13 Interesting Facts About Ottoman Empire

The great Ottoman Empire or the Turkish Empire was an empire founded in 1299 by Oghuz Turks under Osman I in northwestern Anatolia. Here are some interesting facts about the history of Ottoman Empire that’ll blow up your mind.


Source: panoramio.com

1. Genesis


The Ottoman Empire (Turkish: Osmanlı İmparatorluğu) was an imperial power that existed from 1299 to 1923 (634 years!!). It is one of the largest empires to rule the borders of the Mediterranean Sea. During its power, it included Anatolia, the Middle East, part of North Africa, and south-eastern Europe.
Source: bbc.co.uk, Image: wikipedia

2. Name Suggests….


The French translation of the Ottoman name “Bâb-i-âlî” is “high gate”. It was due to the greeting ceremony that the sultan held for foreign ambassadors at the Palace Gate. This has also been interpreted as an indication to the Empire’s position as a gateway between Europe and Asia.
Source: sheppardsoftware.com, Image: wikipedia

3. Founded

osman 1

The empire was founded by Osman I in the 16th and 17th century.
Source: sheppardsoftware.com, Image: youtube

4. Turkey

turkish war

Following World War I, during which most of its territories were captured by the Allies, Ottoman elites established modern Turkey during the Turkish War of Independence.
Source: sheppardsoftware.com, Image: flickr

5. At the Pinnacle


The Empire reached its apex under Suleiman I in the 16th century, when it stretched from the Persian Gulf (east) to Hungary (northwest), and from Egypt (south) to the Caucasus (north).
Source: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

6. Weakening Stage

In the 17th century, the Ottomans were weakened both internally and externally by costly wars against Persia, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Russia and Austria-Hungary, especially. It resulted in a constitutional monarchy in which the sultan had little power.
Source: wikipedia

7. Formation of Turkey


Mustafa Kemal Pasha, an eminent army officer during the Gallipoli and Palestine campaigns, was officially sent from Istanbul to take control of the victorious Caucasus army and to disband it. This army was instrumental in winning the Turkish War of Independence (1918–1923) and the Republic of Turkey was founded on October 29, 1923 from the remnants of the fallen empire.
Source: wikipedia, Image: deviantart

8. The Vizier


Köprülü Mehmed Pasha, founder of the Albanian Köprülü political dynasty of the Ottoman Empire, was appointed by Turhan, mother of the seven-year-old ruler Mehmed IV, to become grand vizier.
Source: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

9. Military Class


Viziers, like the sultan, also served as military commanders. Cavalrymen, on the other hand, were the ones who made up the bulk of the military class. In addition, men holding Islamic judicial-religious posts were also designated “military.”
Source: encyclopedia.com, Image: wikipedia

10. How Did They Reach There?


Between mid 15th and early 17th century, the ways of recruitment to judicial, military, and political office were fairly clear. Graduates of madrasas or Muslim college were designated as judges in the provinces, as madrasa teachers, or as imams. Talking about the highest judicial offices became a domain of a few elite families from 16th century.
Source: encyclopedia.com 

11. Fief Holders


The fief holding cavalrymen were mainly Muslim by birth, and the right to a fief was hereditary.
Source: encyclopedia.com, Image: youtube

12. Something About the Viziers

The viziers and provincial governors were usually converts from Christianity.
Source: encyclopedia.com

13. Replaced


Ottoman Empire with its mind and brawniness, replaced the Byzantine Empire as the major power in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Source: bbc.co.uk, Image: wikipedia