Discover Turkey, home of Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman Empire was the one of the largest and longest lasting Empires in history. The Ottoman Empire was founded in 1299, and lasted 664 years until its collapse in 1923.
At the peak of its military success, the great Ottoman Empire spanned three continents, stretching from Budapest to Azerbaijan and taking in Persia, Syria and the whole of the north African coast. It began, however, from relatively humble beginnings with Osman Bey, the leader of a small principality in northwest Anatolia, who gave the Empire its Turkish name, Osmanli. His first military conquests began in 1299 with the conquest of Bilecik, Yenikent, Inegol and Iznik. He resolved to take Bursa, and after a siege, which lasted some eight years, his son, Orhan, finally took the city in 1326 and, in 1335, made the city his capital.
His son, Suleyman, conquered Thrace in 1353 and it was his successor, Murad Hudavendigar, who continued the expansion by taking the Balkans into the Empire. In 1362 Murad captured the city of Edirne, formerly known as Adrianople, and the following year established it as his capital. In 1453 Fatih Sultan Mehmet conquered Istanbul thus bringing an end to the Byzantine era. In 1516-1517 both Syria and Egypt fell to the Ottoman army, and with them the holy cities of Mecca and Medina, making the Ottoman sultan the most important figure in the Sunni Muslim world. 1520-1566 was the golden age of the Ottoman Empire, under the rule of Suleyman the Magnificent, but from then onwards it began a slow decline, losing its economic and military superiority over Europe.
Despite efforts at reform during the 19th century, a number of nationalist movements broke out in Ottoman territories and the Empire began to fragment. Its fate was sealed when it entered the First World War on the side of Germany. Following the end of the war, the victorious allies shared the Ottoman lands and Britain, Italy, France and Greece began to invade its territories. The Ottoman parliament was dissolved on March 16th 1920. The Turkish Grand National Assembly, with Mustafa Kemal as its President began the struggle for Independence, and in the process of establishing itself, decided on November 1st 1922 to abolish the sultanate. The last Ottoman Sultan Mehmet VI left Istanbul in secret on November 17th 1922 on a British Royal Navy vessel bound for Malta, and died in exile in 1926.
Ottoman Empire Army
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