Portal:Ottoman Empire

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The Ottoman Empire (/ˈɒtəmən/; error: {{lang-xx}}: text has italic markup (help), Modern Turkish: Osmanlı İmparatorluğu), also historically referred to as the Turkish Empire or Turkey, was an empire founded by Oghuz Turks under Osman Bey in north-western Anatolia in 1299. With the conquest of Constantinople by Mehmed II in 1453, the Ottoman state was transformed into an empire.

During the 16th and 17th centuries, in particular at the height of its power under the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent, the Ottoman Empire was a powerful multinational, multilingual empire controlling much of Southeast Europe, Western Asia, the Caucasus, North Africa, and the Horn of Africa. At the beginning of the 17th century the empire contained 32 provinces and numerous vassal states. Some of these were later absorbed into the empire, while others were granted various types of autonomy during the course of centuries.

With Constantinople as its capital and control of lands around the Mediterranean basin, the Ottoman Empire was at the centre of interactions between the Eastern and Western worlds for six centuries. Following a long period of military setbacks against European powers and gradual decline, the empire collapsed and was dissolved in the aftermath of World War I, leading to the emergence of the new state of Turkey in the Ottoman Anatolian heartland, as well as the creation of modern Balkan and Middle Eastern states.

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The Battle of Nicopolis (Turkish: Niğbolu Muharebesi) took place on 25 September 1396 and resulted in the rout of an allied crusader army of Hungarian, Bulgarian, Croatian, Wallachian, French, Burgundian, German and assorted troops (assisted by the Venetian navy) at the hands of an Ottoman force, raising of the siege of the Danubian fortress of Nicopolis and leading to the end of the Second Bulgarian Empire. It is often referred to as the Crusade of Nicopolis as it was one of the last large-scale Crusades of the Middle Ages, together with the Crusade of Varna in 1443–1444.

There were many minor crusades in the 14th century, undertaken by individual kings or knights. Most recently there had been a failed crusade against Tunisia in 1390, and there was ongoing warfare in northern Europe along the Baltic coast. After their victory at the Battle of Kosovo in 1389, the Ottomans had conquered most of the Balkans, and had reduced the Byzantine Empire to the area immediately surrounding Constantinople, which they later proceeded to besiege (in 1390, 1395, 1397, 1400, 1411, 1422 and finally conquering the Byzantine capital in 1453).

Selected biography

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Merzifonlu Kara Mustafa Pasha (1634/1635 – 25 December 1683) was an Ottoman military leader and grand vizier who was a central character in the Ottoman Empire's last attempts at expansion into both Central and Eastern Europe. Born to Albanian parents in Merzifon, Mustafa was educated in the household of Mehmed Koprulu and married into the powerful Köprülü family. In 1659, he became governor of Silistria and subsequently held a number of important posts. Within ten years, he was acting as deputy for his brother-in-law, the grand vizier Köprülü Fazıl Ahmed Pasha when absent from the Sultan's court.

He served as a commander of ground troops in a war against Poland, negotiating a settlement with Jan Sobieski in 1676 that added the province of Podolia to the empire. The victory enabled the Ottomans to transform the Cossack regions of the southern Ukraine into a protectorate. When his brother-in-law Köprülü Fazıl Ahmed Pasha died that same year, Mustafa succeeded him as grand vizier. He was less successful in combating a Cossack rebellion that began following the settlement with the Poles. After some initial victories, intervention by Russia turned the tide and forced the Turks to conclude peace in 1681, effectively returning the Cossack lands to Russian rule with the exception of a few forts on the Dnieper and Southern Bug rivers.

Did you know...

  • Fatih Sultan Mehmet was 12 years old king.
  • The Ottoman Empire welcomed more than 150 000 jewish refugees who got expelled from Spain in 1492.
  • He continued his reign of the Ottoman Empire 624 years.

New articles

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'Last Ottoman' dies at age 97 (Friday, September 25, 2009)
'Last Ottoman' dies, aged 91 (Thursday, April 5, 2012)

External links and resources

State-based archives

  • Ottoman State Archives Republic of Turkey Prime Ministry Undersecretariat of Treasury (in English)
  • General Directorate of State Archives of the Republic of Turkey (in English) (in French) (in Arabic)
  • General Directorate Of State Archives (in English) (in Turkish)
  • Ottoman Archives (in English)
  • Turkish Historical Society (in English)
  • Ottoman History Libraries and Archives (BU) (in English)
  • OTAP Project Staff, Project of Ottoman Empire (in English)
  • Ottoman Archives Fund (in English)

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Dolmabahçe Mosque, Beşiktaş, Istanbul.

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