THE OTTOMANS

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                                        The Ottomans

  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 Vienna.

  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.

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Source: mfa.gov.tr

 

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