The Ottoman Principality was founded
by a Turkoman tribe living on the Turkish-Byzantine border.
The geographic location of the principality and the weak
state of the Byzantines combined to make the Ottoman
principality the strongest state within the Islamic world by
the 14th century.
When Fatih Sultah Mehmet II.
conguered the Byzantine capital in 1453, the Ottoman state
became the strongest of the time. The tolerant approach
taken by Fatih Sultan Mehmet II toward other religions and
to the adherents thereof became a tradition accepted by his
successors. Following the capture of Istanbul, the Orthodox
Church was freed from obedience to the Catholic Church and
granted its independence.
On the other hand, the technical
superiority of the Ottoman army began to be evident during
the reign of Selim I. The Ottomans has added, in addition to
the major part of east Anatolia, the lands considered holy
in the Islamic world-Mecca and Medine and their territories.
The brightest period of the Ottoman
State was during the reign of Sultan Suleyman (1520-1555)
when the boundaries of the Empire spread from the outskirts
of Vienna to the Persian Gulf and from the Crimea to an
expanded north Africa as far as Ethiopia.
The Ottoman empire continued to
acquire territory until the middle of the 17th century. In
1683, it suffered its first major defeat in the siege of
As the losses of land and sought
continued, the Ottoman Empire sought salvation in a series
of reform movements and established education institutions
taking after the western institutions which had shown great
developments after the Renaissance.