Portal:Ottoman Empire

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The Ottoman Empire (/ˈɒtəmən/; Ottoman Turkish: دَوْلَتِ عَلِيّهٔ عُثمَانِیّه, Devlet-i Aliyye-i Osmâniyye‎, 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.

Selected article

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Gökmedrese or Gök Medrese (literally: "Celestial Madrasah" or "Blue Madrasah"), also known as Sahibiye Medresesi, is a 13th-century medrese, an Islamic educational institution, in Sivas, Turkey.

The medrese was commissioned by Sahip Ata Fahrettin Ali, a vizier and the de facto ruler of Seljuk Sultanate of Rûm after the death of Pervane in 1277. Up to 1271, he was usually in good terms with Pervane. He commissioned many buildings in Anatolia. Gökmedrese is one of the most imposing of all. The original name of the medrese is Sahibiye, referring to Sahip Ata. But it is usually known as Gökmedrese, because of the sky-blue tiles used at the building.

The medrese was constructed by an Armenian or Cappadocian Greek, from Konya, known as "Kaloyan" (Konya was the capital of Seljukids.) Originally, it was a two storey building. There were also a hamam (Turkish bath) and a soup kitchen for 30 people. But presently, only the 13 rooms of the lower floor exist. It was restored in 1823 and was in use up to 1926.

Selected biography

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Koca Mi'mâr Sinân Âğâ (Ottoman Turkish: معمار سينان‎; Modern Turkish: Mimar Sinan, pronounced [miːˈmaːɾ siˈnan], "Sinan the Architect") (c. 1489/1490 – July 17, 1588) was the chief Ottoman architect (Turkish: mimar) and civil engineer for sultans Suleiman the Magnificent, Selim II, and Murad III. He was responsible for the construction of more than 300 major structures and other more modest projects, such as his Islamic primary schools (sibyan mektebs). His apprentices would later design the Sultan Ahmed Mosque in Istanbul, Stari Most in Mostar, and help design the Taj Mahal in the Mughal Empire.

The son of a stonemason, he received a technical education and became a military engineer. He rose rapidly through the ranks to become first an officer and finally a Janissary commander, with the honorific title of ağa. He refined his architectural and engineering skills while on campaign with the Janissaries, becoming expert at constructing fortifications of all kinds, as well as military infrastructure projects, such as roads, bridges and aqueducts. At about the age of fifty, he was appointed as chief royal architect, applying the technical skills he had acquired in the army to the "creation of fine religious buildings" and civic structures of all kinds. He remained in this post for almost fifty years.

His masterpiece is the Selimiye Mosque in Edirne, although his most famous work is the Suleiman Mosque in Istanbul. He headed an extensive governmental department and trained many assistants who, in turn, distinguished themselves, including Sedefkar Mehmed Agha, architect of the Sultan Ahmed Mosque. He is considered the greatest architect of the classical period of Ottoman architecture and has been compared to Michelangelo, his contemporary in the West. Michelangelo and his plans for St. Peter's Basilica in Rome were well known in Istanbul, since Leonardo da Vinci and he had been invited, in 1502 and 1505 respectively, by the Sublime Porte to submit plans for a bridge spanning the Golden Horn.

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

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