Ottoman Turks

Ottoman Turks

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The Ottoman Turks were the Turkish-speaking population of the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 who formed the base of the state's military and ruling classes. Reliable information about the early history of Ottoman Turks is scarce, but they take their Turkish name, Osmanlı (corrupted in European languages as "Ottoman"), from the house of 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...

 (reigned ca. 1299-1326), the founder of the dynasty which ruled the Ottoman empire during its 620-year history. After the expansion from its home in Bithynia
Bithynia
Bithynia was an ancient region, kingdom and Roman province in the northwest of Asia Minor, adjoining the Propontis, the Thracian Bosporus and the Euxine .-Description:...

, the Ottoman principality began incorporating both other Turkish-speaking Muslims and non-Turkish Christians, becoming the Ottoman Turks and ultimately the Turks of the present. The Ottoman Turks blocked all land routes to Europe by conquering the city of Constantinople, the capital city of the Byzantine Empire. Hence the Europeans had to find other ways to trade with Eastern countries.

Brief history



The "Ottomans" became first known to the West in 1227 when they migrated westward into the Seljuk Empire, in Anatolia
Anatolia
Anatolia is a geographic and historical term denoting the westernmost protrusion of Asia, comprising the majority of the Republic of Turkey...

. However, the Ottoman Turks would create a state in Western Anatolia under Ertugrul
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...

, the capital of which was Sögüt
Sögüt
Söğüt is a town and district of Bilecik Province in the Marmara region of Turkey. Söğüt has an area of and borders Bilecik to the west, Gölpazarı to the north, İnhisar to the northeast, Eskişehir to the southeast, and Bozüyük to the southwest. The 2000 census put the population at 21,012 citizens,...

; near Bursa to the south of the Marmara
Sea of Marmara
The Sea of Marmara , also known as the Sea of Marmora or the Marmara Sea, and in the context of classical antiquity as the Propontis , is the inland sea that connects the Black Sea to the Aegean Sea, thus separating Turkey's Asian and European parts. The Bosphorus strait connects it to the Black...

, the body of water between 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...

 and the Aegean Sea
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...

. Ertugrul established a principality, as part of the decaying Seljuk empire. His son Osman
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...

 expanded the principality; and for him, both the empire and the people were named by Europeans as "Ottomans". Osman's son Orhan expanded the growing empire, taking Nicaea, present-day Iznik, and crossed the Dardanelles
Dardanelles
The Dardanelles , formerly known as the Hellespont, is a narrow strait in northwestern Turkey connecting the Aegean Sea to the Sea of Marmara. It is one of the Turkish Straits, along with its counterpart the Bosphorus. It is located at approximately...

 strait, in 1362. But the Ottoman Empire came into its own when Mehmed II captured 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...

's 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:...

] (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...

), in 1453.

The Ottoman Empire would come to rule much of the Balkans
Balkans
The Balkans is a geopolitical and cultural region of southeastern Europe...

, the Fertile Crescent
Fertile Crescent
The Fertile Crescent, nicknamed "The Cradle of Civilization" for the fact the first civilizations started there, is a crescent-shaped region containing the comparatively moist and fertile land of otherwise arid and semi-arid Western Asia. The term was first used by University of Chicago...

, and even 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...

, over the course of several centuries; with an advanced army and navy. The Empire lasted until the end of the First World War, when it was defeated by the Allies
Allies of World War I
The Entente Powers were the countries at war with the Central Powers during World War I. The members of the Triple Entente were the United Kingdom, France, and the Russian Empire; Italy entered the war on their side in 1915...

 and was succeeded by the modern 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...

 in 1923. Not all Ottomans were Muslims and not all Ottoman Muslims were Turks, but by 1923, the majority of individuals residing within the borders of the new Turkish Republic identified as Turks (notable exceptions were the Kurds
Kurdish people
The Kurdish people, or Kurds , are an Iranian people native to the Middle East, mostly inhabiting a region known as Kurdistan, which includes adjacent parts of Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Turkey...

 and the few remaining Armenians and Greeks.

Culture and the arts



The 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:...

 made the Ottomans the rulers of one of the most profitable empires on earth, connected to the flourishing Islamic cultures of the time, and at the crossroads of trade into Europe. The Ottomans would grow and make major developments in calligraphy, writing, law, architecture, and military science, and would become the standard of opulence.

Ottoman calligraphy


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

 is a religion which focuses very heavily on learning the central text 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...

, and because Islamic culture has historically tended towards discouraging or prohibiting figurative art
Aniconism in Islam
Aniconism in Islam is a proscription in Islam against the creation of images of sentient living beings. The most absolute proscription is of images of Allah, followed by depictions of Muhammad, and then Islamic prophets and the relatives of the Prophet, but the depiction of all humans and animals...

 to a greater or lesser degree, 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"...

 became one of the foremost of the arts.

The early Yâkût period was supplanted in the late 15th century by a new style pioneered by Seyh Hamdullah (1429–1520) which became the basis for Ottoman Calligraphy. Focusing on the nesih version of the script, which became the standard for copying 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...

 (See Arabic Calligraphy).

The next great change in Ottoman calligraphy comes from the style of Hâfiz Osman
Hâfiz Osman
This article is about a 17th century calligrapher. For the Singaporean footballer, see Hafiz Osman.Hâfiz Osman was an Ottoman calligrapher.Hâfiz Osman was a Dervish; he was born in Istanbul...

 (1642–1698), whose rigorous and simplified style found favor with an empire at its peak of both territorial extent, and governmental burdens.

The late calligraphic style of the Ottomans was created by Mustafa Râkim (1757–1826) as an extension and reform of Osman's style, and placing greater emphasis on technical perfection which broadened the calligraphic art to encompass the sülüs script as well as the neish
Neish
Neish is a name of Scottish origin. Clan Neish was a sept of Clan Gregor...

 script which had been the dominant standard script.

Ottoman poetry



Ottoman poetry produced epic length verse, but is better remembered for shorter forms, such as the gazel
Gazel
Gazel is a form of Turkish music that has almost died out. While in other parts of the Central Asian world, gazel is synonymous with ghazal, in Turkey it denotes an improvised form of solo singing that is sometimes accompanied by the ney, ud, or tanbur...

. The epic poet Ahmedi (-1412), for example, is remembered for his Alexander the Great. His contemporary Sheykhi wrote verses on love and romance. Yaziji-Oglu produced a religious epic on Mohammed's life, drawing from the stylistic advances of the previous generation and Ahmedi's epic forms.

Ottoman painting



By the 14th century the Ottoman Empire's prosperity made manuscript works available to merchants and craftsman, and produced a flowering of miniatures which depicted pagentry, daily life, commerce, cities and stories, as well as chronicling events. While initially is illuminated manuscript work.

By the late 18th century European influences in painting are clear, with the introduction of oils, perspective, figurative paintings, use of anatomy and composition.

See also



  • Ottoman Empire
    Ottoman Empire
    The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

  • Osmanli 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...

  • Turkish people
    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...