Europe, who were settled in Constantinople and other port cities like Salonica. In many places in Europe, Jews were suffering persecution at the hands of their Christian counterparts. The tolerance displayed by the Ottomans was welcomed by the immigrants. The Ottoman economic mind was closely related to the basic concepts of state and society in the Middle East in which the ultimate goal of a state was consolidation and extension of the ruler's power, and the way to reach it was to get rich resources of revenues by making the productive classes prosperous. The ultimate aim was to increase the state revenues without damaging the prosperity of subjects to prevent the emergence of social disorder and to keep the traditional organization of the society intact.

The organization of the treasury and chancery were developed under the Ottoman Empire more than any other Islamic government and, until the 17th century, they were the leading organization among all their contemporaries. This organization developed a scribal bureaucracy (known as "men of the pen") as a distinct group, partly highly trained ulema, which developed into a professional body. The effectiveness of this professional financial body stands behind the success of many great Ottoman statesmen. The economic structure of the Empire was defined by its geopolitical structure. The Ottoman Empire stood between the West and the East, thus blocking the land route eastward and forcing Spanish and Portuguese navigators to set sail in search of a new route to the Orient. The Empire controlled the spice route that Marco Polo
Marco Polo
Marco Polo was a Venetian merchant traveler from the Venetian Republic whose travels are recorded in Il Milione, a book which did much to introduce Europeans to Central Asia and China. He learned about trading whilst his father and uncle, Niccolò and Maffeo, travelled through Asia and apparently...

 once used. When Vasco da Gama
Vasco da Gama
Vasco da Gama, 1st Count of Vidigueira was a Portuguese explorer, one of the most successful in the Age of Discovery and the commander of the first ships to sail directly from Europe to India...

 bypassed Ottoman controlled routes and established direct trade links with India in 1498, and Christopher Columbus
Christopher Columbus
Christopher Columbus was an explorer, colonizer, and navigator, born in the Republic of Genoa, in northwestern Italy. Under the auspices of the Catholic Monarchs of Spain, he completed four voyages across the Atlantic Ocean that led to general European awareness of the American continents in the...

 first journeyed to the Bahamas in 1492, the Ottoman Empire was at its zenith, an economic power that extended over three continents. Modern Ottoman studies think that the change in relations between the Ottomans and central Europe was caused by the opening of the new sea routes. It is possible to see the decline in the significance of the land routes to the East as Western Europe opened the ocean routes that bypassed the Middle East and Mediterranean as parallel to the decline of the Ottoman Empire itself. The Anglo-Ottoman Treaty
Anglo-Ottoman Treaty
Having a favourable balance of trade up until the mid nineteenth century; ‘In the years 1820-22, the Ottoman Empire exported goods worth £650,000 to the United Kingdom...

, also known as the Treaty of Balta Liman
Treaty of Balta Liman
The Treaties of Balta Liman were both signed in Balta-Liman with the Ottoman Empire as one of its signatories.-1838:The Treaty of Balta Liman was a commercial treaty signed in 1838 between the Ottoman Empire and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, regulating international trade...

 that opened the Ottoman markets directly to English and French competitors, would be seen as one of the staging posts along this development.

By developing commercial centres and routes, encouraging people to extend the area of cultivated land in the country and international trade through its dominions, the state performed basic economic functions in the Empire. But in all this the financial and political interests of the state were dominant. Within the social and political system they were living in Ottoman administrators could not have comprehended or seen the desirability of the dynamics and principles of the capitalist and mercantile economies developing in Western Europe.

State



The state organisation of the Ottoman Empire
State organisation of the Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman Empire developed a highly advanced organisation of state over the centuries. Even though it had a very centralized government with the Sultan as the supreme ruler, it had an effective control of its provinces and inhabitants, as well as its officials. Wealth and rank wasn't necessarily...

 was a very simple system that had two main dimensions: the military administration and the civil administration.
The Sultan was the highest position in the system. The civil system was based on local administrative units based on the region's characteristics. The Ottomans practiced a system in which the state (as in the Byzantine Empire) had control over the clergy. Certain pre-Islamic Turkish traditions that had survived the adoption of administrative and legal practices from Islamic Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

 remained important in Ottoman administrative circles. According to Ottoman understanding, the state's primary responsibility was to defend and extend the land of the Muslims and to ensure security and harmony within its borders within the overarching context of orthodox Islamic practice and dynastic sovereignty.

The "Ottoman dynasty
Ottoman Dynasty
The Ottoman Dynasty ruled the Ottoman Empire from 1299 to 1922, beginning with Osman I , though the dynasty was not proclaimed until Orhan Bey declared himself sultan...

" or, as an institution, "House of Osman
House of Osman
House of Osman was the name of the administrative structure of the Ottoman Dynasty, part of the state organization of the Ottoman Empire but nonetheless directly linked to the dynasty...

" was unprecedented and unequaled in the Islamic world for its size and duration. The Ottoman dynasty was ethnically Turkish in its origins, as were some of its supporters and subjects, however the dynasty immediately lost this "Turkic
Turkic peoples
The Turkic peoples are peoples residing in northern, central and western Asia, southern Siberia and northwestern China and parts of eastern Europe. They speak languages belonging to the Turkic language family. They share, to varying degrees, certain cultural traits and historical backgrounds...

" identification through intermarriage with different ethnicities. On eleven occasions, the sultan was deposed because he was perceived by his enemies as a threat to the state. There were only two attempts in Ottoman history to unseat the ruling Osmanlı dynasty, both failures, which suggests a political system that for an extended period was able to manage its revolutions without unnecessary instability.

The highest position in Islam, caliphate
Caliphate
The term caliphate, "dominion of a caliph " , refers to the first system of government established in Islam and represented the political unity of the Muslim Ummah...

, was claimed by the sultan, which was established as Ottoman Caliphate
Ottoman Caliphate
The Ottoman Caliphate, under the Ottoman Dynasty of the Ottoman Empire inherited the responsibility of the Caliphate from the Mamluks of Egypt....

. The Ottoman sultan, pâdişâh
Padishah
Padishah, Padshah, Padeshah, Badishah or Badshah is a superlative royal title, composed of the Persian pād "master" and the widespread shāh "king", which was adopted by several monarchs claiming the highest rank, roughly equivalent to the ancient Persian notion of "The Great" or "Great King", and...

or "lord of kings", served as the Empire's sole regent and was considered to be the embodiment of its government, though he did not always exercise complete control. The Imperial Harem
Imperial Harem
The Imperial Harem of the Ottoman Empire was one of the most important elements of the Ottoman court. It was known in the West as "the Seraglio", an Italian term.- Harem quarters:...

 was one of the most important powers of the Ottoman court. It was ruled by the Valide Sultan
Valide Sultan
Valide Sultan was the title held by the mother of a ruling Sultan in the Ottoman Empire. The Turkish pronunciation of the word Valide is . The title is sometimes translated as Queen Mother, although the position of Valide Sultan was quite different.The position was perhaps the most important...

. On occasion, the Valide Sultan would become involved in state politics. For a time, the women of the Harem effectively controlled the state in what was termed the "Sultanate of Women". New sultans were always chosen from the sons of the previous sultan. The strong educational system of the palace school
Palace school
The Palace school was part of the House of Osman's system, designated to educate the Ottoman Empire's governing elite. It consisted of two distinct branches. The Madrasa for the Muslims, which educated the scholars and the state officials in accordance with Islamic tradition...

 was geared towards eliminating the unfit potential heirs, and establishing support among the ruling elite for a successor. The palace schools, which would also educate the future administrators of the state, were not a single track. First, the Madrasa  was designated for the Muslims, and educated scholars and state officials according to Islamic tradition. The financial burden of the Medrese was supported by vakifs, allowing children of poor families to move to higher social levels and income. The second track was a free boarding school
Boarding school
A boarding school is a school where some or all pupils study and live during the school year with their fellow students and possibly teachers and/or administrators. The word 'boarding' is used in the sense of "bed and board," i.e., lodging and meals...

 for the Christians, the Enderûn, which recruited 3,000 students annually from Christian boys between eight and twenty years old from one in forty families among the communities settled in Rumelia
Rumelia
Rumelia was an historical region comprising the territories of the Ottoman Empire in Europe...

 and/or the Balkans, a process known as Devshirme
Devshirme in the Ottoman Palace School
The primary objective of the Palace School was to train the ablest children for leadership positions, either as military leaders or as high administrators to serve the Empire...

 ().

Though the sultan was the supreme monarch, the sultan's political and executive authority was delegated. The politics of the state had a number of advisors and ministers gathered around a council known as Divan
Divan
A divan was a high governmental body in a number of Islamic states, or its chief official .-Etymology:...

 (after the 17th century it was renamed the "Porte"). The Divan, in the years when the Ottoman state was still a Beylik, was composed of the elders of the tribe. Its composition was later modified to include military officers and local elites (such as religious and political advisors). Later still, beginning in 1320, a Grand Vizier
Grand Vizier
Grand Vizier, in Turkish Vezir-i Azam or Sadr-ı Azam , deriving from the Arabic word vizier , was the greatest minister of the Sultan, with absolute power of attorney and, in principle, dismissable only by the Sultan himself...

 was appointed to assume certain of the sultan's responsibilities. The Grand Vizier had considerable independence from the sultan with almost unlimited powers of appointment, dismissal and supervision. Beginning with the late 16th century, sultans withdrew from politics and the Grand Vizier became the de facto head of state.
Throughout Ottoman history, there were many instances in which local governors acted independently, and even in opposition to the ruler. After the Young Turk Revolution of 1908, the Ottoman state became a constitutional monarchy. The sultan no longer had executive powers. A parliament was formed, with representatives chosen from the provinces. The representatives formed the Imperial Government of the Ottoman Empire
Imperial Government of the Ottoman Empire
The Imperial Government of the Ottoman Empire was the government structure added to the Ottoman governing structure during the Second Constitutional Era. The Committee of Union and Progress was in power between 1908 and 1918...

.

The rapidly expanding empire used loyal, skilled subjects to manage the Empire, whether Albanians
Albanians
Albanians are a nation and ethnic group native to Albania and neighbouring countries. They speak the Albanian language. More than half of all Albanians live in Albania and Kosovo...

, Phanariot Greeks
Phanariotes
Phanariots, Phanariotes, or Phanariote Greeks were members of those prominent Greek families residing in Phanar , the chief Greek quarter of Constantinople, where the Ecumenical Patriarchate is situated.For all their cosmopolitanism and often Western education, the Phanariots were...

, Armenians
Armenians
Armenian people or Armenians are a nation and ethnic group native to the Armenian Highland.The largest concentration is in Armenia having a nearly-homogeneous population with 97.9% or 3,145,354 being ethnic Armenian....

, Serbs
Serbs
The Serbs are a South Slavic ethnic group of the Balkans and southern Central Europe. Serbs are located mainly in Serbia, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina, and form a sizable minority in Croatia, the Republic of Macedonia and Slovenia. Likewise, Serbs are an officially recognized minority in...

, Hungarians or others. The incorporation of Greeks (and other Christians), Muslims, and Jews revolutionized its administrative system.

This eclectic administration was apparent even in the diplomatic correspondence of the Empire, which was initially undertaken in the Greek language
Greek language
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages. Native to the southern Balkans, it has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the majority of its history;...

 to the west.

The Tughra
Tughra
A tughra is a calligraphic monogram, seal or signature of an Ottoman sultan that was affixed to all official documents and correspondence. It was also carved on his seal and stamped on the coins minted during his reign...

 were calligraphic monograms, or signatures, of the Ottoman Sultans, of which there were 35. Carved on the Sultan's seal, they bore the names of the Sultan and his father. The statement and prayer, “ever victorious,” was also present in most. The earliest belonged to Orhan Gazi. The ornately stylized Tughra spawned a branch of Ottoman-Turkish calligraphy
Calligraphy
Calligraphy is a type of visual art. It is often called the art of fancy lettering . A contemporary definition of calligraphic practice is "the art of giving form to signs in an expressive, harmonious and skillful manner"...

.

Society



One of the successes of the social structure of the Ottoman Empire was the unity that it caused among its highly varied populations through an organization called millets. The millets
Millet (Ottoman Empire)
Millet is a term for the confessional communities in the Ottoman Empire. It refers to the separate legal courts pertaining to "personal law" under which communities were allowed to rule themselves under their own system...

 were the major religious groups that were allowed to establish their own communities under Ottoman rule. The Millets were established by retaining their own religious laws, traditions, and language under the general protection of the sultan. Plurality was the key to the longevity of the Empire. As early as the reign of Mehmed II, extensive rights were granted to Phanariot Greeks
Phanariotes
Phanariots, Phanariotes, or Phanariote Greeks were members of those prominent Greek families residing in Phanar , the chief Greek quarter of Constantinople, where the Ecumenical Patriarchate is situated.For all their cosmopolitanism and often Western education, the Phanariots were...

, and Jews
History of the Jews in Turkey
Turkish Jews The history of the Jews in the Ottoman Empire and Turkey covers the 2,400 years that Jews have lived in what is now Turkey. There have been Jewish communities in Asia Minor since at least the 5th century BCE and many Spanish and Portuguese Jews expelled from Spain were welcomed to the...

 were invited to settle in Ottoman territory. Ultimately, the Ottoman Empire's relatively high degree of tolerance for ethnic differences were one of its greatest strengths in integrating the new regions but this non-assimilative policy became a weakness after the rise of nationalism
Rise of nationalism under the Ottoman Empire
The rise of the Western notion of nationalism under the Ottoman Empire eventually caused the break-down of the Ottoman millet concept...

. The dissolution of the Empire
Dissolution of the Ottoman Empire
The Dissolution of the Ottoman Empire included the watershed events of the Young Turk Revolution and the establishment of the Second Constitutional Era, and ended with the Partitioning of the Ottoman Empire by the victorious sides of World War I.- Establishment of the Second Constitutional Era, 24...

 based on ethnic differentiation (balkanization
Balkanization
Balkanization, or Balkanisation, is a geopolitical term, originally used to describe the process of fragmentation or division of a region or state into smaller regions or states that are often hostile or non-cooperative with each other, and it is considered pejorative.The term refers to the...

) brought the end, which the failed Ottomanism
Ottomanism
Ottomanism was a concept which developed prior to the First Constitutional Era of the Ottoman Empire. Its proponents believed that it could solve the social issues that the empire was facing. Ottomanism was highly affected by thinkers such as Montesquieu and Rousseau and the French Revolution. It...

 among the citizens and participatory politics of the first
First Constitutional Era (Ottoman Empire)
The First Constitutional Era of the Ottoman Empire was the period of constitutional monarchy from the promulgation of the Kanûn-ı Esâsî , written by members of the Young Ottomans, on 23 November 1876 until 13 February 1878...

 or the constitutional Era
Second Constitutional Era (Ottoman Empire)
The Second Constitutional Era of the Ottoman Empire began shortly after Sultan Abdülhamid II restored the constitutional monarchy after the 1908 Young Turk Revolution. The period established many political groups...

 had successfully addressed.

The lifestyle of the Ottoman Empire
Lifestyle of the Ottoman Empire
Life in the Ottoman Empire was a mixture of western and eastern life. One unique characteristic of Ottoman life style was it was very fragmented. The millet concept generated this fragmentation and enabled to coexist in a mosaic of cultures...

 was a mixture of western and eastern life. One unique characteristic of Ottoman life style was it was very fragmented. The millet concept generated this fragmentation and enabled many to coexist in a mosaic
Mosaic
Mosaic is the art of creating images with an assemblage of small pieces of colored glass, stone, or other materials. It may be a technique of decorative art, an aspect of interior decoration, or of cultural and spiritual significance as in a cathedral...

 of cultures. The capital of the Ottoman Empire, Constantinople also had a unique culture, mainly because before Ottoman rule it had been the seat of both the Roman
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

 and Byzantine
Byzantine
Byzantine usually refers to the Roman Empire during the Middle Ages.Byzantine may also refer to:* A citizen of the Byzantine Empire, or native Greek during the Middle Ages...

 Empires. The lifestyle in the Ottoman court
Ottoman court
Ottoman court or the culture that evolved around the court of the Ottoman Empire was known as the "Ottoman Way". To get a high position in the empire, one must be skilled in the Way. It included both knowing Persian, Arabic and Ottoman Turkish and how to behave in court, in front of the sultan, and...

 in many aspects assembled ancient traditions of the Persian Shah
Shah
Shāh is the title of the ruler of certain Southwest Asian and Central Asian countries, especially Persia , and derives from the Persian word shah, meaning "king".-History:...

s, but had many Greek
Greeks
The Greeks, also known as the Hellenes , are a nation and ethnic group native to Greece, Cyprus and neighboring regions. They also form a significant diaspora, with Greek communities established around the world....

 and European influences. The culture that evolved around the Ottoman court was known as the Ottoman Way, which was epitomized with the Topkapı Palace. There were also large metropolitan centers where the Ottoman influence expressed itself with a diversity similar to metropolises of today: Sarajevo
Sarajevo
Sarajevo |Bosnia]], surrounded by the Dinaric Alps and situated along the Miljacka River in the heart of Southeastern Europe and the Balkans....

, Skopje
Skopje
Skopje is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Macedonia with about a third of the total population. It is the country's political, cultural, economic, and academic centre...

, Thessaloniki
Thessaloniki
Thessaloniki , historically also known as Thessalonica, Salonika or Salonica, is the second-largest city in Greece and the capital of the region of Central Macedonia as well as the capital of the Decentralized Administration of Macedonia and Thrace...

, Dimashq, Baghdad, Beirut
Beirut
Beirut is the capital and largest city of Lebanon, with a population ranging from 1 million to more than 2 million . Located on a peninsula at the midpoint of Lebanon's Mediterranean coastline, it serves as the country's largest and main seaport, and also forms the Beirut Metropolitan...

, Jerusalem, Makkah and Algiers
Algiers
' is the capital and largest city of Algeria. According to the 1998 census, the population of the city proper was 1,519,570 and that of the urban agglomeration was 2,135,630. In 2009, the population was about 3,500,000...

 with their own small versions of Ottoman Provincial Administration replicating the culture of the Ottoman court locally. The seraglio
Seraglio
A seraglio or serail is the sequestered living quarters used by wives and concubines in a Turkish household. The word comes from an Italian variant of Turkish saray, from Persian sarai , meaning palace, or the enclosed courts for the wives and concubines of the harem of a house or palace...

, which were the non-imperial places, in the context of the Turkish fashion, became the subject of works of art, where non-imperial prince or referring to other grand houses built around courtyards.

Slavery in the Ottoman Empire
Slavery (Ottoman Empire)
Slavery was an important part of Ottoman society until the Ottoman Empire extinguished slavery of Caucasians in the early 19th century. The practice carried over into Ottoman reign...

 was a part of Ottoman society. As late as 1908 women slaves were still sold in the Empire. During the 19th century the Empire came under pressure from Western European countries to outlaw the practice. Policies developed by various Sultans throughout the 19th century attempted to curtail the slave trade but, since slavery did have centuries of religious backing and sanction, they could never directly abolish the institution outright—as had gradually happened in Western Europe and the Americas.

Plague remained a major event in Ottoman society until the second quarter of the 19th century. Between 1701 and 1750, 37 larger and smaller plague epidemics were recorded in Constantinople, and 31 between 1751 and 1800.

Culture



The Ottoman Empire had filled roughly the territories around the Mediterranean Sea
Mediterranean Sea
The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean surrounded by the Mediterranean region and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Anatolia and Europe, on the south by North Africa, and on the east by the Levant...

 and Black Sea
Black Sea
The Black Sea is bounded by Europe, Anatolia and the Caucasus and is ultimately connected to the Atlantic Ocean via the Mediterranean and the Aegean seas and various straits. The Bosphorus strait connects it to the Sea of Marmara, and the strait of the Dardanelles connects that sea to the Aegean...

 while adopting the traditions, art and institutions of cultures in these regions and adding new dimensions to them. Many different cultures lived under the umbrella of the Ottoman Empire, and as a result, a specifically "Ottoman" culture can be difficult to define, except for those of the regional centers and capital. However, there was also a specific melding of cultures that can be said to have reached its highest levels among the Ottoman elite, who were composed of myriad ethnic and religious groups. This multicultural perspective of "millets
Millet (Ottoman Empire)
Millet is a term for the confessional communities in the Ottoman Empire. It refers to the separate legal courts pertaining to "personal law" under which communities were allowed to rule themselves under their own system...

" was reflected in the Ottoman State's multi-cultural and multi-religious policies. As the Ottomans moved further west, the Ottoman leaders absorbed some of the culture of the conquered regions. Intercultural marriage
Marriage
Marriage is a social union or legal contract between people that creates kinship. It is an institution in which interpersonal relationships, usually intimate and sexual, are acknowledged in a variety of ways, depending on the culture or subculture in which it is found...

s also played their part in creating the characteristic Ottoman elite culture. When compared to the Turkish folk culture, the influence of these new cultures in creating the culture of the Ottoman elite was clear.


"Ottoman architecture" was influenced by Persian, Byzantine Greek
Byzantine architecture
Byzantine architecture is the architecture of the Byzantine Empire. The empire gradually emerged as a distinct artistic and cultural entity from what is today referred to as the Roman Empire after AD 330, when the Roman Emperor Constantine moved the capital of the Roman Empire east from Rome to...

 and Islamic
Islamic architecture
Islamic architecture encompasses a wide range of both secular and religious styles from the foundation of Islam to the present day, influencing the design and construction of buildings and structures in Islamic culture....

 architectures. The Ottoman architecture are a continuation of the pre-Islamic Sassanid architecture
Sassanid architecture
Sassanid architecture refers to the Persian architectural style that reached a peak in its development during the Sassanid era. In many ways the Sassanid dynastic period witnessed the highest achievement of Persian civilization, and constituted the last great Persian Empire before the Muslim...

. For instance, the dome covered square, which had been a dominant form in Sassanid became the nucleus of all Ottoman architecture. During the Rise period
Rise of the Ottoman Empire
The Foundation and Rise of the Ottoman Empire refers to the period which started with the weakening of the Seljuq Sultanate of Rûm in the very early 14th century and ended with the Byzantine Empire decline and the Fall of Constantinople on May 29, 1453.The rise of the Ottomans correlates with the...

 the early or first Ottoman architecture period, Ottoman art was in search of new ideas. The growth period
Growth of the Ottoman Empire
The Growth of the Ottoman Empire is the period followed after the Rise of the Ottoman Empire in which the Ottoman state reached the Pax Ottomana. In this period, the Ottoman Empire expanded southwestwards into North Africa and battled with the re-emergent Persian Shi'ia Safavid Empire to the east...

 of the Empire become the classical period of architecture, when Ottoman art was at its most confident. During the years of the Stagnation period
Stagnation of the Ottoman Empire
The Stagnation of the Ottoman Empire is the period following the Growth of the Ottoman Empire . During this period the empire continued to have military might. The next period would be shaped by the decline of their military power which followed the loss of huge territories...

, Ottoman architecture moved away from this style, however.

During the Tulip Era
Tulip Era in the Ottoman Empire
The Tulip Period or Tulip Era is a period in Ottoman history from The Treaty of Passarowitz on 21 July 1718 to The Patrona Halil Rebellion on 28 September 1730...

, it was under the influence of the highly ornamented styles of Western Europe; Baroque
Baroque
The Baroque is a period and the style that used exaggerated motion and clear, easily interpreted detail to produce drama, tension, exuberance, and grandeur in sculpture, painting, literature, dance, and music...

, Rococo
Rococo
Rococo , also referred to as "Late Baroque", is an 18th-century style which developed as Baroque artists gave up their symmetry and became increasingly ornate, florid, and playful...

, Empire
Empire (style)
The Empire style, , sometimes considered the second phase of Neoclassicism, is an early-19th-century design movement in architecture, furniture, other decorative arts, and the visual arts followed in Europe and America until around 1830, although in the U. S. it continued in popularity in...

 and other styles intermingled. Concepts of Ottoman architecture mainly circle the mosque. The mosque was integral to society, city planning
Urban planning
Urban planning incorporates areas such as economics, design, ecology, sociology, geography, law, political science, and statistics to guide and ensure the orderly development of settlements and communities....

 and communal life. Besides the mosque, it is also possible to find good examples of Ottoman architecture in soup kitchen
Soup kitchen
A soup kitchen, a bread line, or a meal center is a place where food is offered to the hungry for free or at a reasonably low price. Frequently located in lower-income neighborhoods, they are often staffed by volunteer organizations, such as church groups or community groups...

s, theological schools, hospitals, Turkish baths and tomb
Tomb
A tomb is a repository for the remains of the dead. It is generally any structurally enclosed interment space or burial chamber, of varying sizes...

s.
Examples of Ottoman architecture of the classical period, besides Istanbul and Edirne
Edirne
Edirne is a city in Eastern Thrace, the northwestern part of Turkey, close to the borders with Greece and Bulgaria. Edirne served as the capital city of the Ottoman Empire from 1365 to 1453, before Constantinople became the empire's new capital. At present, Edirne is the capital of the Edirne...

, can also be seen in Egypt, Eritrea, Tunisia, Algiers, the Balkans and Hungary, where mosques, bridges, fountains and schools were built. The art of Ottoman decoration developed with a multitude of influences due to the wide ethnic range of the Ottoman Empire. The greatest of the court artists enriched the Ottoman Empire with many pluralistic artistic influences: such as mixing traditional Byzantine art
Byzantine art
Byzantine art is the term commonly used to describe the artistic products of the Byzantine Empire from about the 5th century until the Fall of Constantinople in 1453....

 with elements of Chinese art
Chinese art
Chinese art is visual art that, whether ancient or modern, originated in or is practiced in China or by Chinese artists or performers. Early so-called "stone age art" dates back to 10,000 BC, mostly consisting of simple pottery and sculptures. This early period was followed by a series of art...

.
"Ottoman classical music
Ottoman classical music
Ottoman classical music developed in Istanbul and major Ottoman towns from Skopje to Cairo, from Tabriz to Morocco through the palace, mosques, and sufi lodges of the Ottoman Empire. Above all a vocal music, Ottoman music traditionally accompanies a solo singer with a small instrumental ensemble...

" was an important part of the education of the Ottoman elite, a number of the Ottoman sultans were accomplished musicians and composers themselves, such as Selim III
Selim III
Selim III was the reform-minded Sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1789 to 1807. The Janissaries eventually deposed and imprisoned him, and placed his cousin Mustafa on the throne as Mustafa IV...

, whose compositions are often still performed today. Ottoman classical music arose largely from a confluence of Byzantine music
Byzantine music
Byzantine music is the music of the Byzantine Empire composed to Greek texts as ceremonial, festival, or church music. Greek and foreign historians agree that the ecclesiastical tones and in general the whole system of Byzantine music is closely related to the ancient Greek system...

, Arabic music, and Persian music. Compositionally, it is organised around rhythm
Rhythm
Rhythm may be generally defined as a "movement marked by the regulated succession of strong and weak elements, or of opposite or different conditions." This general meaning of regular recurrence or pattern in time may be applied to a wide variety of cyclical natural phenomena having a periodicity or...

ic units called usul, which are somewhat similar to meter
Metre (music)
Meter or metre is a term that music has inherited from the rhythmic element of poetry where it means the number of lines in a verse, the number of syllables in each line and the arrangement of those syllables as long or short, accented or unaccented...

 in Western music, and melodic
Melody
A melody , also tune, voice, or line, is a linear succession of musical tones which is perceived as a single entity...

 units called makam
Makam
Makam In Turkish classical music, a system of melody types called makam provides a complex set of rules for composing and performance...

, which bear some resemblance to Western musical mode
Musical mode
In the theory of Western music since the ninth century, mode generally refers to a type of scale. This usage, still the most common in recent years, reflects a tradition dating to the middle ages, itself inspired by the theory of ancient Greek music.The word encompasses several additional...

s.

The instruments
Musical instrument
A musical instrument is a device created or adapted for the purpose of making musical sounds. In principle, any object that produces sound can serve as a musical instrument—it is through purpose that the object becomes a musical instrument. The history of musical instruments dates back to the...

 used are a mixture of Anatolian and Central Asian instruments (the saz
Baglama
thumb|180px|Cura and bağlamaThe bağlama is a stringed musical instrument shared by various cultures in the Eastern Mediterranean, Near East, and Central Asia....

, the bağlama
Baglama
thumb|180px|Cura and bağlamaThe bağlama is a stringed musical instrument shared by various cultures in the Eastern Mediterranean, Near East, and Central Asia....

, the kemence), other Middle Eastern instruments (the ud
Oud
The oud is a pear-shaped stringed instrument commonly used in North African and Middle Eastern music. The modern oud and the European lute both descend from a common ancestor via diverging paths...

, the tanbur
Tanbur
The term tanbūr can refer to various long-necked, fretted lutes originating in the Middle East or Central Asia. According to the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, "terminology presents a complicated situation. Nowadays the term tanbur is applied to a variety of distinct and related...

, the kanun
Qanun
Qanun refers to laws promulgated by Muslim sovereigns, in particular the Ottoman Sultans, in contrast to shari'a, the body of law elaborated by Muslim jurists. It comes from the Greek word kanon...

, the ney
Ney
The ney is an end-blown flute that figures prominently in Middle Eastern music. In some of these musical traditions, it is the only wind instrument used. It is a very ancient instrument, with depictions of ney players appearing in wall paintings in the Egyptian pyramids and actual neys being found...

), and—later in the tradition—Western instruments (the violin
Violin
The violin is a string instrument, usually with four strings tuned in perfect fifths. It is the smallest, highest-pitched member of the violin family of string instruments, which includes the viola and cello....

 and the piano
Piano
The piano is a musical instrument played by means of a keyboard. It is one of the most popular instruments in the world. Widely used in classical and jazz music for solo performances, ensemble use, chamber music and accompaniment, the piano is also very popular as an aid to composing and rehearsal...

). Because of a geographic and cultural divide between the capital and other areas, two broadly distinct styles of music arose in the Ottoman Empire: Ottoman classical music, and folk music. In the provinces, several different kinds of folk music
Folk music
Folk music is an English term encompassing both traditional folk music and contemporary folk music. The term originated in the 19th century. Traditional folk music has been defined in several ways: as music transmitted by mouth, as music of the lower classes, and as music with unknown composers....

 were created. The most dominant regions with their distinguished musical styles are: Balkan-Thracian Türküs, North-Eastern (Laz
Laz people
The Laz are an ethnic group native to the Black Sea coastal regions of Turkey and Georgia...

) Türküs, Aegean Türküs, Central Anatolian Türküs, Eastern Anatolian Türküs, and Caucasian Türküs. Some of the distinctive styles were: Janissary Music
Ottoman military band
Ottoman military bands are thought to be the oldest variety of military marching band in the world. Though they are often known by the Persian-derived word mahtar in the West, that word, properly speaking, refers only to a single musician in the band...

, Roma music
Roma music
Romani music is the music of the Romani people, who have their origins in Northern India, but today live mostly in Europe....

, Belly dance
Belly dance
Belly dance or Bellydance is a "Western"-coined name for a traditional "Middle Eastern" dance, especially raqs sharqi . It is sometimes also called Middle Eastern dance or Arabic dance in the West, or by the Greco-Turkish term çiftetelli...

, Turkish folk music
Turkish folk music
Turkish folk music combines the distinct cultural values of all civilisations that have lived in Anatolia and the Ottoman territories in Europe and Asia...

.

"Ottoman cuisine
Ottoman cuisine
Ottoman cuisine is the cuisine of the Ottoman Empire and its successors in Anatolia, the Balkans, and much of the Middle East.- Description :...

" refers to the cuisine of the capital—Constantinople
Constantinople
Constantinople was the capital of the Roman, Eastern Roman, Byzantine, Latin, and Ottoman Empires. Throughout most of the Middle Ages, Constantinople was Europe's largest and wealthiest city.-Names:...

, and the regional capital cities, where the melting pot of cultures created a common cuisine that all the populations enjoyed. This diverse cuisine was honed in the Imperial Palace's kitchens by chefs brought from certain parts of the Empire to create and experiment with different ingredients. The creations of the Ottoman Palace's kitchens filtered to the population, for instance through Ramadan
Ramadan
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, which lasts 29 or 30 days. It is the Islamic month of fasting, in which participating Muslims refrain from eating, drinking, smoking and sex during daylight hours and is intended to teach Muslims about patience, spirituality, humility and...

 events, and through the cooking at the Yalı
Yali
Yali may refer to:* Yalı , a water's edge house or mansion in Turkey* Yali , a Hindu mythical creature with the body of a lion and some elephant features* Yali , a Greek volcanic island...

s of the Pasha
Pasha
Pasha or pascha, formerly bashaw, was a high rank in the Ottoman Empire political system, typically granted to governors, generals and dignitaries. As an honorary title, Pasha, in one of its various ranks, is equivalent to the British title of Lord, and was also one of the highest titles in...

s, and from there on spread to the rest of the population. Today, Ottoman cuisine lives in the Balkans, Anatolia
Anatolia
Anatolia is a geographic and historical term denoting the westernmost protrusion of Asia, comprising the majority of the Republic of Turkey...

 and the Middle East, "common heirs to what was once the Ottoman life-style, and their cuisines offer treacherous circumstantial evidence of this fact". It is typical of any great cuisine in the world to be based on local varieties and on mutual exchange and enrichment among them, but at the same time to be homogenized and harmonized by a metropolitan tradition of refined taste.

Numerous traditions and cultural traits of this previous empire (in fields such as architecture, cuisine, music, leisure and government) were adopted by the Ottomans, who elaborated them into new forms and blended them with the characteristics of the ethnic and religious groups living within the Ottoman territories, which resulted in a new and distinctively Ottoman cultural identity.

Demographics


The exact population of the Ottoman Empire is a matter of much debate, due to the scantness and ambiguous nature of the primary sources. Figures from 1831 onwards are available as official census results, but the censuses did not cover the whole population. For example, the 1831 census only counted men and did not cover the whole empire.

Language



Ottoman Turkish was a Turkic language
Turkic languages
The Turkic languages constitute a language family of at least thirty five languages, spoken by Turkic peoples across a vast area from Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean to Siberia and Western China, and are considered to be part of the proposed Altaic language family.Turkic languages are spoken...

 highly influenced by Persian
Persian language
Persian is an Iranian language within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages. It is primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and countries which historically came under Persian influence...

 and Arabic. The Ottomans had three influential languages: Turkish, spoken by the majority of the people in Anatolia
Anatolia
Anatolia is a geographic and historical term denoting the westernmost protrusion of Asia, comprising the majority of the Republic of Turkey...

 and by the majority of Muslims of the Balkans except in Albania
Albania
Albania , officially known as the Republic of Albania , is a country in Southeastern Europe, in the Balkans region. It is bordered by Montenegro to the northwest, Kosovo to the northeast, the Republic of Macedonia to the east and Greece to the south and southeast. It has a coast on the Adriatic Sea...

 and Bosnia; Persian
Persian language
Persian is an Iranian language within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages. It is primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and countries which historically came under Persian influence...

, only spoken by the educated; and Arabic, spoken mainly in Arabia, North Africa, Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

, Kuwait
Kuwait
The State of Kuwait is a sovereign Arab state situated in the north-east of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the south at Khafji, and Iraq to the north at Basra. It lies on the north-western shore of the Persian Gulf. The name Kuwait is derived from the...

 and the Levant
Levant
The Levant or ) is the geographic region and culture zone of the "eastern Mediterranean littoral between Anatolia and Egypt" . The Levant includes most of modern Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Israel, the Palestinian territories, and sometimes parts of Turkey and Iraq, and corresponds roughly to the...

. Throughout the vast Ottoman bureaucracy Ottoman Turkish language was the official language, a version of Turkish, albeit with a vast mixture of both Arabic and Persian grammar and vocabulary. If the basic grammar was still largely Turkish, the inclusion of almost any word in Arabic or Persian in Ottoman made it a language that was essentially incomprehensible to any ethnic Turkish
Turkish people
Turkish people, also known as the "Turks" , are an ethnic group primarily living in Turkey and in the former lands of the Ottoman Empire where Turkish minorities had been established in Bulgaria, Cyprus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Greece, Kosovo, Macedonia, and Romania...

 Ottoman subject who had not mastered Arabic, Persian or both.

Because of a low literacy rate among the public (about 2–3% until the early 19th century and just about 15% at the end of 19th century), ordinary people had to hire special "request-writers" (arzuhâlcis) to be able to communicate with the government. The ethnic groups continued to speak within their families and neighborhoods (mahalle
Mahalle
Mahalle is an Arabic word, adopted into Turkish which is variously translated as district, quarter, ward, or "neighborhood." It is an official administrative unit in many Middle Eastern countries. In the Ottoman Empire the mahalle was the smallest administrative entity...

s) with their own languages (e.g., Jews, Greeks, Armenians, etc.) In villages where two or more populations lived together, the inhabitants would often speak each other's language. In cosmopolitan cities, people often spoke their family languages, many non ethnic Turks spoke Turkish as a second language. Educated Ottoman Turks spoke Arabic and Persian
Persian language
Persian is an Iranian language within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages. It is primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and countries which historically came under Persian influence...

. In the last two centuries, French and English emerged as popular languages, especially among the Christian Levantine communities. The elite learned French at school, and used European products as a fashion statement. The use of Turkish grew steadily under the Ottomans, but, since they were still interested in their two other official languages, they kept these in use as well. Usage of these became limited, though, and specific: Persian served mainly as a literary language for the educated, while Arabic was used for religious rites.

Religion



Before adopting Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

—a process that was greatly facilitated by the Abbasid
Abbasid
The Abbasid Caliphate or, more simply, the Abbasids , was the third of the Islamic caliphates. It was ruled by the Abbasid dynasty of caliphs, who built their capital in Baghdad after overthrowing the Umayyad caliphate from all but the al-Andalus region....

 victory at the 751 Battle of Talas
Battle of Talas
The Battle of Talas in 751 AD was an especially notable conflict between the Arab Abbasid Caliphate and the Chinese Tang Dynasty for control not only of the Syr Darya region, but even more...

, which ensured Abbasid influence in Central Asia—the Turkic peoples practiced a variety of shamanism
Shamanism
Shamanism is an anthropological term referencing a range of beliefs and practices regarding communication with the spiritual world. To quote Eliade: "A first definition of this complex phenomenon, and perhaps the least hazardous, will be: shamanism = technique of ecstasy." Shamanism encompasses the...

. After this battle, many of the various Turkic tribes—including the Oghuz Turks
Oghuz Turks
The Turkomen also known as Oghuz Turks were a historical Turkic tribal confederation in Central Asia during the early medieval Turkic expansion....

, who were the ancestors of both the Seljuks and the Ottomans—gradually converted to Islam, and brought the religion with them to Anatolia beginning in the 11th century.

In the Ottoman Empire, in accordance with the Muslim dhimmi
Dhimmi
A , is a non-Muslim subject of a state governed in accordance with sharia law. Linguistically, the word means "one whose responsibility has been taken". This has to be understood in the context of the definition of state in Islam...

system, Christians were guaranteed limited freedoms (such as the right to worship), but were treated as second-class citizen
Second-class citizen
Second-class citizen is an informal term used to describe a person who is systematically discriminated against within a state or other political jurisdiction, despite their nominal status as a citizen or legal resident there...

s. Christians and Jews were not considered equals to Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

s: testimony against Muslims by Christians and Jews was inadmissible in courts of law. They were forbidden to carry weapons or ride atop horses, their houses could not overlook those of Muslims, and their religious practices would have to defer to those of Muslims, in addition to various other legal limitations.
The system commonly known as devşirme ("blood tax") was effectively used in the Ottoman Empire for centuries: in this system a certain number Christian boys, mainly from the Balkans and Anatolia, were periodically conscripted before they reached adolescence and were brought up as Muslims. These selected boys were trained either in the arts of statecraft or in the military to form the ruling class and the elite fighting force, Janissaries, of the empire.

The Ottoman Empire was, in principle, tolerant towards Christians and Jews (the "Ahl Al-Kitab", or "People of the Book", according to the Qur'an
Qur'an
The Quran , also transliterated Qur'an, Koran, Alcoran, Qur’ān, Coran, Kuran, and al-Qur’ān, is the central religious text of Islam, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God . It is regarded widely as the finest piece of literature in the Arabic language...

) but not towards the polytheists
Polytheism
Polytheism is the belief of multiple deities also usually assembled into a pantheon of gods and goddesses, along with their own mythologies and rituals....

, according to the Sharia law. Such tolerance was subject to a non-Muslim tax, the Jizya
Jizya
Under Islamic law, jizya or jizyah is a per capita tax levied on a section of an Islamic state's non-Muslim citizens, who meet certain criteria...

.

Under the millet system, non-Muslim people were considered subjects of the Empire, but were not subject to the Muslim faith or Muslim law. The Orthodox millet, for instance, was still officially legally subject to Justinian's Code
Corpus Juris Civilis
The Corpus Juris Civilis is the modern name for a collection of fundamental works in jurisprudence, issued from 529 to 534 by order of Justinian I, Eastern Roman Emperor...

, which had been in effect in the Byzantine Empire for 900 years. Also, as the largest group of non-Muslim subjects (or zimmi
Dhimmi
A , is a non-Muslim subject of a state governed in accordance with sharia law. Linguistically, the word means "one whose responsibility has been taken". This has to be understood in the context of the definition of state in Islam...

) of the Islamic Ottoman state, the Orthodox millet was granted a number of special privileges in the fields of politics and commerce, and had to pay higher taxes than Muslim subjects.,

The Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II allowed the local Christians to stay in Constantinople
Istanbul
Istanbul , historically known as Byzantium and Constantinople , is the largest city of Turkey. Istanbul metropolitan province had 13.26 million people living in it as of December, 2010, which is 18% of Turkey's population and the 3rd largest metropolitan area in Europe after London and...

 after conquering the city in 1453, and to retain their institutions such as the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate.

In 1461 Sultan Mehmed II established the Armenian Patriarchate of Constantinople
Armenian Patriarchate of Constantinople
The Armenian Patriarchate of Constantinople , one of the smallest Patriarchates of the Oriental Orthodox Church but one that has exerted a very significant political role and today still exercises a spiritual authority....

. Previously, the Byzantines considered the Armenian Church as heretical and thus did not allow them to build churches inside the walls of Constantinople
Walls of Constantinople
The Walls of Constantinople are a series of defensive stone walls that have surrounded and protected the city of Constantinople since its founding as the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire by Constantine the Great...

. In 1492, when the Muslims and Sephardic Jews were expelled from Spain during the Spanish Inquisition
Spanish Inquisition
The Tribunal of the Holy Office of the Inquisition , commonly known as the Spanish Inquisition , was a tribunal established in 1480 by Catholic Monarchs Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile. It was intended to maintain Catholic orthodoxy in their kingdoms, and to replace the Medieval...

, the Ottoman Sultan Bayezid II
Bayezid II
Bayezid II or Sultân Bayezid-î Velî was the oldest son and successor of Mehmed II, ruling as Sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1481 to 1512...

 sent his fleet under Kemal Reis
Kemal Reis
Kemal Reis was a Turkish privateer and admiral of the Ottoman Empire. He was also the paternal uncle of the famous Ottoman admiral and cartographer Piri Reis who accompanied him in most of his important naval expeditions....

 to save them and granted the refugees the right to settle in the Ottoman Empire.

The state's relationship with the Greek Orthodox Church was largely peaceful, and recurrent oppressive measures taken against the Greek church were a deviation from generally established practice. The church's structure was kept intact and largely left alone but under close control and scrutiny until the Greek War of Independence
Greek War of Independence
The Greek War of Independence, also known as the Greek Revolution was a successful war of independence waged by the Greek revolutionaries between...

 of 1821–1829 and, later in the 19th century, the rise of the Ottoman constitutional monarchy
Constitutional monarchy
Constitutional monarchy is a form of government in which a monarch acts as head of state within the parameters of a constitution, whether it be a written, uncodified or blended constitution...

, which was driven to some extent by nationalistic currents, tried to be balanced with Ottomanism
Ottomanism
Ottomanism was a concept which developed prior to the First Constitutional Era of the Ottoman Empire. Its proponents believed that it could solve the social issues that the empire was facing. Ottomanism was highly affected by thinkers such as Montesquieu and Rousseau and the French Revolution. It...

. Other Orthodox churches, like the Bulgarian Orthodox Church
Bulgarian Orthodox Church
The Bulgarian Orthodox Church - Bulgarian Patriarchate is an autocephalous Eastern Orthodox Church with some 6.5 million members in the Republic of Bulgaria and between 1.5 and 2.0 million members in a number of European countries, the Americas and Australia...

, were dissolved and placed under the jurisdiction of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate, until Sultan Abdülaziz
Abdülâziz
Abdülaziz I or Abd Al-Aziz, His Imperial Majesty was the 32nd Sultan of the Ottoman Empire and reigned between 25 June 1861 and 30 May 1876...

 established the Bulgarian Exarchate
Bulgarian Exarchate
The Bulgarian Exarchate was the official name of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church before its autocephaly was recognized by the Ecumenical See in 1945 and the Bulgarian Patriarchate was restored in 1953....

 in 1870 and reinstated the autonomy of the Bulgarian Church.

Similar millets were established for the Ottoman Jewish community, who were under the authority of the Haham Başı
Hakham Bashi
Hakham Bashi is the Turkish name for the Chief Rabbi of the nation's Jewish community.-History:The institution of the Hakham Bashi was established by the Ottoman Sultan Mehmet II, as part of the millet system for governing exceedingly diverse subjects according to their own laws and authorities...

or Ottoman Chief Rabbi
Chief Rabbi
Chief Rabbi is a title given in several countries to the recognized religious leader of that country's Jewish community, or to a rabbinic leader appointed by the local secular authorities...

; the Armenian Orthodox
Armenian Apostolic Church
The Armenian Apostolic Church is the world's oldest National Church, is part of Oriental Orthodoxy, and is one of the most ancient Christian communities. Armenia was the first country to adopt Christianity as its official religion in 301 AD, in establishing this church...

 community, who were under the authority of a head bishop; and a number of other religious communities as well.

In 1514, Sultan Selim I
Selim I
Selim I, Yavuz Sultân Selim Khan, Hâdim-ül Haramain-ish Sharifain , nicknamed Yavuz "the Stern" or "the Steadfast", but often rendered in English as "the Grim" , was the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1512 to...

, nicknamed “the Grim” because of his cruelty, ordered the massacre of 40,000 Anatolian Shi'ites, whom he considered heretics, reportedly proclaiming that "the killing of one Shiite had as much otherworldly reward as killing 70 Christians."

Jews and Assyrian Christians forced migrations between 1843 and the 21st century


In his recent PhD thesis and in his recent book the Israeli scholar Mordechai Zaken discussed the history of the Assyrian Christians of Turkey and Iraq (in the Kurdish vicinity) during the last 180 years, from 1843 onwards. In his studies Zaken outlines three major eruptions that took place between 1843 and 1933 during which the Assyrian Christians lost their land and hegemony in their habitat in the Hakkārī (or Julamerk) region in southeastern Turkey and became refugees in other lands, notably Iran and Iraq, and ultimately in exiled communities in European and western countries (the USA, Canada, Australia, New-Zealand, Sweden, France, to mention some of these countries). Mordechai Zaken wrote this important study from an analytical and comparative point of view, comparing the Assyrian Christians experience with the experience of the Kurdish Jews who had been dwelling in Kurdistan for two thousands years or so, but were forced to migrate the land to Israel in the early 1950s. The Jews of Kurdistan were forced to leave and migrate as a result of the Arab-Israeli war, as a result of the increasing hostility and acts of violence against Jews in Iraq and Kurdish towns and villages, and as a result of a new situation that had been built up during the 1940s in Iraq and Kurdistan in which the ability of Jews to live in relative comfort and relative tolerance (that was erupted from time to time prior to that period) with their Arab and Muslim neighbors, as they did for many years, practically came to an end. At the end, the Jews of Kurdistan had to leave their Kurdish habitat en masse and migrate into Israel. The Assyrian Christians on the other hand, came to similar conclusion but migrated in stages following each and every eruption of a political crisis with the regime in which boundaries they lived or following each conflict with their Muslim, Turkish, Arabs or Kurdish neighbors, or following the departure or expulsion of their patriarch Mar Shimon in 1933, first to Cyprus and then to the United States. Consequently, indeed there is still a small and fragile community of Assyrians in Iraq, however, millions of Assyrian Christians live today in exiled and prosperous communities in the west.

Law




The Ottoman legal system accepted the religious law
Religious law
In some religions, law can be thought of as the ordering principle of reality; knowledge as revealed by a God defining and governing all human affairs. Law, in the religious sense, also includes codes of ethics and morality which are upheld and required by the God...

 over its subjects. The Ottoman Empire was always organized around a system of local jurisprudence
Jurisprudence
Jurisprudence is the theory and philosophy of law. Scholars of jurisprudence, or legal theorists , hope to obtain a deeper understanding of the nature of law, of legal reasoning, legal systems and of legal institutions...

. Legal administration in the Ottoman Empire was part of a larger scheme of balancing central and local authority. Ottoman power revolved crucially around the administration of the rights to land, which gave a space for the local authority develop the needs of the local millet
Millet (Ottoman Empire)
Millet is a term for the confessional communities in the Ottoman Empire. It refers to the separate legal courts pertaining to "personal law" under which communities were allowed to rule themselves under their own system...

. The jurisdictional complexity of the Ottoman Empire was aimed to permit the integration of culturally and religiously different groups. The Ottoman system had three court systems: one for Muslims, one for non-Muslims, involving appointed Jews and Christians ruling over their respective religious communities, and the "trade court". The entire system was regulated from above by means of the administrative Kanun, i.e. laws, a system based upon the Turkic Yasa and Töre, which were developed in the pre-Islamic era. The kanun law system, on the other hand, was the secular law of the sultan, and dealt with issues not clearly addressed by the sharia system.

These court categories were not, however, wholly exclusive: for instance, the Islamic courts—which were the Empire's primary courts—could also be used to settle a trade conflict or disputes between litigants of differing religions, and Jews and Christians often went to them to obtain a more forceful ruling on an issue. The Ottoman state tended not to interfere with non-Muslim religious law systems, despite legally having a voice to do so through local governors. The Islamic Sharia law system had been developed from a combination of the Qur'an
Qur'an
The Quran , also transliterated Qur'an, Koran, Alcoran, Qur’ān, Coran, Kuran, and al-Qur’ān, is the central religious text of Islam, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God . It is regarded widely as the finest piece of literature in the Arabic language...

; the Hadīth
Hadith
The term Hadīth is used to denote a saying or an act or tacit approval or criticism ascribed either validly or invalidly to the Islamic prophet Muhammad....

, or words of the prophet Muhammad
Muhammad
Muhammad |ligature]] at U+FDF4 ;Arabic pronunciation varies regionally; the first vowel ranges from ~~; the second and the last vowel: ~~~. There are dialects which have no stress. In Egypt, it is pronounced not in religious contexts...

; ijmā'
Ijma
Ijmāʿ is an Arabic term referring to the consensus of the Muslim community. Various schools of thought within Islamic jurisprudence may define this consensus as that of the first generation of Muslims only; the consensus of the first three generations of Muslims; the consensus of the jurists...

, or consensus of the members of the Muslim community
Ummah
Ummah is an Arabic word meaning "community" or "nation." It is commonly used to mean either the collective nation of states, or the whole Arab world...

; qiyas
Qiyas
In Islamic jurisprudence, qiyās is the process of deductive analogy in which the teachings of the Hadith are compared and contrasted with those of the Qur'an, in order to apply a known injunction to a new circumstance and create a new injunction...

, a system of analogical reasoning from earlier precedents; and local customs. Both systems were taught at the Empire's law schools, which were in Constantinople and Bursa.

Tanzimat reforms drastically affected the law system. In 1877, the civil law
Private law
Private law is that part of a civil law legal system which is part of the jus commune that involves relationships between individuals, such as the law of contracts or torts, as it is called in the common law, and the law of obligations as it is called in civilian legal systems...

 (except family law) was codified in the Mecelle
Mecelle
The Mecelle code was the civil code of the Ottoman Empire in the late 19th and early 20th centuries...

 code. Later codifications covered commercial law, penal law and civil procedure.

Military


The first military unit of the Ottoman State was an army that was organized by Osman I
Osman I
Osman I or Othman I or El-Gazi Sultan Osman Ghazi, or Osman Bey or I. Osman, Osman Gazi Han), nicknamed "Kara" for his courage, was the leader of the Ottoman Turks, and the founder of the dynasty that established and ruled the Ottoman Empire...

 from the tribesmen inhabiting western Anatolia in the late 13th century. The military system became an intricate organization with the advance of the Empire. The Ottoman military was a complex system of recruiting and fief-holding. The main corps of the Ottoman Army included Janissary
Janissary
The Janissaries were infantry units that formed the Ottoman sultan's household troops and bodyguards...

, Sipahi
Sipahi
Sipahi was the name of several Ottoman cavalry corps...

, Akıncı
Akinci
Akıncı were irregular light cavalry,scout divisions and advance troops of the Ottoman Empire's military. When the pre-existing Turkish ghazis were incorporated into the Ottoman Empire's military they became known as "akıncı." They were one of the first divisions to face the opposing military and...

 and Mehterân
Ottoman military band
Ottoman military bands are thought to be the oldest variety of military marching band in the world. Though they are often known by the Persian-derived word mahtar in the West, that word, properly speaking, refers only to a single musician in the band...

. The Ottoman army was once among the most advanced fighting forces in the world, being one of the first to use muskets and cannons. The Ottomans began using falcons
Falconet (cannon)
The falconet or falcon was a light cannon developed in the late 15th century. During the Middle Ages guns were decorated with engravings of reptiles, birds or beasts depending on their size. For example, a culverin would often feature snakes, as the handles on the early cannons were often decorated...

, which were short but wide cannons, during the Siege of Constantinople (1422)
Siege of Constantinople (1422)
The first full-scale Ottoman Siege of Constantinople took place in 1422 as a result of the Byzantine Emperor Manuel II's attempts to interfere in the succession of Ottoman Sultans, after the death of Mehmed I in 1421...

. The Ottoman cavalry depended on high speed and mobility rather than heavy armour, using bows and short swords on fast Turkoman
Turkoman Horse
The Turkoman horse, or Turkmene, was an Oriental horse breed from the steppes of Central Asia, now extinct. Modern descendants include the Akhal-Teke and the Yamud horse breeds. Horses bred in Turkmenistan are still referred to as Turkoman, and have similar characteristics...

 and Arabian
Arabian horse
The Arabian or Arab horse is a breed of horse that originated on the Arabian Peninsula. With a distinctive head shape and high tail carriage, the Arabian is one of the most easily recognizable horse breeds in the world. It is also one of the oldest breeds, with archaeological evidence of horses...

 horses (progenitors of the Thoroughbred racing horse), and often applied tactics similar to those of the Mongol Empire
Mongol Empire
The Mongol Empire , initially named as Greater Mongol State was a great empire during the 13th and 14th centuries...

, such as pretending to retreat while surrounding the enemy forces inside a crescent-shaped formation and then making the real attack. The decline in the army's performance became clear from the mid-17th century and after the Great Turkish War. The 18th century saw some limited success against Venice, but in the north the European-style Russian armies forced the Ottomans to concede land.

The modernization of the Ottoman Empire in the 19th century started with the military. In 1826 Sultan Mahmud II
Mahmud II
Mahmud II was the 30th Sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1808 until his death in 1839. He was born in the Topkapi Palace, Istanbul, the son of Sultan Abdulhamid I...

 abolished the Janissary corps and established the modern Ottoman army. He named them as the Nizam-ı Cedid
Nizam-i Cedid
The Nizam-ı Cedid was a series of reforms carried out by the Ottoman Empire sultan Selim III during the late eighteenth century in a drive to catch up militarily and politically with the Western Powers...

 (New Order). The Ottoman army was also the first institution to hire foreign experts and send its officers for training in western European countries. Consequently, the Young Turks
Young Turks
The Young Turks , from French: Les Jeunes Turcs) were a coalition of various groups favouring reformation of the administration of the Ottoman Empire. The movement was against the absolute monarchy of the Ottoman Sultan and favoured a re-installation of the short-lived Kanûn-ı Esâsî constitution...

 movement began when these relatively young and newly trained men returned with their education.

The Ottoman Navy
Ottoman Navy
The Ottoman Navy was established in the early 14th century. During its long existence it was involved in many conflicts; refer to list of Ottoman sieges and landings and list of Admirals in the Ottoman Empire for a brief chronology.- Pre-Ottoman:...

 vastly contributed to the expansion of the Empire's territories on the European continent. It initiated the conquest of North Africa, with the addition of Algeria
Algeria
Algeria , officially the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria , also formally referred to as the Democratic and Popular Republic of Algeria, is a country in the Maghreb region of Northwest Africa with Algiers as its capital.In terms of land area, it is the largest country in Africa and the Arab...

 and Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

 to the Ottoman Empire in 1517. Starting with the loss of Algeria (1830) and Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

 (1821), Ottoman naval power and control over the Empire's distant overseas territories began to decline. Sultan Abdülaziz
Abdülâziz
Abdülaziz I or Abd Al-Aziz, His Imperial Majesty was the 32nd Sultan of the Ottoman Empire and reigned between 25 June 1861 and 30 May 1876...

 (reigned 1861–1876) attempted to reestablish a strong Ottoman navy, building the largest fleet after those of Britain and France. The shipyard at Barrow, England, built its first submarine
Submarine
A submarine is a watercraft capable of independent operation below the surface of the water. It differs from a submersible, which has more limited underwater capability...

 in 1886 for the Ottoman Empire.

However, the collapsing Ottoman economy could not sustain the fleet's strength for too long. Sultan Abdülhamid II distrusted the admirals who sided with the reformist Midhat Pasha, and claimed that the large and expensive fleet was of no use against the Russians during the Russo-Turkish War (1877–1878). He locked most of the fleet inside the Golden Horn
Golden Horn
The Golden Horn is a historic inlet of the Bosphorus dividing the city of Istanbul and forming the natural harbor that has sheltered Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman and other ships for thousands of...

, where the ships decayed for the next 30 years. Following the Young Turk Revolution
Young Turk Revolution
The Young Turk Revolution of 1908 reversed the suspension of the Ottoman parliament by Sultan Abdul Hamid II, marking the onset of the Second Constitutional Era...

 in 1908, the Committee of Union and Progress
Committee of Union and Progress
The Committee of Union and Progress began as a secret society established as the "Committee of Ottoman Union" in 1889 by the medical students İbrahim Temo, Abdullah Cevdet, İshak Sükuti and Ali Hüseyinzade...

 sought to develop a strong Ottoman naval force. The Ottoman Navy Foundation was established in 1910 to buy new ships through public donations.

The history of Ottoman military aviation
Ottoman Air Force
The Aviation Squadrons of the Ottoman Empire were military aviation units of the Ottoman Army and Navy...

 dates back to 1909 between June 1909 and July 1911. The Ottoman Empire started preparing its first pilots and planes, and with the founding of the Aviation School (Tayyare Mektebi) in Yeşilköy
Yesilköy
Yeşilköy is a neighborhood of the Bakırköy municipality of Istanbul, Turkey.It is located along the Marmara Sea about 11 kilometers west of Istanbul's historic city center...

 on 3 July 1912, the Empire began to tutor its own flight officers. The founding of the Aviation School quickened advancement in the military aviation program, increased the number of enlisted persons within it, and gave the new pilots an active role in the Ottoman Army and Navy
Ottoman Navy
The Ottoman Navy was established in the early 14th century. During its long existence it was involved in many conflicts; refer to list of Ottoman sieges and landings and list of Admirals in the Ottoman Empire for a brief chronology.- Pre-Ottoman:...

. In May 1913 the world's first specialized Reconnaissance Training Program was started by the Aviation School and the first separate reconnaissance division was established. In June 1914 a new military academy, the Naval Aviation School (Bahriye Tayyare Mektebi) was founded. With the outbreak of World War I, the modernization process stopped abruptly. The Ottoman aviation squadrons fought on many fronts during World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

, from Galicia in the west to the Caucasus
Caucasus
The Caucasus, also Caucas or Caucasia , is a geopolitical region at the border of Europe and Asia, and situated between the Black and the Caspian sea...

 in the east and Yemen
Yemen
The Republic of Yemen , commonly known as Yemen , is a country located in the Middle East, occupying the southwestern to southern end of the Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the north, the Red Sea to the west, and Oman to the east....

 in the south.

See also


  • The Akçe
    Akçe
    thumb|250px|AkçeA silver coin, the akçe was the chief monetary unit of the Ottoman Empire. The word "akçe" is derived from the Greek "" , the name of a Byzantine silver or billon coin, current in the region that eventually became the Ottoman Empire. The akçe is hence often called asper in English...

    derived from Asper
    Asper
    - People :* Aemilius Asper, Latin grammarian* David Asper, Vice-president of CanWest Global Communications Corp.* Gail Asper, President of the CanWest Global Foundation and managing director and secretary of The Asper Foundation...

    , a silver
    Silver
    Silver is a metallic chemical element with the chemical symbol Ag and atomic number 47. A soft, white, lustrous transition metal, it has the highest electrical conductivity of any element and the highest thermal conductivity of any metal...

     coin
    Coin
    A coin is a piece of hard material that is standardized in weight, is produced in large quantities in order to facilitate trade, and primarily can be used as a legal tender token for commerce in the designated country, region, or territory....

    , was the chief monetary unit of the Ottoman Empire
  • Index of Ottoman Empire-related articles
    Index of Ottoman Empire-related articles
    The Ottoman Empire is a historical Muslim empire, also known by its contemporaries as the Turkish Empire or Turkey after the principal ethnic group. At its zenith in the second half of the 16th century it controlled Southeast Europe, Southwest Asia and North Africa. Below are the links to articles...

  • Outline of the Ottoman Empire

Further reading



General surveys
  • Barkey, Karen. Empire of Difference: The Ottomans in Comparative Perspective. (2008) 357pp Amazon.com, excerpt and text search
  • Creasy, Sir Edward Shepherd. History of the Ottoman Turks: From the beginning of their empire to the present time. R. Bentley and Son, 1877.
  • Finkel, Caroline. Osman's Dream: The Story of the Ottoman Empire, 1300–1923. John Murray, 2005. ISBN 0-7195-5513-2. Amazon.com, excerpt and text search
  • Goodwin, Jason. Lords of the Horizons: A History of the Ottoman Empire (2003) Amazon.com, excerpt and text search
  • Imber, Colin. The Ottoman Empire, 1300–1650: The Structure of Power. Palgrave Macmillan, 2002. ISBN 0-333-61386-4.
  • Inalcik, Halil and Quataert, Donald, ed. An Economic and Social History of the Ottoman Empire, 1300–1914. 1995. 1026 pp.
  • Dimitri Kitsikis
    Dimitri Kitsikis
    Dimitri Kitsikis is a Greek Turkologist, Professor of International Relations and Geopolitics. He has also published poetry in French and Greek.-Life:D...

    , L'Empire ottoman, Presses Universitaires de France, 3rd ed.,1994. ISBN 2130434592
  • McCarthy, Justin. The Ottoman Turks: An Introductory History to 1923 1997 Questian.com, online edition
  • Pamuk, Sevket. A Monetary History of the Ottoman Empire. 1999. 276 pp.
  • Quataert, Donald. The Ottoman Empire, 1700–1922 (2005), standard scholarly survey Amazon.com, excerpt and text search ISBN 0-521-54782-2.
  • Shaw, Stanford J., and Ezel Kural Shaw. History of the Ottoman Empire and Modern Turkey. Vol. 1, 1977.
  • Somel, Selcuk Aksin. Historical Dictionary of the Ottoman Empire. (2003). 399 pp.
  • Stone, Norman "Turkey in the Russian Mirror" pages 86–100 from Russia War, Peace and Diplomacy edited by Mark & Ljubica Erickson, Weidenfeld & Nicolson: London, 2004 ISBN 0297849131.


to 1830
  • Braude, Benjamin, and Bernard Lewis, eds. Christians and Jews in the Ottoman Empire: The Functioning of a Plural Society (1982) Questia.com, online edition
  • Clot, André
    André Clot
    André Clot was a French historian and essayist.Clot worked from 1936 to 1942 for the news agency Agence Havas, from 1943 to 1945 for Radio-Brazzaville and finally from 1945 up to his superannuation for the Agence France-Presse.He lived for many years in Turkey and the countries of the Near and...

    . Suleiman the Magnificent. 1993. 399 pp
  • Goffman, Daniel. The Ottoman Empire and Early Modern Europe (2002) Questia.com, online edition
  • Guilmartin, John F., Jr. "Ideology and Conflict: The Wars of the Ottoman Empire, 1453–1606", Journal of Interdisciplinary History, (Spring 1988) 18:4., pp721–747.
  • Kunt, Metin and Woodhead, Christine, ed. Süleyman the Magnificent and His Age: The Ottoman Empire in the Early Modern World. 1995. 218 pp.
  • Lybyer, Albert Howe
    Albert Howe Lybyer
    Albert Howe Lybyer was a scholar of the history of the Middle East and the Balkans. Lybyer taught medieval and modern European history at Oberlin College from 1909 to 1913, and also held teaching positions at Robert College of Istanbul , Harvard University and the University of Illinois...

    . The Government of the Ottoman Empire in the Time of Suleiman the Magnificent. AMS Press, 1978. ISBN 0-404-14681-3.
  • Murphy, Rhoads Ottoman Warfare 1500–1700 (1999) 278 pp.
  • Parry, V.J. A History of the Ottoman Empire to 1730 (1976)
  • Pierce, Leslie P. The Imperial Harem: Women and Sovereignty in the Ottoman Empire. 1993. 374 pp.
  • Shaw, Stanford J. History of the Ottoman Empire and Modern Turkey, Vol I; Empire of Gazis: The Rise and Decline of the Ottoman Empire 1290–1808. Cambridge University Press
    Cambridge University Press
    Cambridge University Press is the publishing business of the University of Cambridge. Granted letters patent by Henry VIII in 1534, it is the world's oldest publishing house, and the second largest university press in the world...

    , 1976. ISBN 978-0-521-21280-9.
  • Turnbull, Stephen. The Ottoman Empire 1326–1699 (2003) 95 pp Questia.com, online edition


Post 1830
  • Ahmad, Feroz. The Young Turks: The Committee of Union and Progress in Turkish Politics, 1908–1914, (1969).
  • Bein, Amit. Ottoman Ulema, Turkish Republic: Agents of Change and Guardians of Tradition (2011) Amazon.com
  • Black, Cyril E., and L. Carl Brown. Modernization in the Middle East: The Ottoman Empire and Its Afro-Asian Successors. 1992.
  • Erickson, Edward J. Ordered to Die: A History of the Ottoman Army in the First World War (2000) Amazon.com, excerpt and text search
  • Gürkan, Emrah Safa: Christian Allies of the Ottoman Empire, European History Online
    European History Online
    European History Online is an academic website that publishes articles on the history of Europe between the period of 1450 and 1950 according to the principle of open access. EGO is issued by the Institute of European History in Mainz in cooperation with the Center for Digital Humanities in Trier ...

    , Mainz: Institute of European History, 2011, retrieved: November 2, 2011.
  • Faroqhi, Suraiya. Subjects of the Sultan: Culture and Daily Life in the Ottoman Empire. (2000) 358 pp.
  • Findley, Carter. Bureaucratic Reform in the Ottoman Empire. 1980.
  • Fortna, Benjamin C. Imperial Classroom: Islam, the State, and Education in the Late Ottoman Empire. (2002) 280 pp.
  • Fromkin, David. A Peace to End All Peace: The Fall of the Ottoman Empire and the Creation of the Modern Middle East (2001) Amazon.com, excerpt and text search
  • Göçek, Fatma Müge. Rise of the Bourgeoisie, Demise of Empire: Ottoman Westernization and Social Change. (1996). 220 pp.
  • Hanioglu, M. Sukru. A Brief History of the Late Ottoman Empire (2008) Amazon.com, excerpt and text search
  • Inalcik, Halil and Quataert, Donald, ed. An Economic and Social History of the Ottoman Empire, 1300–1914. 1995. 1026 pp.
  • Karpat, Kemal H. The Politicization of Islam: Reconstructing Identity, State, Faith, and Community in the Late Ottoman State. (2001). 533 pp.
  • Kayali, Hasan. Arabs and Young Turks: Ottomanism, Arabism, and Islamism in the Ottoman Empire, 1908–1918 (1997); CDlib.org, complete text online
  • Kushner, David. The Rise of Turkish Nationalism, 1876–1908. 1977.
  • McCarthy, Justin. The Ottoman Peoples and the End of Empire. Hodder Arnold, 2001. ISBN 0-340-70657-0.
  • Miller, William. The Ottoman Empire, 1801–1913. (1913) ,Books.Google.com full text online
  • Quataert, Donald. Social Disintegration and Popular Resistance in the Ottoman Empire, 1881–1908. 1983.
  • Shaw, Stanford J., and Ezel Kural Shaw. History of the Ottoman Empire and Modern Turkey. Vol. 2, Reform, Revolution, and Republic: The Rise of Modern Turkey, 1808–1975. (1977). Amazon.com, excerpt and text search
  • Toledano, Ehud R. The Ottoman Slave Trade and Its Suppression, 1840–1890. (1982)
  • Hussain, Ishtiaq. "The Tanzimat: Secular Reforms in the Ottoman Empire", Faith Matters 2011


External links