Ottoman Empire

Ottoman Empire or dynasty was one of the most powerful and long-lasting in history. This Islamic-led powerhouse dominated huge parts of the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and North Africa for six hundred years. His religious and political power over his people was delegated to the leader, the Sultan. Many historians regarded the Ottoman Empire as a source of regional peace and security and significant achievements in the arts, science, religion, and culture, but Western Europeans typically viewed it as a danger.

History of The Ottoman Empire

Osman I, a leader of the Anatolian Turkish tribes, formed the Ottoman Empire in 1299. The title “Ottoman” comes from Osman’s Arabic name,Uthman.

The Ottoman Turks established a formal government and expanded their territory under the leadership of Osman I, Orhan I, Murad I, and Bayezid I.

In 1453, Mehmed II, the Conqueror, led the Ottoman Turks in capturing Constantinople, the capital of the Byzantine Empire. This ended the thousand-year rule of the Byzantine Empire.

The city of Istanbul was renamed by Sultan Mehmed to serve as the new capital of the Ottoman Empire. The city of Istanbul has become a global centre of trade and culture.

Mehmed died in 1481. His eldest son Bayezid II succeeded him as Sultan.

Ottoman Empire’s rise to power

By 1517, Selim I, the son of Bayezid, had brought Syria, Arabia, Palestine, and Egypt under Ottoman rule.

The Ottoman Empire’s height occurred between 1520 and 1566, under the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent. This time was characterized by enormous strength, stability, and prosperity.

Suleiman established a consistent legal system and encouraged the development of many types of art and literature. Many Muslims viewed Suleiman as both a religious and political leader.

During Sultan Suleiman’s reign, the empire extended to encompass Eastern Europe.

Which Nations Belong to the Ottoman Empire?

At the height of its power, the Ottoman Empire comprised the following regions:

  • Turkey
  • Greece
  • Bulgaria
  • Egypt
  • Hungary
  • Macedonia
  • Romania
  • Jordan
  • Palestine Lebanon
  • Syria
  • Parts of Arabia
  • A significant portion of the North African coastline

Turkish Art and Science

The Ottomans were renowned for their contributions to the fields of art, science, and medicine. During the time of Suleiman, the Magnificent, Istanbul, and other important towns around the empire gained a reputation as creative centers.

Calligraphy, painting, poetry, textiles and carpet weaving, pottery, and music were some of the most prominent types of art.

Ottoman architecture also contributed to the cultural development of the period. During this time period, elaborate mosques and other structures were created.

Science was viewed as an essential academic discipline. Advanced mathematics, astronomy, philosophy, physics, geography, and chemistry were studied and practiced by the Ottomans.

Additionally, the Ottomans created some of the greatest medical advancements. They created various surgical devices still in use today, including forceps, catheters, scalpels, pincers, and lancets.


Under Sultan Selim, a new strategy involving fratricide, or the murder of brothers, evolved.

Upon the coronation of a new Sultan, his brothers would be imprisoned. Upon the birth of the Sultan’s first son, his brothers and their offspring would be executed. This method guaranteed that the legitimate successor would ascend to the throne.

However, not every Sultan observed this arduous practice. Over time, the technique grew in sophistication. In following years, the brothers would be imprisoned but not executed.


Between 1299 and 1922, 36 Sultans governed the Ottoman Empire. During much of these years, the Ottoman Sultan resided at Istanbul’s grandiose Topkapi palace complex, which had many gardens, courtyards, and residential and governmental structures.

The harem was a distinct section of the Topkapi palace allocated for spouses, concubines, and enslaved women. The males in the harem complex were generally eunuchs, while these ladies served the Sultan.

A Sultan was always concerned about assassination attempts and relocated each night as a safety precaution.

The Ottoman Empire and Different Faiths

Most experts concur that the Ottoman Turk rulers were religiously tolerant.

Non-Muslims were classified under the millet system, a communal organization that granted minority groups significant autonomy over their affairs while remaining under Ottoman sovereignty. While certain millets were taxed, some were exempt.


During the fourteenth century, the devshirme system was developed. This obliged captured Christians to provide the state with 20% of their male children, and children were coerced into converting to Islam and becoming slaves.

Despite serving as enslaved people, some converts became influential and affluent. Many were trained for government or Ottoman military service. Most elite military units known as the Janissaries had forcibly converted Christians.

The devshirme system lasted until the 17th century’s conclusion.

The Fall of the Turkish Empire

The Ottoman Empire began to lose its economic and military control over Europe in the 1600s.

The Renaissance and the beginning of the Industrial Revolution contributed to Europe’s fast growth during this period. Other causes, like bad leadership and competition from the Americas and India, contributed to the empire’s decline.

The Ottoman Turks were defeated in 1683 during the Battle of Vienna, and this loss added to their already diminishing prominence.

Over the next century, the empire began to lose crucial geographical regions. In 1830, Greece achieved its freedom from the Ottoman Empire following an uprising.

In 1878, the Congress of Berlin proclaimed the independence of Romania, Serbia, and Bulgaria from the Ottoman Empire.

During the Balkan Wars of 1912 and 1913, the Ottoman Empire lost practically all of its European holdings.

When Was the Fall of the Ottoman Empire?

When World War I began, the Ottoman Empire was already in decline. The Ottoman army entered the war on the side of the Central Powers (Germany, Austria-Hungary, and others) in 1914 and was defeated in October 1918.

The majority of Ottoman territory was partitioned between Britain, France, Greece, and Russia with the Armistice of Mudros.

The official end of the Ottoman Empire occurred in 1922 when the title of Ottoman Sultan was erased. On October 29, 1923, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk (1881-1938), an army commander, formed the independent Republic of Turkey and declared Turkey a republic. From 1923 until he died in 1938, he served as Turkey’s first president, instituting reforms that swiftly secularised and westernized the country.

Armenian Genocide

The Armenian Genocide was likely the most contentious and heinous atrocity linked with the Ottoman Empire.

In 1915, Turkish commanders devised a plot to murder Ottoman Empire-dwelling Armenians. The majority of researchers assume that around 1.5 million Armenians perished.

The Turkish government has denied culpability for the Genocide for many years. Even today, it is forbidden in Turkey to discuss the Armenian Genocide.

The Ottoman Tradition

After more than 600 years of rule, the Ottoman Turks are recognized for their formidable military, ethnic variety, creative endeavors, religious tolerance, and architectural achievements.

Many academics consider the current Turkish Republic, predominantly secular, to be a continuation of the Ottoman Empire. The empire’s influence is still very much alive in the modern Turkish Republic.

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