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Old Tuesday, March 03, 2015
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Default Ottoman Empire Notes

Mehmed the Conqueror

"Fatih Sultan Mehmet" was Sultan of the Ottoman Empire twice, first for a short time from 1444 to September 1446, and later from February 1451 to 1481.
At the age of 21, he conquered Constantinople and brought an end to the Byzantine Empire, transforming the Ottoman state into an empire.
Mehmed continued his conquests in Asia, with the Anatolian reunification, and in Europe, as far as Bosnia and Croatia.
Mehmed II was born on 30 March 1432, in Edirne, then the capital city of the Ottoman state.
His father was Sultan Murad II (1404–51) .
When Mehmed II was eleven years old he was sent to Amasya to govern and thus gain experience.
After Murad II made peace with the Karaman Emirate in Anatolia in August 1444, he abdicated the throne to his 12-year-old son Mehmed II.
Sultan Murad II had sent him a number of teachers for him to study under.
This Islamic education had a great impact in molding the mindset of Mehmed and reinforcing his Muslim beliefs.
He began to praise and promote the application of Sharia law.
imperative of fulfilling his Islamic duty to overthrow the Byzantine empire by conquering Constantinople.
Accession of Mehmed II in Edirne 1451.
In his first reign, he defeated the crusade led by János Hunyadi after the Hungarian incursions into his country broke the conditions of the truce Peace of Szeged.

Strategic Conquest of Constantinople
When Mehmed II ascended the throne in 1451 he devoted himself to strengthening the Ottoman Navy,
and in the same year made preparations for the taking of Constantinople.
In the narrow Bosporus Straits, the fortress Anadoluhisarı had been built by his great-grandfather Bayezid I on the Asian side;
Mehmed erected an even stronger fortress called Rumelihisarı on the European side,
and thus having complete control of the strait.
It assured passage of ottoman troops from anatolia to Europe.
First occupied Byzantine seaports cut of its land and sea links.
The conquest of Constantinople was one of the major goals of Islam in Islamic tradition.
Earlier there had been two sieges during the 7th and 8th centuries by the Muslims on account of the hadith.
After the conquest, Mehmed built Eyüp Sultan Mosque at the site, by which he wanted to emphasize the importance of the conquest to the Islamic world and highlight his role as ghazi.
In 1453 Mehmed commenced the siege of Constantinople with an army between 80,000 to 200,000 troops and a navy of 320 vessels,
In early April, the Siege of Constantinople began.
After several failed assaults, even with the use of the new Orban's bombard, a cannon similar to the Dardanelles Gun.
The harbor of the Golden Horn was blocked by a boom chain and defended by twenty-eight warships.
On 22 April, Mehmed transported his lighter warships overland,
eighty galleys were transported from the Bosphorus after paving a little over one-mile route with wood.
A little over a month later, Constantinople fell on May 29 following a 57 fifty-seven day siege.
After this conquest, Mehmed moved the Ottoman capital from Adrianople to Constantinople.

The Siege of Belgrade 1456.

Conquest of Serbia (1454–1459)
Mehmed II first campaigns after Constantinople were in the direction of Serbia who was an Ottoman vassal since the Battle of Kosovo.
Smederevo was besieged and later captured and there were Ottoman and Hungarian counterattacks during the years till 1456.
In that year the Ottoman army advanced toward Eastern Europe as far as Belgrade.

Conquest of Morea (1458-1460)
The Despotate of the Morea was bordering the southern Ottoman Balkans.
The Ottomans had already invaded these areas under Murad II, destroying the Byzantine defences—1446.
Before the final siege of Constantinople Mehmed ordered Ottoman troops to attack the Morea Mehmed came into the Morea in May 1460.
By the end of the summer the Ottomans had achieved the submission of virtually all cities possessed by the Greeks.

Conquests on the Black Sea coast (1460-1461)
Previous emperors of Trebizond made alliances by having royal marriages with various Muslim rulers
While Mehmed II was away laying siege to Belgrade in 1456,
the Ottoman governor of Amasya attacked Trebizond, and although defeated, took many prisoners and extracted a heavy tribute.
Mehmed's response came in the summer of 1461.
He led a sizable army from Bursa from land and the Ottoman navy from the sea, he captured Sinope and ended the official reign of the Jandarid dynasty.
Having isolated Trebizond, Mehmed quickly swept down upon it before the inhabitants knew he was coming, and placed it under siege.
The city held out for a month before the emperor David surrendered on August 15, 1461.

Conquest of Wallachia (1459–1462)
The Ottomans regarded Wallachia as a buffer zone between them and the Kingdom of Hungary and for a yearly tribute did not meddle in their internal affairs.
Between the two primary Balkan powers, Hungary and the Ottoman there was an enduring struggle to make Wallachia their own vassal.
Later that year, in 1459, Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II sent envoys to Vlad to urge him
to pay a tribute of 10,000 ducats and 500 recruits into the Ottoman forces.
Vlad refused and insulted the Turkish envoys killed by nailing their turbans to their heads,
on the pretext that they had refused to raise their "hats" to him, as they only removed their headgear before Allah.
Mehmed II abandoned his siege of Corinth to launch a punitive attack against Vlad in Wallachia
Ottomans captured the Wallachian capital Târgoviște and Mehmed II withdrew.

Conquest of Bosnia (1463)
The despotate of Serbia died in 1458 after which a civil war broke out among his heirs.
son of the king of Bosnia, tried to bring Serbia under his control but Ottoman expeditions forced him to give up his plan and he fled to Bosnia.
In 1463, Sultan Mehmed II led an army into the country
After some battles Bosnia became tributary to the Ottomans.
Mehmed invaded Bosnia and conquered it very quickly,
Bosnia officially fell in 1463 and became the westernmost province of the Ottoman Empire.
Map of the Peloponnese in the Middle Ages
In the Aegean, the new Venetians, tried to take Lesbos in the spring of 1464,
and besieged the capital Mytilene for six weeks, until the arrival of an Ottoman fleet under Mahmud Pasha on 18 May forced them to withdraw.
Another attempt to capture the island shortly after also failed.
The Venetian navy spent the remainder of the year in ultimately fruitless demonstrations of force before the Dardanelles.
In spring 1466, Sultan Mehmed marched with a large army against the Albanians.
Under their leader, Skenderbeg, they had long resisted the Ottomans, and had repeatedly sought assistance from Italy.

War with Moldavia (1475–1476)
In 1456, Peter III Aaron, agreed to pay the Ottomans an annual
BUT His successor Stephen the Great rejected Ottoman suzerainty and a series of fierce wars ensued.
Stephen tried to bring Wallachia under his sphere of influence and so supported his own choice for the Wallachian throne.
This resulted in an enduring struggle between different Wallachian rulers backed by Hungarians, Ottomans and Stephebn.
the Sultan Mehmed II assembled a large army and entered Moldavia in June 1476.
Meanwhile groups of Tartars from the Crimean Khanate (the Ottomans' recent ally) were sent to attack Moldavia.
joint Ottoman and Crimean Tartar forces gained control of southern mouth of Danube.
The Moldavian army was utterly defeated .

Conquest of Albania (1466–1478)
The Albanian resistance in Albania between 1443 and 1468 led by Skanderbeg.
an Albanian noble and a former member of the Ottoman ruling elite,
prevented the Ottoman expansion into the Italian peninsula.
In spring 1466, Sultan Mehmed marched with a large army against the Albanians.
Under their leader, Skenderbeg, they had long resisted the Ottomans, and had repeatedly sought assistance from Italy.
After death of Skanderbeg in 1468,
Albanians couldn't find a leader to replace him and Mehmed II eventually conquered Albania in 1478.

Conquest of Genoese Crimea and alliance with Crimean Khanate (1475)
After the conquest of Constantinople, the Genoese communications were disrupted and when the Crimean Tatars asked for help from the Ottomans,
an Ottoman invasion of the Genoese towns led by Gedik Ahmed Pasha in 1475 brought Kaffa and the other trading towns under their control

Expedition to Italy (1480)
An Ottoman army under Gedik Ahmed Pasha invaded Italy in 1480.
The Ottoman army captured Otranto in 1480 but after the death of Mehmed most of the troops returned
Because of lack of food Gedik Ahmed Pasha returned with most of his troops to Albania.
It was assumed he would return after the winter. Since it was only 28 years after the fall of Constantinople,
there was some fear that Rome would suffer the same fate.
Plans were made for the Pope and citizens of Rome to evacuate the city.
Pope Sixtus IV repeated his 1471 call for a crusade. Several Italian city-states, Hungary and France responded positively to this.
TheRepublic of Venice did not, as it had signed an expensive peace treaty with the Ottomans in 1479.
The city was besieged starting May 1, 1481. On May 3 the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, Mehmed II, died, with ensuing quarrels about his succession.
This possibly prevented the sending of Ottoman reinforcements to Otranto.
So in the end the Turkish occupation of Otranto ended by negotiation with the Christian forces, permitting the Turks to withdraw to Albania.

Repopulation of Constantinople (1453–1478)
The Fatih Mosque built by order of Sultan Mehmed II in Constantinople,
was the first imperial mosque built in the city after the Ottoman conquest.
Finally, Christian Constantinople, the old thorn in the side of generations of Muslim caliphs,
was under Muslim Ottoman control.
When Mehmed II finally entered Constantinople he immediately rode his horse to the Hagia Sophia.
He ordered that an imam meet him there in order to chant the Muslim Creed:
“I testify that there is no god but God. I testify that Muhammadis the Prophet of Allah.
This act symbolically transformed the Orthodox cathedral into a Muslim mosque, solidifying Islamic rule in Constantinople.
Mehmed’s main concern with Constantinople had to do with rebuilding the city’s defenses and repopulation.
Building projects were commenced immediately after the conquest,
which included the repair of the walls, construction of the citadel, and building a new palace.
To encourage the return of the Greeks and the Genoese who had fled from Galata,
the trading quarter of the city, he returned their houses and provided them with guarantees of safety.
Mehmed issued orders across his empire that Muslims, Christians, and Jews should resettle in the City;
he encouraged his viziers to found a number of Muslim institutions and commercial installations in the main districts of Constantinople.
From these nuclei, the metropolis developed rapidly.
According to a survey carried out in 1478,
there were then in Constantinople and neighbouring Galata 16,324 households and 3,927 shops, an estimated population of 80,000.
About 60% Muslim, 20% Christian and 10 Jewish.
Fifty years later, Constantinople had become the largest city in Europe.
Mehmed's ambitious rebuilding program changed the city by the end of his reign in a thriving imperial capital.

Administration and culture
Mehmed II amalgamated the old Byzantine administration into the Ottoman state.
He gathered Italian artists, humanists and Greek scholars at his court, allowed the Byzantine Church to continue functioning,
ordered the patriarch Gennadius to translateChristian doctrine into Turkish.
He collected in his palace a library which included works in Greek and Latin.
Mehmed invited Muslim scientists such as Ali Qushji and artists to his court in Constantinople,
started a University, built mosques (for example, the Fatih Mosque), waterways, and Istanbul's Topkapı Palace and the Tiled Kiosk.
Around the grand mosque that he constructed, he erectedeight madrasas, which, for nearly a century,
kept their rank as the highest teaching institutions of the Islamic sciences in the empire.
Mehmed II allowed his subjects a considerable degree of religious freedom, provided they were obedient to his rule.
After his conquest of Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1463 he issued a firman to the Bosnian Franciscans,
granting them freedom to move freely within the Empire, offer worship in their churches and monasteries,
and to practice their religion free from official and unofficial persecution, insult or disturbance.

After the fall of Constantinople,
he founded many mosques and religious schools in the city, such as the Külliye of the Fatih Mosque.
Mehmed II is recognized as the first Sultan to codify criminal and constitutional law,long before Suleiman the Magnificent;
he thus established the classical image of the Ottoman sultan.
His thirty-one year rule and several wars expanded the Ottoman Empire to include Constantinople,
and the Turkish kingdoms and territories of Asia Minor,
Bosnia, Kingdom of Serbia, and Albania.
His many internal administrative and legal reforms put his country on the path to prosperity and
paved the way for subsequent sultans to focus on expansion into new territories.
Mehmed left behind an imposing reputation in both the Islamic and Christian worlds.
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Suleiman the Magnificent

Suleiman known as “the Magnificent” in the West and
“Kanuni” (the Lawgiver) in the East,
was the tenth and longest-reigning Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, from 1520 to his death in 1566.
Suleiman became a prominent monarch of 16th-century Europe,
presiding over the apex of the Ottoman Empire's military, political and economic power.
Suleiman personally led Ottoman armies in conquering the Christian strongholds of Belgrade, Rhodes,
as well as most of Hungary before his conquests were checked at the Siege of Vienna in 1529.
He annexed much of the Middle East in his conflict with the Safavids and large areas of North Africa as far west as Algeria.
Under his rule, the Ottoman fleet dominated the seas from the Mediterranean to the Red Sea and through the Persian Gulf.
At the helm of an expanding empire, Suleiman personally instituted major legislative changes relating to society, education, taxation, and criminal law.
His canonical law (or the Kanuns) fixed the form of the empire for centuries after his death.
Not only was Suleiman a distinguished poet and goldsmith;
he also became a great patron of culture, overseeing the "Golden" age of the Ottoman Empire in its artistic, literary and architectural development.
Suleiman was well educated and spoke five languages.

study science, history, literature, theology, and military tactics in the schools of theTopkapı Palace in İstanbul (formerly Constantinople).
From the age of seventeen, young Suleiman was appointed as the governor of first Kaffa (Theodosia),
then Sarukhan (Manisa) with a brief tenure at Adrianople (now Edirne).[8]
Upon the death of his father, Selim I (1465–1520), Suleiman entered Constantinople and ascended to the throne as the tenth Ottoman Sultan.
vision of building a world empire that would encompass the east and the west,
and this created a drive for his subsequent military campaigns in Asia and in Africa, as well as in Europe.

Military campaigns

Belgrade and Buda

Upon succeeding his father, Suleiman began a series of military conquests.
Suleiman soon made preparations for the conquest of Belgrade from the Kingdom of Hungary—
something his great-grandfatherMehmed II had failed to achieve.
Its capture was vital in removing the Hungarians who,
following the defeats of the Serbs, Bulgarians and theByzantines,
remained the only formidable force who could block further Ottoman gains in Europe.
Suleiman encircled Belgrade and began a series of heavy bombardments from an island in the Danube.
Belgrade, with a garrison of only 700 men, and receiving no aid from Hungary, fell in August 1521.
Suleiman as a young man

The fall of Christendom's major strongholds spread fear across Europe.
The capture of Belgrade was at the origin of the dramatic events which engulfed Hungary.

It led to the death of King Louis, the capture of Buda, the occupation of Transylvania, the ruin of a flourishing kingdom and the fear of neighbouring nations that they would suffer the same fate..."[13]

Rhodes island
The road to Hungary and Austria lay open,
but Suleiman turned his attention instead to the EasternMediterranean island of Rhodes,
the home base of the Knights Hospitaller.
In the summer of 1522, taking advantage of the large Navy he inherited from his father,
Suleiman dispatched an armada of some 400 ships towards Rhodes,
Here Suleiman built a large fortification, Marmaris Castle, that served as a base for the Ottoman Navy.
Following a siege of five months Siege of Rhodes (1522) with brutal encounters,
Rhodes capitulated and Suleiman allowed the Knights of Rhodes to depart.

As relations between Hungary and the Ottoman Empire deteriorated,
Suleiman resumed his campaign in Eastern Europe and on 29 August 1526, he defeated Louis II of Hungary (1506–26) at the Battle of Mohács.
In its wake, Hungarian resistance collapsed and the Ottoman Empire became the pre-eminent power in Eastern Europe

siege to Vienna
While Suleiman was campaigning in Hungary,
Turkmen tribes in central Anatolia revolted under the leadership of Kalender Çelebi.
Under Charles V and his brother Ferdinand I, theHabsburgs reoccupied Buda and took possession of Hungary.
As a result, in 1529, Suleiman once again marched through the valley of the Danube and regained control of Buda and in the following autumn laid siege to Vienna.
With a reinforced garrison of 16,000 men,[19] the Austrians inflicted upon Suleiman his first defeat

Ottoman–Safavid War
As Suleiman stabilized his European frontiers,
he now turned his attention to the ever present threat posed by the Shi'a Safavid dynasty of Persia.
Shah Tahmasp had the Baghdad governor loyal to Suleiman killed and replaced with an adherent of the Shah,
and second, the governor of Bitlis had defected and sworn allegiance to the Safavids.
As a result, in 1533, Suleiman ordered his Grand Vizier Pargalı Ibrahim Pasha to lead an army into Asia
where he retook Bitlis and occupied Tabriz without resistance.
The following year Suleiman and Ibrahim made a grand entrance into Baghdad,
its commander surrendered the city, thereby confirming Suleiman as the leader of the Islamic world and the legitimate successor to theAbbasid Caliphs.
Attempting to defeat the Shah once and for all,

Suleiman embarked upon a second campaign in 1548–1549.
As in the previous attempt, Tahmasp avoided confrontation with the Ottoman army and instead chose to retreat,
using scorched earth tactics in the process and exposing the Ottoman army to the harsh winter of the Caucasus.[25]
Suleiman abandoned the campaign with temporary Ottoman gains in Tabriz

In 1553 Suleiman third and final campaign against the Shah.
The Shah's army continued its strategy of avoiding the Ottomans,
leading to a stalemate from which neither army made any significant gain.
In 1554, a settlement was signed which was to conclude Suleiman's Asian campaigns.
It included the return of Tabriz, but secured Baghdad, lower Mesopotamia, the mouths of the river Euphrates and Tigris, as well as part of the Persian Gulf.
The Shah also promised to cease all raids into Ottoman territory.

Campaigns in the Indian Ocean
Ottoman ships had been sailing in the Indian Ocean since the year 1518.
Ottoman Admirals are known to have voyaged to the Mughalimperial ports of Thatta, Surat and Janjira.
The Mughal Emperor Akbar, himself is known to have exchanged six documents with Suleiman the Magnificent.
In the Indian Ocean, Suleiman led several naval campaigns against the Portuguese in an attempt to remove them and reestablish trade with India.
Aden in Yemen was captured by the Ottomans in 1538,
in order to provide an Ottoman base for raids against Portuguese possessions on the western coast of modern Pakistan and India.
Aden where they fortified the city with 100 pieces of artillery.
From this base, Sulayman Pasha managed to take control of the whole country of Yemen,
also taking Sanaa With its strong control of the Red Sea,
maintained a significant level of trade with the Mughal Empire of South Asia throughout the 16th century.
His admiral Piri Reis led an Ottoman fleet in the Indian Ocean, achieving the Capture of Muscat in 1552.
In 1564, Suleiman received an embassy from Aceh (modern Indonesia), requesting Ottoman support against the Portuguese.
As a result an Ottoman expedition to Aceh was launched.

Mediterranean and North Africa
The presence of the Spanish in the Eastern Mediterranean concerned Suleiman,
Recognizing the need to reassert the navy's preeminence in theMediterranean,
Suleiman appointed an exceptional naval commander Khair ad Din, known to Europeans as Barbarossa.
Once appointed admiral-in-chief, Barbarossa was charged with rebuilding the Ottoman fleet,
Ottoman navy equaled in number those of all other Mediterranean countries put together.
In 1538, the Spanish fleet was defeated by Barbarossa at the Battle of Preveza,
securing the eastern Mediterranean for the Turks .
East of Morocco, huge territories in North Africa were annexed.
The Barbary States of Tripolitania, Tunisia, and Algeria became autonomous provinces of the Empire,
Ottoman expansion secured naval dominance in the Mediterranean.
The Siege of Malta in 1565:
In 1542, facing a common Habsburg enemy, Francis I sought to renew the Franco-Ottoman alliance.
As a result, Suleiman dispatched 100 galleys.under Barbarossa to assist the French in the western Mediterranean.
Barbarossa pillaged the coast of Naples and Sicily.
Barbarossa attack and capture Nice in 1543.

Administrative reforms
He is one of best 23 commemorating famous lawmakers throughout history.
While Sultan Suleiman was known as "the Magnificent" in the West, he was always Kanuni Suleiman or "The Lawgiver" (قانونی) to his own Ottoman subjects.
"Not only was he a great military campaigner, a man of the sword, as his father and great-grandfather had been before him.
He differed from them in the extent to which he was also a man of the pen.
He was a great legislator, high-minded sovereign and a magnanimous exponent of justice".[40]
The overriding law of the empire was the Shari'ah, or Sacred Law,
which as the divine law of Islam was outside of the Sultan's powers to change.
Yet an area of distinct law known as the Kanuns (قانون, canonical legislation) was dependent on Suleiman's will alone,
covering areas such as criminal law, land tenure and taxation.
He collected all the judgments that had been issued by the nine Ottoman Sultans who preceded him.
After eliminating contradictory statements, compiled single legal code, being careful not to violate the basic laws of Islam.
supported by his Grand Mufti Ebussuud,
sought to reform the legislation to adapt to a rapidly changing empire.
When the Kanun laws attained their final form,
the code of laws became known as the kanun‐i Osmani or the "Ottoman laws".
Suleiman's legal code was to last more than three hundred years.
Suleiman enacted new criminal and police legislation, prescribing a set of fines for specific offenses,
as well as reducing the instances requiring death or mutilation.
In the area of taxation, taxes were levied on various goods and produce, including animals, mines, profits of trade, and import-export duties.
In addition to taxes, officials who had fallen into disrepute were likely to have their land and property confiscated by the Sultan.

Religious Harmony
Suleiman gave particular attention to the plight of the rayas,
Christian subjects who worked the land of the Sipahis.
His Kanune Raya, or "Code of the Rayas", reformed the law governing levies and taxes to be paid by the rayas,
raising their status above serfdom to the extent that .
Christian serfs would migrate to Turkish territories to benefit from the reforms.
The Sultan also played a role in protecting the Jewish subjects of his empire for centuries to come.
In late 1553 or 1554, on the suggestion of his favorite doctor and dentist, the Sultan issued a firman (فرمان) formally denouncing blood libels against the Jews.

Education was another important area for the Sultan.
Schools attached to mosques and funded by religious foundations provided a largely free education to Muslim boys.
In his capital, Suleiman increased the number of mektebs (primary schools) to fourteen,
teaching boys to read and write as well as the principles of Islam.
Young men wishing further education could proceed to one of eight medreses (colleges),
whose studies included grammar, metaphysics, philosophy, astronomy, and astrology.
Higher medreses provided education of university status, whose graduates became imams or teachers.
Educational centers were often one of many buildings surrounding the courtyards of mosques,
others included libraries, refectories, fountains, soup kitchens and hospitals for the benefit of the public.

Cultural achievements
Under Suleiman's patronage, the Ottoman empire entered the golden age of its cultural development.
Hundreds of imperial artistic societies (called the"Community of the Talented") were administered at the Imperial seat.
After an apprenticeship, artists and craftsmen could advance in rank within their field and were paid commensurate wages in quarterly annual installments.
Payroll registers of documents dating from 1526 list 40 societies with over 600 members.
it attracted the empire's most talented artisans to the Sultan's court,
both from the Islamic world and recently conquered territories in Europe, resulting in a blend of Islamic, Turkish and European cultures.
Artisans in service of the court included painters, book binders, furriers, jewellers and goldsmiths.
Whereas previous rulers had been influenced by Persian culture (Suleiman's father, Selim I, wrote poetry in Persian),
Suleiman's patronage of the arts had seen the Ottoman Empire assert its own artistic legacy.
Suleiman himself was an accomplished poet, writing in Persian and Turkish under the takhallus Muhibbi ("Lover").
Some of Suleiman's verses have become Turkish proverbs.

Architectural Development
Suleiman also became renowned for sponsoring a series of monumental architectural developments within his empire.
The Sultan sought to turn Constantinople into the center of Islamic civilization by a series of projects,
including bridges, mosques, palaces and various charitable and social establishments.
The greatest of these were built by the Sultan's chief architect, Mimar Sinan, under whom Ottoman architecture reached its zenith.
Sinan became responsible for over three hundred monuments throughout the empire,
including his two masterpieces, the Süleymaniye and Selimie mosques—the latter built in Edirne in the reign of Suleiman's son Selim II.
Suleiman also restored the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem and the Jerusalem city walls
Renovated the Kaaba in Mecca,
constructed a complex in Damascus.

Suleiman I's conquests were followed by continuous territorial expansion until the Empire's peak in 1590.
At the time of Suleiman's death, the Ottoman Empire was one of the world's foremost powers.
Suleiman's conquests had brought under the control of the Empire the major Muslim cities (Mecca, Medina, Jerusalem, Damascus, and Baghdad),
many Balkan provinces (reaching present day Croatia andAustria), and most of North Africa.
His expansion into Europe had given the Ottoman Turks a powerful presence in the European balance of power.
Indeed, such was the perceived threat of the Ottoman Empire under the reign of Suleiman
that Austria's ambassador Busbecq warned of Europe's imminent conquest:
"On [the Turks'] side are the resources of a mighty empire, strength unimpaired, habituation to victory,
endurance of toil, unity, discipline, and watchfulness... Can we doubt what the result will be?...
When the Turks have settled with Persia, they will fly at our throats supported by the might of the whole East; how unprepared we are I dare not say.
Suleiman's legacy was not, however, merely in the military field.
the "strong agricultural base of the country, the well being of the peasantry,
the abundance of staple foods, and the pre-eminence of organization in Suleiman's government".

The administrative and legal reforms which earned him the name Law Giver ensured the Empire's survival long after his death,
an achievement which "took many generations of decadent heirs to undo".
Today the skyline of the Bosphorus, and of many cities in modern Turkey and the former Ottoman provinces,
are still adorned with the architectural works of Mimar Sinan.
One of these, the Süleymaniye Mosque, is the final resting place of Suleiman.
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Rise to Power

Osman I (1299-1326)

0n 27 July declared independence from Seljuk Anatolia empire
In the early 14th Century Osthman or Osman I (1259-1326) founded an Empire that would last for over 6 centuries and shake the world with it's might.

Following the defeat of the Seljuks by the Mongols in 1293 Osman I emerged as the leader of the Turks in fighting the Tottering Byzantine Empire.

The initial areas of expansion under Osman I and his successors Orkhan (ruled 1326-59) .

were western Asia Minor and southeastern Europe, primarily the Balkan Peninsula.

1354 Gallipoli is taken by the Ottoman Turks, giving them their first foothold in Europe

Murad I (ruled 1359-89)

1389 Victory at Kosovo gives the Ottoman Turks control over Serbia, which becomes a vassal state

Murad I conquerored Thrace, Northwest of Constantinople and moved his capital to Edrine, formally Adrianople.

This conquest effectively cut Constantinople from the outside world and sealed the fate of the Byzantines forever.

Edrine also gave the Ottomans routes of invasion towards the north alowing the Ottomans to continue to expand their lands.

Bayazid I (1389-1402)
1393 The Ottoman sultan Bayazid I brings the Slav kingdom of Bulgaria under his control.

Mohammed II (ruled 1451-81).

It was he who completed the siege of Constantinople in 1453 and made it the capital of the Ottoman Empire.
The whole Balkan Peninsula south of Hungary was incorporated as well as the Crimea on the north coast of the Black Sea.
Asia Minor was completely subdued.
In addition to conquering a large empire,
Mohammed II worked strenuously for consolidation and an adequate administrative and tax system.

He was assisted by the fact that the whole Byzantine bureaucratic structure fell into his hands.
Although Islamic, Ottoman sultans were not averse to using whatever talent they could attract or capture.

Gunpowder technology was a significant element in these Ottoman successes.

Islamic Ideology

The Ottomans built on the Islamic government traditions of the Seljuk Empire of the Middle Ages.
which prided itself on being the defender of Islam in its time.
The Ottomans saw themselves in the same light.
As the empire grew and expanded through the centuries, the Ottomans formalized their position as the defenders of Islam.
with the sultans taking on the title of khalifah (caliph) of the Muslim world.
The law of the land was the Shariah,

The Golden Age

Three Sultans rueld during the Empire's Golden Age;
Bayezid II (1481-1512),
Selim I (1512-20),
Suleyman I the Magnificent (1520-66).

Bayezid expanded the Empire in the Balkans and made outposts along the Black Sea, he also put down the revolts in Anatolia.
He also turned the Ottoman Fleet into a major power, the navy was greatly expanded and Eastern and Byzantine influences were put together to make an effective fleet.
Later in his life he was displaced by his more militant son, Selim I....

Selim first defeated all opposition to his position,
he killed many of his advisories and even all but one of his sons!
He established control over the army also, which wanted to raise it's own canidate.

During his shrot but expansionistic rule the Emprie expanded into Syria, Mesopotamia, Arabia and Egypt.

Selim became the leader of the Islamic religion through his rule of Mecca and the Holy Places in Arabia and elsewhere.

Another benefit of his rule was his effort to control the Trade Lines heading East-West.

This forced European countries to seek ways through Afrika and partly the Ottoman Empire is responsible for forcing Europe into the discovery of the Americas....

Süleyman, came to the throne in an enviable situation.
New revenues from the expanded empire left him with wealth and power unparalleled in Ottoman history.
In his early campaigns he captured Belgrade (1521) and Rhodes (1522) and broke the military power of Hungary.

In 1529 he laid siege to Vienna, Austria, but was forced to withdraw for lack of supplies.

He also waged three campaigns against Persia.

Algiers in North Africa fell to his navy in 1529 and
Tripoli (now Libya) in 1551.
The Ottoman Empire under Süleyman had reached it's hieght but it lasted only for a short while....

Decline of the Ottoman Sultanate

Change in International Trade Route

From the sixteenth century onward, the commercial power of western European states with an Atlantic seaboard began to be felt in the Ottoman Empire.
During the sixteenth century, the Portuguese, having established themselves in the Indian Ocean,
tried with partial success to gain a monopoly of the trade from southeast Asia to Europe,
which had previously passed through Egypt and the Gulf and provided a source of revenue for the Ottoman sultans.
Ottoman attempts to dislodge the Portuguese from Diu in Gujarat in 1538 and from Hormuz in 1552, and to encounter them in the open sea, failed.
By the seventeenth century, when the Dutch, English, and French began to dominate long-distance trade in the Indian Ocean, the Ottoman presence was no longer significant.
These powers came to play an important role in the Ottoman economy, in the mid-seventeenth century even supplying coin to the Ottoman currency market.

Jews in the Ottoman Empire
For centuries, the Ottoman Empire was the refuge of the Jews of Europe, who did not have the freedom of religion in Europe that the citizens of the Ottoman Empire did.
Jews expelled from Spain in 1492 found refuge in the Balkans and elsewhere in Ottoman territory,
where the sultan decreed they should be welcomed. Famously, Sultan Abdulmecid rejected the Christian “blood libel” against the Jews.
Jews and Christians held significant posts such as ambassadors and court physicians.
Christians and Jews could become viziers as several did at various times.
Christians in the Ottoman Empire
In the late seventeenth century, some Greek Christians who had served in diplomatic posts were rewarded with the designation hospodar (prince) and governed the provinces of Moldavia and Walachia on behalf of the sultan.

Millet is an Ottoman Turkish term for a legally protected religious minority

It comes from the Arabic word milla for confessional community.
The millet was an alternative to autonomous territories for dealing with minority groups.
The millet system has a long history in the Middle East, and is closely linked to Islamic rules on the treatment of non-Muslim minorities.
The Ottoman term specifically refers to the separate legal courts pertaining to personal law
under which minorities were allowed to rule themselves with fairly little interference from the Ottoman government.
The main millets were the Jewish, Greek, and Armenian ones (which included gypsies, Georgian Orthodox, and several other communities).
By the nineteenth century there were 14 millets. A wide array of other groups such as Catholics Protestants were under a wakil or representative who was not officially head of a millet.


Reform program in the Ottoman Empire from 1839 until 1876.

Tanzimat is Turkish for "reorganization", and was a program that based itself on the changes started by sultan Mahmud 2.

The actual program was started under sultanAbdülmecid 1.

The Tanzimat program was one of highest importance to the Ottoman Empire.

It was initiated by reformists who understood why the empire was growing weaker while neighbour countries were growing stronger.
The situation was clearly illustrated by numerous military defeats.
Inside the empire also, there were many dangerous tensions that could lead to conflicts and demands of autonomy.
This had already happened in Egypt, when Muhammad Ali achieved autonomy.

One characteristic of the Tanzimat that made it hard to accept for many,
was that it had been formed upon European ideas and ideals.
And Europe was considered the lands of the infidels.

The reforms of the Tanzimat was administered under the Grand Vizier.
The most known of the Tanzimat viziers was Mustafa Resid Pasha, who served altogether 6 terms.

While the Tanzimat program might have saved the Ottoman Empire, or at least prolonged its existence, one may assert that it came too late.
But even more grave, it was discontinued by sultan Abdülaziz' abuse of politics and little respect for the reforms.

• The program
It contained new regulations in several fields:

New administration:

Provincial representative assemblies were established
Administrative councils were established
elected from the district level to that of the provinces.
Abolishment of the traditional land-tenure regime.
Focused on equality between different communities and classes.
state courts that ruled independent of the religiously learned.
The local administrations started to function as parts of large state structure.
New codes of commercial and criminal law were introduced.
The registration of land.
Municipalities and their powers.
Additional laws were also issued to organize the matters of trade, official transactions.

In that same context, the 1876 constitution was issued under the name
"the Fundamental Law of the Sultanate," though during that period,
the term constitution generally referred to the entirety of the Tanzimat, not only the fundamental law.

Standardized system of taxation:
Earlier there had been abuses in many provinces,
allowing local rulers to enrich themselves on the locals.
The system of taxation also applied to military conscription and training,
a system that now was regulated, and involved less pressure on the locals.

New Millitary system Replacing janissaries:
The military establishment was the Tanzimat's first priority.
At the time, traditional Ottoman armies-the Janissaries and the Sipahi-had fallen from their glory
and their weakness contrasted highly with European armies, which, since the 18thcentury, began displaying a high level of organization, training, and skill.
The Ottoman Empire now introduced a conscript system based upon Prussian patterns.
This involved the total end of the system, from which the Janissaries had been recruited.

Rights of the individual:
No matter what race or religion a citizen had, his or her security of life, property and honour was guaranteed inside the empire.
In return, the state demanded that all citizens were loyal to the sultan and the Ottoman administration.

Secular school system:
Earlier, Islam had been the foundation for schooling.
Now, modern ideals were introduced instead.

Other Reforms

guarantees to ensure the Ottoman subjects perfect security for their lives, honour, and property (1839);
• the introduction of the first Ottoman paper banknotes (1840);
• the opening of the first post offices of the empire (1840);
• the reorganization of the finance system (1840);
• the reorganization of the Civil and Criminal Code (1840);
• the establishment of the First Ottoman Parliament (1876);
• the reorganization of the army and a regular method of recruiting, levying the army, and fixing the duration of military service (1843–44);
• the adoption of an Ottoman national anthem and Ottoman national flag (1844);
• the first nationwide Ottoman census in 1844 (only male citizens were counted);
• the first national identity cards (1844);
• the institution of a Council of Public Instruction (1845) and the Ministry of Education .
• the establishment of the first modern universities and teacher school 1848);
• the establishment of the Ministry of Healthcare (1850);
• the Commerce and Trade Code (1850);
• the establishment of the Academy of Sciences (1851)
• the establishment of the modern Municipality of Istanbul and the City Planning Council (1855);
• promising full legal equality for citizens of all religions (1856);
• non-Muslims were allowed to become soldiers (1856);
• various provisions for the better administration of the public service and advancement of commerce;
• the establishment of the Ottoman Central Bank (originally established as the Bank-ı Osmanî in 1856,)

Effects of the Tanzimat reforms
Although the Edict of Gülhane and the Tanzimat provided strong guidelines for society, it was not a constitution. It did not replace the authority of the sultan.
The reforms peaked in 1876 with the implementation of an Ottoman constitution checking the autocratic powers of the Sultan.

State institutions were reorganized; laws were updated according to the needs of the changing world; modern education, clothing, architecture, arts, and lifestyle were encouraged.
This reorganization and addition of state institutions resulted in an enormous increase in the number of bureaucrats in the Ottoman Empire

Causes of the Decline Of Ottoman Empire

There are numerous reasons for the decline and fall of the Ottoman Empire. The three most important reasons are the following:

Failure to Modernize:
The leaders of the Ottoman Empire did not invest in modern technologies and
did not take advantage of the Scientific Revolution in Europe and Enlightenment.
Religious Authorities in the Ottoman Empire prevented modernization reforms.

The Tanzimat Reforms that did come were too little too late.
Additionally, Muslims had distinct privileges that non-Muslims (Jews and Christians) were not entitled to, leading to inequality and resentment.
This led to stagnation in Ottoman development whereas the rest of Europe was advancing rapidly.

Some individuals wanted to push for greater technological and social advancement, calling themselves the Jön Türkler (Young Turks).
These people would ultimately lead the overthrow of the government and the establishment of the Turkish Republic.

Ethnic Nationalism:

Especially in the Balkans, but also to a limited degree elsewhere in the empire, people were swept up in the cause of nationalism.
This happened especially among the Christian minorities of Southeastern Europe because of the inequalities they faced.
The Greeks, Serbs, Bulgarians, and Romanians all declared independence and fought the Ottoman Armies to gain that independence.
This led to a large decrease in Ottoman territory and a drain on the Ottoman Army and Janissary Recruitment.
There were also bitter fights between these newly independent states,
especially between Greece and Bulgaria over who would get to claim regions still under Ottoman control like Thrace and Macedonia.

Economic and Military Pressures:
This period was also notable for Austrian and Russian Imperialism which led to numerous wars between those two empires and the Ottoman Empire.
These were incredibly draining on the Ottoman treasury and exhausting for the Ottoman Army.
The Ottoman Empire racked up incredible debts to continue arming themselves with hand-me-down weapons from Western countries.
The over-expansion of the Ottoman Empire in World War I ended up destroying the country.

The tough feudal Turkish cavalry
Second, the tough feudal Turkish cavalry that had been the backbone of the army in the mobile wars of conquest
were less useful to the sultans who now needed professional garrisons to run the frontier forts.
Without wars of conquest to occupy and enrich them, they became restless and troublesome to the central government.
That combined with the problems from the Janissaries, caused revolts that further disrupted the empire.
(Eventually, the Janissaries would become so troublesome that one sultan would have to surround and massacre them.)
Both of these military problems, the failure to keep up with the West and the increasingly rebellious army,
fed back into the empire's economic decline, which further aggravated its military problems.
Internally, the Ottomans suffered from three major problems.

Sultans were less capable and energetic

First of all, after Suleiman's death, the sultans were less capable and energetic, being raised and spending their time increasingly at court with all its harem intrigues.
Without the sultan's strong hand at the helm, corruption became a major problem.

Janissaries became a virtual hereditary caste

Second, the Janissaries became a virtual hereditary caste,
demanding increasingly more pay while they also grew soft and lazy.
Finally, the size of the empire created problems.
The sultan was expected to lead the army, setting out with it each spring from the capital.
This meant that as the frontiers expanded, it took the army longer to reach the enemy,
thus shortening the campaign season to the point where it was very hard to conquer new lands.
This especially hurt the Turks at the siege of Vienna in 1529.
They did not reach the city until September, and winter set in early with disastrous results for the troops not used to European winters.
Because of these factors, the Turks made few new conquests after 1565 and, as a result, gained no significant new revenues and plunder.
Two external economic factors also hurt the Ottomans, both of them stemming from the Age of Exploration then taking place.

Lost monopoly on the spice trade going to Europe

For one thing, the Portuguese circumnavigation around Africa to India had opened a new spice route to Asia.
Therefore, the Turks lost their monopoly on the spice trade going to Europe, which cost them a good deal of much needed money.

Spanish Empire in the Americas that was bringing a huge influx of gold and silver to Europe

The other problem came from the Spanish Empire in the Americas that was bringing a huge influx of gold and silver to Europe.
This triggered rampant inflation during the 1500’s, which worked its way eastward into the Ottoman Empire.
This inflation, combined with the other factors hurting the empire's revenues, led to serious economic decline.
Economic decline hurt the empire militarily
That economic decline hurt the empire militarily in two ways that fed back into further economic decline.
First of all, after 1600, the Turks lost their technological and military edge.
While European armies were constantly upgrading their artillery and firearms, the Ottomans let theirs stagnate,
thus putting them at a disadvantage against their enemies.
Also, as Turkish conquests ground to a halt, a stable frontier guarded by expensive fortresses evolved,
which drained the empire of even more money.
At the same time, Europeans were reviving the Roman concept of strict drill and discipline to create much more efficient and reliable armies.
However, the Turks failed to adapt these techniques and, as a result, found themselves increasingly at a disadvantage when fighting against European armies.

The following centuries saw the Ottoman Empire suffer from steady political and economic decay.
By the 1800's, its decrepit condition would earn it the uncomplimentary title of "The Sick Man of Europe".
Finally, the shock of World War I would destroy the Ottoman Empire once and for all,
breaking it into what have become such Middle Eastern nations as Turkey, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Lebanon, and Israel.
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In css, 5 topics are important in ottoman empire.
1.muhammad al-fateh
2.suleman the magnificent
3.ottoman administration
4. Ottoman tanzimat
5. Decline of ottoman empire.
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Default Mehmed II and the Prophet’s Promise

Mehmed II and the Prophet’s Promise

Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) had promised his followers in the Arabian Desert that they would one day conquer the most powerful and legendary city of the day, Constantinople.

For centuries, it seemed like an impossible task.

The city is incredibly well-defended, being a peninsula with a giant wall on it’s land side that deterred most conquerors.

The city was laid siege to by Muslim armies during the Umayyad Caliphate, but those sieges were unable to defeat her mammoth walls.

When the Ottoman Empire sprang up in the early 1300s as a small Turkish beylik in Western Anatolia, it threatened the security of the Byzantines and their capital, Constantinople. By the time Sultan Mehmed II takes the throne in 1451, the Ottomans have expanded to control land in both Europe and Asia, thus surrounding the city of Constantinople.

Sultan Mehmed made it his goal from the moment he took the throne to finally capture the legendary city.

He ordered the building of a fortress on the Bosporus Strait, north of Constantinople to control ship movement in and out of the city. To honor the Prophet who declared the Muslims would conquer Constantinople, Mehmed had the fortress built in a way that it’s shape spelled out “Muhammad” in Arabic when seen from above.

On April 1st, 1453, Mehmed and his Ottoman army of over 100,000 soldiers arrived at the walls of Constantinople. The sight that greeted them must have been terrifying.

The inner walls of Constantinople were 5 meters thick at their base and 12 meters high. 20 meters away from the inner wall was the outer wall, which was 2 meters thick and 8.5 meters tall.
These walls had never been conquered in history, and numerous previous sieges by the Ottomans as well as the Umayyads during the caliphate of Mu’awiya in the 600s attested to that.

In addition to the walls, the Byzantines had a giant iron chain installed in the Golden Horn, a small inlet to the north of the city.
This would prevent a navy from sailing to the weaker northern coast of the city and attacking from there.

The Byzantines had a clear defensive advantage before the battle began. Despite being outnumbered and outgunned, the Byzantines were confident of their impending victory. Especially once additional soldiers and commanders were sent from the Italian city-state of Genoa.
Mehmed offered the defenders the option to surrender and remain in possession of their property, lives, and families in peace, but this offer was refused by the Byzantine emperor, Constantine XI.

Thus, Mehmed began the attack on the city on April 6th. Despite the best effort of the Ottoman soldiers, and the bombardment of the world’s biggest cannons, the city held out for weeks. On April 22nd, Mehmed ordered the Ottoman navy to be carried over land to bypass the chain in the Golden Horn.

Over one night, 72 ships were carried over land and put into the Golden Horn, threatening the city from the north.
It seemed that the battle of the city would soon be over as the Ottomans clearly had the upper hand.

On May 28th, Mehmed halted all attacks and allowed his army to spend the day praying to Allah for victory.
The next day, on May 29th, the army began a final assault on the city walls and before the morning was over, the walls were conquered and the city was taken.

Perhaps the most important part of this historical event was Mehmed II’s treatment of the defeated Byzantines.
He did not kill the residents of the city and in fact encouraged them to stay in Constantinople by absolving them of taxes. He insisted that the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate stay in the city and rule the Christians of the city on his behalf. While to the rest of Europe, the idea of religious tolerance was a foreign concept, Mehmed followed the Islamic principles on treatment of non-Muslims and gave religious freedom and rights to the Christians of Constantinople. His abilities in battle and his virtuous qualities earned him the nickname “al-Fatih” or “the Conqueror”.
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