Ottoman wars in Europe  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

The Ottoman wars in Europe were a series of military conflicts between the Ottoman Empire and various other European states dating from the Late Middle Ages up through the early 20th century. The earliest conflicts began during the Byzantine–Ottoman wars in the 13th century, followed by the Bulgarian–Ottoman wars and the Serbian–Ottoman Wars in the 14th century. Much of this period was characterized by Ottoman expansion into the Balkans. The Ottoman Empire made further inroads into Central Europe in the 15th and 16th centuries, culminating in the peak of Ottoman territorial claims in Europe.

The Ottoman–Venetian Wars spanned four centuries, starting in 1423 and lasting until 1718. This period witnessed the fall of Negroponte in 1470, the fall of Famagusta (Cyprus) in 1571, the defeat of the Ottoman fleet at the Battle of Lepanto in 1571 (at that time the largest naval battle in history), the fall of Candia (Crete) in 1669, the Venetian reconquest of Morea (Peloponnese) in the 1680s and its loss again in 1715. The island of Corfu under Venetian rule remained the only Greek island not conquered by the Ottomans.

In the late seventeenth century, European powers began to consolidate against the Ottomans and formed the Holy League, reversing a number of Ottoman land gains during the Great Turkish War of 1683–99. Nevertheless, Ottoman armies were able to hold their own against their European rivals until the second half of the eighteenth century. In the nineteenth century the Ottomans were confronted with insurrection from their Serbian (1804–1817) and Greek (1821–1832) subjects. This occurred in tandem with the Russo-Turkish wars, which further destabilized the empire. The final retreat of Ottoman rule came with the First Balkan War (1912-1913), followed by the signing of the Treaty of Sèvres at the close of World War I.

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