Turkish peoples, originally from the Altai mountain regions of
northern Mongolia began to migrate eastward in the
8th century into Central Asia and on to the Anatolian plains...more
Ottoman Empire Documentary
In the 13th century the Seljuk Sultanate of Rum ruled what is now
modern Turkey, was being destabilized by Mongol invasions .
One of the smallest emirates in the Sultanate was the emirate of
Osman, which was the closest to the Byzantine Empire.
From this small emirate would rise the last of the great near
eastern empires, surviving until the modern age 600 years
later and covering three continents .
The Osman emirate was able to expand through the traditional
strength of Turkish Calvary, learning military techniques from
the Byzantines, artillery (bombards )and using Janissaries to make
the Ottomans one of the most advanced and disciplined fighting
forces for their time.more
The golden age of the Ottoman Empire's artistic, literary and
architectural development. Suleiman had many new buildings built
for the new capital at Istanbul after defeating the Byzantine Empire . More
A Malmuk lancer
Selim I adds Syria, Egypt and parts of Arabia to the Empire.
Malmuk Empire defeated in Egypt in 1517 with their advanced
artillery. TheMalmuks had defeated the Mongols and Crusaders
and were rivals to the Ottomans for supreme religious leadership.
The Ottoman sultans assume the title of Calipah. The Persians of
the Safavid empire were defeated at the Battle of Chaldiran 1514
and the Ottomans Ottomans gained control over the north western
part of Iran.
A Polish hussar for the Battle of Vienna
Famous for their 'wing backs.'
In 1683, the Ottoman reached the high water mark of the empire
in Europe with the defeat at the Battle of Vienna..more
The empire was weakened by Sultans purging possible claimants
to the throne by murdering or isolating possible heirs in
the Kafes (The Cage) to the throne making them mentally unstable.
The power of the vizers and ladies of the harem grew after Suliman
the Magnificent. The Sultan no longer led armies in the field and the
Ottomans stuck to their traditional form of warfare while the
Europeans made great advances in handheld firearms, artillery on
land and ships .
The easy defeat of the Malmuks against Napoleon Battle of the
Pyramids in 1798 seriously alarmed the Ottomans who began
reforms of the military. However, unlike Meiji Japan they were
not able to reform quickly enough..more
Ottoman military reform efforts begin with Selim III (1789–1807) who
made the first major attempts to modernize the army along European
lines with foreign experts. Mahud's son came to the throne in 1839
and proclaimed the Tanizmat or Reorganization. Equal treatment of
Muslims and non Muslims in the courts. Newspapers were
founded and secular schools were opened .There was great foreign
economic penetration of the empire at this time, as the craftsmen
of the empire could not compete with cheaper factory made goods
World War I started at the meeting point of two declining empires,
the Ottomans and Austro-Hungary with the assassination of
Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria Gavrilo Princip in Sarajevo,
Serbia in 1914,leading to the end of the 600 year old empire.
The Allies expected the 'Sick Man of Europe', to be a pushover,
such battles as Gallipoli and the Siege of Kut were to prove
this was not to be. ..more
40 new countries were formed from the partitioning of the Ottoman
Empire after WWI.The Sultanate was abolished on November 1,
and the last sultan, Mehmed VI Vahdettin (reigned 1918–1922), left
the country on November 17, 1922. Mustafa Kemal, who became
known as Ataturk, became Turkey's first president in 1923
The janissaries were the personal slaves of the sultan. Janissarie
was from Ottoman Turkish: (yeniçeri) meaning "new soldier" with
the Devshirme ( the Collecting ) recruitment system, where a
certain number of Christian boys in their early teens were delivered
to Ottoman authorities and converted to Islam..more
Unlike previous empires formed by nomadic peoples, the
Ottomans were able to administer and govern a widespread
empire of diverse populations for hundreds of years thanks to
a combination of a well trained civil service and a disciplined army,
where soldiers served as policemen in times of peace and laws
based on the sacred laws of Islam. There was surprisingly little civil
disobedience, even in many parts of the empire they administered
were of a different race and religion, with exception of the
Ottoman Empire Quiz
Ottoman Empire Links
© Thomas Zimmerman 2008