Portal:Ottoman Empire

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Introduction

Osmanli-nisani.svg

The Ottoman Empire (/ˈɒtəmən/; Ottoman Turkish: دولت عليه عثمانیه‎, Devlet-i ʿAlīye-i ʿOsmānīye, literally The Exalted Ottoman State; Modern Turkish: Osmanlı İmparatorluğu or Osmanlı Devleti), also historically known in Western Europe as the Turkish Empire or simply Turkey, was a state that controlled much of Southeast Europe, Western Asia and North Africa between the 14th and early 20th centuries. It was founded at the end of the 13th century in northwestern Anatolia in the town of Söğüt (modern-day Bilecik Province) by the Oghuz Turkish tribal leader Osman I. After 1354, the Ottomans crossed into Europe, and with the conquest of the Balkans, the Ottoman beylik was transformed into a transcontinental empire. The Ottomans ended the Byzantine Empire with the 1453 conquest of Constantinople by Mehmed the Conqueror.

During the 16th and 17th centuries, at the height of its power under the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent, the Ottoman Empire was a multinational, multilingual empire controlling most of Southeast Europe, parts of Central Europe, Western Asia, parts of Eastern Europe and 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 Ottoman Empire, while others were granted various types of autonomy during the course of centuries.

Selected article

The Galata tower.jpg

The Galata Tower (Galata Kulesi in Turkish) — called Christea Turris (the Tower of Christ in Latin) by the Genoese — is a medieval stone tower in the Galata/Karaköy quarter of Istanbul, Turkey, just to the north of the Golden Horn's junction with the Bosphorus. One of the city's most striking landmarks, it is a high, cone-capped cylinder that dominates the skyline and offers a panoramic vista of Istanbul's historic peninsula and its environs.

The nine-story tower is 66.90 meters tall (62.59 m without the ornament on top, 51.65 m at the observation deck), and was the city's tallest structure when it was built. The elevation at ground level is 35 meters above sea-level. The tower has an external diameter of 16.45 meters at the base, an 8.95 meters diameter inside, and walls that are 3.75 meters thick.

There is a restaurant and café on its upper floors which command a magnificent view of Istanbul and the Bosphorus. Also located on the upper floors is a night club which hosts a Turkish show. There are two operating elevators that carry visitors from the lower level to the upper levels

Selected biography

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Sokollu Mehmed Pasha (Ottoman Turkish: سوکلو محمد پاشا‎; Serbo-Croatian: Mehmed-paša Sokolović, Cyrillic: Мехмед-паша Соколовић, pronounced [měxmet pâʃa sokǒːloʋit͡ɕ]; 1506 – 11 October 1579) was an Ottoman statesman. Born in Ottoman Bosnia into a Serbian Orthodox family, Mehmed was taken away at an early age as part of the Ottoman devşirme system of collection of Christian boys to be raised to serve as a janissary. These boys were forcefully converted into Islam, raised and educated, but in turn were offered great opportunities to excel and to rise within the Ottoman imperial system; Sokollu Mehmed Pasha is one of many that made the best of their careers (reaching Grand Vizier rank).

He rose through the ranks of the Ottoman imperial system, eventually holding positions as commander of the imperial guard (1543–1546), High Admiral of the Fleet (1546–1551), Governor-General of Rumelia (1551–1555), Third Vizier (1555–1561), Second Vizier (1561–1565), and as Grand Vizier (1565–1579, for a total of 14 years, three months, 17 days) under three sultans: Suleiman the Magnificent, Selim II, and Murad III. He was assassinated in 1579, ending his near 15-year rule as de facto ruler of the Ottoman Empire.

Did you know...

  • Fatih Sultan Mehmet was king at 12 years old.
  • 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)

Things to do

Selected image

Mirror writing2.jpg
Example of mirror writing in Islamic calligraphy. 18th-century Ottoman levha, or calligraphic panel, which depicts the Shi'i phrase 'Ali is the vicegerent of God' (Arabic: علي ولي الله) in obverse and reverse, creating an exact mirror image. The calligrapher has used the central vertical fold in the thick cream-colored paper to help trace the exact calligraphic duplication (Selim 1979, 162) prior to mounting it onto a cardboard and pasting rectangular pink frames along its borders.

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