The Rise and Fall of the Ottoman Empire

The Ottoman Empire was one of the most powerful empires in world history.

Fall of Constantinople and the Rise of the Ottoman Empire

At the end of the 13th century, the Anatolian Seljuk State collapsed. There was now a political vacuum in Anatolia. Meanwhile, Osman Bey laid the foundations of the Empire. Osman Bey became the leader of the principalities fighting against Byzantium. Over time, it expanded its territory and its influence on Byzantium increased.

The Ottomans had expanded their control over nearly all of the Balkans and most of Anatolia, by conquering several Byzantine cities west of Constantinople. Mehmet II wanted the territorial integrity of the Ottoman Empire to be ensured. Therefore, the conquest of Byzantium was important. Finally, in May 1453, Mehmet II achieved his goal. This conquest caused a rise that would last for years for the Ottomans. Constantinople was now Istanbul.

Portrait of Sultan Mehmet II

Other Sultans who came to the throne after Mehmet II also helped the Ottomans to grow. However, the most important of these sultans are undoubtedly Selim I. Sultan Selim, who ascended the throne in 1512, turned the direction of the conquests to the East. By 1517, Selim I, brought Syria, Arabia, Palestine, and Egypt under Ottoman control. As a result, the leadership of the Islamic world passed to the Ottoman Empire. With these important conquests, the Ottoman Empire grew rapidly.

Death of the Empire: World War I

By the 19th century, the Ottoman Empire had lost many lands in the east and west. It was a multinational empire. The nations affected by the French Revolution had weakened the empire. The empire wanted back the lands it lost in the Caucasus, the Balkans and the Aegean. Therefore, It entered World War I on the side of the Germans in 1914.

The Ottomans, who fought on many fronts in the First World War, were unfortunately defeated. With the Armistice of Mudros signed at the end of the war, most of the Ottoman lands were divided between England, France, Greece and Russia. And with the abolition of the sultanate in November 1922, the Ottoman empire officially ended.

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