Ottoman Empire  

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The Ottoman Empire was a large Turkish sultanate centered on modern Turkey; founded in 1299, it lasted six centuries, until 1922.


The abolition of the Ottoman Sultanate on 1 November 1922 ended the Ottoman Empire, which had lasted since 1922. The last sultan, Mehmed VI, departed the Ottoman capital, Constantinople, on 17 November 1922. The legal position was solidified with the signing of Treaty of Lausanne on 24 July 1923.

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

The Ottoman Empire, also known as the Turkish Empire, was an empire founded at the end of the thirteenth century in northwestern Anatolia by tribal leader Osman. After 1354, the Ottomans crossed into 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.

Islam was the official religion of the Ottoman Empire and became more important after two seminal events: the conquest of Constantinople and the conquest of Arab regions of the Middle East.

During the 16th and 17th centuries, at the height of its power under the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent, the Ottoman 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. At the beginning of the 17th century, the empire contained 32 provinces and numerous vassal states. Some of these were later absorbed into the Ottoman Empire, while others were granted various types of autonomy during the course of centuries.

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.

The Ottomans consequently suffered severe military defeats in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, which prompted them 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 losses, especially in the Balkans, where a number of new states emerged. The empire allied with Germany in the early 20th century, hoping to escape from the diplomatic isolation which had contributed to its recent territorial losses, and thus joined World War I on the side of the Central Powers. While the Empire was able to largely hold its own during the conflict, it was struggling with internal dissent, especially with the Arab Revolt in its Arabian holdings. During this time, major atrocities were committed by the Ottoman government against the Armenians, Assyrians and Pontic Greeks.

The Empire's defeat and the occupation of part of its territory by the Allied Powers in the aftermath of World War I resulted in its partitioning and the loss of its Middle Eastern territories, which were divided between the United Kingdom and France. The successful Turkish War of Independence against the occupying Allies led to the emergence of the Republic of Turkey in the Anatolian heartland and the abolition of the Ottoman monarchy.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Ottoman Empire" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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