Ottoman Empire


The Ottoman Empire represents one of the greatest imperial projects in human history, ruling vast territories in North Africa , the Balkans, and the Middle East . The Ottoman Empire was one of the largest and longest-lasting empires in history. It was an empire inspired and sustained by Islam . It replaced the Byzantine Empire as the main power in the eastern Mediterranean. The Ottoman Empire reached its peak under the orders of Suleiman the Magnificent who reigned between the years 1520 and 1566, when it expanded to cover the Balkans and Hungary., and arrived at the gates of Vienna . The Empire began to decline after being defeated at the Battle of Lepanto and losing almost its entire armada. It declined further over the following centuries, and was effectively wiped out by World War I and the Balkan Wars.


What is the Ottoman Empire?

Also known as the Ottoman Turkish Empire, it was a multi-ethnic and multi- denominational state whose maximum splendor reached it in the 16th and 17th centuries, spreading across Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. It is the Islamic successor to the classical empires.


History of the Ottoman Empire

The Ottoman Empire began as one of the small Turkish states of Asia Minor during the decline of the Seljuk Empire . The Ottoman Turks controlled the other Turkish states, which had managed to survive the Mongol invasions and under the reign of Mehmed II ended the Byzantine Empire . The first phase of Ottoman expansion took place under the rule of Osman I and continued in the reigns of Orkhan, Murad I and Beyazid I. Ottoman victories in the Balkans alerted Western Europe to the danger and were the reason why carried out the Hungarian Sigismund Crusade. Finally, the Ottoman Empire managed to conquer Constantinople in 1453.



It originates from Central Asia , in Turkestan , with a Turkish tribe. When the Ottoman Turks fought the Seljuk also fought against the Byzantines and began the occupation of the peninsula of Anatolia . The Seljuks encompassed Iraq and Iran and most of the territories passed into the hands of the Mongols. From these emerges Utman I , who was the one who gave the name to the Ottoman dynasty and who marked the beginning of the Turkish empire .

Decline and fall of the Ottoman Empire

One of the main causes of the fall of the Ottoman Empire was the economy . At the beginning it was a prosperous and self-sufficient empire, but when the Industrial Revolution took place , the transformation of the economy and the disappearance of the guilds , the empire decided to maintain its union organization. It was the characteristics of the empire in the face of Western progress that caused its fall and due to the great inflation that occurred in Europe with the flow of precious metals that came from America . The route that passed through the east was monopolizedby the Dutch and English and the economic income of the empire began to decline. Europe was gaining ground over the Ottoman Empire by creating educational institutions and they made a revolution in weapons and war techniques that left the empire in a completely obsolete state, losing battles and losing territory.


  • It originated when the Seljuk Turkish Empire fell.
  • The expansion phase of the empire occurs during the reign of Osman I.
  • It functioned as a bridge between East and West .
  • The fall of the empire occurred at the beginning of the First World War .
  • They did a mass murder against Armenia .
  • They had a monarchical government and it was a state led by the Osmanli dynasty .
  • Its maximum splendor arose during the 16th and 17th centuries.


Some of the sultans of the Ottoman Empire were:

  • Osman Gazi (1281-1326)
  • Orhan Gazi (1326-1360)
  • Murat I (1360-1389)
  • Yildirim Bayazid I (1389-1402)
  • Ottoman Interregnum (1402-1413)
  • Ahmed I (1603-1617)
  • Mustafa I (1617-1618) [First Period]
  • Osman II (1618-1622)
  • Mustafa I (1622-1623) [Second Period]
  • Murad V (1876-1876)
  • Abdulhamid II (1876-1909)
  • Mehmed V (1909-1918)
  • Mehmed VI (1918-1922) [last Sultan of the Ottoman Empire]

Cultural manifestations

In the field of architecture they used as models the church of Santa Sofia , which was converted into a mosque. In Istanbul you can find the Suleiman Mosque and in Edirme, the Bosphorus gates . In its civil architecture, the Topkapi Palace in Istanbul, which was also the seat of the empire, stands out.

Political and social organization of the Ottoman Empire

The Ottoman Empire consisted of 29 different provinces and four vassal states that were: Moldavia, Transylvania, Wallachia and Crimea. Its territory was bordered to the west by Morocco , to the east by the Caspian Sea , to the north by Europe and to the south by Sudan and Arabia . The religion they professed was Islam , however, they respected other religions. Their main activity was agriculture and livestock , and they produced enough raw material to be able to make their own clothing.


Its main source of wealth was military expansion and government taxation . The agriculture also was part of the economy, the same as trade and industry . There was plenty of land to work on and they made a living from family farms in agriculture. They maintained an expansion of territory, the traditional monopolies , land tenure and crops.


The Ottoman Empire had a very good level in terms of technology which was far superior to the countries of Europe especially in firearms matters , and this was a great contribution for future battles. This town is assigned very important discoveries, according to historians, among its first inventions is the creation of the submarine . They also created the Shipyards , in addition to creating rockets and arms fire.


The Ottoman Empire spanned the continents of Europe , Asia , Maghreb Africa . Countries such as Albania, Bosnia, Crimea, Greece, Hungary, the North Aegean Islands, Lebanon, Jordan, Oman, Palestine, Syria, Yemen, Algeria, Libya, Sudan, Tunisia, are some of the countries that the Ottoman Empire reigned.

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