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History of the Turkic Peoples
It is generally believed that the first Turkic people were native to a region extending from Central Asia to Siberia.
Some scholars contend that the
Huns were one of the earlier Turkic tribes, while others support either a Mongolic
or Finno-Ugric origin for the Huns.[1] Otto Maenchen-Helfen's
linguistic studies also support a Turkic origin for the


Main article: Turkic expansion

The main migration of Turkic peoples occurred between the fifth and tenth centuries AD, when they spread
across most of
Central Asia and into Europe and the Middle East.[4]

The precise date of the initial expansion from the early homeland remains unknown. The first state known as
"Turk", giving its name to the many states and peoples afterwards, was that of the
Göktürks (gog = "blue" or
"celestial") in the 6th century AD. The head of the
Asena clan led his people from Liqian (in modern Yongchang
County, China) to the Rouran seeking inclusion in their confederacy and protection from China. His tribe were
famed metal smiths and were granted land near a mountain quarry which looked like a helmet from which they
got their name
突厥(tūjué). A century later their power had increased such that they conquered the Rouran and set
about establishing their
Gök Empire.[4]

Later Turkic peoples include the
Karluks (mainly 8th century), Uyghurs, Kyrgyz, Oghuz (or Ğuz) Turks, and
Turkmens. As these peoples were founding states in the area between Mongolia and Transoxiana, they came
into contact with Muslims, and most gradually adopted
Islam. However, there were also (and still are) small
groups of Turkic people belonging to other religions, including Christians, Jews (see
Khazars), Buddhists, and
Map from Mahmud al-Kashgari's Diwanu Lughat at-Turk, showing the 11th
century distribution of Turkic tribes.
Middle Ages

Turkic soldiers in the army of the Abbasid caliphs emerged as the de facto rulers of most of the Muslim Middle East (apart from Syria and Egypt), particularly after the 10th
century. The
Oghuz and other tribes captured and dominated various countries under the leadership of the Seljuk dynasty, and eventually captured the territories of the
Abbasid dynasty and the
Byzantine Empire.[4]

Meanwhile, the
Kyrgyz and Uyghurs were struggling with one another and with the Chinese Empire. The Kyrgyz people ultimately settled in the region now referred to as
Kyrgyzstan. The Tatar peoples conquered the Volga Bulgars in what is today Tatarstan, following the westward sweep of the Mongols under Genghis Khan in the 13th century.
Bulgars were thus mistakenly called Tatars by the Russians. Native Tatars live only in Asia; European "Tatars" are in fact Bulgars. Other Bulgars settled in Europe in the
7–8th centuries, exchanging their original Turkic tongue for what eventually became the Slavic
Bulgarian language. Everywhere, Turkic groups mixed with the local populations
to varying degrees.[4]

As the
Seljuk Empire declined following the Mongol invasion, the Ottoman Empire emerged as the new important Turkic state, that came to dominate not only the Middle East,
but even southeastern Europe, parts of southwestern Russia, and northern Africa.[4]

The Ottoman Empire gradually grew weaker in the face of maladministration, repeated wars with
Russia and Austro-Hungary, and the emergence of nationalist movements in
Balkans, and it finally gave way after World War I to the present-day republic of Turkey.[4]

Mughal Empire

The Mughal Empire (Turkish: Babür İmparatorluğu) was a Muslim dynasty that at its greatest territorial extent ruled most of the Indian subcontinent, then known as Hindustan,
and parts of what is now
Afghanistan and Pakistan from the early 16th to the mid-18th century. The Mughal dynasty was founded by a Chagatai Turkic prince named Babur
(reigned 1526–30), who was descended from the Turkic conqueror
Timur (Tamerlane) on his father's side and from Chagatai, second son of the Mongol ruler Genghis Khan,
on his mother's side. The Mughal dynasty was notable for the ability of its rulers, who through seven generations maintained a record of unusual talent, and for its
administrative organization. A further distinction was the attempt of the Mughals to integrate Hindus and Muslims into a united Indian state. [5]  [6]  [7]
See also

References and notes

  1. ^ The Origins of the Huns
  2. ^ Otto J. Maenchen-Helfen. The World of the Huns: Studies in Their History and Culture. University of California Press, 1973
  3. ^ Otto Maenchen-Helfen, Language of Huns
  4. ^ a b c d e f Carter V. Findley, The Turks in World History, (Oxford University Press, October 2004) ISBN 0-19-517726-6
  5. ^ Encyclopædia Britannica
  6. ^ the Mughal dynasty
  7. ^ When the Moguls Ruled India...
History of the Turkish People
The Turks (Turkish people), whose name was first used in history in the 6th century
by the Chinese,[1][2] are a society whose language belongs to the Turkic language
family (which in turn some classify as a subbranch of Altaic linguistic family.[3]) They
identify themselves as being descended of Oghuz Turks who migrated to Anatolia in
11th century. Throughout history, the Turkic peoples have established numerous
states in various geographical regions on the continents of Asia, Europe and Africa.
Turks brought their culture to the places to which they had migrated and were also
affected by the cultures of these regions.

Origins (6th to 10th centuries)

Main article: History of Turkic people

According to Chinese records, Turks appear in political history of Asia with the Huns.
The Huns were a coalition of various
central Asian nomads, including Turks. The Hun
State which first appeared in the 3rd century B.C. became a significant and powerful
state during the reign of its founder,
Mete Khan. Having a defined and special
strategy, Mete Khan defeated the
Mongols and then the Yuechis and after, having
conquered the western gates and trade routes of China under his control, gained
significant economic power. When Mete Khan died, the
Great Hun Empire was at its
peak due to its military organization, domestic and foreign policies, religion, army, war
strategies and arts.

After the collapse of the Asian fun State, a new state called the
Göktürk Empire was
founded at the foot of the
Altay Mountains. The Göktürks who were the first to employ
the word "Turk" in their official state name, chose
Ötüken, the former capital of the
empire as a base and established khanates. Later they spread out and became an
empire. They professed that a khanate could not be ruled by means of war and
bravery alone and that wisdom was very important.
Bilge (means wise) Khan and Kül
Tegin are noted as the wisest and most heroic figures among Turkish statesmen in
history. It was because of this that both these khans and
Tonyukuk, another Göktürk
Khan, immortalized their accomplishments with inscriptions. These inscriptions are
first written texts of the Turkish language.

Migration to Anatolia (11th to 13th centuries)

Further information: Turkic migration and History of Anatolia

Before the Turkic settlement the local population of Anatolia expanded and reached
an estimated level of 12 to 14 million people during the late Roman Period.
[4]  [5]  [6]
The main migration (expansion) of Turkic people to Anatolia occurred at the same
time of Turkic migration between the 6th and 11th centuries (the
Early Middle Ages),
when they spread across most of Central Asia and into Europe and the Middle East.
The Seljuk Turks (Selçuk Türkleri) were the first Turkish power to arrive in the 11th
century as conquerors, who proceeded to gradually conquer the land of existing
Byzantine Empire. In the following centuries the local population began to be
assimilated from the emerging Turkic migrants. Over time, as word spread regarding
the victory of the Turks in Anatolia, more Turkic migrants began to intermingle with the
local inhabitants, which helped to bolster the Turkish-speaking population. The
Byzantine Greeks living in Anatolia, emigrated from the region, returning to Greece, to
prevent religious conversion.

It is claimed that according to DNA studies the Turkish and
Azeri populations, are
atypical among
Altaic speakers in having low frequencies of Asiatic haplotypes.
Rather, these two Turkic-speaking groups seem to be closer to populations from the
Middle East, Caucasus and the Balkans. This finding is consistent with a model in
which the Turkic languages, originating in the
Altai-Sayan region of Central Asia and
northwestern Mongolia, were imposed on the indigenous peoples with significant
genetic admixture, possible example of elite cultural dominance - driven linguistic
replacement. This is not the case.
When analysing the report written by Di Benedetto, et al. entitled "DNA Diversity and Population Admixture in Anatolia", it is clearly seen that is it not Elite Culturel Dominance, but a steady genetic
contribution over a long period of time. It is illogical to be able to change the entire language of a sedentary population by a recent wave of nomads. Also, religious conversion also occurred, and the most
successful way to achieve this was to constantly mix with the local population, supported by Di Benedetto, et al.
[7] In the conclusion of the report, Di Benedetto, et al. states that there was a constant
genetic contribution over a long period of time, because the 'elite dominance' theory was too inefficient (there was a substantial Turkish gene contribution, too much for a zero-level) , so the theory of
'continuous admixture' was supported with research, "...if most Asian alleles in the current Anatolian gene pool arrived in the 11th century AD, the Oghuz invasion had a much greater demographic impact
than is commonly believed by historians. The alternative is a continuous input of alleles from Central Asia".

The report concludes as follows, "The hypothesis that we called pure elitedominance is contradicted by the fact that the Central Asian contribution to the Anatolian gene pool appears substantial,
regardless of the numerical method used to quantify admixture. It seems worthwhile to emphasize that this result does not rule out that the linguistic replacement, in itself, was an episode of elite
dominance, as defined by Renfrew (1989). What this study shows is that the Asian contribution to the Anatolian gene pool is not zero. Accordingly, two other possibilities remain. One is that the arrival of
the Oghuz armies was more a large-scale population movement than a military invasion, contrary to what is suggested by the historical record. This is the model that we called instantaneous
immigration. That model, however, predicts greater effects at the Y-chromosome than at the mtDNA level, which this study does not confirm. Alternatively, the historical record may be accurate in
suggesting that small numbers of Oghuz Turks invaded Anatolia. In that case, continuous gene flow from Asia should be envisaged at a rate of around 1% per generation, i.e., what we termed a model of
continuous immigration.
[8] A gene flow rate at around 1% for 40 generations represents a substantial migration process across the large distances separating Anatolia fron Central Asia. Genetic
exchange, however, may have been enhanced by linguistic relatedness, which may have weakened cultural barriers to immigration." This has been seen in the Ottoman Empire, as when the cities and
states in Anatolia was full (including land for farming, grazing), nomad Tukmen tribes were settled into the Balkans, with Edirne being settled by ~450 tribes in less than 50 years.

Also, the amount of Central Asian Turkish DNA contribution differs throughout Anatolia. In central Anatolia, the contribution is much higher, and the amount of mixture between locals and nomad migrants
was very low. Two reasons outline this: 1), The arid steppe (Bozkır as its said) terrain was probably not much preferred by pre-Turkish settlers, due to its dryness and unremarkable landmark, was much
left unsettled. 2), The terrain was very similar to the terrain the Turkish migrants lived on prior to migration to Anatolia, much liked and preferred.

To conclude, the genetic admixture of the modern Turks in Anatolia is based on "Continuous Migration", not "Cultural Dominance"
Turkish plated mail
Ottoman Empire (14th century to 1921)

Main article: Ottoman Empire

The successor of the Seljuks, was the Ottoman Empire (named after
its first leader
Osman Gazi), began as a small tribe of nomadic Turks
who would come to dominate the region for 600 years. Its first capital
was located in
Bursa in 1326 and by 1453 under Sultan Mehmed II
the Ottomans would conquer the last stronghold of the Byzantine
Constantinople (much later known as Istanbul) (see fall of
Constantinople). The Empire reached its peak under Sultan
Suleyman the Magnificent between 1520–1555, where territories
stretched from
Hungary to the Persian Gulf, from Crimea to Algeria.
Following the death of Suleyman, the Empire's expansion pace
slowed with successive inept administrations and began a slow
course of gradual decline in 18th century.

Throughout the 19th and early 20th century the Ottoman Empire
began to lose a foothold on its territories, first with
Algeria and
Tunisia, then Greece, Egypt, Libya and the Balkans in the 1912–1913
Balkan Wars. Faced with territorial losses on all sides the Ottoman
Empire forged an alliance with Germany who supported it with troops
and equipment. In World War I the Ottoman Empire was forced into
the War, after granting two German warships as refugees.

On October 30, 1918, the
Armistice of Mudros (Mondros Mütarekesi)
was signed, followed by the imposition of
Treaty of Sèvres on August
10, 1920 by
Allied Powers, which was never ratified. These sought to
break up the Ottoman Empire and force large concessions on
territories of the Empire in favour of its rival Greece who had switched
sides against the Germans. Greece and Italy were awarded parts of
the coast of Anatolia (Asia Minor), while France were granted lands
south of Taurus Mountains. The city of İzmir (Smyrna) was given to
The multi-national Ottoman Empire founded by Turks c. 1683
Republic of Turkey

Main article: History of the Republic of Turkey

The Republic of Turkey was the successor state of the Ottoman Empire, following the overthrow of Sultan Mehmet VI Vahdettin by the new Republican assembly of Turkey in 1922. This new regime
delivered the 'coup de grâce' to the Ottoman state which had been practically wiped away from the world stage following World War I. The history is covered under three headings:
War of Independence,
single-party period and multi-party period.
Notes and references

  1. ^ "Turks", The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. 2001-05.
  2. ^ Encyclopædia Britannica, Central Asia, history of Turks, Online Academic Edition, 2007.
  3. ^ Linguistic Lineage for Turkish
  4. ^ Late Medieval Balkan and Asia Minor Population.Josiah C. Russell.Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient, Vol. 3, No. 3 (Oct., 1960), pp. 265-
  5. ^ Estimating Population at Ancient Military Sites: The Use of Historical and Contemporary Analogy. P. Nick Kardulias. American Antiquity, Vol. 57, No. 2 (Apr.,
    1992), pp. 276-287
  6. ^ J.C. Russell, Late Anicent And Medieval Population, published as vol. 48 pt. 3 of the Transactions Of The American Philosophical Society, Philadelphia, 1958.
  7. ^ [1]
  8. ^ [2]
See also

History of Anatolia
The History of Anatolia encompasses the region known as Anatolia (Turkish: Anadolu), known by the Latin name of Asia Minor, considered to be the westernmost extent of Western Asia. Geographically
it encompasses what is most of modern Turkey, from the Aegean Sea to the mountains on the Armenian border to east and by the Black Sea and the
Taurus mountains from north to south.

The earliest representations of culture in Anatolia can be found in several archaeological sites located in the central and eastern part of the region. Although the origins of some of the earliest peoples
are shrouded in mystery, the remnants of
Hattian, Akkadian, Assyrian, and Hittite culture provides us with many examples of the daily lives of its citizens and their trade. After the fall of the Hittites, the new
states of
Phrygia and Lydia stood strong on the western coast as Greek civilization began to flourish. Only the threat from a distant Persian kingdom prevented them from advancing past their peak of

As Persia grew, their system of local control in Anatolia allowed many port cities to grow and to become very wealthy. Their governors did revolt from time to time, but it did not really pose a serious threat.
Alexander the Great finally wrested control of the whole region from Persia in successive battles and achieved marked victories over his Persian foe Darius III. After his death, his conquests were split
amongst several of his trusted generals and survived under constant threat of invasion from both the
Gauls and other powerful rulers in Pergamon, Pontus, and Egypt. The Seleucid Empire, largest of
the divided territories of Alexander, eventually was bled off by Roman interest in Anatolia and conquered or given away piecemeal.

Roman control of Anatolia was strengthened by a 'hands off' approach by Rome, allowing local control to govern effectively and providing military protection. During the reign of
Constantine the Great, a
new eastern empire was established at Constantinople, known as the Byzantine Empire. It succeeded initially due to its vast wealth and judicious rulers, but soon suffered from widespread neglect and
a new empire borne from the earlier Mongol advance, the
Turks. Seljuk and Ilkhanate armies soon whittled down the wide scope of Byzantine influence and trade by the gradual overrun of vital trading
centers. The most powerful Turkish empire, that of the Ottomans, finally dealt the
Byzantine Empire its death blow when Sultan Mehmet II conquered Constantinople in 1453.

The Ottoman Empire in Anatolia allowed other religions to maintain themselves long after 1453, and built upon their success by enlarging their territories, from North Africa to Europe beyond
Wars with Russia and other peoples in revolt prevented the Ottomans from taking advantage of their powerful position, and declined under ineffective leadership. Even their highly skilled army, the
janissaries, were eventually disbanded after an attempted revolt. Reforms designed to improve the economy backfired as burdensome taxes and levies turned away profitable trade, and desperation
allowed the Empire to be sucked into World War I on the side of Germany and Austria. Following their defeat in the war, the Ottoman Empire was carved up and was now limited to Anatolia, but Greek
aims in the region caused new tensions that boiled over into full-scale war. It was this war that allowed
Mustafa Kemal Ataturk to make Anatolia into the new Republic of Turkey by defeating the Greeks
and abolishing the Ottoman government for good in 1922. Since that time, Turkey has grown into a modern state that has enjoyed relative peace in Anatolia.
History of Anatolia

Bronze Age

Iron Age to Classical Antiquity

Middle Ages

Modern period


Because of its strategic location at the intersection of Asia and Europe, Anatolia has been the center of several civilizations since prehistoric times.
Neolithic settlements include as Çatalhöyük, Çayönü, Nevali Cori, Hacilar, Göbekli Tepe, and Mersin.

Bronze Age

Early Bronze Age

By this time, bronze metallurgy spread to Anatolia from the Transcaucasian Kura-Araxes culture in the late 4th millennium BC. Anatolia remained fully in
the prehistoric period until it entered the sphere of influence of the
Akkadian Empire in the 24th century BC under Sargon I. The interest of Akkad in the
region as far as it is known was for exporting various materials for manufacturing.
[1]   Akkad suffered problematic climate changes in Mesopotamia, as
well as a reduction in available manpower that affected trade. This led to the fall of the
Akkadians around 2150 BC at the hands of the Gutians.[2]

Middle Bronze Age

Further information: Old Assyrian Empire and Hattians

The Old Assyrian Empire claimed the resources for themselves after the Gutians were vanquished, notably silver. One of the numerous Assyrian
records found in Anatolia at Kanesh uses an advanced system of trading computations and credit lines.[1]

Hittite Old Kingdom emerges towards the close of the Middle Bronze Age, conquering Hattusa under Hattusili I (17th century BC).

The Anatolian Middle Bronze Age influenced the
Minoan culture on Crete as evidenced by archaeological recovery at Knossos.[3]
A drawing of an early cuneiform
carving of a procession by
Hittites in Boğazkale, Turkey.
Late Bronze Age

Main article: History of the Hittites

Further information: Kizzuwatna, Arzawa, Assuwa, Ahhiyawa, and Troy VII

The Hittite Empire was at its height in the 14th century BC, encompassing central Anatolia, north-western
Syria as far as
Ugarit, and upper Mesopotamia. Kizzuwatna in southern Anatolia controlled the region
separating Hatti from Syria, thereby greatly affecting trade routes. The peace was kept in accordance with
both empires through treaties that established boundaries of control. It was not until the reign of the Hittite
king Suppiluliumas that Kizzuwatna was taken over fully, although the Hittites still preserved their cultural
accomplishments in Kummanni(now Şar, Turkey) and Lazawantiya, north of Cilicia.[4]

After 1180 BC, amid general turmoil in the
Levant associated with the sudden arrival of the Sea Peoples,
the empire disintegrated into several independent "
Neo-Hittite" city-states, some of which survived until as
late as the 8th century BC. The history of the Hittite civilization is known mostly from cuneiform texts found
in the area of their empire, and from diplomatic and commercial correspondence found in various
archives in Egypt and the Middle East.
Early Iron Age

Further information: Phrygia, Neo-
Hittite, and Urartu

The Phrygian Kingdom essentially
came into being after the
fragmentation of the
Hittite Empire
during the 12th century BC, and
existed independently until the 7th
century BC. Possibly from the region
Thrace, the Phrygians eventually
established their capital of
Yazılıkaya). Known as Mushki by
Assyrians, the Phrygian people
lacked central control in their style of
government, and yet established an
extensive network of roads. They also
held tightly onto a lot of the
facets of culture and adapted them
over time.[5]

Shrouded in myth and legend
promulgated by ancient Greek and
Roman writers is
King Midas, the last
king of the
Phrygian Kingdom. The
mythology of
Midas revolves around
his ability to turn objects to gold by
mere touch, as granted by
and his unfortunate encounter with
Apollo from which his ears are turned
Phrygia at the height of its power and Assyria, 9th-7th century BC.
into the ears of a donkey. The historical record of Midas shows that he lived approximately between 740 and 696 BC, and represented Phrygia as a great king. Most historians now consider him to be
King Mita of the
Mushkis as noted in Assyrian accounts. The Assyrians thought of Mita as a dangerous foe, for Sargon II, their ruler at the time, was quite happy to negotiate a peace treaty in 709 BC. This
treaty had no effect on the advancing
Cimmerians, who streamed into Phrygia and led to the downfall and suicide of King Midas in 696 BC.[6]
Phrygia at the height of its power and Assyria, 9th-7th century BC.
An electrum coin from the reign of
Croesus, depicting a lion and a bull.
Lydia was the very first civilization
known to mint
Classical Antiquity

Maeonia and the Lydian Kingdom

For the main article, see Lydia.

Lydia, or Maeonia as it was called before 687 BC, was a major part of the history of western Anatolia, beginning with the Atyad dynasty, who first appeared
around 1300 BC. The succeeding dynasty, the Heraclids, managed to rule successively from 1185 BC to 687 BC despite a growing presence of Greek
influences along the Mediterranean coast. As Greek cities such as
Smyrna, Colophon, and Ephesus rose, the Heraclids became weaker and weaker. The
last king,
Candaules, was murdered by his friend and lance-bearer named Gyges, and he took over as ruler. Gyges waged war against the intruding
Greeks, and soon faced by a grave problem as the
Cimmerians began to pillage outlying cities within the kingdom. It was this wave of attacks that led to the
incorporation of the formerly independent Phrygia and its capital Gordium into the Lydian domain. It was until the successive rules of
Sadyattes and Alyattes
II, ending in 560 BC, that the attacks of the Cimmerians ended for good. Under the reign of the last Lydian king Croesus, Persia was invaded first at the
Battle of Pteria ending without a victor. Progressing deeper into Persia, Croesus was thoroughly defeated in the Battle of Thymbra at the hands of the
Persian Cyrus II in 546 BC.[7]
The archaeological site of Sardis, today known as Sart in Turkey.
Achaemenid Empire

For more information, see
Achaemenid Empire.

By 550 BC, the
Empire of eastern
Anatolia, which had
existed for barely a
hundred years, was
suddenly torn apart by a
Persian rebellion. As Lydia
king, Croesus had a large
amount of wealth on which
to draw from, and he used
it to go on the offensive
against the Persian king
Cyrus the Great. In the
end, Croesus was thrust
back west and Cyrus
burned the Lydian capital
Sardis, taking control of
Lydia in 546 BC.[8]

The remaining kingdom of
Ionia and several cities of
Lydia still refused to fall
under Persian domination,
and prepared defenses to
fight them and sending for
aid from
Sparta. Since no
aid was promised except
for a warning to Cyrus from
their emissary, eventually
their stance was
abandoned and they
submitted, or they fled as
in citizens from
Phocaea to
Corsica or citizens from
Teos to Abdera in
The Achaemenid Persian Empire, thus founded by Cyrus the Great, continued its expantion under the Persia king Darius the Great, in which the satrap system of local governors continued to be used
and upgraded and other governmental upgrades were carried out. A revolt by
Naxos in 502 BC prompted Aristagoras of Miletus to devise a grandiose plan by which he would give a share of Naxos's
wealth to
Artaphernes, satrap of Lydia, in return for his aid in quashing the revolt. The failure of Aristagoras in fulfilling his promise of rewards and his conduct disturbed the Persians, so much so that he
resorted to convincing his fellow
Ionians to revolt against the Persians. This revolt, known as the Ionian Revolt, spread across Anatolia, and with Athenian aid, Aristagoras held firm for a time, despite the
loss in the
Battle of Ephesus. The burning of Sardis in 498 BC enraged Darius so much that he swore revenge upon Athens. This event brought down the hammer upon Aristagoras as the Persian army
swept through Ionia, re-taking city by city. It was the eventual
Battle of Lade outside Miletus in 494 BC that put an end to the Ionian Revolt once and for all.[9]

Although the
Persian Empire had official control of the Carians as a satrap, the appointed local ruler Hecatomnus took advantage of his position and gained for his family an autonomous hand in control
of the province. By providing the Persians with regular tribute, he avoided the look of deception. His son
Mausolus continued in this manner, and expanded upon the groundwork laid by his father. He first
removed the official capital of the satrap from
Mylasa to Halicarnassus, gaining a strategic naval advantage as the new capital was on the ocean. On this land he built a strong fortress and a works by
which he could build up a strong navy. He shrewdly used this power to guarantee protection for the citizens of
Chios, Kos, and Rhodes as they proclaimed independence from Athenian Greece.
Fortunately, Mausolus did not live to see his plans realized fully, and his position went to his widow
Artemisia. The local control over Caria remained in Hecatomnus's family for another twenty years
before the arrival of
Alexander the Great.[10]
Alexander before the Battle of Issus, the best representation of his likeness
Hellenistic period

Alexander the Great

For the main article, see Alexander the Great.

In 336 BC, King
Philip of Macedon was unexpectedly
killed, making his son
Alexander the new ruler of
Macedon as he was very popular. He immediately went
to work, raising a force large enough to go up against
the Persians, gathering a navy large enough to counter
any threats by their powerful navy. Landing on the
shores of Anatolia near
Sestos on the Gallipoli in 334
BC, Alexander first faced the Persian army in the
of the Granicus, in which the Persians were effectively
routed. Using the victory as a springboard for success,
Alexander turned his attention to the rest of the western
coast, liberating
Lydia and Ionia in quick succession.
The eventual fall of
Miletus led to the brilliant strategy by
Alexander to defeat the Persian navy by taking every city
along the Mediterranean instead of initiating a very
high-risk battle on the sea. By reducing this threat,
Alexander turned inland, rolling through
Cappadocia, and finally Cilicia, before reaching Mount
Amanus. Scouts for Alexander found the Persian army,
under its king
Darius III, advancing through the plains of
Issus in search of Alexander. At this moment, Alexander
realized that the terrain favored his smaller army, and
Battle of Issus began. Darius's army was effectively
squeezed by the Macedonians, leading to not only an
embarrassing defeat for Darius, but that he fled back
across the
Euphrates river, leaving the rest of his family
in Alexander's hands. Thus, Anatolia was freed from the
Persian yoke for good.[10]
Wars of the Diadochi and Division of Alexander's Empire

For the main article, see Diadochi.

In June of 323 BC, Alexander died suddenly, leaving a power vacuum in Macedon, putting all he had worked for at risk. Being that his half-brother
Arrhidaeus was unable to rule effectively due to a
serious disability, a succession of wars over the rights to his conquests were fought known as the Wars of the
Diadochi. Perdiccas, a high-ranking officer of the cavalry, and later Antigonus, the Phrygian
, prevailed over the other contenders of Alexander's empire in Asia for a time.[1]

Ptolemy, the governor of Egypt, Lysimachus, and Seleucus, strong leaders of Alexander's, consolidated their positions after the Battle of Ipsus, in which their common rival Antigonus was defeated. The
former empire of Alexander was divided as such:
Ptolemy gained territory in southern Anatolia, much of Egypt and Palestine, which combined to form the Ptolemaic Empire; Lysimachus controlled
Anatolia and Thrace, while Seleucus claimed the rest of Anatolia as the Seleucid Empire. Only the kingdom of Pontus under Mithridates I managed to gain their independence in Anatolia due to
the fact that Antigonus had been a common enemy.[11]
Seleucid Empire

For the main article, see Seleucid Empire

Seleucus I Nicator first created a capital city over the span of 12 years (299 BC to 287 BC) worthy of his personage, Antioch, named after his father
Antiochus. He concentrated also on creating a large standing army, and also divided his empire into 72 satrapies for easier administration. After a peaceful
beginning, a rift occurred between
Lysimachus and Seleucus that led to open warfare in 281 BC. Even though Seleucus had managed to defeat his former
friend and gain his territory at the
Battle of Corupedium, it cost him his life as he was assassinated by Ptolemy Keraunos, future king of Macedon, in
After the death of Seleucus, the empire he left faced many trials, both from internal and external forces. Antiochus I fought off an attack from the Gauls successfully, but could not defeat the King of
Pergamon Eumenes I in 262 BC, guaranteeing Pergamon's independence. [12]  Antiochus II named Theos, or "divine", was poisoned by his first wife, who in turn poisoned Berenice Phernophorus,
second wife of
Antiochus and the daughter of Ptolemy III Euergetes. Antiochus II's son from his first wife, Seleucus II Callinicus, ended up as ruler of the Seleucids after this tragedy. These turn of events
made Ptolemy III very angry, and led to the invasion of the empire (the
Third Syrian War) in 246 BC. This invasion leads to victory for Ptolemy III at Antioch and Seleucia, and he grants the lands of Phrygia
to Pontus's
Mithridates II in 245 BCE as a wedding gift. [13]
Seleucus I Nicator, namesake of the
Seleucid Empire
Parthia and Pergamon before 200 BC

Events in the east showed the fragile nature of the Seleucids as a Bactrian-inspired revolt in Parthia begun by its satrap Andragoras in 245 BC led to the loss of territory bordering Persia. This was
coupled with an unexpected invasion of northern
Parthia by the nomadic Parni in 238 BCE and a subsequent occupation of the whole of Parthia by one of their leaders, Tiridates. [14]  Antiochus II Theos
of the
Seleucids failed to end the rebellion, and therefore a new kingdom was created, the Parthian Empire, under Tiridates's brother Arsaces I. Parthia extended to the Euphrates river at the height of its
power. [11]

The kingdom of
Pergamon under the Attalid dynasty was an independent kingdom established after the rule of Philetaerus by his nephew Eumenes I. Eumenes enlarged Pergamon to include parts of
Mysia and Aeolis, and held tightly onto the ports of Elaia and Pitane. Attalus I, successor of Eumenes I, remained active outside of the boundaries of Pergamon. He refused protection payment to the
Galatians and won a fight against them in 230 BC, and then defeated Antiochus Hierax 3 years later in order to secure nominal control over Anatolia under the Seleucids. The victory was not to last as
Seleucus III reestablished control of his empire, but Attalus was allowed to retain control of former territories of Pergamon.[15]

The dealings with Attalus proved to be the last time the Seleucids had any meaningful success in Anatolia as the Roman Empire lay on the horizon. After that victory, Seleucus's heirs would never again
expand their empire.[1]
Roman period

Roman intervention in Anatolia

In the Second Punic War, Rome had suffered in Spain, Africa, and Italy because of the impressive strategies of
Hannibal, the famous Carthaginian general. When Hannibal entered into an alliance with Philip V of Macedon in
215 BC, Rome used a small naval force with the
Aetolian League to help ward off Hannibal in the east and to
prevent Macedonian expansion in western Anatolia. Attalus I of Pergamon, along with Rhodes, traveled to Rome
and helped convince the Romans that war against Macedon was supremely necessary. The Roman general
Quinctius Flaminius not only soundly defeated Philip's army in the Battle of Cynoscephalae in 197 BCE, but also
brought further hope to the Greeks when he said that an autonomous Greece and Greek cities in Anatolia was what
Rome desired.[1]

During the period just after Rome's victory, the Aetolian League desired some of the spoils left in the wake of
Philip's defeat, and requested a shared expedition with Antiochus III of the Seleucids to obtain it. Despite warnings
by Rome, Antiochus left Thrace and ventured into Greece, deciding to ally himself with the League. This was
intolerable for Rome, and they soundly defeated him in
Thessaly at Thermopylae before Antiochus retreated to
Anatolia near Sardis.[1] Combining forces with the Romans, Eumenes II of Pergamon met Antiochus in the
of Magnesia in 189 BC. There Antiochus was thrashed by an intensive cavalry charge by the Romans and an
outflanking maneuver by Eumenes.
Anatolia after the Treaty of Apamea in 188 BC.
Because of the Treaty of Apamea the very next year, Pergamon was granted all of the Seleucid lands north of the Taurus mountains and Rhodes was given all that remained. This seemingly great
reward would be the downfall of Eumenes as an effective ruler, for after Pergamon defeated
Prusias I of Bithynia and Pharnaces I of Pontus, he delved too deeply into Roman affairs and the Roman
senate became alarmed. When Eumenes put down an invasion by the
Galatians in 184 BC, Rome countered his victory by freeing them, providing a heavy indicator that the scope of Pergamon's rule
was now stunted. [16]
Anatolia before the Mithridatic War, 90 BC.
The interior of Anatolia had been relatively stable despite occasional incursions by the Galatians until the rise of the
kingdoms of Pontus and Cappadocia in the 2nd century BC.
Cappadocia under Ariarathes IV initially was allied with
the Seleucids in their war against Rome, but he soon changed his mind and repaired relations with them by
marriage and his conduct. His son,
Ariarathes V Philopator, continued his father's policy of allying with Rome and
even joined with them in battle against
Prusias I of Bithynia when he died in 131 BC. Pontus had been an
independent kingdom since the rule of Mithridates when the threat of Macedon had been removed. Despite several
attempts by the Seleucid Empire to defeat Pontus, independence was maintained. When Rome became involved
in Anatolian affairs under Pharnaces I, an alliance was formed that guaranteed protection for the kingdom. The
other major kingdom in Anatolia,
Bithynia, established by Nicomedes I at Nicomedia, always maintained good
relations with Rome. Even under the hated Prusias II of Bithynia when that relationship was strained it did not
cause much trouble. [11]

The rule of Rome in Anatolia was unlike any other part of their empire because of their light hand with regards to
government and organization. Controlling unstable elements within the region was made simpler by the
bequeathal of Pergamon to the Romans by its last king, Attalus III in 133 BC. The new territory was named the
province of Asia by Roman
consul Aquillius Manius the Elder. [16]
Anatolia as divided by Pompey, 63 BC.
The Mithridatic Wars

For the main article, see Mithridatic Wars.

The Mithridatic Wars were precluded by infighting that drew Rome into a war against Italian rebels known as the
Social War in 90 BCE. Mithridates VI of Pontus decided that it was time to strike in Anatolia while Rome was
occupied, marching through Bithynia into Asia, where he persuaded Greeks to slaughter as many Italians as
possible (the Asiatic Vespers). Despite a power struggle within Rome itself, consul
Cornelius Sulla went to
Anatolia to defeat the
Pontian king. Sulla defeated him thoroughly in and left Mithridates with only Pontus in the
Treaty of Dardanos.[1]

In 74 BC, another Anatolian kingdom passed under Roman control as Nicomedes IV of Bithynia instructed it to be
done after his death. Making Bithynia a Roman province soon after roused Mithridates VI to once again go after
more territory, and he invaded it in the same year. Rome this time sent consul
Lucius Licinius Lucullus to take back
control of the province. The expedition proved to be very positive as
Mithridates was driven back into the
The failure of Lucius Licinius Lucullus to rid Rome once and for all of Mithridates brought a lot of opposition back at home, some fueled by the great Roman consul Pompey. A threat by pirates on the
Roman food supply in the Aegean Sea brought Pompey once again to the forefront of Roman politics, and he drove them back to Cilicia. The powers granted Pompey after this success allowed him to
not only throw back Mithridates all the way to the
Bosphorus, but made neighboring Armenia a client kingdom. In the end, Mithridates committed suicide in 63 BC, and therefore allowed Rome to add
Pontus as a protectorate along with Cilicia as a Roman province.[1] This left only Galatia, Pisidia and Cappadocia, all ruled by
Amyntas in whole, as the last remaining kingdom not under a protectorate
or provincial status. However, in 25 BC, Amyntas died while pursuing enemies in the Taurus mountains, and Rome claimed his lands as a province, leaving Anatolia completely in Roman hands.[17]
Christianity in Anatolia during Roman times

Main articles: History of Christianity and Early Christianity
See also: Hellenistic Judaism

Jewish influences in Anatolia were changing the religious makeup of the region as Rome consolidated its power. In about 210 BC, Antiochus III of the Seleucid Empire relocated 2,000 families of Jews
Babylonia to Lydia and Phrygia, and this kind of migration continued throughout the remainder of the Empire's existence. Additional clues to the size of the Jewish influence in the area were
provided by
Cicero, who noted that a fellow Roman governor had halted the tribute sent to Jerusalem by Jews in 66 BC, and the record of Ephesus, where the people urged Agrippina to expel Jews
because they were not active in their religious activities.[18]

The blossoming religious following of Christianity was evident in Anatolia during the beginning of the 1st century. The letters of
St. Paul in the Bible reflect this growth, particularly in his home province of
Asia. From his home in Ephesus from 54 AD to 56 AD he noted that "all they which dwelt in Asia heard the word" and verified the existence of a church in
Colossae as well as Troas. Later he received
letters from
Magnesia and Tralleis, both of which already had churches, bishops, and official representatives who supported Ignatius of Syria.  After the references to these institutions by St. Paul,
Revelations of the Bible mentions the
Seven Churches of Asia: (Ephesus, Magnesia, Thyatira, Smyrna, Philadelphia, Pergamon, and Laodicea).[18] Even other non-Christians started to take notice of the
new religion. In 112 the Roman governor in
Bithynia writes to the Roman emperor Trajan that so many different people are flocking to Christianity, leaving the temples vacated.[19]
The Gate of Augustus in Ephesus, Turkey was built to honor the Emperor Augustus and his family. It led to the commercial area where goods were sold.
Anatolia before the 4th
century: Peace and the

From the rule of Augustus
onwards up until that of
Constantine I, Anatolia
enjoyed relative peace that
allowed itself to grom as a
region. The emperor
Augustus removed all
debts owed to the Roman
Empire by the provinces
and protectorates there,
making advanced
progress possible. Roads
were built to connect the
larger cities in order to
improve trade and
transportation, and the
abundance of high outputs
in agricultural pursuits
made more money for
everyone involved.
Settlement was
encouraged, and local
governors did not place a
heavy burden upon the
people with regards to
taxation. The wealth
gained from the peace and
prosperity prevented great
tragedy as powerful
earthquakes tore through
the region, and help was
given from the Roman
government and other
parties. Through it all was
produced some of the
most respected scientific
men of that period- the
Dio of
Bithynia, the medical mind
Galen from Pergamon,
and the historians
Memnon of Heraclea and
Cassius Dio of Nicaea.[20]
By the middle of the 3rd century, everything that had been built by peace was being threatened by a new enemy, the Goths. As the inroads to central Europe through Macedonia, Italy, and Germania were
all defended successfully by the Romans, the Goths found Anatolia to be irresistible due to its wealth and deteriorating defenses. Using a captured fleet of ships from the Bosphorus and flat-bottomed
boats to cross the Black Sea, they sailed in 256 around the eastern shores, landing in the coastal city of
Trebizond. What ensued was a huge embarrassment for Pontus- the wealth of the city was
absconded, a larger amount of ships was confiscated, and they entered the interior without much to turn them back. A second invasion of Anatolia through Bithynia brought even more terror inland and
wanton destruction. The Goths entered
Chalcedon and used it as a base by which to expand their operations, sacking Nicomedia, Prusa, Apamea, Cius, and Nice in turn. Only the turn of the weather
during a fall season kept them from doing any more harm to those outside the realm of the province. The Goths managed a third attack upon not only the coastline of western Anatolia, but in Greece and
Italy as well. Despite the Romans under their emperor
Valerian finally turning them away, it did not stop the Goths from first destroying the Temple of Diana in Ephesus and the city itself in 263.[21]
Byzantine Empire

Creation of the Byzantine Empire

For the main article, see The Origin of the Byzantine Empire.

The constant instability of the
Roman Empire as a whole gradually made it more and more difficult to control. Upon
the ascension of the emperor Constantine in 330, he made a bold decision by removing himself from Rome and
into a new capital. Located in the old city of
Byzantium, now known as Constantinople after the emperor, it was
strengthened and improved in order to assure more than adequate defense of the whole region. What added to the
prestige of the city was Constantine's favor of Christianity. He allowed bishops and other religious figures to aid in
the government of the empire, and he personally intervened in the
First Council of Nicaea to prove his sincerity.

Over the course of the next forty years after the death of Constantine in 337 saw a power struggle amongst his
descendants for control of the empire. His three sons,
Constantine, Constans, and Constantius were unable to
coexist peacefully under a joint rule, and they eventually resorted to violent means to end the arrangement. A short
time after taking power, a purge of a majority of their relations began and the blood of Constantine's progeny
flowed. Eventually Constans came after and killed Constantine II near
Aquileia, but was soon removed and himself
murdered by his own army. This left Constantius II as the sole emperor of the Byzantines, but even this would not
last. Despite supporting his cousin
Julian as commander of the armies in Gaul, events soon forced Julian to
ignore Constantine's orders to move eastward with his armies and to head straight for Constantinople to claim the
imperial purple. The death of Constantius II in
Tarsus resulted in a bloodless transfer of power in 361. Julian did
not survive but a scant year and a half thanks to a Persian spear, but during that time he tried to revert what
progress Christianity had made after the founding of the empire. Even on his deathbed he was supposed to have
said "Thou hast conquered, Galilean.", a reference to Christianity besting him. [22]

The threat of barbarian invasion and its effects upon the Roman Empire in the west carried over into the east. After
a short rule by the emperor
Jovian and a joint rule of both empires by Valentinian II in the west and Valens in the
east, the young emperor
Gratian made what was to be a very fortunate decision. He chose the favored general
Theodosius I to rule with his as a co-emperor, granting him authority over all of the domains of the Byzantine
empire in 379. This proved to be a wise decision with regards to the survival of his newly obtained dominion, for he
immediately set about healing the religious rifts that had emerged during the insecurity of past years. The practice
Arianism and pagan rites were abolished, and the standards set by Constantine in Nicaea were restored by law.
By 395, the year in which the Roman Empire was officially divided in half and the aptly named
Theodosius the Great
died, the east was so strong that it could now be considered an equal.[21]
The Byzantine Empire at
its height

See the main article
Justinian I.

Justinian I managed to
enlarge the Byzantine
Empire while quashing
internal and external

Persian intervention

See the main article
Sassanid Empire.

The Persians paved the
way for a new threat to
enter onto the scene, the

Arab conquests and

See the main article
Byzantine-Arab Wars.

Arab attacks throughout
the empire reduced
significantly the territory
once held under Justinian.
An icon representing Constantine as a saint and others in Nicaea in 325, as well
as the
Nicaean Creed.
The themata of the Byzantine Empire at the death of Basil II in 1025.
The Crusades and their effects

See the main article The Crusades and the Byzantine Empire.

The four crusades that involved the Byzantines severely weakened their power, and led to a disunity that would never be restored with success.

Breakaway successor states and the fall

The newly-forming states of the Turks gradually squeezed the empire so much that it was only a matter of time before Constantinople was taken in 1453.
The Seljuk period (1071-1299)

Main article: Seljuk Empire

The conquest of Anatolia by Turkic peoples and the rise of the Persianate Seljuk Empire began in the 11th century.[23] Other influences were felt from Seljuk Turko-Persian, Anatolian beyliks, Mongols,
and the

Very little is known of the 12th century of this region. Eastern Asia Minor was effectively divided into two principalities,
Erzinjan and Erzurum, which was ruled by the Saltukid dynasty.[24] By 1260, Mongols
held real power over Anatolia[25]. Baiju subjugated Seljuks in 1243 and by the order of
Hulegu, he moved to the center of Anatolia with his warriors in 1256.

The last Mongol governor of
Rum was Eretna, who was an officer of Uyghur origin, in 1323-1335.
Scene from southern Anatolia
Osman and The Ottoman Empire (1299-1922)

Main article: Ottoman Empire

The Ottoman conquest of Anatolia was finalized with
the 1453 conquest of Constantinople (modern
Istanbul). Its inhabitants espoused many religious
beliefs, spanning Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
In particular, many Jews emigrated from Spain and
Portugal, after the expulsion of Jews and Muslims
during the 1492 Spanish

Modern Turkey (1922-present)

Main article: History of the Republic of Turkey

The official starting point for the Republic of Turkey
was on October 29, 1923, founded and first led by
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. Westernization was a
primary goal of Atatürk, as the government was
completely reformed under a secular structure, the
Ottoman fez was abolished, full rights for women
politically were established, and most importantly
the creation of a new language based upon the
alphabet. [27]
See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Freeman, Charles (1999). Egypt, Greece and Rome: Civilizations of the
    Ancient Mediterranean. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0198721943.  
  2. ^ Saggs, H.W.F. (2000). Babylonians. University of California Press. ISBN 0520202228.  
  3. ^ C. Michael Hogan, Knossos fieldnotes, Modern Antiquarian (2007)
  4. ^ Hawkins, John David (2000). Corpus of Hieroglyphic Luwian Inscriptions. Walter de
    Gruyter. ISBN 3110148706.  
  5. ^ Garance Fiedler. "Phrygia".
    Retrieved on 2007-10-19.  
  6. ^ Encyclopaedia Brittanica Online. "The legends and the truth about King Midas". http://www. Retrieved on 2007-10-19.  
  7. ^ Duncker, Max (1879). The History of Antiquity, Volume III. Richard Bentley & Son.  
  8. ^ a b Botsford, George Willis (1922). Hellenic History. The Macmillan Company.  
  9. ^ "The Works of Herodotus". MIT.
    story_id=8173275. Retrieved on 2007-10-16.  
  10. ^ a b Bury, John Bagnell (1913). A History of Greece to the Death of Alexander the Great.
  11. ^ a b c d Rawlinson, George (1900). Ancient History: From the Earliest Times to the Fall of
    the Western Empire. The Colonial Press.  
  12. ^ Bevan, Edwyn Robert (1902). The House of Seleucus. E. Arnold.  
  13. ^ Jona Lendering. "Appian's History of Rome: The Syrian Wars".
    ark/appian/appian_syriaca_13.html. Retrieved on 2007-10-16.  
  14. ^ Jona Lendering. "Parthia". Retrieved
    on 2007-10-16.  
  15. ^ Hornblower, Simon; Antony Spawforth (1996). The Oxford Classical Dictionary. Oxford
    University Press.  
  16. ^ a b Hornblower(1996).
  17. ^ Mitchell, Stephen (1995). Anatolia: Land, Men, and Gods in Asia Minor. Oxford University
    Press. p. 41.  
  18. ^ a b Ramsay, W. M. (1904). The Letters to the Seven Churches of Asia. Hodder &
  19. ^ Herbermann, Charles George (1913). The Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Co..
    pp. 788–789.  
  20. ^ Mommsen, Theodor (1906). The History of Rome: The Provinces, from Caesar to
    Diocletian. Charles Scribner's Sons.  
  21. ^ a b Gibbon, Edward (1952). The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. William Benton.
    pp. 105–108.  
  22. ^ Norwich, John Julius (1997). A Short History of Byzantium. Vintage Books.  
  23. ^ Britannica map."Anatolia: Rum sultanate and Seljuq empire, c. 1080-1243"
  24. ^ Cahen, p. 106
  25. ^ Encyclopedia of Mongolia and Mongol Empire, See: Turkey and Mongol Empire
  26. ^ [1]
  27. ^ Kinross, John (2001). Atatürk: A Biography of Mustafa Kemal, Father of Modern Turkey.
    Phoenix Press. ISBN 1842125990.  

Primary Sources

  • Appian. History of Rome: The Syrian Wars.
  • Herodotus. The Works of Herodotus.

Secondary Sources


  • Bevan, Edwyn Robert (1902). The House of Seleucus. E. Arnold.
  • Botsford, George Willis (1922). Hellenic History. The Macmillan Company.
  • Bury, John Bagnell (1913). A History of Greece to the Death of Alexander the Great.
  • Duncker, Max (1879). The History of Antiquity, Volume III. Richard Bentley & Son.
  • Freeman, Charles (1999). Egypt, Greece and Rome: Civilizations of the Ancient
    Mediterranean. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0198721943.
  • Gibbon, Edward (1952). The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. William Benton.
  • Hawkins, John David (2000). Corpus of Hieroglyphic Luwian Inscriptions. Walter de
    Gruyter. ISBN 3110148706.
  • Herbermann, Charles George (1913). The Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton
  • Hornblower, Simon; Antony Spawforth (1996). The Oxford Classical Dictionary.
    Oxford University Press.
  • Kinross, John (2001). Atatürk: A Biography of Mustafa Kemal, Father of Modern
    Turkey. Phoenix Press. ISBN 1842125990.
  • Mommsen, Theodor (1906). The History of Rome: The Provinces, from Caesar to
    Diocletian. Charles Scribner's Sons.
  • Ramsay, W.M. (1904). The Letters to the Seven Churches of Asia. Hodder &
  • Rawlinson, George (1900). Ancient History: From the Earliest Times to the Fall of
    the Western Empire. The Colonial Press.
  • Saggs, H.W.F. (2000). Babylonians. University of California Press. ISBN

Internet articles

  • Encyclopaedia Brittanica Online, The legends and the truth about King Midas.
  • Jona Lendering, Parthia. Retrieved on 2007-10-16.
  • J.D. Hawkins, Evidence from Hittite Records. Retrieved on 2007-10-18.
  • Garance Fiedler, Phrygia. Retrieved on 2007-10-19.
  • Science Daily(June 18, 2007), Ancient Etruscans Were Immigrants From Anatolia,
    Or What Is Now Turkey. Retrieved on 2007-10-18.
Anatolian Turkish Beyliks
Anatolian Beyliks or Turkmen Beyliks (Turkish: Anadolu Beylikleri, Ottoman Turkish:
Tevâif-i mülûk) were small Turkish emirates or Muslim principalities governed by
Beys, which were founded across Anatolia at the end of the 11th century in a first
period, and more extensively during the decline of the
Seljuk Sultanate of Rûm during
the second half of the 13th century.

The word "
Beylik" denotes the territory under the jurisdiction of a Bey, roughly
translated "Lord". Aside from its Anatolian context, the term is also used with
reference to the 16th century Ottoman governmental institutions in the largely
autonomous regencies along the coastline of present-day Tunisia and Algeria[1].


Following the 1071 Seljuk victory over the Byzantine Empire at the Battle of Manzikert
and the subsequent conquest of Anatolia,
Oghuz clans began settling in present-day
Turkey. The Seljuk Sultanate's central power established in
Konya employed these
clans especially in border areas, in order to ensure safety against the Byzantines,
under Beys called uç beyi or uj begi (uç is a Turkish term for a border territory; cf.
marches). These clans, led by beys, would receive military and financial aid from the
Seljuks in return for their services, and acted as if owing full allegiance to their
However, with the Mongol invasions from the east, the Seljuk power deteriorated and instead Ilkhanate commanders in Anatolia gained strength and authority, which encouraged the beys to declare
sovereignty openly. Following the fall of the centralized power in Konya, many Beys joined forces with the
atabegs (former Seljuk leaders) and other religious Muslim leaders and warriors from Persia
Turkistan fleeing the Mongols, invading the Byzantine empire where they established emirates. To maintain control of their new territory, these reestablished emirs employed Ghazi warriors from
Persia and Turkistan who also fled the Mongols. The ghazis fought under the inspiration of either a
mullah or a general, trying to assert Islamic power, their assaults of the reestablished emirs upon the
Byzantine Empire reaching even further expanded the power sphere of the beyliks. When the Byzantine empire weakened, their cities in Asia Minor could resist the assaults of the beyliks less and less,
and eventually many Turks settled in western parts of Anatolia. As a result, many more beyliks were founded in these newly conquered western regions who entered into power struggles with the
Byzantines, the
Genoese, the Knights Templar as well as between each other.
Anatolian Turkish Beyliks map.
Beyliks and other states around Anatolia, c. 1300.
By 1300, Turks had reached the Aegean coastline, held momentarily a century before. In the beginning, the most
powerful states were the
Karamanoğlu (or the Karamanid) and the Germiyan in the central area. The Beylik of
Osmanoğlu Dynasty who were later to found the Ottoman Empire was situated to the northwest, around Söğüt, and
was a small and at that stage, insignificant power. Along the Aegean coast, from north to south, stretched Karesi,
Saruhan, Aydınoğlu, Menteşe and Teke principalities. The Candaroğlu (also called İsfendiyaroğlu) controlled the
Black Sea region round Kastamonu and Sinop. [2]
Yivli Minare Mosque, symbol of Antalya, built by the Beylik of Teke circa 1375.
Under its eponymous founder, Osman I, the Beylik of Osmanoğlu expanded at
Byzantine expense south and west of the
Sea of Marmara in the first decades of the
14th century. With their annexation of the neighboring Beylik of Karesi and their
advance into Roumelia as of 1354, they soon became strong enough to emerge as
the main rivals of Karamanoğlu, who at that time were thought to be the strongest.
Towards the end of the 14th century, the Ottomans advanced further into Anatolia by
acquiring towns, either by buying them off or through marriage alliances. Meanwhile
the Karamanoğlu assaulted the Ottomans many times with the help of other beyliks,
Mamluks, Ak Koyunlu ("White Sheep") Turkmens, Byzantines, Pontics and
Hungarians, failing and losing power every time. By the close of the century, the
early Ottoman leaders had conquered large parts of land from Karamanoğlu and
other less prominent beyliks. These had a short respite when their territories were
restored to them after the Ottoman defeat suffered against
Tamerlane in 1402 in the
Battle of Ankara.
But the Ottoman state quickly collected itself under Mehmed I and his son Murad II re-incorporated most of these beyliks into Ottoman territory in a space of around 25 years. The final blow for the
Karamanoğlu was struck by Mehmed II who conquered their lands and re-assured a homogeneous rule in Anatolia. The further steps towards a single rule by the Ottomans were taken by Selim I who
conquered Ramazanoğlu and Dulkadir territories in 1515 during his campaign against the
Mamluks, and his son Süleyman the Magnificent who more or less completely united the present territories of
Turkey (and much more) in his 1534 campaign.

Many of the former Anatolian beyliks became the basis for
administrative subdivisions in the Ottoman Empire.
Divriği Great Mosque in UNESCO World Heritage List, built in 1299 by a descendant of the first period
Beylik of
List of the Anatolian beyliks

In the list below, a distinction should be made
between the beyliks that were founded immediately
after the
Battle of Manzikert in 1071, mostly situated
towards the Eastern Anatolia, and who were vassals
(or sometimes at war) to the centralized power of
Seljuk Sultanate or Rum based in Konya, and
between those beyliks that emerged as a result of
the weakening of this central state under the Mongol
blow with the
Battle of Köse Dağ in 1243 which had
the indirect consequence of extending the Turkish
aire in Western Anatolia toward the end of the 13th

Two specific cases involve entities that lasted during
the reign of one man:
Chaka Bey's Beylik centered in
İzmir and parallel to the first Turkish spread in
western Anatolia in late 11th century, and the Beylik
Kadi Burhan al-Din, vizier of the Eretna who
replaced the ruling dynasty and reigned as centered
in Kayseri between 1381-1398. The Beylik of
centered in
Alanya, were vassals either to
Karamanoğlu, or to other neighboring powers for the
most part of their existence. Many of the other Beyliks
also owed allegiance or were tributary to outside
powers during parts of their existence.
Founded after the Battle of Malazgirt:

Beylik's name                                           `        Capital city                           Duration of rule   
Chaka of Smyrna                                                 İzmir                                         1081 - 1098

Ahlatshahs (also called Sökmenli)                 Ahlat                                          1085 - 1207
Artuklu                                                            Three branches in                    Different durations    
                                                   `                Hasankeyf, Mardin and             for each branch
                                                                    Harput                                           (Totally finished in 1409)

Danishmend                                                         Sivas                                         1071 - 1178

Dilmaçoğlu                                                            Bitlis                                          1085 - 1192

İnaloğlu                                                         Diyarbekir                                          Short-lived

Mengücek                                                   Erzincan, later Divriği                 1071 - mid 13th century

Saltuklu                                                                 Erzurum                                     1092-1202
Founded after the Battle of Köse Dağ:

Beylik's name                                           Capital city                                           Duration of rule   
Alaiye                                                                 Alanya                                         1293-1471 as vassals
                                                                                                                               to Karamanoğlu

Aydınoğlu                                                 Birgi, later Ayasluğ (Selçuk)                 1300-1425

Candaroğlu                                                 Kastamonu                                         14th century
(also called İsfendiyaroğlu)

Çobanoğlu                                                 Kastamonu                                           13th century
                                                            (preceding the Candaroğlu)  

Dulkadir                                                         Maraş                                                   1348-1507

Eretna                                                         Sivas, later Kayseri                              13th century

Eşrefoğlu                                                     Beyşehir                                               13th century

Germiyan                                                     Kütahya                                                 1300-1429

Hamidoğlu                                                   Eğirdir                                                   1300-1391

Kadi Burhan al-Din                             Kayseri (replacing the Eretna)                  14th century

Karamanoğlu                                         Larende (Karaman)                                 13th century - 1487

Karesi/Karası                                              Balıkesir                                                1303-1345

Beylik of Lâdik                                             Denizli                                                     14th century
(also called İnançoğlu)

Menteşe                                                         Milas                                                     1261-1424

Osmanoğlu                                          Söğüt, later Bursa, Dimetoka,                  1299-1922
(later the Ottoman Empire)                Edirne and Istanbul

Pervâneoğlu                                                 Sinop                                                      13th century

Ramazanoğlu                                              Adana                                                     1352-1608

Sâhipataoğlu                                           Afyonkarahisar                                           1275-1341

Saruhan                                                       Manisa                                                      1300-1410

Beylik of Teke                                               Antalya                                                     1321-1423
(issued from the Hamidoğlu)
List of the non-Turkic (and non-Muslim) Anatolian states

Three Anatolian regions remained Christian until their defeat and Ottoman conquest:
İsa Bey Mosque in Selçuk near İzmir, built by the Beylik of
Aydınoğlu in 1375.

In spite of their limited sources and the political climate of their era, art during the Anatolian beyliks flourished,
probably building the basis for
Ottoman art. Although the artistic style of the Anatolian beyliks can be considered
as representatives of a transition period between Seljuks and Ottomans, new trends were also acquired.
Especially wandering traditional crafts artists and architects helped spread these new trends and localized styles
to several beyliks across Anatolia, which resulted in innovative and original works particularly in architecture.
Wood and stone carving, clay tiles and other similar decorative arts of the Seljuks were still used, however with
the influence of the pursuit for new spaces and its reflections in other arts as well.

Some representative examples of the Anatolian beyliks' architecture are İlyas Mosque at Balat (Milet) (1404),
İsabey Mosque at Selçuk (1375), Ulucami Mosque at Birgi (1312) built by the Aydın beylik. The above mosques,
although being successors of Seljuk architecture, differ greatly in the increase of decorations in the interior and
exterior spaces and the different placement of the courtyards and minarets. Karaman beylik also left noteworthy
architectural works, such as Ulucami Mosque in Ermenek (1302), Hatuniye Madrassa in Karaman (1382),
Akmedrese Madrassa in Niğde (1409), all of which respect a new style that considers and incorporates the
exterior surroundings also. One of the first examples of the Anatolian beylik architecture hinting at the forming of
the Ottoman architecture that aims at uniting the interior space beneath one big dome and forming a
monumental architectural structure is Ulucami Mosque in Manisa (1374) built by the Saruhan beylik. Also worth
noting is the increase in constructions of madrassas that points at the beyliks' attaching greater importance to
See also


  • Mehmet Fuat Köprülü (translated by
    Gary Leiser (1992). The Origins of the
    Ottoman Empire ISBN 0-7914-0819-1.
    State University of New York Press.  
    (limited preview)
  • Westermann Großer Atlas zur
    Weltgeschichte [in German]
External links


  • ^ (limited preview) Mohamed Hedi Cherif - Daniel Panzac (1995)
    (in French). Histoire économique et sociale de l'Empire ottoman
    et de la Turquie (1326-1960) ISBN 90-6831-799-7. Peeters
  • ^ (limited preview) Kate Fleet (1999). European and Islamic Trade
    in the Early Ottoman State: The Merchants of Genoa and Turkey
    ISBN 0-521-64221-3. Cambridge University Press.  
Ottoman Empire
Borders of the Ottoman Empire (1683) (See: list of territories)
The Ottoman Empire or Ottoman State (Ottoman
Turkish: دولتْ علیّه عثمانیّه Devlet-i Âliye-yi Osmâniyye,[2]
Modern Turkish: Osmanlı İmparatorluğu or Osmanlı
Devleti), also known by its contemporaries as the
Turkish Empire or Turkey (see
the other names of
the Ottoman State), was an empire that lasted from
1299 to November 1, 1922[3] (as an imperial
monarchy) or July 24, 1923[4] (de jure, as a state.) It
was succeeded by the
Republic of Turkey,[5] which
was officially proclaimed on October 29, 1923.

At the height of its power (16th–17th century), it
spanned three continents, controlling much of
Southeastern Europe, the Middle East and North
Africa. The Ottoman Empire contained 29 provinces
and numerous vassal states; some of which were
later absorbed into the empire, while others gained
various types of autonomy during the course of
centuries. The empire also temporarily gained
authority over distant overseas lands through
declarations of allegiance to the
Ottoman Sultan and
Caliph, such as the declaration by the Sultan of Aceh
in 1565; or through the temporary acquisitions of
islands in the Atlantic Ocean, such as

The empire was at the centre of interactions
between the Eastern and Western worlds for six
centuries. With Constantinople as its capital city[7]
[8], and vast control of lands around the eastern
Mediterranean during the reign of
Suleiman the
, the Ottoman Empire was, in many
respects, an Islamic successor to the Eastern
Roman (Byzantine) Empire.[9]
Devlet-i Âliye-yi Osmâniyye
Sublime Ottoman State
Coat of arms
دولت ابد مدت
Devlet-i Ebed-müddet
(The Eternal State)
Ottoman imperial anthem

Grand Viziers


  • - 1680 5,500,000 km² (2,123,562 sq mi)

  • - 1856 est. 35,350,000  
  • - 1906 est. 20,884,000  
  • - 1914 est. 18,520,000  
  • - 1919 est. 14,629,000  


Timeline of the Ottoman Empire
Rise (1299–1453)

Main article: Rise of the Ottoman Empire

With the demise of the Seljuk Sultanate of Rūm (circa 1300), Turkish Anatolia was divided into a patchwork of independent states, the so-called
Ghazi emirates. By 1300, a weakened Byzantine Empire had seen most of its Anatolian provinces lost to ten Ghazi principalities. One of the
Ghazi emirates was led by
Osman I (from which the name Ottoman is derived), son of Ertuğrul in the region of Eskişehir in western Anatolia.
Osman I extended the frontiers of Ottoman settlement towards the edge of the Byzantine Empire. He moved the Ottoman capital to
Bursa, and
shaped the early political development of the nation. Given the nickname "Kara" (which means "black" in modern Turkish, but alternatively meant
"brave" or "strong" in old Turkish) for his courage,[10] Osman I was admired as a strong and dynamic ruler long after his death, as evident in the
centuries-old Turkish phrase, "may he be as good as Osman." His reputation has also been burnished by the medieval Turkish story known as
Osman's Dream", a foundation myth in which the young Osman was inspired to conquest by a prescient vision of empire (according to his
dream, the empire is a big tree whose roots spreads through three continents and its branches are covering the sky). In this period, a formal
Ottoman government was created whose institutions would change drastically over the life of the empire. The government used the legal entity
known as the
millet, under which religious and ethnic minorities were able to manage their own affairs with substantial independence from
central control.

In the century after the death of Osman I, Ottoman rule began to extend over the Eastern Mediterranean and the
Balkans. The important city of
Thessaloniki was captured from the Venetians in 1387, and the Turkish victory at the Battle of Kosovo in 1389 effectively marked the end of
Serbian power in the region, paving the way for Ottoman expansion into Europe. The Battle of Nicopolis in 1396, widely regarded as the last
large-scale crusade of the Middle Ages, failed to stop the advance of the victorious Ottomans. With the extension of Turkish dominion into the
Balkans, the strategic conquest of Constantinople became a crucial objective. The Empire controlled nearly all of the former Byzantine lands
surrounding the city, but the Byzantines were temporarily relieved when
Tamerlane invaded Anatolia with the Battle of Ankara in 1402, taking
Bayezid I as a prisoner. Part of the Ottoman territories in the Balkans (such as Thessaloniki, Macedonia and Kosovo) were temporarily
lost after 1402, but were later recovered by
Murad II between the 1430s and 1450s.

The capture of Bayezid I threw the Turks into disorder. The state fell into a civil war which lasted from 1402 to 1413, as Bayezid's sons fought over
succession. It ended when
Mehmed I emerged as the sultan and restored Ottoman power, bringing an end to the Interregnum. His grandson,
Mehmed the Conqueror, reorganized the state and the military, and demonstrated his martial prowess by capturing Constantinople on May 29,
1453, at the age of 21. The city became the new capital of the Ottoman Empire, and Mehmed II assumed the title of Kayser-i Rûm (Roman
Emperor). However, this title was not recognized by the Greeks or Western Europe, and the Russian
Czars also claimed to be the successors of
the Eastern Imperial title. To consolidate his claim, Mehmed II aspired to gain control over the Western capital, Rome, and Ottoman forces
occupied parts of the
Italian peninsula, starting from Otranto and Apulia on July 28, 1480. But after Mehmed II's death on May 3, 1481, the
campaign in Italy was cancelled and the Ottoman forces retreated.

Growth (1453–1683)

Main article: Growth of the Ottoman Empire

This period in Ottoman history can roughly be divided into two distinct eras: an era of territorial, economic, and cultural growth prior to 1566,
followed by an era of relative military and political stagnation.
Mehmed II enters Constantinople
Expansion and apogee (1453–1566)

The Ottoman conquest of Constantinople in 1453 cemented the status of the Empire
as the preeminent power in southeastern Europe and the eastern Mediterranean.
During this time, the Ottoman Empire entered a
long period of conquest and
expansion, extending its borders deep into Europe and North Africa. Conquests on
land were driven by the discipline and innovation of the Ottoman military; and on the
sea, the Ottoman navy aided this expansion significantly. The navy also contested and
protected key seagoing trade routes, in competition with the Italian city states in the
Black Sea, Aegean and Mediterranean seas and the Portuguese in the
Red Sea and
Indian Ocean. The state also flourished economically thanks to its control of the major
overland trade routes between Europe and Asia.[11] This lock-hold on trade between
western Europe and Asia is frequently cited as a primary motivational factor for the
Queen of Spain to fund Christopher Columbus's westward journey to find a sailing
route to Asia. The world had been known to be round for generations before 1492, but
Columbus's expedition was the first real effort to short-circuit the dangerous land-
locked journey through the Muslim-controlled Ottoman Empire to trade with Asia. The
resulting dominance of Europe in the new world and the riches it brought were almost
directly due to the Ottoman Empire's heavy taxation on Christians and Jews in their

The Empire prospered under the rule of a line of committed and effective sultans.
Selim I (1512–1520) dramatically expanded the Empire's eastern and
southern frontiers by defeating
Shah Ismail of Safavid Persia, in the Battle of
.[12] Selim I established Ottoman rule in Egypt, and created a naval
presence on the Red Sea. After this Ottoman expansion, a competition started
between the
Portuguese Empire and the Ottoman Empire to become the dominant
power in the region.[13]
Battle of Mohács (1526) and the Ottoman conquest of Hungary
Selim's successor,
Suleiman the Magnificent
(1520–1566), further
expanded upon Selim's
conquests. After capturing
Belgrade in 1521,
Suleiman conquered the
Kingdom of Hungary and
Ottoman rule
in the territory of present-
day Hungary and other
Central European
territories, after his victory
in the
Battle of Mohács in
1526. (See also:
Hungarian Wars). He then
laid siege to Vienna in
1529, but failed to take the
city after the onset of winter
forced his retreat.[14] In
1532, another planned
attack on Vienna with an
army thought to be over
250,000 strong was
repulsed 60 miles (97 km)
south of Vienna, at the
fortress of Güns. After
further advances by the
Ottomans in 1543, the
Habsburg ruler
officially recognised
Ottoman ascendancy in
Hungary in 1547. During
the reign of Suleiman,
Transylvania, Wallachia
and, intermittently,
Moldavia, became tributary
principalities of the
Ottoman Empire. In the
east, the Ottomans took
Baghdad from the
Persians in 1535, gaining control of Mesopotamia and naval access to the Persian Gulf. By the end of Suleiman's reign, the Empire's population reached about 15,000,000 people.[15]
Barbarossa Hayreddin Pasha
defeated the
Holy League of
Charles V under the command
Andrea Doria at the Battle of
Preveza in 1538
Under Selim and Suleiman, the Empire became a dominant naval force, controlling much of the Mediterranean Sea.[16] The exploits of the Ottoman admiral
Barbarossa Hayreddin Pasha, who commanded the Ottoman Navy during Suleiman's reign, led to a number of military victories over Christian navies.
Among these were the conquest of Tunis and Algeria from Spain; the evacuation of Muslims and Jews from Spain to the safety of Ottoman lands
(particularly Salonica, Cyprus, and Constantinople) during the
Spanish Inquisition; and the capture of Nice from the Holy Roman Empire in 1543. This last
conquest occurred on behalf of France as a joint venture between the forces of the French king
Francis I and those of Barbarossa.[17] France and the
Ottoman Empire, united by mutual opposition to
Habsburg rule in both Southern Europe and Central Europe, became strong allies during this period. The
alliance was economic and military, as the sultans granted France the right of trade within the Empire without levy of taxation. In fact, the Ottoman Empire
was by this time a significant and accepted part of the European political sphere, and entered into a military alliance with France, the
Kingdom of England
and the
Dutch Republic against Habsburg Spain, Italy and Habsburg Austria.

As the 16th century progressed, Ottoman naval superiority was challenged by the growing sea powers of western Europe, particularly Portugal, in the
Persian Gulf, Indian Ocean and the
Spice Islands. With the Ottomans blockading sea-lanes to the East and South, the European powers were driven to find
another way to the ancient silk and spice routes, now under Ottoman control. On land, the Empire was preoccupied by military campaigns in Austria and
Persia, two widely separated theatres of war. The strain of these conflicts on the Empire's resources, and the logistics of maintaining lines of supply and
communication across such vast distances, ultimately rendered its sea efforts unsustainable and unsuccessful. The overriding military need for defence on
the western and eastern frontiers of the Empire eventually made effective long-term engagement on a global scale impossible.
Battle of Lepanto in 1571
Revolts and revival (1566–1683)

The effective military and bureaucratic structures of the previous
century also came under strain during a protracted period of misrule
by weak Sultans. But in spite of these difficulties, the Empire
remained a major expansionist power until the
Battle of Vienna in
1683, which marked the end of
Ottoman expansion into Europe.

European states initiated efforts at this time to curb Ottoman control
of overland trade routes. Western European states began to
circumvent the Ottoman trade monopoly by establishing their own
naval routes to Asia. Economically, the huge influx of Spanish silver
from the New World caused a sharp devaluation of the Ottoman
currency and rampant inflation. This had serious negative
consequences at all levels of Ottoman society.
Sokullu Mehmet
Pasha, who was the grand vizier of Selim II, began the projects of
Suez Channel and Don-Volga Channel to save the economy but
these were later cancelled.

burning Moscow in 1571, Crimean khan Devlet I Giray,
supported by the Ottoman Empire, developed the plan of full
conquest of the Russian state. The next year, the invasion of his army
was repeated but repelled at the
Battle of Molodi. The Crimean
Khanate was undoubtedly one of the strongest powers in Eastern
Europe until the end of the 17th century.[18]
In southern Europe, a coalition of Catholic powers, led by Philip II of Spain, formed an alliance to challenge Ottoman naval strength in the Mediterranean Sea. Their victory over the Ottoman fleet at the
Battle of Lepanto (1571) was a startling blow to the image of Ottoman invincibility. However, historians today stress the symbolic rather than the strictly military significance of the battle, for within six
months of the defeat a new Ottoman fleet of some 250 sail including eight modern galleasses[19] had been built, with the harbours of Constantinople turning out a new ship every day at the height of
the construction. In discussions with a Venetian minister, the Turkish Grand Vizier commented: "In capturing Cyprus from you, we have cut off one of your arms; in defeating our fleet you have merely
shaved off our beard".[19] The Ottoman naval recovery persuaded Venice to sign a peace treaty in 1573, and the Ottomans were able to expand and consolidate their position in North Africa.[20]
Second Siege of Vienna in 1683
By contrast, the Habsburg frontier had settled into a more or less permanent border,
marked only by relatively minor battles concentrating on the possession of individual
fortresses. This stalemate was mostly caused by the European development of the
trace italienne, low bastioned fortifications built by Austria along the border that were
almost impossible to capture without lengthy sieges. The Ottomans had no answer to
these new-style fortifications that rendered the artillery they previously used so
effectively (as in the Siege of Constantinople) almost useless. The stalemate was
also a reflection of simple geographical limits: in the pre-mechanized age, Vienna
marked the furthest point that an Ottoman army could march from Constantinople
during the early-spring to late-autumn campaigning season. It also reflected the
difficulties imposed on the Empire by the need to maintain two separate fronts: one
against the Austrians (see:
Ottoman wars in Europe), and the other against a rival
Islamic state, the
Safavids of Persia (see: Ottoman wars in Near East).

On the battlefield, the Ottomans gradually fell behind the Europeans in military
technology as the innovation which fed the Empire's forceful expansion became
stifled by growing religious and intellectual conservatism[citation needed]. Changes
in European military tactics and weaponry in the military revolution caused the once-
Sipahi cavalry to lose military relevance. The 'Long War' against Habsburg
Austria (1593-1606) created the need for greater numbers of infantry equipped with
firearms. This resulted in a relaxation of recruitment policy and a significant growth in
Janissary corps numbers. This contributed to problems of indiscipline, effectiveness
and outright rebelliousness within the corps which the government wrestled with but
never fully solved during (and beyond) this whole period. The development of
pike and
shot and later linear tactics with increased use of firearms by Europeans proved
deadly against the massed infantry in close formation used by the Ottomans. Irregular
sharpshooters (Sekban) were also recruited for the same reasons and on
demobilisation turned to brigandage in the
Jelali revolts (1595–1610) which
engendered widespread anarchy in Anatolia in the late 16th and early 17th centuries.
[21]With the Empire's population reaching 30,000,000 people by 1600, shortage of
land placed further pressure on the government.[22]
However, the 17th century was not simply an era of stagnation and decline, but also a key period in which the Ottoman state and its structures began to adapt to new pressures and new realities, internal
and external.

Sultanate of women (1648–1656) was a period in which the political influence of the Imperial Harem was dominant, as the mothers of young sultans exercised power on behalf of their sons. This
was not wholly unprecedented;
Hürrem Sultan, who established herself in the early 1530s as the successor of Nurbanu, the first Valide Sultan, was described by the Venetian Baylo Andrea Giritti as 'a
woman of the utmost goodness, courage and wisdom' despite the fact that she 'thwarted some while rewarding others'.[23] But the inadequacy of
Ibrahim I (1640-1648) and the minority accession of
Mohammed IV in 1646 created a significant crisis of rule which the dominant women of the Imperial Harem filled [24]. The most prominent women of this period were Kösem Sultan and her daughter-in-
Turhan Hatice, whose political rivalry culminated in Kösem's murder in 1651.

This period gave way to the highly significant
Köprülü Era (1656–1703), during which effective control of the Empire was exercised by a sequence of Grand Viziers from the Köprülü family. On September
15, 1656 the octogenarian
Köprülü Mehmed Pasha accepted the seals of office having received guarantees from the Valide Turhan Hatice of unprecedented authority and freedom from interference. A
fierce conservative disciplinarian, he successfully reasserted the central authority and the empire's military impetus. This continued under his son and successor
Köprülü Fazıl Ahmed (Grand Vizier 1661
- 1676).[25]. The Köprülü Vizierate saw renewed military success with authority restored in Transylvania, the conquest of Crete completed in 1669 and expansion into Polish southern
Ukraine, with the
strongholds of
Khotin and Kamianets-Podilskyi and the territory of Podolia ceding to Ottoman control in 1676.[26]

This period of renewed assertiveness came to a calamitous end when Grand Vizier
Kara Mustafa Pasha in May 1683 led a huge army to attempt a second Ottoman siege of Vienna. The final assault
being fatally delayed, the Ottoman forces were swept away by allied Habsburg, German and Polish forces spearheaded by the Polish king
Jan Sobieski [27] at the Battle of Vienna.

The alliance of the
Holy League pressed home the advantage of the defeat at Vienna and 15 years of see-sawing warfare culminated in the epochal Treaty of Karlowitz (January 26, 1699) which ended
Great Turkish War and for the first time saw the Ottoman Empire surrender control of significant European territories (many permanently), including the Ottoman Hungary.[28] The Empire had
reached the end of its ability to effectively conduct an assertive, expansionist policy against its European rivals and it was to be forced from this point to adopt an essentially defensive strategy within this

Only two Sultans in this period personally exercised strong political and military control of the Empire: the vigorous
Murad IV (1612–1640) recaptured Yerevan (1635) and Baghdad (1639) from the
Safavids and reasserted central authority, albeit during a brief majority reign.[29] Mustafa II (1695-1703) led the Ottoman counter attack of 1695-6 against the Habsburgs in Hungary, but was undone at
the disastrous defeat at
Zenta (September 11, 1697).[30]

Stagnation and reform (1699–1827)

Main article: Stagnation of the Ottoman Empire

During the stagnation period much territory in the Balkans was ceded to Austria. Certain areas of the Empire, such as Egypt and Algeria, became independent in all but name, and subsequently came
under the influence of Britain and France. In the 18th century, centralized authority gave way to varying degrees of provincial autonomy enjoyed by local governors and leaders. A series of wars were
fought between the Russian and Ottoman empires from the 17th to the 19th century.

The long period of Ottoman stagnation is typically characterized by historians as an era of failed reforms. In the latter part of this period there were
educational and technological reforms, including the
establishment of higher education institutions such as
Istanbul Technical University; Ottoman science and technology had been highly regarded in medieval times, as a result of Ottoman scholars'
synthesis of classical learning with Islamic philosophy and mathematics, and knowledge of such Chinese advances in technology as gunpowder and the magnetic compass. By this period though the
influences had become regressive and conservative. The guilds of writers denounced the printing press as "the Devil's Invention", and were responsible for a 43-year lag between its invention by
Johannes Gutenberg in Europe in 1450 and its introduction to the Ottoman society with the Gutenberg press in Constantinople that was established by the Sephardic Jews of Spain in 1493. Sephardic
Jews migrated to the Ottoman Empire as they escaped from the Spanish Inquisition of 1492.

Tulip Era (or Lâle Devri in Turkish), named for Sultan Ahmed III's love of the tulip flower and its use to symbolize his peaceful reign, the Empire's policy towards Europe underwent a shift. The region
was peaceful between 1718 and 1730, after the Ottoman victory against Russia in the
Pruth Campaign in 1712 and the subsequent Treaty of Passarowitz brought a period of pause in warfare. The
Empire began to improve the fortifications of cities bordering the Balkans to act as a defence against European expansionism. Other tentative reforms were also enacted: taxes were lowered; there were
attempts to improve the image of the Ottoman state; and the first instances of private investment and entrepreneurship occurred.

Ottoman military reform efforts begin with Selim III (1789–1807) who made the first major attempts to modernize the army along European lines. These efforts, however, were hampered by reactionary
movements, partly from the religious leadership, but primarily from the
Janissary corps, who had become anarchic and ineffectual. Jealous of their privileges and firmly opposed to change, they created
Janissary revolt. Selim's efforts cost him his throne and his life, but were resolved in spectacular and bloody fashion by his successor, the dynamic Mahmud II, who massacred the Janissary corps in

The Serbs were the first people in the Balkans to be liberated from the Ottomans through two uprisings, although the liberated part was mostly a by-product of the Austrian infiltration to the region. In
1821, the Greeks were the first to declare war to the Sultan. Through the rebellion that originated in Moldavia, as a diversion, and followed by the main revolution in the
Peloponese, the latter, along with
the northern part of the gulf of Corinth became the first parts of the Ottoman empire to be completely liberated in 1829. Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania and Montenegro followed in the 1870s.
Mahmud II started the modernization of Turkey by preparing the
Edict of
Tanzimat in 1839 which had immediate effects such as
European style clothing, uniforms, weapons, agricultural and
industrial innovations, architecture, education, legislation,
institutional organization and land reform.
Decline and modernization (1828–1908)

Main article: Decline of the Ottoman Empire

Ottoman decline (loss of huge territories) is typically characterized by historians also as an era of modern times.
The Empire lost territory on all fronts, and there was administrative instability because of the breakdown of
centralized government, despite efforts of reform and reorganization such as the
Tanzimat. During this period, the
Empire faced challenges in defending itself against foreign invasion and occupation. The Empire ceased to enter
conflicts on its own and began to forge alliances with European countries such as France, the Netherlands, the
United Kingdom, and Russia. As an example, in the 1853
Crimean War the Ottomans united with the British,
French, and others against Russia.

During the
Tanzimat period (from Arabic Tanzîmât, meaning "reorganization") (1839–1876), a series of
constitutional reforms led to a fairly modern conscripted army, banking system reforms, and the replacement of
guilds with modern factories. In 1856, the
Hatt-ı Hümayun promised equality for all Ottoman citizens irrespective
of their ethnicity and confession, widening the scope of the 1839
Hatt-ı Şerif of Gülhane. The Christian millets
gained privileges; such as in 1863 the
Armenian National Constitution (Ottoman Turkish:"Nizâmnâme-i Millet-i
Ermeniyân") was
Divan approved form of the "Code of Regulations" composed of 150 articles drafted by the
"Armenian intelligentsia", and newly formed "
Armenian National Assembly".[31] The reformist period peaked with
the Constitution, called the
Kanûn-ı Esâsî (meaning "Basic Law" in Ottoman Turkish), written by members of the
Young Ottomans, which was promulgated on November 23, 1876. It established freedom of belief and equality of
all citizens before the law.
Punch cartoon from June 17, 1876. Russian Empire preparing to
let slip the Balkan "Dogs of War" to attack the Ottoman Empire,
while policeman
John Bull (UK) warns Russia to take care.
Supported by Russia, Serbia and Montenegro declared war on
the Ottoman Empire one day later.
The rise of nationalism swept through many countries during the 19th century, and the Ottoman Empire was not
immune. A burgeoning
national consciousness, together with a growing sense of ethnic nationalism, made
nationalistic thought one of the most significant Western ideas imported to the Ottoman empire, as it was forced
to deal with nationalism both within and beyond its borders. There was a significant increase in the number of
political parties. Uprisings in Ottoman territory had many far-reaching consequences during the 19th
century and determined much of Ottoman policy during the early 20th century. Many Ottoman Turks questioned
whether the policies of the state were to blame: some felt that the sources of
ethnic conflict were external, and
unrelated to issues of governance. While this era was not without some successes, the ability of the Ottoman
state to have any effect on ethnic uprisings was seriously called into question. Greece declared its independence
from the Empire in 1829 after the end of the
Greek War of Independence. Reforms did not halt the rise of
nationalism in the
Danubian Principalities and Serbia, which had been semi-independent for almost six
decades; in 1875 the tributary principalities of Serbia,
Montenegro, Wallachia and Moldavia declared their
independence from the Empire; and following the
Russo-Turkish War of 1877-78, independence was formally
granted to Serbia, Romania and Montenegro, and autonomy to Bulgaria; Bosnia was occupied by the Austrian
Empire, with the other Balkan territories remaining under Ottoman control. A Serbian Jew, Judah Alkalai,
encouraged a return to Zion and the creation of a Jewish state in Palestine during this wave of decolonization.
Following defeat in the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-78, Cyprus was lent to the British in 1878 in exchange for
Britain's favors at the
Congress of Berlin. Egypt, which had previously been occupied by the forces of Napoleon I
of France in 1798 but recovered in 1801 by a joint Ottoman-British force, was occupied in 1882 by British forces
on the pretext of bringing order; though Egypt and Sudan remained Ottoman provinces de jure until 1914, when
the Ottoman Empire joined the
Central Powers of World War I, and Britain officially annexed these two provinces
as a response. Other Ottoman provinces in North Africa were lost between 1830 and 1912, starting from Morocco
(occupied by France in 1830), Tunisia (occupied by France in 1881) and Libya (occupied by Italy in 1912.)

Economically, the Empire had difficulty in repaying the
Ottoman public debt to European banks, which caused the
establishment of the
Council of Administration of the Ottoman Public Debt. By the end of the 19th century, the
main reason the Empire was not entirely overrun by Western powers came from the
Balance of Power doctrine.
Both Austria and Russia wanted to increase their spheres of influence and territory at the expense of the Ottoman
Empire, but were kept in check mostly by the United Kingdom, which feared Russian dominance in the Eastern
The Empire's First
Constitutional era (or
Birinci Meşrûtiyet Devri in
Turkish), was short-lived;
however, the idea behind it
Ottomanism), proved
influential as a wide-
ranging group of reformers
known as the
Ottomans, primarily
educated in Western
universities, believed that
a constitutional monarchy
would provide an answer
to the Empire's growing
social unrest. Through a
military coup in 1876, they forced Sultan Abdülaziz (1861–1876) to abdicate in favour of Murad V. However, Murad
V was mentally ill, and was deposed within a few months. His heir-apparent
Abdülhamid II (1876-1909) was
invited to assume power on the condition that he would declare a constitutional monarchy, which he did on
November 23, 1876. However, the parliament survived for only two years. The sultan suspended, but did not
abolish, the parliament until he was forced to reconvene it. The effectiveness of
Kanûn-ı Esâsî was then largely
Public demonstration in the Sultanahmet district of Istanbul,
Mustafa Kemal (Atatürk) at the trenches of Gallipoli (1915)
Dissolution (1908–1922)

Main article: Dissolution of the Ottoman Empire

The Second Constitutional Era (Turkish: İkinci Meşrûtiyet Devri'') established after the Young Turk Revolution (July
3, 1908) with the sultan's announcement of the restoration of the
1876 constitution and the reconvening of the
Ottoman Parliament marks the
dissolution of the Ottoman Empire. This era is dominated by the politics of the
Committee of Union and Progress (Turkish: İttihâd ve Terakkî Cemiyeti), and the movement that would become
known as the
Young Turks (Turkish: Jön Türkler). Profiting from the civil strife, Austria-Hungary officially annexed
Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1908. During the
Italo-Turkish War (1911-1912), the Balkan League declared war
against the Ottoman Empire, which lost its Balkan territories except Thrace and the historic Ottoman capital city of
Edirne (Adrianople) with the Balkan Wars (1912–1913). The Baghdad Railway under German control became a
source of international tension and played a role in the origins of
World War I.[32] The Ottoman Empire entered the
First World War after the
pursuit of Goeben and Breslau and took part in the Middle Eastern theatre on the side of
Central Powers. There were several important victories in the early years of the war, such as the Battle of
Gallipoli and the Siege of Kut; but there were setbacks as well, such as the disastrous Caucasus Campaign
against the Russians. The
Arab Revolt which began in 1916 turned the tide against the Ottomans at the Middle
Eastern front, where they initially seemed to have had the upper hand.
Departure of Mehmed VI, last Sultan of the Ottoman Empire,
When the Armistice of Mudros was signed in 1918, Yemen, together with Medina, was the only part of the Arabian
peninsula that was still under Ottoman control. However, the Ottomans were eventually forced to cede Yemen and
Medina following the armistice, along with parts of present-day Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan which were
gained by the Ottoman forces during the final stages of the war, following the
Russian Revolution of 1917. Under
the terms of the
Treaty of Sèvres, the partitioning of the Ottoman Empire was solidified. The new countries created
from the remnants of the Empire currently number 40 (including the disputed
Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus).
The occupation of Constantinople along with the occupation of Smyrna mobilized the establishment of the
Turkish national movement, which won the Turkish War of Independence (1919–1922) under the leadership of
Mustafa Kemal Pasha.[33] The Sultanate was abolished on November 1, 1922, and the last sultan, Mehmed VI
Vahdettin (reigned 1918–1922), left the country on November 17, 1922. The new independent Grand National
Assembly of Turkey (GNA) was internationally recognized with the Treaty of Lausanne on July 24, 1923. The GNA
officially declared the
Republic of Turkey on October 29, 1923. The Caliphate was constitutionally abolished
several months later, on March 3, 1924. The Sultan and his family were declared
persona non grata of Turkey and
exiled. Fifty years later, in 1974, the GNA granted descendants of the former Ottoman dynasty the right to acquire
Turkish citizenship.
Fall of the Empire

Main article: Fall of the Ottoman Empire

The Fall of the Ottoman Empire can be attributed to the failure of its economic structure; the size of the Empire created difficulties in economically integrating its diverse regions. Also, the Empire's
communication technology was not developed enough to reach all territories. In many ways, the circumstances surrounding the Ottoman Empire's fall closely paralleled those surrounding the
Decline of
the Roman Empire, particularly in terms of the ongoing tensions between the Empire's different ethnic groups, and the various governments' inability to deal with these tensions. In the case of the
Ottomans, the introduction of increased cultural rights, civil liberties and a parliamentary system during the Tanzimat proved too late to reverse the nationalistic and secessionist trends that had already
been set in motion since the early 19th century.
Bankalar Caddesi (Banks Street) in Galata was the financial center of the Ottoman
Empire. The Ottoman Central Bank is the first building at right.

Main article: Economic history of the Ottoman Empire

Ottoman government deliberately pursued a policy for the development of Bursa,
Edirne (Adrianople) and Constantinople, successive Ottoman capitals, into major
commercial and industrial centres, considering that merchants and artisans were
indispensable in creating a new metropolis.[34] To this end, Mehmed and his
successor Bayezid, also encouraged and welcomed migration of the Jews from
different parts of Europe, who were settled in Constantinople and other port cities like
Salonica. In many places in Europe, Jews were suffering persecution at the hands of
their Christian counterparts. The tolerance displayed by the Ottomans was welcomed
by the immigrants. The Ottoman economic mind was closely related to the basic
concepts of state and society in the Middle East in which the ultimate goal of a state
was consolidation and extension of the ruler's power, and the way to reach it was to
get rich resources of revenues by making the productive classes prosperous.[35] The
ultimate aim was to increase the state revenues as much as possible without
damaging the prosperity of subjects to prevent the emergence of social disorder and
to keep the traditional organization of the society intact.

The organization of the treasury and chancery were developed under the Ottoman
Empire more than any other Islamic government and, until the 17th century, they were
the leading organization among all of their contemporaries.[36] This organization
developed a scribal bureaucracy (known as "men of the pen") as a distinct group,
partly highly trained ulema, which developed into a professional body.[36] The
effectiveness of this professional financial body stands behind the success of many
great Ottoman statesmen.[37] The economic structure of the Empire was defined by
its geopolitical structure. The Ottoman Empire stood between the West and the East,
thus blocking the land route eastward and forcing Spanish and Portuguese
navigators to set sail in search of a new route to the Orient. The Empire controlled the
spice route that Marco Polo once used. When Christopher Columbus first journeyed
to the Bahamas in 1492, the Ottoman Empire was at its zenith, an economic power
that extended over three continents. Modern Ottoman studies think that the change in
relations between the Ottomans and central Europe was caused by the opening of
the new sea routes. It is possible to see the decline in the significance of the land
routes to the East as Western Europe opened the ocean routes that bypassed the
Middle East and Mediterranean as parallel to the decline of the Ottoman Empire itself.
Anglo-Ottoman Treaty, also known as the Treaty of Balta Liman that opened the
Ottoman markets directly to English and French competitors, would be seen as one
of the staging posts along this development.

By developing commercial centres and routes, encouraging people to extend the area
of cultivated land in the country and international trade through its dominions, the
state performed basic economic functions in the Empire. But in all this the financial
and political interests of the state were dominant. Within the social and political
system they were living in Ottoman administrators could not have comprehended or
seen the desirability of the dynamics and principles of the capitalist and mercantile
economies developing in Western Europe.[38]
Ambassadors at Topkapı Palace

Main article: State organisation of the Ottoman

The state organisation of the Ottoman Empire was a
very simple system that had two main dimensions:
the military administration and the civil
administration. The Sultan was the highest position
in the system. The civil system was based on local
administrative units based on the region's
characteristics. The Ottomans practiced a system in
which the state (as in the Byzantine Empire) had
control over the clergy. Certain pre-Islamic Turkish
traditions that had survived the adoption of
administrative and legal practices from Islamic Iran
remained important in Ottoman administrative
circles.[39] According to Ottoman understanding, the
state's primary responsibility was to defend and
extend the land of the Muslims and to ensure
security and harmony within its borders within the
overarching context of orthodox Islamic practice and
dynastic sovereignty.

The "
Ottoman dynasty" or, as an institution, "House
of Osman" was unprecedented and unequaled in
the Islamic world for its size and duration.[40] The
Ottoman dynasty was ethnically Turkish in its
origins, as were some of its supporters and
subjects, however the dynasty immediately lost this
"Turkic" identification through intermarriage with
many different ethnicities.[41] On eleven occasions,
the sultan was deposed because he was perceived
by his enemies as a threat to the state. There were
only two attempts in the whole of Ottoman history to
unseat the ruling Osmanlı dynasty, both failures,
which is suggestive of a political system that for an
extended period was able to manage its revolutions
without unnecessary instability.[vague]
The highest position in Islam, caliphate, was claimed by the sultan which was established as Ottoman Caliphate. The Ottoman sultan, pâdişâh or "lord of kings", served as the Empire's sole regent and
was considered to be the embodiment of its government, though he did not always exercise complete control. The
Imperial Harem was one of the most important powers of the Ottoman court. It was
ruled by the
Valide Sultan. On occasion, the Valide Sultan would become involved in state politics. For a period of time the women of the Harem effectively controlled the state in what was termed the
Sultanate of Women". New sultans were always chosen from among the sons of the previous sultan. The strong educational system of the palace school geared towards eliminating the unfit potential
heirs, and establishing support amongst the ruling elite for a successor. The palace schools, which would also educate the future administrators of the state, were not a single track. First, the
(Ottoman Turkish: Medrese) was designated for the Muslims, and educated scholars and state officials in accordance with Islamic tradition. The financial burden of the Medrese was supported by vakifs,
allowing children of poor families to move to higher social levels and income.[42] The second track was a free boarding school for the Christians, the Enderûn, which recruited 3,000 students annually
from Christian boys between eight and twenty years old from one in forty families among the communities settled in
Rumelia and/or the Balkans, a process known as Devshirmeh (Devşirme).[43]
Bâb-ı Âlî, the Sublime Porte
Though the sultan was the supreme monarch, the sultan's political and executive
authority was delegated. The politics of the state had a number of advisors and
ministers gathered around a council known as
Divan (after the 17th century it was
renamed the "
Porte"). The Divan, in the years when the Ottoman state was still a
Beylik, was composed of the elders of the tribe. Its composition was later modified
to include military officers and local elites (such as religious and political advisors).
Later still, beginning in 1320, a
Grand Vizier was appointed in order to assume
certain of the sultan's responsibilities. The Grand Vizier had considerable
independence from the sultan with almost unlimited powers of appointment,
dismissal and supervision. Beginning with the late 16th century, sultans withdrew
from politics and the Grand Vizier became the de facto head of state.[36]
Tughra of Süleyman the Magnificent (1520)
Throughout Ottoman history, there were many instances in which local governors acted independently, and even
in opposition to the ruler. After the
Young Turk Revolution of 1908, the Ottoman state became a constitutional
monarchy. The sultan no longer had executive powers. A parliament was formed, with representatives chosen
from the provinces. The representatives formed the
Imperial Government of the Ottoman Empire.

The rapidly expanding empire used loyal, skilled subjects to manage the Empire, whether Albanians,
Greeks, Armenians, Serbs, Bosniaks, Hungarians or others. The incorporation of Greeks (and other Christians),
Muslims, and Jews revolutionized its administrative system.[44]

This eclectic administration was apparent even in the diplomatic correspondence of the Empire, which was
initially undertaken in the Greek language to the west.[41]

The Tughra were calligraphic monograms, or signatures, of the Ottoman Sultans, of which there were 35. Carved
on the Sultan's seal, they bore the names of the Sultan and his father. The prayer/statement “ever victorious” was
also present in most. The earliest belonged to Orhan Gazi. The ornately stylized Tughra spawned a branch of
Ottoman-Turkish calligraphy.

Main article: Social structure in the Ottoman Empire

One of the successes of the social structure of the Ottoman Empire was the unity that it brought about among its highly varied populations through an organization named as millets. The Millets were the
major religious groups that were allowed to establish their own communities under Ottoman rule. The
Millets were established by retaining their own religious laws, traditions, and language under the
general protection of the sultan. Plurality was the key to the longevity of the Empire. As early as the reign of Mehmed II, extensive rights were granted to Phanariot Greeks, and Jews were invited to settle
in Ottoman territory. Ultimately, the Ottoman Empire's relatively high degree of tolerance for ethnic differences proved to be one of its greatest strengths in integrating the new regions but this non-
assimilative policy became a weakness after the rise of nationalism. The dissolution of the Empire based on ethnic differentiation (balkanization) brought the final end which the failed Ottomanism
among the citizens and participatory politics of the first or the constitutional Era had successfully addressed.

lifestyle of the Ottoman Empire was a mixture of western and eastern life. One unique characteristic of Ottoman life style was it was very fragmented. The millet concept generated this fragmentation
and enabled many to coexist in a mosaic of cultures. The capital of the Ottoman Empire, Constantinople also had a unique culture, mainly because prior to Ottoman rule it had been the seat of both the
Roman and Byzantine Empires. The lifestyle in the Ottoman court in many aspects assembled ancient traditions of the Persian Shahs, but had many Greek and European influences. The culture that
evolved around the Ottoman court was known as the Ottoman Way, which was epitomized with the
Topkapı Palace. There were also large metropolitan centers where the Ottoman influence expressed
itself with a diversity similar to metropolises of today: Sarajevo, Skopje, Thessaloniki, Dimashq, Baghdad, Beirut, Jerusalem, Makkah and Algiers with their own small versions of Ottoman Provincial
Administration replicating the culture of the Ottoman court locally. The
seraglio, which were the non-imperial places, in the context of the Turkish fashion, became the subject of works of art, where non-
imperial prince or referring to other grand houses built around courtyards.

Slavery in the Ottoman Empire was a part of Ottoman society.[45] As late as 1908 women slaves were still sold in the Empire.[46] During the 19th century the Empire came under pressure from Western
European countries to outlaw the practice. Policies developed by various Sultans throughout the 19th century attempted to curtail the slave trade but, since slavery did have centuries of religious backing
and sanction, they could never directly abolish the institution outright — as had gradually happened in Western Europe and the Americas.

See also:

The exact population of the Ottoman Empire is a matter of considerable debate, due to the scantness and ambiguous nature of the primary sources. The following table contains approximate estimates.
The figures from 1831 onwards are official census results, but the censuses did not cover the whole population. For example the 1831 census only counted men and did not cover the whole empire.

Year                  Population
1520                 11,692,480[47]
1566                 15,000,000[48]
1683                 30,000,000[49]
1831                 7,230,660[47]
1856                 35,350,000[47]
1881                 17,388,604[47]
1906                 20,884,000[47]  
1914                 18,520,000
1919                 14,629,000
Selimiye Mosque was the masterpiece of Mimar Sinan, chief
architect of Sultans
Selim I, Suleiman the Magnificent, Selim
II and Murad III.

Main article: Culture of the Ottoman Empire

The Ottoman Empire had filled roughly the territories around the Mediterranean Sea and Black Sea while adopting
the traditions, art and institutions of cultures in these regions and adding new dimensions to them. Many different
cultures lived under the umbrella of the Ottoman Empire, and as a result, a specifically "Ottoman" culture can be
difficult to define, except for those of the regional centers and capital. However, there was also, to a great extent, a
specific melding of cultures that can be said to have reached its highest levels among the Ottoman elite, who were
composed of myriad ethnic and religious groups. This multicultural perspective of "millets" was reflected in the
Ottoman State's multi-cultural and multi-religious policies. As the Ottomans moved further west, the Ottoman
leaders absorbed some of the culture of the conquered regions. Intercultural marriages also played their part in
creating the characteristic Ottoman elite culture. When compared to the Turkish folk culture, the influence of these
new cultures in creating the culture of the Ottoman elite was very apparent.

Ottoman architecture" was influenced by Persian, Byzantine Greek and Islamic architectures. The Ottoman
architecture are a continuation of the pre-Islamic
Sassanid architecture. For instance, the dome covered square,
which had been a dominant form in Sassanid became the nucleus of all Ottoman architecture.[50][51] During the
Rise period the early or first Ottoman architecture period, the Ottoman art was in search of new ideas. The growth
period of the Empire become the classical period of architecture, which Ottoman art was at its most confident.
During the years of the Stagnation period, Ottoman architecture moved away from this style however.

During the Tulip Era, it was under the influence of the highly ornamented styles of Western Europe;
Rococo, Empire and other styles intermingled. Concepts of Ottoman architecture mainly circle around the mosque.
The mosque was integral to society, city planning and communal life. Besides the mosque, it is also possible to
find good examples of Ottoman architecture in soup kitchens, theological schools, hospitals, Turkish baths and
Safranbolu was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994 due to its
well-preserved Ottoman residential architecture.
Examples of Ottoman architecture of the classical period, aside from Istanbul and
Edirne, can also be seen in Egypt, Eritrea, Tunisia, Algiers, the Balkans and Hungary,
where mosques, bridges, fountains and schools were built. The art of Ottoman
decoration developed with a multitude of influences due to the wide ethnic range of
the Ottoman Empire. The greatest of the court artisans enriched the Ottoman Empire
with many pluralistic artistic influences: such as mixing traditional Byzantine art with
elements of Chinese art.[52]

Ottoman Turkish language" was a variety of Turkish, highly influenced by Persian and
Arabic. Ottomans had three influential languages; Turkish, Persian, Arabic but they
did not have a parallel status. Throughout the vast Ottoman bureaucracy and, in
particular, within the Ottoman court in later times, a version of Turkish was spoken,
albeit with a vast mixture of both Arabic and Persian grammar and vocabulary. If the
basic grammar was still largely Turkish, the inclusion of virtually any word in Arabic or
Persian in Ottoman made it a language that was essentially incomprehensible to any
Ottoman subject who had not mastered Arabic, Persian or both.

The two varieties of the language became extremely differentiated and this resulted in
a low literacy rate among the general public (about 2–3% until the early 19th century
and just about 15% at the end of 19th century). Consequently, ordinary people had to
hire special "request-writers" (arzıhâlcis) in order to be able to communicate with the
government. The ethnic groups continued to speak within their families and
neighborhoods (
mahalles) with their own languages (e.g., Jews, Greeks, Armenians,
etc.) In villages where two or more populations lived together, the inhabitants would
often speak each other's language. In cosmopolitan cities, people often spoke their
family languages, some Ottoman or Persian if they were educated, and some Arabic
if they were Muslim. In the last two centuries, French and English emerged as popular
languages, especially among the Christian
Levantine communities. The elite learned
French at school, and used European products as a fashion statement. The use of
Turkish grew steadily under the Ottomans, but, since they were still interested in their
two other official languages, they kept these in use as well. Usage of these came to
be limited, though, and specific: Persian served mainly as a literary language, while
Arabic was used solely for religious rites. At this time many famous Persian poets
Topkapi Palace was the official and primary residence in the
city of the
Ottoman Sultans, from 1465 to 1853.
"Ottoman classical music" was an important part of the education of the Ottoman elite, a number of the Ottoman
sultans were accomplished musicians and composers themselves, such as
Selim III, whose compositions are
still frequently performed today. Ottoman classical music arose largely from a confluence of Byzantine music,
Arabic music, and Persian music. Compositionally, it is organised around rhythmic units called
usul, which are
somewhat similar to meter in Western music, and melodic units called
makam, which bear some resemblance to
Western musical modes. The instruments used are a mixture of Anatolian and Central Asian instruments (the saz,
the bağlama, the kemence), other Middle Eastern instruments (the ud, the tanbur, the kanun, the ney), and — later
in the tradition — Western instruments (the violin and the piano). Because of a geographic and cultural divide
between the capital and other areas, two broadly distinct styles of music arose in the Ottoman Empire: Ottoman
classical music, and folk music. In the provinces, several different kinds of Folk music were created. The most
dominant regions with their distinguished musical styles are: Balkan-Thracian Türküs, North-Eastern (Laz) Türküs,
Aegean Türküs, Central Anatolian Türküs, Eastern Anatolian Türküs, and Caucasian Türküs. Some of the
distinctive styles were:
Janissary Music, Roma music, Belly dance, Turkish folk music.

Ottoman cuisine" refers to the cuisine of the capital — Constantinople, and the regional capital cities, where the
melting pot of cultures created a common cuisine that all the populations enjoyed. This diverse cuisine was honed
in the Imperial Palace's kitchens by chefs brought from certain parts of the Empire to create and experiment with
different ingredients. The creations of the Ottoman Palace's kitchens filtered to the population, for instance through
Ramadan events, and through the cooking at the Yalıs of the Pashas, and from there on spread to the rest of the
population. Today, Ottoman cuisine lives in the Balkans, Anatolia and the Middle East, "common heirs to what was
once the Ottoman life-style, and their cuisines offer treacherous circumstantial evidence of this fact".[53] It is typical
of any great cuisine in the world to be based on local varieties and on mutual exchange and enrichment among
them, but at the same time to be homogenized and harmonized by a metropolitan tradition of refined taste.[53]

Numerous traditions and cultural traits of this previous empire (in fields such as architecture, cuisine, music,
leisure and government) were adopted by the Ottomans, who elaborated them into new forms and blended them
with the characteristics of the ethnic and religious groups living within the Ottoman territories, which resulted in a
new and distinctively Ottoman cultural identity.
Mehmed the Conqueror receives Gennadius II Scholarius
(Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople from 1454 to 1464)

Main article: Religion in the Ottoman Empire

Before adopting Islam — a process that was greatly facilitated by the Abbasid victory at the 751 Battle of Talas,
which ensured Abbasid influence in Central Asia — the Turkic peoples practised a variety of
shamanism. After this
battle, many of the various Turkic tribes — including the
Oghuz Turks, who were the ancestors of both the Seljuks
and the Ottomans — gradually converted to Islam, and brought the religion with them to Anatolia beginning in the
11th century.

The Ottoman Empire was, in principle, tolerant towards Christians and Jews (the "Ahl Al-Kitab", or "People of the
Book", according to the
Qu'ran) but not towards the polytheists, in accordance with the Sharia law. Such tolerance
was subject to a non-Muslim tax, the

Under the millet system, non-Muslim people were considered subjects of the Empire, but were not subject to the
Muslim faith or Muslim law. The Orthodox millet, for instance, was still officially legally subject to
Justinian's Code,
which had been in effect in the Byzantine Empire for 900 years. Also, as the largest group of non-Muslim subjects
zimmi) of the Islamic Ottoman state, the Orthodox millet was granted a number of special privileges in the fields
of politics and commerce, in addition to having to pay higher taxes than Muslim subjects.[54],[55]

The Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II allowed the local Christians to stay in Constantinople after conquering the city in
1453, and to retain their institutions such as the
Greek Orthodox Patriarchate.

In 1461 Sultan Mehmed II established the
Armenian Patriarchate of Constantinople. Previously, the Byzantines
considered the Armenian Church as heretical and thus did not allow them to build churches inside the walls of
Constantinople. In 1492, when the Muslims and Sephardic Jews were expelled from Spain during the Spanish
Inquisition, the Ottoman Sultan
Bayezid II sent his fleet under Kemal Reis to save them and granted the refugees
the right to settle in the Ottoman Empire.
The state's relationship with the Greek Orthodox Church was largely peaceful, and recurrent oppressive measures taken against the Greek church were a deviation from generally established practice.
The church's structure was kept intact and largely left alone but under close control and scrutiny until the
Greek War of Independence of 1821–1831 and, later in the 19th and early 20th centuries, the rise
of the Ottoman constitutional monarchy, which was driven to some extent by nationalistic currents, tried to be balanced with
Ottomanism. Other Orthodox churches, like the Bulgarian Orthodox Church,
were dissolved and placed under the jurisdiction of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate; until Sultan
Abdülaziz established the Bulgarian Exarchate in 1870 and reinstated the autonomy of the Bulgarian

Similar millets were established for the Ottoman Jewish community, who were under the authority of the
Haham Başı or Ottoman Chief Rabbi; the Armenian Orthodox community, who were under the
authority of a head bishop; and a number of other religious communities as well.
An Ottoman trial, 1877

Further information: Mecelle

Ottoman legal system accepted the Religious law over its subjects. The Ottoman
Empire was always organized around a system of local jurisprudence. Legal
administration in the Ottoman Empire was part of a larger scheme of balancing
central and local authority.[56] Ottoman power revolved crucially around the
administration of the rights to land, which gave a space for the local authority develop
the needs of the local millet.[56] The jurisdictional complexity of the Ottoman Empire
was aimed to permit the integration of culturally and religiously different groups.[56]
The Ottoman system had three court systems: one for Muslims, one for non-Muslims,
involving appointed Jews and Christians ruling over their respective religious
communities, and the "trade court". The entire system was regulated from above by
means of the administrative Kanun, i.e. laws, a system based upon the Turkic Yasa
and Töre which were developed in the pre-Islamic era. The kanun law system, on the
other hand, was the secular law of the sultan, and dealt with issues not clearly
addressed by the sharia system.
These court categories were not, however, wholly exclusive in nature: for instance, the Islamic courts — which were the Empire's primary courts — could also be used to settle a trade conflict or disputes
between litigants of differing religions, and Jews and Christians often went to them so as to obtain a more forceful ruling on an issue. The Ottoman state tended not to interfere with non-Muslim religious
law systems, despite legally having a voice to do so through local governors. The Islamic Sharia law system had been developed from a combination of the Qur'ān; the Hadīth, or words of the prophet
Muhammad; ijmā', or consensus of the members of the Muslim community; qiyas, a system of analogical reasoning from previous precedents; and local customs. Both systems were taught at the
Empire's law schools, which were in Constantinople and Bursa.

Tanzimat reforms, had a drastic effect on the law system. In 1877, the civil law (excepting family law) was codified in the Mecelle code. Later codifications covered commercial law, penal law and civil
The modern Ottoman Army

Main article: Military of the Ottoman Empire

The first military unit of the Ottoman State was an army that was organized by Osman I
from the tribesmen inhabiting western Anatolia in the late 13th century. The military
system became an intricate organization with the advance of the Empire. The
Ottoman military was a complex system of recruiting and fief-holding. The main corps
of the Ottoman Army included
Janissary, Sipahi, Akıncı and Mehterân. The Ottoman
army was once among the most advanced fighting forces in the world, being one of
the first to employ muskets and cannons. The Ottomans began using
falcons, which
were short but wide cannons, during the
Siege of Constantinople (1422). The
Ottoman cavalry depended on high speed and mobility rather than heavy armour,
using bows and short swords on fast
Turkoman and Arabian horses (progenitors of
the Thoroughbred racing horse);[57][58] and often applied tactics similar to those of
the Mongol Empire, such as pretending to retreat while surrounding the enemy forces
inside a crescent-shaped formation and then making the real attack. The decline in
the army's performance became evident from the mid 17th century and after the
Turkish War. The 18th century saw some limited success against Venice, but in the
north the European-style Russian armies forced the Ottomans to concede land. The
modernization of the Ottoman Empire in the 19th century started with the military. In
1826 Sultan Mahmud II abolished the Janissary corps and established the modern
Ottoman army. He named them as the
Nizam-ı Cedid (New Order). The Ottoman army
was also the first institution to hire foreign experts and send its officers for training in
western European countries. Consequently, the
Young Turks movement first began
when these relatively young and newly trained men returned with their education.
The Ottoman Navy
The Ottoman Navy vastly contributed to the expansion of the Empire's territories on the European continent. It
initiated the conquest of North Africa, with the addition of Algeria and Egypt to the Ottoman Empire in 1517.
Following the loss of Algeria (1830) and Greece (1832), Ottoman naval power, and control over the Empire's distant
overseas territories declined. Sultan Abdülaziz (reigned 1861–1876) attempted to reestablish a strong Ottoman
navy, building the largest fleet after those of Britain and France. The shipyard at Barrow, United Kingdom built its
first submarine in 1886 for the Ottoman Empire.[59] The collapsing Ottoman economy could not sustain the fleet
strength. Sultan Abdülhamid II distrusted the navy, claiming that the large and expensive navy was of no use
against the Russians during the Russo-Turkish War (1877–1878). He locked most of the fleet inside the
Horn, where the ships decayed for the next 30 years. Following the Young Turk Revolution in 1908, the Committee
of Union and Progress sought to develop a strong Ottoman naval force. The Ottoman Navy Foundation was
established in order to purchase new ships through public donations.
The Ottoman Air Force
The Ottoman Air Force was founded in June 1909, making it one of the first combat aviation organizations in the
world. The Ottoman Empire started preparing its first pilots and planes, and with the founding of the Hava Okulu
(Air Academy) in Constantinople on July 3, 1912, the Empire began to tutor its own flight officers. The founding
of the Air Academy quickened advancement in the military aviation program, increased the number of enlisted
persons within it, and gave the new pilots an active role in the Armed Forces. In May 1913 the world's first
specialized Reconnaissance Training Program was activated by the Air Academy and the first separate
Reconnaissance division was established by the Air Force. In June 1914 a new military academy, Deniz Hava
Okulu (Naval Aviation Academy) was founded. With the outbreak of World War I, the modernization process
stopped abruptly. The Ottoman Air Force fought on many fronts during World War I, from Galicia in the west to
the Caucasus in the east and Yemen in the south.
See also


  1. ^ The Treaty of Sèvres (August 10, 1920) afforded a small existence to the Ottoman Empire.
    The abolishment of the Ottoman Sultanate on November 1, 1922 did not end the Ottoman
    State, but only the Ottoman dynasty. The official end of the Ottoman State was declared
    through the Treaty of Lausanne (July 24, 1923). It recognized the new "Ankara government",
    and not the old Constantinople-based Ottoman government, as representing the rightful
    owner and successor state. The Constantinople-based government was practically
    headless after the sultan left the capital. The TBMM declared the successor state to be the
    "Republic of Turkey" (October 29, 1923).
  2. ^ Ottoman banknote with Arabic script
  3. ^ The Sultanate was abolished on November 1, 1922. Mehmed VI, the last Ottoman Sultan,
    departed from Constantinople on November 17, 1922.
  4. ^ With the Treaty of Lausanne (signed on July 24, 1923) the new Turkish State (still not a
    Republic, which was proclaimed later on October 29, 1923) headquartered in Ankara is
    internationally recognized as the successor to the Ottoman State.
  5. ^ Full text of the Treaty of Lausanne (1923)
  6. ^ Turkish Navy Official Website: "Atlantik'te Türk Denizciliği"
  7. ^ Glasse, Cyril, New Encyclopedia of Islam, (Rowman Altamira, 2003), 229.
  8. ^ Finkel, Caroline, Osman's Dream, (New York: Basic Books, 2005), 57.
  9. ^ Brown, Leon Carl, Imperial Legacy, (Columbia University Press, 1997), 1.
  10. ^ (Turkish) Sultan Osman I, Turkish Ministry of Culture website
  11. ^ Karpat, Kemal H. (1974). The Ottoman state and its place in world history. Leiden: Brill.
    pp. 111. ISBN 90-04-03945-7.  
  12. ^ Savory, R. M. (1960). "The Principal Offices of the Ṣafawid State during the Reign of Ismā'īl
    I (907-30/1501-24)". Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of
    London 23 (1): 91–105. doi:10.2307/609888.
  13. ^ Hess, Andrew C. (January 1973). "The Ottoman Conquest of Egypt (1517) and the
    Beginning of the Sixteenth-Century World War". International Journal of Middle East Studies
    4 (1): 55–76. doi:10.2307/162225.
  14. ^ Imber, 50.
  15. ^ L. Kinross, The Ottoman Centuries: The Rise and Fall of the Turkish Empire, 206
  16. ^ Mansel, 61
  17. ^ Imber, 53.
  18. ^ The Crimean Tatars and their Russian-Captive Slaves by Eizo Matsuki
  19. ^ a b Kinross, 272.
  20. ^ Norman Itzkowitz, Ottoman Empire and Islamic Tradition p.67.
  21. ^ Inalcik, An Economic And Social History Of The Ottoman Empire, Vol 1 1300-1600 p.24.
  22. ^ L. Kinross, The Ottoman Centuries: The Rise and Fall of the Turkish Empire, 281
  23. ^ Leslie P. Peirce, The imperial harem: women and sovereignty in the Ottoman Empire and
    Morality tales: law and gender in the Ottoman court of Aintab.
  24. ^ Norman Itzkowitz, Ottoman Empire and Islamic Tradition p.74-75.
  25. ^ Norman Itzkowitz, Ottoman Empire and Islamic Tradition p.77-81.
  26. ^ Norman Itzkowitz, Ottoman Empire and Islamic Tradition p.80-81.
  27. ^ Norman Itzkowitz, Ottoman Empire and Islamic Tradition p.81-82.
  28. ^ Norman Itzkowitz, Ottoman Empire and Islamic Tradition p.84.
  29. ^ Norman Itzkowitz, Ottoman Empire and Islamic Tradition p.73.
  30. ^ Norman Itzkowitz, Ottoman Empire and Islamic Tradition p.83-84.
  31. ^ Richard G. (EDT) Hovannisian "The Armenian People from Ancient to Modern Times"
    page 198
  32. ^ Jastrow, Morris, The War and the Bagdad Railroad (1917) ASIN B0006D8OSQ
  33. ^ Mustafa Kemal Pasha's speech on his arrival in Ankara in November 1919
  34. ^ Halil İnalcık, Studies in the economic history of the Middle East : from the rise of Islam to
    the present day / edited by M. A. Cook. London University Press, Oxford U.P. 1970, p. 209
    ISBN 0197135617
  35. ^ Halil İnalcık, Studies in the economic history of the Middle East : from the rise of Islam to
    the present day / edited by M. A. Cook. London University Press, Oxford U.P. 1970, p. 217
    ISBN 0197135617
  36. ^ a b c Antony Black (2001), "The state of the House of Osman (devlet-ı al-ı Osman)" in The
    History of Islamic Political Thought: From the Prophet to the Present, p. 199
  37. ^ Halil İnalcık, Donald Quataert (1971), An Economic and Social History of the Ottoman
    Empire, 1300–1914, p. 120
  38. ^ Halil inalcik, Studies in the economic history of the Middle East : from the rise of Islam to
    the present day / edited by M. A. Cook. London University Press, Oxford U.P. 1970, p. 218
    ISBN 0197135617
  39. ^ Norman Itzkowitz, Ottoman Empire and Islamic Tradition p.38.
  40. ^ Antony Black, ibid, page 197
  41. ^ a b Donald Quataert, 2
  42. ^ Bernard Lewis, Istanbul and the civilization of the Ottoman Empire, p151
  43. ^ Kemal H Karpat, Social Change and Politics in Turkey: A Structural-Historical Analysis,
  44. ^ The History of Turkish-Jewish Relations
  45. ^ Supply of Slaves
  46. ^ Islam and slavery: Sexual slavery
  47. ^ a b c d e M. Kabadayı, Inventory for the Ottoman Empire / Turkish Republic 1500-2000
  48. ^ L. Kinross, The Ottoman Centuries: The Rise and Fall of the Turkish Empire, 206
  49. ^ L. Kinross, The Ottoman Centuries: The Rise and Fall of the Turkish Empire, 281
  50. ^ Von Gabriel Piterberg, An Ottoman Tragedy: History and Historiography at Play, pp.98-103,
  51. ^ Von Helen Gardner, Horst De la Croix, Richard G. Tansey, Gardner's Art Through the Ages,
    p. 263, ISBN 0155037587,[2]
  52. ^ Eli Shah. The Ottoman Artistic Legacy
  53. ^ a b Bert Fragner, "From the Caucasus to the Roof of the World: a culinary adventure", in
    Sami Zubaida and Richard Tapper, A Taste of Thyme: Culinary Cultures of the Middle East,
    London and New York, p. 52
  54. ^ "The Divinely-Protected, Well-Flourishing Domain: The Establishment of the Ottoman
    System in the Balkan Peninsula", Sean Krummerich, Loyola University New Orleans, The
    Student Historical Journal, volume 30 (1998–99
  55. ^ Turkish Toleration, The American Forum for Global Education
  56. ^ a b c Lauren A. Benton, Law and Colonial Cultures: Legal Regimes in World History,
    1400–1900", pp109–110
  57. ^ Milner The Godolphin Arabian pp. 3–6
  58. ^ Wall Famous Running Horses p. 8
  59. ^ the standard - Petition created for submarine name
External references


  • Cleveland, William L. "The Ottoman
    and Safavid Empires: A New
    Imperial Synthesis" in A History of
    the Modern Middle East. Westview
    Press, 2004. pp37–56. ISBN 0-
  • Creasy, Sir Edward Shepherd.
    History of the Ottoman Turks: From
    the beginning of their empire to the
    present time. R. Bentley and Son,
  • Finkel, Caroline. Osman's Dream:
    The Story of the Ottoman Empire,
    1300–1923. John Murray, 2005.
    ISBN 0-7195-5513-2.
  • Guilmartin, John F., Jr. "Ideology
    and Conflict: The Wars of the
    Ottoman Empire, 1453–1606",
    Journal of Interdisciplinary History,
    (Spring 1988) 18:4., pp721–747.
  • Imber, Colin. The Ottoman Empire,
    1300–1650: The Structure of Power.
    Palgrave Macmillan, 2002. ISBN 0-
  • Jelavich, Barbara. History of the
    Balkans: Eighteenth and Nineteenth
    Centuries. Cambridge University
    Press, 1983. ISBN 0-521-25249-0.
  • Kitsikis, Dimitri. L'Empire ottoman,
    Presses Universitaires de France,
    3rd ed., 1994. ISBN 2-13-043459-2
  • Lafi (Nora), Une ville du Maghreb
    entre ancien régime et réformes
    ottomanes. Genèse des institutions
    municipales à Tripoli de Barbarie
    (1795–1911), Paris: L'Harmattan,
    2002, 305 pp.
  • Lafi (Nora), Municipalités
    méditerranéennes. Les réformes
    municipales ottomanes au miroir
    d'une histoire comparée, Berlin: K.
    Schwarz, 2005.
  • Lybyer, Albert Howe. The
    Government of the Ottoman Empire
    in the Time of Suleiman the
    Magnificent. AMS Press, 1978. ISBN
  • Mansel, Philip. Istanbul: City of the
    World's Desire, 1453–1924.
    Gardners Books, 1997. ISBN 0-14-
  • McCarthy, Justin. The Ottoman
    Peoples and the End of Empire.
    Hodder Arnold, 2001. ISBN 0-340-
  • Melis, Nicola, “The importance of
    Hormuz for Luso-Ottoman Gulf-
    centred policies in the 16th century:
    Some observations based on
    contemporary sources", in R.
    Loureiro-D. Couto (eds.), Revisiting
    Hormuz - Portuguese Interactions in
    the Persian Gulf Region in the Early
    Modern Period, "Maritime Asia" 19,
    Fundação Calouste
    Gulbenkian/Harrassowitz Verlag,
    Wiesbaden 2008, pp. 107–120.
  • Necipoğlu, Gülru. Architecture,
    Ceremonial, and Power: The
    Topkapı Palace in the Fifteenth and
    Sixteenth Centuries. MIT Press,
    1991. ISBN 0-262-14050-0.
  • Quataert, Donald. The Ottoman
    Empire, 1700–1922. Cambridge
    University Press, 2005. ISBN 0-521-
  • Shaw, Stanford. History of the
    Ottoman Empire and Modern
    Turkey, Vol I; Empire of Gazis: The
    Rise and Decline of the Ottoman
    Empire 1290–1808. Cambridge
    University Press, 1976. ISBN 0-521-
  • This article incorporates text from
    the Encyclopædia Britannica,
    Eleventh Edition, a publication now
    in the public domain.
  • Leiner, Frederick C. The end of
    Barbary terror : America's 1815 war
    against the pirates of North Africa.
    New York : Oxford University Press,
Links (English)

Links (Turkish)

History of the Republic of Turkey
The Republic of Turkey is the successor state of the Ottoman Empire, created after the overthrow of Sultan Mehmet VI Vahdettin by the new Republican
assembly of Turkey in 1922. This new regime delivered the coup de grâce to the Ottoman state which had been practically wiped away from the world stage
following the First World War.

War of Independence, 1919-1923

Main article: Turkish War of Independence

Turkish nationalists established modern Turkey as an outcome of the Turkish War of Independence, mostly on what was to become Turkish territory, as of
the Treaty of Lausanne. The war resulted in the defeat of Greece in western Turkey (see
Greco-Turkish War (1919-1922)), the East Armenian state on the
east; (2 November 1920
Gümrü Treaty), Britain, France, and Georgia. The Treaty of Lausanne, signed on July 24, 1923, and negotiated by İsmet İnönü on
behalf of the Ankara government, established most of the modern boundaries of the country (except the province of Hatay, formerly the Syrian province of
Alexandretta, which joined Turkey following a referendum organized in 1939 after having gained its independence from France in 1938). The Treaty of
Lausanne also led to the international recognition of the sovereignty of the new Republic of Turkey as the successor state of the defunct Ottoman Empire. The
Republic of Turkey was founded as a nation-state on the French Revolutionary model.
History of the Republic of Turkey

Graphical timeline

Independence  · Republic

1919 - 1923

1923 - 1946

1946 - recent

Economic · Constitutional · Military
Single-party period, 1923-1946

Main article: Single-party period of the Republic of Turkey

The history of modern Turkey begins with the foundation of the republic on October 29, 1923, with Mustafa Kemal (Atatürk) as its first president. The government was formed from the Ankara-based
revolutionary group, led by Atatürk. The second constitution was ratified by the Grand National Assembly on April 20, 1924. For about the next 10 years, the country saw a steady process of secular
Westernization through Atatürk's Reforms, which included the unification of education; the discontinuation of religious and other titles; the closure of Islamic courts and the replacement of Islamic canon
law with a secular civil code modeled after Switzerland's and a penal code modeled after the Italian Penal Code; recognition of the equality between the sexes and the granting of full political rights to
women on 5 December 1934; the language reform initiated by the newly founded Turkish Language Association; replacement of the
Ottoman Turkish alphabet with the new Turkish alphabet derived
from the Latin alphabet; the dress law (the wearing of a
fez, a traditional Muslim hat, is outlawed); the law on family names; and many others. However, the first party to be established in the newly formed
republic was Women's Party (Kadınlar Halk Fırkası).[1] It was founded by Nezihe Muhiddin and several other women but was stopped from its activities, since during the time women were not yet legally
allowed to engage in politics.[2] The actual passage to multi-party period was first attempted with the Liberal Republican Party by Ali Fethi Okyar. However, the Liberal Republican Party was dissolved on
17 November 1930 and no further attempt for a multi-party democracy was made until 1945. Turkey was admitted to the League of Nations in July 1932. Atatürk's successor after his death on November
10, 1938 was İsmet İnönü. He started his term in the office as a respected figure of the Independence War but because of internal fights between power groups and external events like the World War
which caused a lack of goods in the country, he lost some of his popularity and support. During World War II, Turkey signed a peace treaty with Germany and officially remained neutral until near the end
of war. In February 1945, Turkey declared war on Germany and Japan, although this was largely symbolic. On October 24, 1945 Turkey signed the United Nations Charter as one of the fifty original
members. In 1946, İnönü's government organized multi-party elections, which were won by his party. He remained as the president of the country until 1950. He is still remembered as one of the key
figures of Turkey.

Multi-party period, 1946 - recent

Main article: Multi-party period of the Republic of Turkey

The real multi-party period begins with the election of the Democratic Party. The government of Adnan Menderes was very popular at first, relaxing the restrictions on Islam and presiding over a booming
economy. In the later half of the decade, however, the economy began to fail and the government introduced censorship laws limiting dissent. The government became plagued by high inflation and a
massive debt. On May 27, 1960 General Cemal Gürsel led a military coup d'état removing President Celal Bayar and Prime Minister Menderes, the second of whom was executed. The system returned
to civilian control in October 1961. The political system that emerged in the wake of the 1960 coup was a fractured one, producing a series of unstable government coalitions in parliament alternating
between the Justice Party of Süleyman Demirel on the right and the Republican People's Party of İsmet İnönü and Bülent Ecevit on the left. The army gave a memorandum warning the civilian
government in 1971, leading to another coup which resulted in the fall of the Demirel government and the establishment of interim governments. In 1974, under Prime Minister Ecevit in coalition with the
religious National Salvation Party, Turkey carried out an invasion of Cyprus. The governments of National Front, a series of coalitions between rightist parties, followed as Ecevit was not able to remain in
office despite ranking first in the elections. The fractured political scene and poor economy led to mounting violence between ultranationalists and communists in the streets of Turkey's cities. A military
coup d'état, headed by General Kenan Evren, took place in 1980. Within two years, the military returned the government to civilian hands, although retaining close control of the political scene. The
political system came under one-party governance under Turgut Özal's Motherland Party (ANAP), which combined a globally-oriented economic program with conservative social values. Under Özal, the
economy boomed, converting towns like Gaziantep from small provincial capitals into mid-sized economic boomtowns. On the other hand, administrative reforms against terrorism were enacted by the
government, which passed a state of emergency law in 1983 and established in 1985 village guards, local paramilitary militias, to struggle against the conflict with the PKK, an independantist Kurdish
terrorist group. Starting in July 1987, the South-East was submitted to state of emergency legislation, a measure which lasted until November 2002. With the turn of the 1990s, political instability
returned. The 1995 elections brought a short-lived coalition between Yılmaz's ANAP and the True Path Party, now with Tansu Çiller at the helm. In 1997, the military, citing his government's support for
religious policies deemed dangerous to Turkey's secular nature, sent a memorandum to Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan requesting that he resign, which he did. This was named a postmodern
coup. Shortly thereafter, the Welfare Party (RP) was banned and re-born as the Virtue Party (FP). A new government was formed by ANAP and Ecevit's Democratic Left Party (DSP) supported from the
outside by the center-left Republican People's Party (CHP), led by Deniz Baykal. The DSP won big in the 1999 elections. Second place went to the far-right Nationalist Action Party (MHP). These two
parties, alongside Yılmaz's ANAP formed a government. The government was somewhat effective, if not harmonious, bringing about much-needed economic reform, instituting human rights legislation,
and bringing Turkey ever closer to the European Union. A series of economic shocks led to new elections in 2002, bringing into power the religiously conservative Justice and Development Party (AKP) of
former mayor of Istanbul, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. AKP again won the 2007 elections, which followed the controversial August 2007 presidential election, during which AKP member Abdullah Gül was
elected President at the third round. Recent developments in Iraq (explained under positions on terrorism and security), secular and religious concerns, the intervention of the military in political issues,
relations with the EU, the United States, and the Muslim world were the main issues. The outcome of this election, which brought the Turkish and Kurdish ethnic/nationalist parties (MHP and DTP) into
the parliament, will affect Turkey's bid for European Union membership, as Turkish perceptions of the current process (or lack thereof) affected the results and will continue to affect policy making in
coming years.

  1. ^ Zihnioğlu, Yaprak. Kadınsız
    İnkılap. Metis Yayınları, 2003.
  2. ^ Çakır, Serpil. Osmanlı Kadın
    Hareketi. Metis Yayınları, 1994.
Further reading

  • Robinson, Richard D (1963). The
    First Turkish Republic; a Case
    Study in National Development.
    Harvard Middle Eastern studies.
    Cambridge: Harvard University
    Press. pp. 367.  
See also


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