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Ottoman Empire
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The Ottoman Empire (/tmn/; Ottoman Turkish:

, Devlet-i Alye-i Osmnye; Modern Turkish: Osmanl Ottoman Empire
mparatorluu or Osmanl Devlet ), also known as the Turkish
Empire,[8] or Ottoman Turkey,[9][10] was an empire founded Devlet-i Alye-i Osmnye
at the end of the thirteenth century in northwestern Anatolia in Osmanl Devleti
the vicinity of Bilecik and St by the Oghuz Turkish tribal
leader Osman.[11] After 1354, the Ottomans crossed into c. 12991922/1923[dn 1]
Europe, and with the conquest of the Balkans, the Ottoman
Beylik was transformed into a transcontinental empire. The
Ottomans ended the Byzantine Empire (known to the Ottomans
as the Roman Empire) with the 1453 conquest of
Constantinople by Mehmed the Conqueror.[12]

During the 16th and 17th centuries, at the height of its power Coat of arms (1882
Flag (18441922)
under the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent, the Ottoman design)
Empire was a multinational, multilingual empire controlling
much of Southeast Europe, parts of Central Europe, Western

Asia, the Caucasus, North Africa, and the Horn of Africa.[13] At
Devlet-i Ebed-mddet
the beginning of the 17th century, the empire contained 32 "The Eternal State"
provinces and numerous vassal states. Some of these were later
absorbed into the Ottoman Empire, while others were granted Anthem
various types of autonomy during the course of centuries.[dn 5] (various)
(during 18081922)
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. While the empire was once thought to have entered a
period of decline following the death of Suleiman the
Magnificent, this view is no longer supported by the majority of
academic historians.[14] The empire continued to maintain a
flexible and strong economy, society, and military throughout
the seventeenth and much of the eighteenth century.[15]
However, during a long period of peace from 1740 to 1768, the
Ottoman military system fell behind that of their European The Ottoman Empire at its greatest extent in
rivals, the Habsburg and Russian Empires.[16] The Ottomans Europe, under Sultan Mehmed IV.
consequently suffered severe military defeats in the late
eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, which prompted them Capital St[1]
(c. 12991335)
to initiate a comprehensive process of reform and
modernization known as the Tanzimat. Thus over the course of
the nineteenth century the Ottoman state became vastly more
powerful and organized, despite suffering further territorial (13631453)
losses, especially in the Balkans, where a number of new states Constantinople
emerged.[17] The empire allied with Germany in the early 20th (present-day
century, hoping to escape from the diplomatic isolation which Istanbul)[dn 2]
had contributed to its recent territorial losses, and thus joined (14531922)
World War I on the side of the Central Powers.[18] While the
Languages Ottoman
Empire was able to largely hold its own during the conflict, it
was struggling with internal dissent, especially with the Arab (official)
Revolt in its Arabian holdings. During this time, major many others
atrocities were committed by the Ottoman government against
the Armenians, Assyrians and Pontic Greeks.[19] Religion Sunni Islam
(Creed: 1/39
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The Empire's defeat and the occupation of part of its territory by Maturidi;
the Allied Powers in the aftermath of World War I resulted in its Madhab:
partitioning and the loss of its Middle Eastern territories, which Hanafi)
were divided between the United Kingdom and France. The Government Absolute
successful Turkish War of Independence against the occupying monarchy
Allies led to the emergence of the Republic of Turkey in the (c. 12991876)
Anatolian heartland and the abolition of the Ottoman (18781908)
monarchy.[20] (19201922)
Contents (19081920)
1 Name c. 12991323/4 Osman I (first)
2 History 19181922 Mehmed VI (last)
2.1 Rise (c. 12991453) Caliph
2.2 Expansion and apogee (14531566) 15121520 Selim I (first)[3]
2.3 Stagnation and reform (15661827) 19221924 Abdlmecid II (last)
2.3.1 Revolts, reversals, and revivals
Grand Vizier
13201331 Alaeddin Pasha (first)
2.3.2 Russian threat grows
2.4 Decline and modernization (18281908) 19201922 Ahmet Tevfik Pasha
2.5 Defeat and dissolution (19081922)
3 Historical debate on the origins and nature of the Legislature General Assembly
Ottoman state Upper house Senate
4 Government Lower house Chamber of Deputies
4.1 Law
4.2 Military History
5 Administrative divisions Founded c. 1299
6 Economy Interregnum 14021414
7 Demographics Transformation to
7.1 Language empire 1453
7.2 Religion 1st Constitutional 18761878
7.2.1 Islam 2nd Constitutional 19081920
7.2.2 Christianity and Judaism Raid on the
8 Culture Sublime Porte 23 January 1913
8.1 Literature Sultanate
8.2 Architecture abolished[dn 3] 1 November 1922
8.3 Decorative arts Republic of
8.4 Music and performing arts Turkey
8.5 Cuisine established[dn 4] 29 October 1923
9 Science and technology Caliphate
10 Sports abolished 3 March 1924
11 See also
12 Notes Area
13 References 1683 [4][5] 5,200,000 km2
14 Further reading (2,000,000 sq mi)
14.1 General surveys 1914 [6] 1,800,000 km2
14.2 Early Ottomans (690,000 sq mi)
14.3 Military
14.4 Miscellaneous Population
14.5 Historiography 1856 est. 35,350,000
15 External links 1906 est. 20,884,000
1912 est.[7] 24,000,000
Currency Ake, Para, Sultani,
Name Kuru, Lira 2/39
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The word Ottoman is a historical anglicisation of the name of Preceded by Succeeded by

Osman I, the founder of the Empire and of the ruling House of Anatolian Turkish
Osman (also known as the Ottoman dynasty). Osman's name in Seljuks Prov. Gov.
turn was the Turkish form of the Arabic name Uthmn (). Adal Hellenic
In Ottoman Turkish, the empire was referred to as Devlet-i Sultanate Republic
Alye-yi Osmnye () ,[21] (literally "The Anatolian Caucasus
Supreme Ottoman State") or alternatively Osmnl Devleti beyliks Viceroyalty
() . In Modern Turkish, it is known as Osmanl Byzantine Bosnia and
mparatorluu ("The Ottoman Empire") or Osmanl Devleti Empire Herzegovina
("The Ottoman State"). Kingdom of Revolutionary
Bosnia Serbia
The Turkish word for "Ottoman" (Osmanl) originally referred Second Albania
to the tribal followers of Osman in the fourteenth century, and Bulgarian Kingdom of
subsequently came to be used to refer to the empire's military- Empire Romania
administrative elite. In contrast, the term "Turk" (Trk) was Serbian Principality of
Despotate Bulgaria
used to refer to the Anatolian peasant and tribal population, and
Kingdom of OETA
was seen as a disparaging term when applied to urban, educated
Hungary Mandatory
individuals.[22] As a sophisticated ruling class, the Ottomans
Kingdom of Iraq
looked down upon the Turkish peasantry, calling them Eek Croatia
Turk (the donkey Turk) and Kaba Turk (stupid Turk). Kingdom of
Mamluk Hejaz
Expressions like "Turk-head" and "Turk-person" were Sultanate French
contemptuously used by Ottomans when they wanted to Hafsid Algeria
denigrate each other.[23][24][25] In the early modern period, an dynasty British
educated urban-dwelling Turkish-speaker who was not a Hospitallers Cyprus
member of the military-administrative class would refer to of French
himself neither as an Osmanl nor as a Trk, but rather as a Tripolitania Tunisia
Rm (), or "Roman", meaning an inhabitant of the territory Kingdom of Italian Libya
of the former Byzantine Empire in the Balkans and Anatolia. Tlemcen
The term Rm was also used to refer to Turkish-speakers by the Empire of
other Muslim peoples of the empire and beyond.[26] Trebizond
In Western Europe, the two names "Ottoman Empire" and of Samtskhe
"Turkey" were often used interchangeably, with "Turkey" being
increasingly favored both in formal and informal situations. This dichotomy was officially ended in 192023,
when the newly established Ankara-based Turkish government chose Turkey as the sole official name. Most
scholarly historians avoid the terms "Turkey", "Turks", and "Turkish" when referring to the Ottomans, due to
the empire's multinational character.[27]

Rise (c. 12991453)

As the power of the Seljuk Sultanate of Rum declined in the 13th century, Anatolia was divided into a
patchwork of independent Turkish principalities known as the Anatolian Beyliks. One of these beyliks, in the
region of Bithynia on the frontier of the Byzantine Empire, was led by the Turkish tribal leader Osman (d.
1323/4), a figure of obscure origins from whom the name Ottoman is derived.[28] Osman's early followers
consisted both of Turkish tribal groups and Byzantine renegades, many but not all converts to Islam.[29] Osman
extended the control of his principality by conquering Byzantine towns along the Sakarya River. It is not well
understood how the early Ottomans came to dominate their neighbours, due to the scarcity of the sources which
survive from this period. One school of thought which was popular during the twentieth century argued that the
Ottomans achieved success by rallying religious warriors to fight for them in the name of Islam. This theory,
known as the Gaza Thesis, is now highly criticized and no longer generally accepted by historians, but no
consensus on the nature of the early Ottoman state has yet emerged to replace it.[30] 3/39
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In the century after the death of Osman I, Ottoman rule began to extend
over Anatolia and the Balkans. Osman's son, Orhan, captured the
northwestern Anatolian city of Bursa in 1326, and made it the new
capital of the Ottoman state. This conquest meant the loss of Byzantine
control over northwestern Anatolia. The important city of Thessaloniki
was captured from the Venetians in 1387. The Ottoman victory at
Kosovo in 1389 effectively marked the end of Serbian power in the
region, paving the way for Ottoman expansion into Europe.[31] The
Battle of Nicopolis in 1396, widely regarded as the last large-scale
crusade of the Middle Ages, failed to stop the advance of the victorious
Ottoman Turks.[32]

With the extension of Turkish dominion into the Balkans, the strategic
conquest of Constantinople became a crucial objective. The empire had
managed to control nearly all former Byzantine lands surrounding the
city, but in 1402 the Byzantines were temporarily relieved when the
Turco-Mongol leader Timur, founder of the Timurid Empire, invaded
Anatolia from the east. In the Battle of Ankara in 1402, Timur defeated
Battle of Nicopolis in 1396. Painting the Ottoman forces and took Sultan Bayezid I as a prisoner, throwing
from 1523. the empire into disorder. The ensuing civil war lasted from 1402 to
1413 as Bayezid's sons fought over succession. It ended when Mehmed
I emerged as the sultan and restored Ottoman power, bringing an end to
the Interregnum, also known as the Fetret Devri.[33]

Part of the Ottoman territories in the Balkans (such as Thessaloniki, Macedonia and Kosovo) were temporarily
lost after 1402 but were later recovered by Murad II between the 1430s and 1450s. On 10 November 1444,
Murad II defeated the Hungarian, Polish, and Wallachian armies under Wadysaw III of Poland (also King of
Hungary) and John Hunyadi at the Battle of Varna, the final battle of the Crusade of Varna, although Albanians
under Skanderbeg continued to resist. Four years later, John Hunyadi prepared another army (of Hungarian and
Wallachian forces) to attack the Turks but was again defeated by Murad II at the Second Battle of Kosovo in

Expansion and apogee (14531566)

The son of Murad II, Mehmed the Conqueror, reorganized the state and
the military, and conquered Constantinople on 29 May 1453. Mehmed
allowed the Orthodox Church to maintain its autonomy and land in
exchange for accepting Ottoman authority.[35] Because of bad relations
between the states of western Europe and the later Byzantine Empire,
the majority of the Orthodox population accepted Ottoman rule as
preferable to Venetian rule.[35] Albanian resistance was a major
obstacle to Ottoman expansion on the Italian peninsula.[36]

In the 15th and 16th centuries, the Ottoman Empire entered a period of
expansion. The Empire prospered under the rule of a line of committed
and effective Sultans. It also flourished economically due to its control
of the major overland trade routes between Europe and Asia.[37][dn 6]

Sultan Selim I (15121520) dramatically expanded the Empire's eastern

and southern frontiers by defeating Shah Ismail of Safavid Persia, in the
Battle of Chaldiran.[38] Selim I established Ottoman rule in Egypt, and
Sultan Mehmed II's entry into created a naval presence on the Red Sea. After this Ottoman expansion,
Constantinople; painting by Fausto a competition started between the Portuguese Empire and the Ottoman
Zonaro (18541929)
Empire to become the dominant power in the region.[39] 4/39
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Suleiman the Magnificent (15201566) captured Belgrade in 1521,

conquered the southern and central parts of the Kingdom of Hungary as
part of the OttomanHungarian Wars,[41][42] and, after his historic
victory in the Battle of Mohcs in 1526, he established Turkish rule in
the territory of present-day Hungary (except the western part) and other
Central European territories. He then laid siege to Vienna in 1529, but
failed to take the city.[43] In 1532, he made another attack on Vienna,
but was repulsed in the Siege of Gns.[44][45] Transylvania, Wallachia
and, intermittently, Moldavia, became tributary principalities of the
Ottoman Empire. In the east, the Ottoman Turks took Baghdad from the
Persians in 1535, gaining control of Mesopotamia and naval access to
the Persian Gulf. In 1555, the Caucasus became officially partitioned
for the first time between the Safavids and the Ottomans, a status quo
that would remain until the end of the Russo-Turkish War (176874).
By this partitioning of the Caucasus as signed in the Peace of Amasya,
Western Armenia, and Western Georgia fell into Ottoman hands,[46]
while Dagestan, Eastern Armenia, Eastern Georgia, and Azerbaijan
remained Persian.[47]

France and the Ottoman Empire, united by mutual opposition to

Habsburg rule, became strong allies. The French conquests of Nice Battle of Mohcs in 1526[40]
(1543) and Corsica (1553) occurred as a joint venture between the
forces of the French king Francis I and Suleiman, and were commanded
by the Ottoman admirals Barbarossa Hayreddin Pasha and Turgut
Reis.[48] A month before the siege of Nice, France supported the
Ottomans with an artillery unit during the 1543 Ottoman conquest of
Esztergom in northern Hungary. After further advances by the Turks,
the Habsburg ruler Ferdinand officially recognized Ottoman
ascendancy in Hungary in 1547.

In 1559, after the first Ajuran-Portuguese war, the Ottoman Empire

Barbarossa Hayreddin Pasha defeats the
would later absorb the weakened east African Adal Sultanate into its
Holy League of Charles V under the
domain. This expansion furthered Ottoman rule in Somalia and the
command of Andrea Doria at the Battle
Horn of Africa. This also increased its influence in the Indian Ocean to of Preveza in 1538
compete against the Portuguese with its close ally the Ajuran

By the end of Suleiman's reign, the Empire spanned approximately 877,888 sq mi (2,273,720 km2), extending
over three continents.[50] In addition, the Empire became a dominant naval force, controlling much of the
Mediterranean Sea.[51] By this time, the Ottoman Empire was a major part of the European political sphere.
The success of its political and military establishment was compared to the Roman Empire, by the likes of
Italian scholar Francesco Sansovino and the French political philosopher Jean Bodin.[52]

Stagnation and reform (15661827)

Revolts, reversals, and revivals (15661683)

In the second half of the sixteenth century the Ottoman Empire came under increasing strain from inflation and
the rapidly rising costs of warfare that were impacting both Europe and the Middle East. These pressures led to
a series of crises around the year 1600, placing great strain upon the Ottoman system of government.[53] The
empire underwent a series of transformations of its political and military institutions in response to these
challenges, enabling it to successfully adapt to the new conditions of the seventeenth century and remain
powerful, militarily and economically.[54][55] Historians of the mid-twentieth century once characterized this
period as one of stagnation and decline, but this view is now rejected by the majority of academics.[14] 5/39
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The discovery of new maritime trade routes by Western European states

allowed them to avoid the Ottoman trade monopoly. The Portuguese
discovery of the Cape of Good Hope in 1488 initiated a series of
Ottoman-Portuguese naval wars in the Indian Ocean throughout the
16th century. Despite the growing European presence in the Indian
Ocean, Ottoman trade with the east continued to flourish. Cairo in
particular benefitted from the rise of Yemeni coffee as a popular
consumer commodity. As coffeehouses appeared in cities and towns
across the empire, Cairo developed into a major center for its trade,
contributing to its continued prosperity throughout the seventeenth and The extent of the Ottoman Empire in
much of the eighteenth century.[56] 1566, upon the death of Suleiman the
Under Ivan IV (15331584), the Tsardom of Russia expanded into the
Volga and Caspian region at the expense of the Tatar khanates. In 1571,
the Crimean khan Devlet I Giray, supported by the Ottomans, burned
Moscow.[57] The next year, the invasion was repeated but repelled at
the Battle of Molodi. The Crimean Khanate continued to invade Eastern
Europe in a series of slave raids,[58] and remained a significant power in
Eastern Europe until the end of the 17th century.[59]

In southern Europe, a Catholic coalition led by Philip II of Spain won a

victory over the Ottoman fleet at the Battle of Lepanto (1571). It was a
startling, if mostly symbolic,[60] blow to the image of Ottoman
invincibility, an image which the victory of the Knights of Malta
against the Ottoman invaders in the 1565 Siege of Malta had recently
set about eroding.[61] The battle was far more damaging to the Ottoman
navy in sapping experienced manpower than the loss of ships, which
were rapidly replaced.[62] The Ottoman navy recovered quickly,
persuading Venice to sign a peace treaty in 1573, allowing the
Ottomans to expand and consolidate their position in North Africa.[63]

By contrast, the Habsburg Ottoman miniature about the Szigetvr

frontier had settled somewhat, a campaign showing Ottoman troops and
stalemate caused by a stiffening Tatars as avant-garde
of the Habsburg defences.[64]
The Long War against Habsburg
Austria (15931606) created the need for greater numbers of Ottoman
infantry equipped with firearms, resulting in a relaxation of recruitment
policy. This contributed to problems of indiscipline and outright
rebelliousness within the corps, which were never fully solved.[65]
Battle of Lepanto in 1571
Irregular sharpshooters (Sekban) were also recruited, and on
demobilization turned to brigandage in the Jelali revolts (15901610),
which engendered widespread anarchy in Anatolia in the late 16th and early 17th centuries.[66] With the
Empire's population reaching 30 million people by 1600, the shortage of land placed further pressure on the
government.[67] In spite of these problems, the Ottoman state remained strong, and its army did not collapse or
suffer crushing defeats. The only exceptions were campaigns against the Safavid dynasty of Persia, where
many of the Ottoman eastern provinces were lost, some permanently. This 16031618 war eventually resulted
in the Treaty of Nasuh Pasha, which ceded the entire Caucasus, except westernmost Georgia, back into Iranian
Safavid possession.[68]

During his brief majority reign, Murad IV (16231640) reasserted central authority and recaptured Iraq (1639)
from the Safavids.[69] The resulting Treaty of Zuhab of that same year decisively parted the Caucasus and
adjacent regions between the two neighbouring empires as it had already been defined in the 1555 Peace of
Amasya.[70][71] The Sultanate of women (16231656) was a period in which the mothers of young sultans
exercised power on behalf of their sons. The most prominent women of this period were Ksem Sultan and her 6/39
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daughter-in-law Turhan Hatice, whose political rivalry culminated in

Ksem's murder in 1651.[72] During the Kprl Era (16561703),
effective control of the Empire was exercised by a sequence of Grand
Viziers from the Kprl family. The Kprl Vizierate saw renewed
military success with authority restored in Transylvania, the conquest of
Crete completed in 1669, and expansion into Polish southern Ukraine,
with the strongholds of Khotyn and Kamianets-Podilskyi and the
territory of Podolia ceding to Ottoman control in 1676.[73]

This period of renewed assertiveness came to a calamitous end in 1683

when Grand Vizier Kara Mustafa Pasha led a huge army to attempt a
Map from 1654
second Ottoman siege of Vienna in the Great Turkish War of 1683
1699. The final assault being fatally delayed, the Ottoman forces were
swept away by allied Habsburg, German and Polish forces spearheaded
by the Polish king John III Sobieski at the Battle of Vienna. The
alliance of the Holy League pressed home the advantage of the defeat at
Vienna, culminating in the Treaty of Karlowitz (26 January 1699),
which ended the Great Turkish War.[74] The Ottomans surrendered
control of significant territories, many permanently.[75] Mustafa II
(16951703) led the counterattack of 169596 against the Habsburgs in
Hungary, but was undone at the disastrous defeat at Zenta (in modern
Second Siege of Vienna in 1683
Serbia), 11 September 1697.[76]

Russian threat grows

During this period Russian warm seas expansion presented a large and
growing threat.[77] Accordingly, King Charles XII of Sweden was
welcomed as an ally in the Ottoman Empire following his defeat by the
Russians at the Battle of Poltava of 1709 in central Ukraine (part of the
Great Northern War of 17001721.)[77] Charles XII persuaded the
Ottoman Sultan Ahmed III to declare war on Russia, which resulted in
an Ottoman victory in the Pruth River Campaign of 17101711, in

The borders of the Ottoman Empire After the Austro-Turkish War of 17161718 the Treaty of Passarowitz
after the 1699 Treaty of Karlowitz. confirmed the loss of the Banat, Serbia and "Little Walachia" (Oltenia)
Aside from the loss of the Banat and the to Austria. The Treaty also revealed that the Ottoman Empire was on
temporary loss of Belgrade (171739), the defensive and unlikely to present any further aggression in
the Ottoman border on the Danube and Europe.[79] The Austro-RussianTurkish War, which was ended by the
Sava remained exceedingly stable Treaty of Belgrade in 1739, resulted in the recovery of Serbia and
during the eighteenth century. Oltenia, but the Empire lost the port of Azov, north of the Crimean
Peninsula, to the Russians. After this treaty the Ottoman Empire was
able to enjoy a generation of peace, as Austria and Russia were forced
to deal with the rise of Prussia.[80]

Educational and technological reforms came about, including the

establishment of higher education institutions such as the Istanbul
Technical University.[81] In 1734 an artillery school was established to
impart Western-style artillery methods, but the Islamic clergy
successfully objected under the grounds of theodicy.[82] In 1754 the
artillery school was reopened on a semi-secret basis.[82] In 1726,
Austrian troops led by Prince Eugene of Ibrahim Muteferrika convinced the Grand Vizier Nevehirli Damat
Savoy capture Belgrade in 1717 brahim Pasha, the Grand Mufti, and the clergy on the efficiency of the
printing press, and Muteferrika was later granted by Sultan Ahmed III 7/39
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permission to publish non-religious books (despite opposition from some calligraphers and religious
leaders).[83] Muteferrika's press published its first book in 1729 and, by 1743, issued 17 works in 23 volumes,
each having between 500 and 1,000 copies.[83][84]

In 1768 Russian-backed Ukrainian Haidamaks, pursuing Polish

confederates, entered Balta, an Ottoman-controlled town on the border
of Bessarabia in Ukraine, and massacred its citizens and burned the
town to the ground. This action provoked the Ottoman Empire into the
Russo-Turkish War of 17681774. The Treaty of Kk Kaynarca of
1774 ended the war and provided freedom to worship for the Christian
citizens of the Ottoman-controlled provinces of Wallachia and
Moldavia.[85] By the late 18th century, after a number of defeats in the
wars with Russia led some people in the Ottoman Empire to conclude
Ottoman troops attempt to halt
that the reforms of Peter the Great had given the Russians an edge, and
advancing Russians during the Siege of
the Ottomans would have to keep up with Western technology in order Ochakov in 1788
to avoid further defeats.[82]

Selim III (17891807) made the first major attempts to modernize the
army, but reforms were hampered by the religious leadership and the Janissary corps. Jealous of their privileges
and firmly opposed to change, the Janissary created a revolt. Selim's efforts cost him his throne and his life, but
were resolved in spectacular and bloody fashion by his successor, the dynamic Mahmud II, who eliminated the
Janissary corps in 1826.

The Serbian revolution (18041815) marked the beginning of an era of

national awakening in the Balkans during the Eastern Question. In
1811, the fundamentalist Wahhabis of Arabia, led by the al-Saud family
revolted against the Ottomans. Unable to defeat the Wahhabi rebels, the
Sublime Porte had Mohammad Ali the Great, the vali (governor) of
Egypt tasked with retaking Arabia which ended with the destruction of
the Emirate of Diriyah in 1818. The Suzerainty of Serbia as a hereditary
monarchy under its own dynasty was acknowledged de jure in
1830.[86][87] In 1821, the Greeks declared war on the Sultan. A
Selim III receiving dignitaries during an rebellion that originated in Moldavia as a diversion was followed by the
audience at the Gate of Felicity, main revolution in the Peloponnese, which, along with the northern part
Topkap Palace. of the Gulf of Corinth, became the first parts of the Ottoman Empire to
achieve independence (in 1829). In 1830, the French invaded Algeria,
which was lost to the empire. In 1831, Mohammad Ali revolted with
the aim of making himself sultan and founding a new dynasty, and his French-trained army under his son
Ibrahim Pasha defeated the Ottoman Army as it marched on Constantinople, coming within 200 miles of the
capital.[88] In desperation, the Sultan Mahmud II appealed to the empire's traditional archenemy Russia for
help, asking the Emperor Nicholas I to sent an expeditionary force to save him.[89] In return for signing the
Treaty of Hnkr skelesi, the Russians sent the expeditionary force, which deterred Ibrahim from taking
Constantinople.[89] Under the terms of Peace of Kutahia, signed on 5 May 1833 Mohammad Ali agreed to
abandon his claim to the throne, in exchange for which he was made the vali of the vilayets (provinces) of
Crete, Aleppo, Tripoli, Damascus and Sidon (the latter four comprising modern Syria and Lebanon), and given
the right to collect taxes in Adana.[89] Had it not been for the Russian intervention, it is almost certain Mahumd
II would have been overthrown and Mohammad Ali would have become the new sultan, marking the beginning
of a recurring pattern where the Sublime Porte needed the help of outsiders to save itself.[90] In 1839, the
Sublime Porte attempted to take back what it lost to the de facto independent vilayet of Egypt, and suffered a
crushing defeat, leading to the Oriental Crisis as Mohammad Ali was very close to France, and the prospect of
him as Sultan was widely viewed as putting the entire empire into the French sphere of influence.[89] As the
Sublime Porte had proved itself incapable of defeating the Egyptians, Britain and Austria intervened to defeat
Egypt.[89] By the mid-19th century, the Ottoman Empire was called the "sick man" by Europeans. The suzerain
states the Principality of Serbia, Wallachia, Moldavia and Montenegro moved towards de jure independence
during the 1860s and 1870s. 8/39
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Decline and modernization (18281908)

During the Tanzimat period (18391876), the government's series of constitutional reforms led to a fairly
modern conscripted army, banking system reforms, the decriminalization of homosexuality, the replacement of
religious law with secular law[91] and guilds with modern factories. The Ottoman Ministry of Post was
established in Istanbul on 23 October 1840.[92][93]

Samuel Morse received a Turkish patent for the telegraph in 1847, which was issued by Sultan Abdlmecid
who personally tested the new invention.[94] Following this successful test, work on the first Turkish telegraph
line (Istanbul-Edirne-umnu)[95] began on 9 August 1847.[96] The reformist period peaked with the
Constitution, called the Kann-u Ess. The empire's First Constitutional era was short-lived. The parliament
survived for only two years before the sultan suspended it.

The Christian population of the empire, owing to their higher educational levels, started to pull ahead of the
Muslim majority, leading to much resentment on the part of the latter.[97] In 1861, there were 571 primary and
94 secondary schools for Ottoman Christians with 140,000 pupils in total, a figure that vastly exceeded the
number of Muslim children in school at the same time, who were further hindered by the amount of time spent
learning Arabic and Islamic theology.[97] Stone further suggested that the Arabic alphabet, which Turkish was
written in until 1928, was very ill-suited to reflect the sounds of the Turkish language (which is a Turkic as
opposed to Semitic language), which imposed a further difficulty on Turkish children.[97] In turn, the higher
educational levels of the Christians allowed them to play a larger role in the economy, with the rise in
prominence of groups such as the Sursock family indicative of this shift in influence.[97] In 1911, of the 654
wholesale companies in Istanbul, 528 were owned by ethnic Greeks.[97] In many cases, Christians and also
Jews were able to gain protection from European consuls and citizenship, meaning they were protected from
Ottoman law and not subject to the same economic regulations as their Muslim comrades.[98]

The Crimean War (18531856) was part of a long-running contest between the major European powers for
influence over territories of the declining Ottoman Empire. The financial burden of the war led the Ottoman
state to issue foreign loans amounting to 5 million pounds sterling on 4 August 1854.[102][103] The war caused
an exodus of the Crimean Tatars, about 200,000 of whom moved to the Ottoman Empire in continuing waves of
emigration.[104] Toward the end of the Caucasian Wars, 90% of the Circassians were ethnically cleansed[105]
and exiled from their homelands in the Caucasus and fled to the Ottoman Empire,[106] resulting in the
settlement of 500,000 to 700,000 Circassians in Turkey.[107][108][109] Some Circassian organisations give much
higher numbers, totaling 11.5 million deported or killed. Crimean Tartar refugees in the late 19th century
played an especially notable role in seeking to modernize Ottoman education and in first promoting both Pan-
Turkicism and a sense of Turkish nationalism.[110]

In this period, the Ottoman Empire spent only small amounts of public funds on education; for example in
186061 only 0.2 per cent of the total budget was invested in education.[111] As the Ottoman state attempted to
modernize its infrastructure and army in response to threats from the outside, it also opened itself up to a
different kind of threat: that of creditors. Indeed, as the historian Eugene Rogan has written, "the single greatest
threat to the independence of the Middle East" in the nineteenth century "was not the armies of Europe but its
banks."[112] The Ottoman state, which had begun taking on debt with the Crimean War, was forced to declare
bankruptcy in 1875.[113] By 1881, the Ottoman Empire agreed to have its debt controlled by an institution
known as the Ottoman Public Debt Administration, a council of European men with presidency alternating
between France and Britain. The body controlled swaths of the Ottoman economy, and used its position to
insure that European capital continued to penetrate the empire, often to the detriment of local Ottoman

The Ottoman bashi-bazouks brutally suppressed the Bulgarian uprising of 1876, massacring up to 100,000
people in the process.[114] The Russo-Turkish War (187778) ended with a decisive victory for Russia. As a
result, Ottoman holdings in Europe declined sharply; Bulgaria was established as an independent principality
inside the Ottoman Empire, Romania achieved full independence. Serbia and Montenegro finally gained
complete independence, but with smaller territories. In 1878, Austria-Hungary unilaterally occupied the
Ottoman provinces of Bosnia-Herzegovina and Novi Pazar. 9/39
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In return for British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli's advocacy for restoring
the Ottoman territories on the Balkan Peninsula during the Congress of Berlin,
Britain assumed the administration of Cyprus in 1878,[115] and later sent troops
to Egypt in 1882 to put down the Urabi Revolt as the Sultan Abdul Hamid II
was too paranoid to mobilize his own army, fearing this would result in a coup
d'tat, effectively gaining control in both territories. Abdul Hamid II, popularly
known as "Abdul Hamid the Damned" on the account of his cruelty and
paranoia was so fearful of the threat of a coup that he did not allow his army to
conduct war games, least this serve as the cover for a coup, but he did see the
need for military mobilization. In 1883, a German military mission under
General Baron Colmar von der Goltz arrived to train the Ottoman Army,
leading to the so-called "Goltz generation" of German-trained officers who
were to play a notable role in the politics of the last years of the empire.[116]

From 1894 to 1896, between 100,000 and 300,000 Armenians living The Bulgarian martyresses
throughout the empire were killed in what became known as the Hamidian (1877) by Konstantin
massacres.[117] Makovsky, a Russian
propaganda painting which
As the Ottoman Empire gradually shrank in size, some 79 million Muslims depicts the rape of Bulgarian
from its former territories in the Caucasus, Crimea, Balkans, and the women by the bashi-bazouks
Mediterranean islands migrated to Anatolia and Eastern Thrace.[118] After the during the April Uprising,
Empire lost the First Balkan War (191213), it lost all its Balkan territories with the purpose of mobilizing
except East Thrace (European Turkey). This resulted in around 400,000 public support for the Russo-
Muslims fleeing with the retreating Ottoman armies (with many dying from Turkish War (1877
cholera brought by the soldiers), and with some 400,000 non-Muslims fleeing 78).[99][100] Unrestrained by
territory still under Ottoman rule.[119] Justin McCarthy estimates that during the the laws that governed regular
period 1821 to 1922 several million Muslims died in the Balkans, with the soldiers in the Ottoman Army,
expulsion of a similar number.[120][121][122] the bashi-bazouks became
notorious for preying on

Sultan Abdul Hamid II going to

the Friday Prayer (Friday

Opening ceremony of the First Ottoman Parliament at Turkish troops storming

the Dolmabahe Palace in 1876. The First Fort Shefketil during the
Constitutional Era lasted for only two years until 1878. Crimean War of 1853
The Ottoman Constitution and Parliament were 1856
restored 30 years later with the Young Turk
Revolution in 1908. 10/39
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Belgrade, c. 1865. In 1867, Britain

and France forced the Ottoman
military to retreat from northern
Serbia, securing its de facto
independence (formalized after the
Russo-Turkish War of 187778
and the Congress of Berlin in

Defeat and dissolution (19081922)

The defeat and dissolution of the

Ottoman Empire (19081922) began
with the Second Constitutional Era, a
moment of hope and promise
established with the Young Turk
Revolution. It restored the Ottoman
constitution of 1876 and brought in
multi-party politics with a two-stage
electoral system (electoral law) under
Declaration of the Young Turk
the Ottoman parliament. The
Revolution by the leaders of the
constitution offered hope by freeing Ottoman millets in 1908
the empires citizens to modernize the
states institutions, rejuvenate its
strength, and enable it to hold its own against outside powers. Its guarantee of
Mehmed V proclaimed Sultan liberties promised to dissolve inter-communal tensions and transform the
of the Ottoman Empire after the empire into a more harmonious place.[123] Instead, this period became the
Young Turk Revolution story of the twilight struggle of the Empire. Young Turks movement members
once underground (named committee, group, etc.) established (declared) their
parties.[124] Among them Committee of Union and Progress, and Freedom
and Accord Party were major parties. On the other end of the spectrum were ethnic parties which included
Poale Zion, Al-Fatat, and Armenian national movement organized under Armenian Revolutionary Federation.
Profiting from the civil strife, Austria-Hungary officially annexed Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1908. The last of
Ottoman censuses was performed with the 1914 census. Ottoman military reforms resulted with the Ottoman
Modern Army which engaged with Italo-Turkish War (1911) that ended in the loss of the North African
territories and the Dodecanese, Balkan Wars (19121913) that ended in the loss of almost all of the Empire's
European territories, and continuous unrest (Counter coup followed by restoration and Saviors followed by
Raid on Porte) in the Empire up to World War I.

The history of the Ottoman Empire during World War I began with the Ottoman surprise attack on the Russian
Black Sea coast on 29 October 1914. Following the attack, Russia and its allies, France and Britain, declared
war on the Ottomans. There were several important Ottoman victories in the early years of the war, such as the
Battle of Gallipoli and the Siege of Kut. 11/39
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In 1915 the Ottoman

government started the
extermination of its ethnic
Armenian population, resulting
in the death of approximately
1.5 million Armenians in the
Armenian Genocide.[125] The
genocide was carried out during
Mehmed VI, the last Sultan of the and after World War I and
The Armenian Genocide was the
Ottoman Empire, leaving the country implemented in two phases: the
Ottoman government's systematic
after the abolition of the Ottoman wholesale killing of the able-
extermination of its Armenian subjects.
sultanate, 17 November 1922 bodied male population through
The number of killed is an estimated 1.5
massacre and subjection of
army conscripts to forced
labour, followed by the deportation of women, children, the elderly and
infirm on death marches leading to the Syrian desert. Driven forward by military escorts, the deportees were
deprived of food and water and subjected to periodic robbery, rape, and systematic massacre.[126][127][128]
Large-scale massacres were also committed against the Empire's Greek and Assyrian minorities as part of the
same campaign of ethnic cleansing.[129]

The Arab Revolt which began in 1916 turned the tide against the Ottomans on the Middle Eastern front, where
they initially seemed to have the upper hand during the first two years of the war. The Armistice of Mudros was
signed on 30 October 1918, and set the partition of the Ottoman Empire under the terms of the Treaty of
Svres. This treaty, as designed in the conference of London, allowed the Sultan to retain his position and title.
The occupation of Constantinople and zmir led to the establishment of a Turkish national movement, which
won the Turkish War of Independence (191922) under the leadership of Mustafa Kemal (later given the
surname "Atatrk"). The sultanate was abolished on 1 November 1922, and the last sultan, Mehmed VI
(reigned 191822), left the country on 17 November 1922. The caliphate was abolished on 3 March 1924.[130]

Historical debate on the origins and nature of the Ottoman state

Several historians such as British historian Edward Gibbon and the Greek historian Dimitri Kitzikis have
argued that after the fall of Constantinople, the Ottoman state took over the machinery of the Roman state, and
that in essence the Ottoman Empire was a continuation of the Eastern Roman Empire under a thin Turkish
Islamic guise.[131] Kitzikis called the Ottoman state "a Greek-Turkish condominium".[132] The American
historian Speros Vryonis wrote that the Ottoman state was centered on "a Byzantine-Balkan base with a veneer
of the Turkish language and the Islamic religion".[132] Other historians have followed the lead of the Austrian
historian Paul Wittek who emphasized the Islamic character of the Ottoman state, seeing the Ottoman state as a
"Jihad state" dedicated to expanding the world of Islam.[132] Another group of historians led by the Turkish
historian M. Fuat Koprulu championed the "gazi thesis" that saw the Ottoman state as a continuation of the way
of life of the nomadic Turkic tribes who had come from East Asia to Anatolia via Central Asia and the Middle
East on a much larger scale, and argued that the most important cultural influences on the Ottoman state came
from Persia.[132] More recently, the American historian Heath Lowry called the Ottoman state a "predatory
confederacy" led in equal parts by Turks and Greeks converted to Islam.[132]

The British historian Norman Stone suggested many continuities between the Eastern Roman and Ottoman
empires such as the zeugarion tax of Byzantium becoming the Ottoman Resm-i ift tax, the pronoia land-
holding system that linked the amount of land one owned with one's ability to raise cavalry becoming the
Ottoman timar system, and the Ottoman measurement for land the donum was the same as the Byzantine
stremma. Stone also pointed out that despite the fact that Sunni Islam was the state religion, the Eastern
Orthodox Church was supported and controlled by the Ottoman state, and in return to accepting that control
became the largest land-holder in the Ottoman Empire. Despite the similarities, Stone argued that a crucial
difference was that the land grants under the timar system were not hereditary at first. Even after land grants
under the timar system became inheritable, land ownings in the Ottoman Empire remained highly insecure, and 12/39
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the sultan could and did revoke land grants whenever he wished. Stone argued this insecurity in land tenure
strongly discouraged Timariots from seeking long-term development of their land, and instead led the timariots
to adopt a strategy of short term exploitation, which ultimately had deleterious effects on the Ottoman

Before the reforms of the 19th and 20th centuries, the state organisation
of the Ottoman Empire was a system that had two main dimensions,
which were the military administration and the civil administration. The
Sultan was the highest position in the system. The civil system was
based on local administrative units based on the region's characteristics.
The Ottomans practiced a system in which the state (as in the Byzantine
Empire) had control over the clergy. Certain pre-Islamic Turkish
traditions that had survived the adoption of administrative and legal
practices from Islamic Iran remained important in Ottoman
administrative circles.[134] According to Ottoman understanding, the Ambassadors at the Topkap Palace
state's primary responsibility was to defend and extend the land of the
Muslims and to ensure security and harmony within its borders within
the overarching context of orthodox Islamic practice and dynastic sovereignty.[135]

The Ottoman Empire or, as a dynastic institution, the House of Osman was unprecedented and unequaled in the
Islamic world for its size and duration.[136] In Europe, only the House of Habsburg had a similarly unbroken
line of sovereigns (kings/emperors) from the same family who ruled for so long, and during the same period,
between the late 13th and early 20th centuries. The Ottoman dynasty was Turkish in origin. On eleven
occasions, the sultan was deposed (replaced by another sultan of the Ottoman dynasty, who were either the
former sultan's brother, son or nephew) because he was perceived by his enemies as a threat to the state. There
were only two attempts in Ottoman history to unseat the ruling Ottoman dynasty, both failures, which suggests
a political system that for an extended period was able to manage its revolutions without unnecessary
instability.[135] As such, the last Ottoman sultan Mehmed VI (r. 19181922) was a direct patrilineal (male-line)
descendant of the first Ottoman sultan Osman I (d. 1323/4), which was unparallelled in both Europe (e.g. the
male line of the House of Habsburg became extinct in 1740) and in the Islamic world. The primary purpose of
the Imperial Harem was to ensure the birth of male heirs to the Ottoman throne and secure the continuation of
the direct patrilineal (male-line) descendance of the Ottoman sultans.

The highest position in Islam, caliphate, was claimed by the sultans

starting since Murad I,[3] which was established as Ottoman Caliphate.
The Ottoman sultan, pdih or "lord of kings", served as the Empire's
sole regent and was considered to be the embodiment of its
government, though he did not always exercise complete control. The
Imperial Harem was one of the most important powers of the Ottoman
court. It was ruled by the Valide Sultan. On occasion, the Valide Sultan
would become involved in state politics. For a time, the women of the
Harem effectively controlled the state in what was termed the
Bb- l, the Sublime Porte
"Sultanate of Women". New sultans were always chosen from the sons
of the previous sultan. The strong educational system of the palace
school was geared towards eliminating the unfit potential heirs, and
establishing support among the ruling elite for a successor. The palace schools, which would also educate the
future administrators of the state, were not a single track. First, the Madrasa (Ottoman Turkish: Medrese) was
designated for the Muslims, and educated scholars and state officials according to Islamic tradition. The
financial burden of the Medrese was supported by vakifs, allowing children of poor families to move to higher
social levels and income.[137] The second track was a free boarding school for the Christians, the Endern,[138] 13/39
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which recruited 3,000 students annually from Christian boys between eight and twenty years old from one in
forty families among the communities settled in Rumelia or the Balkans, a process known as Devshirme

Though the sultan was the supreme monarch, the sultan's political and executive authority was delegated. The
politics of the state had a number of advisors and ministers gathered around a council known as Divan. The
Divan, in the years when the Ottoman state was still a Beylik, was composed of the elders of the tribe. Its
composition was later modified to include military officers and local elites (such as religious and political
advisors). Later still, beginning in 1320, a Grand Vizier was appointed to assume certain of the sultan's
responsibilities. The Grand Vizier had considerable independence from the sultan with almost unlimited powers
of appointment, dismissal and supervision. Beginning with the late 16th century, sultans withdrew from politics
and the Grand Vizier became the de facto head of state.[140]

Throughout Ottoman history, there were many instances in which local

governors acted independently, and even in opposition to the ruler.
After the Young Turk Revolution of 1908, the Ottoman state became a
constitutional monarchy. The sultan no longer had executive powers. A
parliament was formed, with representatives chosen from the provinces.
The representatives formed the Imperial Government of the Ottoman

This eclectic administration was apparent even in the diplomatic

correspondence of the Empire, which was initially undertaken in the Yusuf Ziya Pasha, Ottoman ambassador
Greek language to the west.[141] to the United States, in Washington,
The Tughra were calligraphic monograms, or signatures, of the
Ottoman Sultans, of which there were 35. Carved on the Sultan's seal,
they bore the names of the Sultan and his father. The statement and prayer, "ever victorious," was also present
in most. The earliest belonged to Orhan Gazi. The ornately stylized Tughra spawned a branch of Ottoman-
Turkish calligraphy.


The Ottoman legal system accepted the religious law over its subjects. At the same time the Qanun (or Kanun),
a secular legal system, co-existed with religious law or Sharia.[142] The Ottoman Empire was always organized
around a system of local jurisprudence. Legal administration in the Ottoman Empire was part of a larger
scheme of balancing central and local authority.[143] Ottoman power revolved crucially around the
administration of the rights to land, which gave a space for the local authority to develop the needs of the local
millet.[143] The jurisdictional complexity of the Ottoman Empire was aimed to permit the integration of
culturally and religiously different groups.[143] The Ottoman system had three court systems: one for Muslims,
one for non-Muslims, involving appointed Jews and Christians ruling over their respective religious
communities, and the "trade court". The entire system was regulated from above by means of the administrative
Qanun, i.e. laws, a system based upon the Turkic Yassa and Tre, which were developed in the pre-Islamic era.

These court categories were not, however, wholly exclusive: for

instance, the Islamic courtswhich were the Empire's primary courts
could also be used to settle a trade conflict or disputes between litigants
of differing religions, and Jews and Christians often went to them to
obtain a more forceful ruling on an issue. The Ottoman state tended not
An Ottoman trial, 1877.
to interfere with non-Muslim religious law systems, despite legally
having a voice to do so through local governors. The Islamic Sharia law
system had been developed from a combination of the Qur'an; the
Hadth, or words of the prophet Muhammad; ijm', or consensus of the members of the Muslim community;
qiyas, a system of analogical reasoning from earlier precedents; and local customs. Both systems were taught at
the Empire's law schools, which were in Istanbul and Bursa. 14/39
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The Ottoman Islamic legal system was set up differently from

traditional European courts. Presiding over Islamic courts would be a
Qadi, or judge. Since the closing of the ijtihad, or Gate of
Interpretation, Qadis throughout the Ottoman Empire focused less on
legal precedent, and more with local customs and traditions in the areas
that they administered.[143] However, the Ottoman court system lacked
an appellate structure, leading to jurisdictional case strategies where
plaintiffs could take their disputes from one court system to another
until they achieved a ruling that was in their favor.

In the late 19th century, the Ottoman legal system saw substantial
reform. This process of legal modernization began with the Edict of
Glhane of 1839.[144] These reforms included the "fair and public
trial[s] of all accused regardless of religion," the creation of a system of
"separate competences, religious and civil," and the validation of
testimony on non-Muslims.[145] Specific land codes (1858), civil codes
(18691876), and a code of civil procedure also were enacted.[145]

These reforms were based heavily on French models, as indicated by

the adoption of a three-tiered court system. Referred to as Nizamiye, An unhappy wife complains to the Qadi
this system was extended to the local magistrate level with the final about her husband's impotence,
promulgation of the Mecelle, a civil code that regulated marriage, Ottoman miniature.
divorce, alimony, will, and other matters of personal status.[145] In an
attempt to clarify the division of judicial competences, an
administrative council laid down that religious matters were to be handled by religious courts, and statute
matters were to be handled by the Nizamiye courts.[145]


The first military unit of the

Ottoman State was an army that
was organized by Osman I from
the tribesmen inhabiting the
hills of western Anatolia in the
late 13th century. The military
system became an intricate
organization with the advance
Ottoman sipahis in battle, holding the
crescent banner (by Jzef Brandt)
of the Empire. The Ottoman Ottoman officers in Istanbul, 1897.
military was a complex system
of recruiting and fief-holding.
The main corps of the Ottoman
Army included Janissary,
Sipahi, Aknc and Mehtern.
The Ottoman army was once
among the most advanced
fighting forces in the world,
being one of the first to use
muskets and cannons. The
Selim III watching the parade of his Ottoman Turks began using
new army, the Nizam- Cedid (New falconets, which were short but Ottoman pilots in early 1912
Order) troops, in 1793. wide cannons, during the Siege
of Constantinople. The Ottoman
cavalry depended on high speed and mobility rather than heavy armour,
using bows and short swords on fast Turkoman and Arabian horses (progenitors of the Thoroughbred racing
horse),[146][147] and often applied tactics similar to those of the Mongol Empire, such as pretending to retreat 15/39
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while surrounding the enemy forces inside a crescent-shaped formation and

then making the real attack. The Ottoman army continued to be an effective
fighting force throughout the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries,[148]
falling behind the empire's European rivals only during a long period of peace
from 17401768.[16]

The modernization of the Ottoman Empire in the 19th century started with the
military. In 1826 Sultan Mahmud II abolished the Janissary corps and
established the modern Ottoman army. He named them as the Nizam- Cedid
(New Order). The Ottoman army was also the first institution to hire foreign
experts and send its officers for training in western European countries.
Consequently, the Young Turks movement began when these relatively young
and newly trained men returned with their education.
Ahmet Ali Celikten is amongst
the first black military pilots in
The Ottoman Navy vastly contributed to the expansion of the Empire's
history, clearly showing
territories on the European continent. It initiated the conquest of North Africa,
military diversification in the
with the addition of Algeria and Egypt to the Ottoman Empire in 1517. Starting
Ottoman Empire.
with the loss of Greece in 1821 and Algeria in 1830, Ottoman naval power and
control over the Empire's distant overseas territories began to decline.
Sultan Abdlaziz (reigned 18611876) attempted to reestablish a strong
Ottoman navy, building the largest fleet after those of Britain and
France. The shipyard at Barrow, England, built its first submarine in
1886 for the Ottoman Empire.[149]

However, the collapsing

Ottoman economy could not
sustain the fleet's strength for
too long. Sultan Abdlhamid II
distrusted the admirals who
sided with the reformist Midhat
Pasha, and claimed that the
large and expensive fleet was of
A German postcard depicting the no use against the Russians
Ottoman Navy at the Golden Horn in during the Russo-Turkish War.
the early stages of World War I. At top He locked most of the fleet
left is a portrait of Sultan Mehmed V. inside the Golden Horn, where The Ottoman Imperial Army in 1900.
the ships decayed for the next
30 years. Following the Young
Turk Revolution in 1908, the Committee of Union and Progress sought to develop a strong Ottoman naval
force. The Ottoman Navy Foundation was established in 1910 to buy new ships through public donations.

The establishment of Ottoman military aviation dates back to between June 1909 and July 1911.[150][151] The
Ottoman Empire started preparing its first pilots and planes, and with the founding of the Aviation School
(Tayyare Mektebi) in Yeilky on 3 July 1912, the Empire began to tutor its own flight officers. The founding
of the Aviation School quickened advancement in the military aviation program, increased the number of
enlisted persons within it, and gave the new pilots an active role in the Ottoman Army and Navy. In May 1913
the world's first specialized Reconnaissance Training Program was started by the Aviation School and the first
separate reconnaissance division was established. In June 1914 a new military academy, the Naval Aviation
School (Bahriye Tayyare Mektebi) was founded. With the outbreak of World War I, the modernization process
stopped abruptly. The Ottoman aviation squadrons fought on many fronts during World War I, from Galicia in
the west to the Caucasus in the east and Yemen in the south.

Administrative divisions 16/39
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The Ottoman Empire was first subdivided into provinces, in the sense
of fixed territorial units with governors appointed by the sultan, in the
late 14th century.[152]

The Eyalet (also Pashalik or Beylerbeylik) was the territory of office of

a Beylerbey, and was further subdivided in Sanjaks.[153]

The Vilayets were introduced with the promulgation of the "Vilayet

Law" (Turkish: Tesk l- V layet N zamnames )[154] in 1864, as part of
the Tanzimat reforms.[155] Unlike the previous eyalet system, the 1864
law established a hierarchy of administrative units: the vilayet,
liva/sanjak, kaza and village council, to which the 1871 Vilayet Law Eyalets in 1795
added the nabiye.[156]

Ottoman government deliberately pursued a policy for the development of Bursa, Edirne, and Istanbul,
successive Ottoman capitals, into major commercial and industrial centres, considering that merchants and
artisans were indispensable in creating a new metropolis.[157] To this end, Mehmed and his successor Bayezid,
also encouraged and welcomed migration of the Jews from different parts of Europe, who were settled in
Istanbul and other port cities like Salonica. In many places in Europe, Jews were suffering persecution at the
hands of their Christian counterparts, such as in Spain after the conclusion of Reconquista. The tolerance
displayed by the Turks was welcomed by the immigrants.

The Ottoman economic mind was closely related to the basic concepts
of state and society in the Middle East in which the ultimate goal of a
state was consolidation and extension of the ruler's power, and the way
to reach it was to get rich resources of revenues by making the
productive classes prosperous.[158] The ultimate aim was to increase the
state revenues without damaging the prosperity of subjects to prevent
the emergence of social disorder and to keep the traditional organization
of the society intact. The Ottoman economy greatly expanded during
the Early Modern Period, with particularly high growth rates during
first half of the eighteenth century. The empire's annual income
quadrupled between 1523 and 1748, adjusted for inflation.[159]

The organization of the treasury and chancery were developed under the
A European bronze medal from the
period of Sultan Mehmed the
Ottoman Empire more than any other Islamic government and, until the
Conqueror, 1481. 17th century, they were the leading organization among all their
contemporaries.[140] This organization developed a scribal bureaucracy
(known as "men of the pen") as a distinct group, partly highly trained
ulama, which developed into a professional body.[140] The effectiveness of this professional financial body
stands behind the success of many great Ottoman statesmen.[160]

Modern Ottoman studies indicate that the change in relations between the Ottoman Turks and central Europe
was caused by the opening of the new sea routes. It is possible to see the decline in the significance of the land
routes to the East as Western Europe opened the ocean routes that bypassed the Middle East and Mediterranean
as parallel to the decline of the Ottoman Empire itself.[161] The Anglo-Ottoman Treaty, also known as the
Treaty of Balta Liman that opened the Ottoman markets directly to English and French competitors, would be
seen as one of the staging posts along this development.

By developing commercial centres and routes, encouraging people to extend the area of cultivated land in the
country and international trade through its dominions, the state performed basic economic functions in the
Empire. But in all this the financial and political interests of the state were dominant. Within the social and 17/39
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political system they were living in, Ottoman administrators could not
have seen the desirability of the dynamics and principles of the
capitalist and mercantile economies developing in Western Europe.[162]

In the early 19th century, Ottoman Egypt had an advanced economy,

with a per-capita income comparable to that of leading Western
European countries such as France, and higher than the overall average
income of Europe and Japan.[163] Economic historian Jean Barou
estimated that, in terms of 1960 dollars, Egypt in 1800 had a per-capita The Ottoman Bank was founded in
income of $232 ($1,025 in 1990 dollars). In comparison, per-capita 1856 in Istanbul; in August 1896, the
income in terms of 1960 dollars for France in 1800 was $240 ($1,060 in bank was captured by members of the
1990 dollars), for Eastern Europe in 1800 was $177 ($782 in 1990 Armenian Revolutionary Federation.
dollars), and for Japan in 1800 was $180 ($795 in 1990

Economic historian Paul Bairoch argues that free trade contributed to deindustrialization in the Ottoman
Empire. In contrast to the protectionism of China, Japan, and Spain, the Ottoman Empire had a liberal trade
policy, open to foreign imports. This has origins in capitulations of the Ottoman Empire, dating back to the first
commercial treaties signed with France in 1536 and taken further with capitulations in 1673 and 1740, which
lowered duties to 3% for imports and exports. The liberal Ottoman policies were praised by British economists
such as J. R. McCulloch in his Dictionary of Commerce (1834), but later criticized by British politicians such
as Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli, who cited the Ottoman Empire as "an instance of the injury done by
unrestrained competition" in the 1846 Corn Laws debate.[166]

A population estimate for the empire of 11,692,480 for the 15201535 period was obtained by counting the
households in Ottoman tithe registers, and multiplying this number by 5.[167] For unclear reasons, the
population in the 18th century was lower than that in the 16th century.[168] An estimate of 7,230,660 for the
first census held in 1831 is considered a serious undercount, as this census was meant only to register possible

Censuses of Ottoman territories only began in the early 19th century.

Figures from 1831 onwards are available as official census results, but
the censuses did not cover the whole population. For example, the 1831
census only counted men and did not cover the whole empire.[67][167]
For earlier periods estimates of size and distribution of the population
are based on observed demographic patterns.[169]

However, it began to rise to reach 2532 million by 1800, with around

Smyrna under Ottoman rule in 1900 10 million in the European provinces (primarily the Balkans), 11
million in the Asiatic provinces and around 3 million in the African
provinces. Population densities were higher in the European provinces,
double those in Anatolia, which in turn were triple the population densities of Iraq and Syria and five times the
population density of Arabia.[170]

Towards the end of the empire's existence life expectancy was 49 years, compared to the mid-twenties in Serbia
at the beginning of the 19th century.[171] Epidemic diseases and famine caused major disruption and
demographic changes. In 1785 around one sixth of the Egyptian population died from plague and Aleppo saw
its population reduced by twenty percent in the 18th century. Six famines hit Egypt alone between 1687 and
1731 and the last famine to hit Anatolia was four decades later.[172]

The rise of port cities saw the clustering of populations caused by the development of steamships and railroads.
Urbanization increased from 1700 to 1922, with towns and cities growing. Improvements in health and
sanitation made them more attractive to live and work in. Port cities like Salonica, in Greece, saw its population
rise from 55,000 in 1800 to 160,000 in 1912 and zmir which had a 18/39
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rise from 55,000 in 1800 to 160,000 in 1912 and zmir which had a
population of 150,000 in 1800 grew to 300,000 by 1914.[173][174] Some
regions conversely had population falls Belgrade saw its population
drop from 25,000 to 8,000 mainly due to political strife.[173]

Economic and political migrations made an impact across the empire.

For example, the Russian and Austria-Habsburg annexation of the
Crimean and Balkan regions respectively saw large influxes of Muslim
refugees 200,000 Crimean Tartars fleeing to Dobruja.[175] Between
1783 and 1913, approximately 57 million refugees flooded into the
Ottoman Empire, at least 3.8 million of whom were from Russia. Some View of Galata (Karaky) and the
migrations left indelible marks such as political tension between parts Galata Bridge on the Golden Horn,
of the empire (e.g. Turkey and Bulgaria) whereas centrifugal effects c.18801893.
were noticed in other territories, simpler demographics emerging from
diverse populations. Economies were also impacted with the loss of
artisans, merchants, manufacturers and agriculturists.[176] Since the 19th century, a large proportion of Muslim
peoples from the Balkans emigrated to present-day Turkey. These people are called Muhacir.[177] By the time
the Ottoman Empire came to an end in 1922, half of the urban population of Turkey was descended from
Muslim refugees from Russia.[97]


Ottoman Turkish was the official language of the Empire. It was an

Oghuz Turkic language highly influenced by Persian and Arabic. The
Ottomans had several influential languages: Turkish, spoken by the
majority of the people in Anatolia and by the majority of Muslims of
the Balkans except in Albania and Bosnia; Persian, only spoken by the
educated;[178] Arabic, spoken mainly in Arabia, North Africa, Iraq,
Kuwait, the Levant and parts of the Horn of Africa; and Somali
throughout the Horn of Africa. In the last two centuries, usage of these
became limited, though, and specific: Persian served mainly as a
literary language for the educated,[178] while Arabic was used for
religious rites.

Turkish, in its Ottoman variation, was a language of military and

administration since the nascent days of the Ottomans. The Ottoman
constitution of 1876 did officially cement the official imperial status of

Because of a low literacy rate among the public (about 23% until the
early 19th century and just about 15% at the end of 19th century),
ordinary people had to hire scribes as "special request-writers"
(arzuhlcis) to be able to communicate with the government.[180] The
ethnic groups continued to speak within their families and 1911 Ottoman calendar in Ottoman
neighborhoods (mahalles) with their own languages (e.g., Jews, Greeks, Turkish, Arabic, Greek, Armenian,
Armenians, etc.). In villages where two or more populations lived Hebrew, French and Bulgarian
together, the inhabitants would often speak each other's language. In
cosmopolitan cities, people often spoke their family languages; many of
those who were not ethnic Turks spoke Turkish as a second language.


In the Ottoman imperial system, even though there existed an hegemonic power of Muslim control over the
non-Muslim populations, non-Muslim communities had been granted state recognition and protection in the
Islamic tradition.[181] The officially accepted state Dn (Madh'hab) of the Ottomans was Sunni (Hanafi
jurisprudence). [182] 19/39
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Until the second half of the 15th century the empire had a Christian
majority, under the rule of a Muslim minority.[143] In the late 19th
century, the non-Muslim population of the empire began to fall
considerably, not only due to secession, but also because of migratory
movements.[181] The proportion of Muslims amounted to 60% in the
1820s, gradually increasing to 69% in the 1870s and then to 76% in the
1890s.[181] By 1914, only 19.1% of the empire's population was non-
Muslim, mostly made up of Jews and Christian Greeks, Assyrians, and


Turkic peoples practiced a variety of shamanism before adopting Islam.

Abbasid influence in Central Asia was ensured through a process that
was greatly facilitated by the Muslim conquest of Transoxiana. Many of Abdlmecid II was the last caliph of
the various Turkic tribesincluding the Oghuz Turks, who were the Islam and a member of the Ottoman
ancestors of both the Seljuks and the Ottomansgradually converted to dynasty.
Islam, and brought the religion with them to Anatolia beginning in the
11th century.

Muslim sects regarded as heretical, such as the Druze, Ismailis, Alevis,

and Alawites, ranked below Jews and Christians.[184] In 1514, Sultan
Selim I ordered the massacre of 40,000 Anatolian Alevis (Qizilbash),
whom he considered a fifth column for the rival Safavid empire. Selim
was also responsible for an unprecedented and rapid expansion of the
Ottoman Empire into the Middle East, especially through his conquest
of the entire Mamluk Sultanate of Egypt. With these conquests, Selim
further solidified the Ottoman claim for being an Islamic caliphate,
although Ottoman sultans had been claiming the title of caliph since the
14th century starting with Murad I (reigned 1362 to 1389).[3] The Calligraphic writing on a fritware tile,
caliphate would remain held by Ottoman sultans for the rest of the depicting the names of God,
Muhammad and the first caliphs,
office's duration, which ended with its abolition on 3 March 1924 by the
Grand National Assembly of Turkey and the exile of the last caliph,
Abdlmecid II, to France.

Christianity and Judaism

In the Ottoman Empire, in accordance with the Muslim dhimmi system, Christians were guaranteed limited
freedoms (such as the right to worship). They were forbidden to carry weapons or ride on horseback, their
houses could not overlook those of Muslims, in addition to various other legal limitations.[185] Many Christians
and Jews voluntarily converted to secure full status in the society. Most, however, continued to practice their
old religions without restriction.[186]

Under the millet system, non-Muslim people were considered subjects of the Empire, but were not subject to
the Muslim faith or Muslim law. The Orthodox millet, for instance, was still officially legally subject to
Justinian's Code, which had been in effect in the Byzantine Empire for 900 years. Also, as the largest group of
non-Muslim subjects (or zimmi) of the Islamic Ottoman state, the Orthodox millet was granted a number of
special privileges in the fields of politics and commerce, and had to pay higher taxes than Muslim

Similar millets were established for the Ottoman Jewish community, who were under the authority of the
Haham Ba or Ottoman Chief rabbi; the Armenian Orthodox community, who were under the authority of a
head bishop; and a number of other religious communities as well. The millet system has been called an
example of pre-modern religious pluralism.
[189] 20/39
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example of pre-modern religious pluralism.[189]

The Ottomans absorbed some of the traditions, art and institutions of cultures
in the regions they conquered, and added new dimensions to them. Numerous
traditions and cultural traits of previous empires (in fields such as
architecture, cuisine, music, leisure and government) were adopted by the
Ottoman Turks, who elaborated them into new forms, resulting in a new and
distinctively Ottoman cultural identity. Despite newer added amalgamations,
the Ottoman dynasty, like their predecessors in the Sultanate of Rum and the
Seljuk Empire, were thoroughly Persianised in their culture, language, habits
and customs, and therefore the empire has been described as a Persianate Mehmed the Conqueror and
empire.[190][191][192][193] Intercultural marriages also played a part in creating Patriarch Gennadius II
the characteristic Ottoman elite culture. When compared to the Turkish folk
culture, the influence of these new cultures in creating the culture of the
Ottoman elite was clear.

Slavery was a part of Ottoman society,[194] with most slaves employed

as domestic servants. Agricultural slavery, such as that which was
widespread in the Americas, was relatively rare. Unlike systems of
chattel slavery, slaves under Islamic law were not regarded as movable
property, but maintained basic, though limited, rights. This gave them a
degree of protection against abuse.[195] Female slaves were still sold in
the Empire as late as 1908.[196] During the 19th century the Empire
came under pressure from Western European countries to outlaw the Depiction of a hookah shop in Lebanon,
practice. Policies developed by various Sultans throughout the 19th Ottoman Empire.
century attempted to curtail the slave trade but, since slavery did have
centuries of religious backing and sanction, they never directly
abolished the institution outright.

Plague remained a major scourge in Ottoman society until the second

quarter of the 19th century. "Between 1701 and 1750, 37 larger and
smaller plague epidemics were recorded in Istanbul, and 31 between
1751 and 1801."[197]


The two primary streams of Ottoman written literature are poetry and Yeni Cami and Eminn bazaar,
prose. Poetry was by far the dominant stream. Until the 19th century, Constantinople, c.1895
Ottoman prose did not contain any examples of fiction: there were no
counterparts to, for instance, the European romance, short story, or
novel. Analogue genres did exist, though, in both Turkish folk literature and in Divan poetry.

Ottoman Divan poetry was a highly ritualized and symbolic art form. From the Persian poetry that largely
inspired it, it inherited a wealth of symbols whose meanings and interrelationshipsboth of similitude (
mura't-i nazr / tensb) and opposition ( tezd) were more or less prescribed. Divan poetry was
composed through the constant juxtaposition of many such images within a strict metrical framework, thus
allowing numerous potential meanings to emerge. The vast majority of Divan poetry was lyric in nature: either
gazels (which make up the greatest part of the repertoire of the tradition), or kasdes. There were, however,
other common genres, most particularly the mesnev, a kind of verse romance and thus a variety of narrative
poetry; the two most notable examples of this form are the Leyli and Majnun of Fuzl and the Hsn Ak of
eyh Glib. 21/39
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Until the 19th century, Ottoman prose did not develop to the extent that
contemporary Divan poetry did. A large part of the reason for this was
that much prose was expected to adhere to the rules of sec (, also
transliterated as seci), or rhymed prose,[198] a type of writing descended
from the Arabic saj' and which prescribed that between each adjective
and noun in a string of words, such as a sentence, there must be a
rhyme. Nevertheless, there was a tradition of prose in the literature of
the time, though exclusively non-fictional in nature. One apparent
exception was Muhayyelt ("Fancies") by Giritli Ali Aziz Efendi, a
collection of stories of the fantastic written in 1796, though not
published until 1867. The first novel published in the Ottoman Empire
was by an Armenian named Vartan Pasha. Published in 1851, the novel
was entitled The Story of Akabi (Turkish: Akabi Hikyayesi) and was
written in Turkish but with Armenian script.[199][200][201][202]
Ahmet Nedm Efendi, one of the most
Due to historically close ties with France, French literature came to celebrated Ottoman poets
constitute the major Western influence on Ottoman literature throughout
the latter half of the 19th century. As a result, many of the same
movements prevalent in France during this period also had their Ottoman equivalents: in the developing
Ottoman prose tradition, for instance, the influence of Romanticism can be seen during the Tanzimat period,
and that of the Realist and Naturalist movements in subsequent periods; in the poetic tradition, on the other
hand, it was the influence of the Symbolist and Parnassian movements that became paramount.

Many of the writers in the Tanzimat period wrote in several different genres simultaneously: for instance, the
poet Namk Kemal also wrote the important 1876 novel ntibh ("Awakening"), while the journalist brahim
inasi is noted for writing, in 1860, the first modern Turkish play, the one-act comedy "air Evlenmesi" ("The
Poet's Marriage"). An earlier play, a farce entitled "Vakyi'-i 'Acibe ve Havdis-i Garibe-yi Kefger Ahmed"
("The Strange Events and Bizarre Occurrences of the Cobbler Ahmed"), dates from the beginning of the 19th
century, but there remains some doubt about its authenticity. In a similar vein, the novelist Ahmed Midhat
Efendi wrote important novels in each of the major movements: Romanticism (Hasan Mellh yhud Srr inde
Esrr, 1873; "Hasan the Sailor, or The Mystery Within the Mystery"), Realism (Henz On Yedi Yanda, 1881;
"Just Seventeen Years Old"), and Naturalism (Mhedt, 1891; "Observations"). This diversity was, in part,
due to the Tanzimat writers' wish to disseminate as much of the new literature as possible, in the hopes that it
would contribute to a revitalization of Ottoman social structures.[203]


Ottoman architecture was influenced by Persian, Byzantine Greek and

Islamic architectures. During the Rise period the early or first Ottoman
architecture period, Ottoman art was in search of new ideas. The growth
period of the Empire become the classical period of architecture, when
Ottoman art was at its most confident. During the years of the
Stagnation period, Ottoman architecture moved away from this style,

During the Tulip Era, it was under the influence of the highly
ornamented styles of Western Europe; Baroque, Rococo, Empire and
other styles intermingled. Concepts of Ottoman architecture concentrate
Photo of the main entrance of
mainly on the mosque. The mosque was integral to society, city
Dolmabahe Palace in 1862, taken by
planning and communal life. Besides the mosque, it is also possible to
Francis Bedford
find good examples of Ottoman architecture in soup kitchens,
theological schools, hospitals, Turkish baths and tombs. 22/39
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Examples of Ottoman architecture of the classical period, besides

Istanbul and Edirne, can also be seen in Egypt, Eritrea, Tunisia, Algiers,
the Balkans and Romania, where mosques, bridges, fountains and
schools were built. The art of Ottoman decoration developed with a
multitude of influences due to the wide ethnic range of the Ottoman
Empire. The greatest of the court artists enriched the Ottoman Empire
with many pluralistic artistic influences, such as mixing traditional
Byzantine art with elements of Chinese art.[204]

Decorative arts Mehmed Paa Sokolovi Bridge,

completed in 1577 by Mimar Sinan, the
The tradition of Ottoman greatest architect of the classical period
miniatures, painted to illustrate of Ottoman architecture
manuscripts or used in
dedicated albums, was heavily
influenced by the Persian art form, though it also included elements of
the Byzantine tradition of illumination and painting. A Greek academy
of painters, the Nakkashane-i-Rum, was established in the Topkapi
Palace in the 15th century, while early in the following century a similar
Persian academy, the Nakkashane-i-Irani, was added.

Ottoman miniature painters Ottoman illumination covers non-figurative painted or drawn decorative
art in books or on sheets in muraqqa or albums, as opposed to the
figurative images of the Ottoman miniature. It was a part of the
Ottoman Book Arts together with the Ottoman miniature (taswir), calligraphy (hat), Islamic calligraphy,
bookbinding (cilt) and paper marbling (ebru). In the Ottoman Empire, illuminated and illustrated manuscripts
were commissioned by the Sultan or the administrators of the court. In Topkapi Palace, these manuscripts were
created by the artists working in Nakkashane, the atelier of the miniature and illumination artists. Both religious
and non-religious books could be illuminated. Also sheets for albums levha consisted of illuminated calligraphy
(hat) of tughra, religious texts, verses from poems or proverbs, and purely decorative drawings.

The art of carpet weaving was particularly significant in the Ottoman Empire, carpets having an immense
importance both as decorative furnishings, rich in religious and other symbolism, and as a practical
consideration, as it was customary to remove one's shoes in living quarters.[205] The weaving of such carpets
originated in the nomadic cultures of central Asia (carpets being an easily transportable form of furnishing),
and was eventually spread to the settled societies of Anatolia. Turks used carpets, rugs and kilims not just on
the floors of a room, but also as a hanging on walls and doorways, where they provided additional insulation.
They were also commonly donated to mosques, which often amassed large collections of them.[206]

Music and performing arts

Ottoman classical music was an important part of the education of the Ottoman elite. A number of the Ottoman
sultans were accomplished musicians and composers themselves, such as Selim III, whose compositions are
often still performed today. Ottoman classical music arose largely from a confluence of Byzantine music,
Armenian music, Arabic music, and Persian music. Compositionally, it is organised around rhythmic units
called usul, which are somewhat similar to meter in Western music, and melodic units called makam, which
bear some resemblance to Western musical modes.

The instruments used are a mixture of Anatolian and Central Asian instruments (the saz, the balama, the
kemence), other Middle Eastern instruments (the ud, the tanbur, the kanun, the ney), andlater in the tradition
Western instruments (the violin and the piano). Because of a geographic and cultural divide between the
capital and other areas, two broadly distinct styles of music arose in the Ottoman Empire: Ottoman classical
music, and folk music. In the provinces, several different kinds of folk music were created. The most dominant
regions with their distinguished musical styles are: Balkan-Thracian Trks, North-Eastern (Laz) Trks, 23/39
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Aegean Trks, Central Anatolian Trks,

Eastern Anatolian Trks, and Caucasian
Trks. Some of the distinctive styles were:
Janissary Music, Roma music, Belly dance,
Turkish folk music.

The traditional shadow play called Karagz and

Hacivat was widespread throughout the Ottoman
Empire and featured characters representing all
of the major ethnic and social groups in that
culture.[207][208] It was performed by a single
puppet master, who voiced all of the characters,
and accompanied by tambourine (def). Its origins
Sultan Abdlaziz was also a are obscure, deriving perhaps from an older
music composer Egyptian tradition, or possibly from an Asian
source. Miniature from "Surname-i
Vehbi" showing the Mehteran,
Cuisine the music band of the
Ottoman cuisine refers to the cuisine of the capital, Istanbul, and the regional
capital cities, where the melting pot of
cultures created a common cuisine that most
of the population regardless of ethnicity
shared. This diverse cuisine was honed in the
Imperial Palace's kitchens by chefs brought
from certain parts of the Empire to create and
experiment with different ingredients. The
creations of the Ottoman Palace's kitchens
filtered to the population, for instance through The shadow play Karagz and
Ramadan events, and through the cooking at Hacivat was widespread
the Yals of the Pashas, and from there on throughout the Ottoman
Enjoying coffee at the harem
spread to the rest of the population.

Much of the cuisine of former Ottoman

territories today is descended from a shared
Ottoman cuisine, especially Turkish, and including Greek, Balkan, Armenian,
and Middle Eastern cuisines.[209] Many common dishes in the region,
descendants of the once-common Ottoman cuisine, include yogurt, dner
kebab/gyro/shawarma, cack/tzatziki, ayran, pita bread, feta cheese, baklava,
lahmacun, moussaka, yuvarlak, kfte/kefts/kofta, brek/boureki,
rak/rakia/tsipouro/tsikoudia, meze, dolma, sarma, rice pilaf, Turkish coffee,
sujuk, kashk, kekek, manti, lavash, kanafeh, and more.

Science and technology

Over the course of Ottoman history, the Ottomans managed to build a large
collection of libraries complete with translations of books from other cultures, Turkish women baking bread,
as well as original manuscripts.[45] A great part of this desire for local and 1790
foreign manuscripts arose in the 15th Century. Sultan Mehmet II ordered
Georgios Amiroutzes, a Greek scholar from Trabzon, to translate and make
available to Ottoman educational institutions the geography book of Ptolemy. Another example is Ali Qushji -
an astronomer, mathematician and physicist originally from Samarkand- who became a professor in two
madrasas, and influenced Ottoman circles as a result of his writings and the activities of his students, even
though he only spent two or three years before his death in Istanbul.[210] 24/39
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Taqi al-Din built the Istanbul

observatory of Taqi al-Din in
1577, where he carried out
observations until 1580. He
calculated the eccentricity of the
Sun's orbit and the annual
motion of the apogee.[211]
However, the observatory's
primary purpose was almost
certainly astrological rather than
Ottoman Imperial Museum, today the astronomical, leading to its
Istanbul Archaeology Museums Istanbul observatory of Taqi ad-Din in
destruction in 1580 due to the
rise of a clerical faction which 1577
opposed its use for that
purpose.[212] He also experimented with steam power in Ottoman
Egypt in 1551, when he invented a steam jack driven by a rudimentary steam turbine.[213]

In 1660 the Ottoman scholar Ibrahim Efendi al-Zigetvari Tezkireci translated Nol Duret's French astronomical
work (written in 1637) into Arabic.[214]

erafeddin Sabuncuolu was the author of the first surgical atlas and the last major medical encyclopedia from
the Islamic world. Though his work was largely based on Abu al-Qasim al-Zahrawi's Al-Tasrif, Sabuncuolu
introduced many innovations of his own. Female surgeons were also illustrated for the first time.[215]

An example of a watch which measured time in minutes was created by an Ottoman watchmaker, Meshur
Sheyh Dede, in 1702.[216]

In the early 19th century, Egypt under Muhammad Ali began using steam engines for industrial manufacturing,
with industries such as ironworks, textile manufacturing, paper mills and hulling mills moving towards steam
power.[217] Economic historian Jean Batou argues that the necessary economic conditions existed in Egypt for
the adoption of oil as a potential energy source for its steam engines later in the 19th century.[217]

In the 19th century, Ishak Efendi is credited with introducing the then current Western scientific ideas and
developments to the Ottoman and wider Muslim world, as well as the invention of a suitable Turkish and
Arabic scientific terminology, through his translations of Western works.

The main sports Ottomans were engaged in were Turkish wrestling,
hunting, Turkish archery, horseback riding, equestrian javelin throw,
arm wrestling, and swimming. European model sports clubs were
formed with the spreading popularity of football matches in 19th
century Constantinople. The leading clubs, according to timeline, were
Beikta Gymnastics Club (1903), Galatasaray Sports Club (1905),
Fenerbahe Sports Club (1907), MKE Ankaragc (formerly Turan
Sanatkaragc) (1910) in Istanbul. Football clubs were formed in other
provinces too, such as Karyaka Sports Club (1912), Altay Sports Club Ottoman wrestlers in the gardens of
(1914) and Turkish Fatherland Football Club (later lkspor) (1914) of Topkap Palace, in the 19th century.

See also
16 Great Turkic Empires
Bibliography of the Ottoman Empire 25/39
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Gaza Thesis
Gunpowder Empires
Historiography of the fall of the Ottoman Empire
History of the Turks
Index of Ottoman Empire-related articles
List of sultans of the Ottoman Empire
List of Ottoman Grand Viziers
List of Ottoman conquests, sieges and landings
List of Turkic dynasties and countries
Outline of the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Decline Thesis
Ottoman dynasty
Ottoman Caliphate
Ottoman Tunisia
Superpowers of the past

1. The sultanate was abolished on 1 November 1922 and the Republic of Turkey was established on 29
October 1923. For further information, see Defeat and dissolution of the Ottoman Empire.
2. In Ottoman Turkish the city was known with various names, among which were Kostantiniyye ()
(replacing the suffix -polis with the Arabic nisba), Dersaadet ( ) and Istanbul (). Names
other than Istanbul gradually became obsolete in Turkish, and after Turkey's transition to Latin script in
1928, the city's Turkish name attained international usage.
3. Mehmed VI, the last Sultan, was expelled from Constantinople on 17 November 1922.
4. The Treaty of Svres (10 August 1920) afforded a small existence to the Ottoman Empire. On 1
November 1922, the Grand National Assembly (GNAT) abolished the sultanate and declared that all the
deeds of the Ottoman regime in Istanbul were null and void as of 16 March 1920, the date of the
occupation of Constantinople under the terms of the Treaty of Svres. The international recognition of
the GNAT and the Government of Ankara was achieved through the signing of the Treaty of Lausanne on
24 July 1923. The Grand National Assembly of Turkey promulgated the Republic on 29 October 1923,
which ended the Ottoman Empire in history.
5. The empire also temporarily gained authority over distant overseas lands through declarations of
allegiance to the Ottoman Sultan and Caliph, such as the declaration by the Sultan of Aceh in 1565, or
through temporary acquisitions of islands such as Lanzarote in the Atlantic Ocean in 1585, Turkish Navy
Official Website: "Atlantik'te Trk Denizcilii" (
6. A lock-hold on trade between western Europe and Asia is often cited as a primary motivation for Isabella
I of Castile to fund Christopher Columbus's westward journey to find a sailing route to Asia and, more
generally, for European seafaring nations to explore alternative trade routes (e.g. K. D. Madan, Life and
travels of Vasco Da Gama (1998), 9; I. Stavans, Imagining Columbus: the literary voyage (2001), 5;
W.B. Wheeler and S. Becker, Discovering the American Past. A Look at the Evidence: to 1877 (2006),
105). This traditional viewpoint has been attacked as unfounded in an influential article by A.H. Lybyer
("The Ottoman Turks and the Routes of Oriental Trade", English Historical Review, 120 (1915), 577
588), who sees the rise of Ottoman power and the beginnings of Portuguese and Spanish explorations as
unrelated events. His view has not been universally accepted (cf. K.M. Setton, The Papacy and the
Levant (12041571), Vol. 2: The Fifteenth Century (Memoirs of the American Philosophical Society, Vol.
127) (1978), 335).

1. Stanford Shaw, History of the Ottoman Empire and Modern Turkey (Cambridge: University Press, 1976),
vol. 1 p. 13 26/39
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2. "In 1363 the Ottoman capital moved from Bursa to Edirne, although Bursa retained its spiritual and
economic importance." Ottoman Capital Bursa (,33810/ottoman-capital-bur
sa.html). Official website of Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Turkey. Retrieved 26
June 2013.
3. Lambton, Ann; Lewis, Bernard (1995). The Cambridge History of Islam: The Indian sub-continent,
South-East Asia, Africa and the Muslim west ( 2.
Cambridge University Press. p. 320. ISBN 978-0-521-22310-2.
4. Turchin, Peter; Adams, Jonathan M.; Hall, Thomas D (December 2006). "East-West Orientation of
Historical Empires" ( Journal of world-
systems research. 12 (2): 223. ISSN 1076-156X ( Retrieved
12 September 2016.
5. Rein Taagepera (September 1997). "Expansion and Contraction Patterns of Large Polities: Context for
Russia" ( International Studies Quarterly. 41 (3): 498.
doi:10.1111/0020-8833.00053 ( Retrieved 12 September
6. Dndar, Orhan; Dndar, Erhan, 1.Dnya Sava, Mill Eitim Bakanl Yaynlar, 1999, ISBN 975-11-
7. Erickson, Edward J. (2003). Defeat in Detail: The Ottoman Army in the Balkans, 19121913 (https://boo Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 59. ISBN 978-0-275-97888-
8. Hamish Scott (2015). The Oxford Handbook of Early Modern European History, 13501750: Volume II
European+History,+1350-1750:+Volume+II&hl=nl&source=gbs_navlinks_s). p. 612."The Ottoman
Empire-also known in Europe as the Turkish Empire"
9. Raphaela Lewis (1988). Everyday Life in Ottoman Turkey (
AAYAAJ). Dorset Press. ISBN 978-0-88029-175-0.
10. Godfrey Goodwin (1977). Ottoman Turkey (
Scorpion Publications.
11. Finkel, Caroline. Osman's Dream: The Story of the Ottoman Empire, 13001923. Basic Books. pp. 2, 7.
ISBN 978-0-465-02396-7.
12. Quataert, Donald (2005). The Ottoman Empire, 17001922 (
rXJGcC) (2 ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 4. ISBN 978-0-521-83910-5.
13. "Ottoman Empire" (
Oxford Islamic Studies Online. 6 May 2008. Retrieved 26 August 2010.
14. Hathaway, Jane (2008). The Arab Lands under Ottoman Rule, 15161800. Pearson Education Ltd. p. 8.
ISBN 978-0-582-41899-8. "historians of the Ottoman Empire have rejected the narrative of decline in
favor of one of crisis and adaptation"
Tezcan, Baki (2010). The Second Ottoman Empire: Political and Social Transformation in the
Early Modern Period. Cambridge University Press. p. 9. ISBN 978-1-107-41144-9. "Ottomanist
historians have produced several works in the last decades, revising the traditional understanding
of this period from various angles, some of which were not even considered as topics of historical
inquiry in the mid-twentieth century. Thanks to these works, the conventional narrative of Ottoman
history that in the late sixteenth century the Ottoman Empire entered a prolonged period of
decline marked by steadily increasing military decay and institutional corruption has been
Woodhead, Christine (2011). "Introduction". In Christine Woodhead. The Ottoman World. p. 5.
ISBN 978-0-415-44492-7. "Ottomanist historians have largely jettisoned the notion of a post-1600

goston, Gbor (2009). "Introduction". In goston, Gbor; Bruce Masters. Encyclopedia of the Ottoman
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15. goston, Gbor (2009). "Introduction". In goston, Gbor; Bruce Masters. Encyclopedia of the Ottoman
Empire. p. xxxii.
Faroqhi, Suraiya (1994). "Crisis and Change, 15901699". In nalck, Halil; Donald Quataert. An
Economic and Social History of the Ottoman Empire, 13001914. 2. Cambridge University Press.
p. 553. ISBN 0-521-57456-0. "In the past fifty years, scholars have frequently tended to view this
decreasing participation of the sultan in political life as evidence for Ottoman decadence, which
supposedly began at some time during the second half of the sixteenth century. But recently, more
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Further reading
General surveys

The Cambridge History of Turkey

Volume 1: Kate Fleet ed., "Byzantium to Turkey 10711453." Cambridge University Press, 2009.
Volume 2: Suraiya N. Faroqhi and Kate Fleet eds., "The Ottoman Empire as a World Power, 1453
1603." Cambridge University Press, 2012.
Volume 3: Suraiya N. Faroqhi ed., "The Later Ottoman Empire, 16031839." Cambridge
University Pres, 2006.
Volume 4: Reat Kasaba ed., "Turkey in the Modern World." Cambridge University Press, 2008.

Finkel, Caroline (2005). Osman's Dream: The Story of the Ottoman Empire, 13001923. Basic Books.
ISBN 978-0-465-02396-7.
Hathaway, Jane (2008). The Arab Lands under Ottoman Rule, 15161800. Pearson Education Ltd.
ISBN 978-0-582-41899-8.
Howard, Douglas A. (2017). A History of the Ottoman Empire. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
ISBN 978-0-521-72730-3.
Imber, Colin (2009). The Ottoman Empire, 13001650: The Structure of Power (2 ed.). New York:
Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 978-0-230-57451-9.
nalck, Halil; Donald Quataert, eds. (1994). An Economic and Social History of the Ottoman Empire,
13001914. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-57456-0. Two volumes.
McCarthy, Justin. The Ottoman Turks: An Introductory History to 1923. 1997 (http://www.q, online edition.
Miller, William The Ottoman Empire, 1801-1913 (1913) online (
Quataert, Donald. The Ottoman Empire, 17001922. 2005. ISBN 0-521-54782-2.

Early Ottomans

Kafadar, Cemal (1995). Between Two Worlds: The Construction of the Ottoman State. University of
California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-20600-7.
Lindner, Rudi P. (1983). Nomads and Ottomans in Medieval Anatolia. Bloomington: Indiana University
Press. ISBN 0-933070-12-8.
Lowry, Heath (2003). The Nature of the Early Ottoman State. Albany: SUNY Press. ISBN 0-7914-5636-

goston, Gbor (2014). "Firearms and Military Adaptation: The Ottomans and the European Military
Revolution, 14501800". Journal of World History. 25: 85124.
Aksan, Virginia (2007). Ottoman Wars, 17001860: An Empire Besieged. Pearson Education Limited.
ISBN 978-0-582-30807-7.
Rhoads, Murphey (1999). Ottoman Warfare, 15001700. Rutgers University Press. ISBN 1-85728-389-9.
Soucek, Svat (2015). Ottoman Maritime Wars, 14161700. Istanbul: The Isis Press. ISBN 978-975-428-
554-3. 37/39
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Baram, Uzi and Lynda Carroll, editors. A Historical Archaeology of the Ottoman Empire: Breaking New
Ground (Plenum/Kluwer Academic Press, 2000)
Barkey, Karen. Empire of Difference: The Ottomans in Comparative Perspective. (2008) 357pp (
15334/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1240307430&sr=1-7), excerpt and text search
Davison, Roderic H. Reform in the Ottoman Empire, 18561876 (New York: Gordian Press, 1973)
Deringil, Selim. The well-protected domains: ideology and the legitimation of power in the Ottoman
Empire, 18761909 (London: IB Tauris, 1998)
Findley, Carter V. Bureaucratic Reform in the Ottoman Empire: The Sublime Porte, 17891922
(Princeton University Press, 1980)
Faroqhi, Suraiya. The Ottoman Empire: A Short History (2009) 196pp
McMeekin, Sean. The Berlin-Baghdad Express: The Ottoman Empire and Germany's Bid for World
Power (2010)
Nicolle, David. Armies of the Ottoman Turks 13001774 (Osprey Publishing, 1983)
Palmer, Alan. The Decline and Fall of the Ottoman Empire. (New York: Barnes and Noble, 1992) 306 p.,
maps. ISBN 0-87131-754-0
Pamuk, Sevket. A Monetary History of the Ottoman Empire (1999). pp. 276
Somel, Selcuk Aksin. Historical Dictionary of the Ottoman Empire (2003). pp. 399
Stone, Norman "Turkey in the Russian Mirror" pages 86100 from Russia War, Peace and Diplomacy
edited by Mark & Ljubica Erickson, Weidenfeld & Nicolson: London, 2004 ISBN 0-297-84913-1.
Uyar, Mesut; Erickson, Edward (2009). A Military History of the Ottomans: From Osman to Atatrk.
ISBN 978-0-275-98876-0.


Hartmann, Daniel Andreas. "Neo-Ottomanism: The Emergence and Utility of a New Narrative on
Politics, Religion, Society, and History in Turkey" (PhD Dissertation, Central European University,
2013) online (
Lieven, Dominic. Empire: The Russian empire and its rivals (Yale UP, 2002), comparisons with Russian,
British, & Habsburg empires. excerpt (
Mikhail, Alan; Philliou, Christine M. "The Ottoman Empire and the Imperial Turn," Comparative Studies
in Society & History (2012) 54#4 pp 721745. Comparing the Ottomans to other empires opens new
insights about the dynamics of imperial rule, periodization, and political transformation
Olson, Robert, "Ottoman Empire" in Kelly Boyd, ed (1999). Encyclopedia of Historians and Historical
Writing vol 2 ( Taylor & Francis.
pp. 8926.
Quataert, Donald. "Ottoman History Writing and Changing Attitudes towards the Notion of 'Decline.'"
History Compass 1 (2003): 19.

This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911).
"article name needed". Encyclopdia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.

External links
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