Ottoman Empire

Ottoman Empire
دولت عليه عثمانیه
Devlet-i ʿAlīye-i ʿOsmānīye
c. 1299–1922/1923[note 1]
دولت ابد مدت
Devlet-i Ebed-müddet
"The Eternal State"
(during 1808–1922)
The Ottoman Empire at its greatest extent in Europe, under Sultan Mehmed IV in late 17th century.
 • c. 1299–1323/4Osman I (first)
 • 1918–1922Mehmed VI (last)
 • 1512–1520Selim I (first)[3]
 • 1922–1924Abdülmecid II (last)
Grand Vizier
 • 1320–1331Alaeddin Pasha (first)
 • 1920–1922Ahmet Tevfik Pasha (last)
LegislatureGeneral Assembly
 • Upper houseSenate
 • Lower houseChamber of Deputies
 • Foundedc. 1299
 • Interregnum1402–1414
 • Transformation to empire1453
 • 1st Constitutional1876–1878
 • 2nd Constitutional1908–1920
 • Raid on the Sublime Porte23 January 1913
 • Sultanate abolished[note 3]1 November 1922
 • Republic of Turkey established[note 4]29 October 1923
 • Caliphate abolished3 March 1924
 • 1683 [4][5]5,200,000 km2 (2,000,000 sq mi)
 • 1914 [6]1,800,000 km2 (690,000 sq mi)
 • 1856 est.35,350,000 
 • 1906 est.20,884,000 
 • 1912 est.[7]24,000,000 
CurrencyAkçe, Para, Sultani, Kuruş, Lira
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Sultanate of Rum
Adal Sultanate
Anatolian beyliks
Byzantine Empire
Kingdom of Bosnia
Second Bulgarian Empire
Serbian Despotate
Kingdom of Hungary
Kingdom of Croatia
Mamluk Sultanate
Hafsid dynasty
Hospitallers of Tripolitania
Kingdom of Tlemcen
Empire of Trebizond
Principality of Samtskhe
Turkish Provisional Government
Hellenic Republic
Caucasus Viceroyalty
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Revolutionary Serbia
Kingdom of Romania
Principality of Bulgaria
Mandatory Iraq
Kingdom of Hejaz
French Algeria
British Cyprus
French Tunisia
Italian Libya
Part of a series on the
History of the
Ottoman Empire
Coat of Arms of the Ottoman Empire

The Ottoman Empire (n/; Ottoman Turkish: دولت عليه عثمانیه‎, Devlet-i ʿAlīye-i ʿOsmānīye, literally The Exalted Ottoman State; Modern Turkish: Osmanlı İmparatorluğu or Osmanlı Devleti), also historically known in Western Europe as the Turkish Empire[8] or simply Turkey,[9] was a state that controlled much of Southeast Europe, Western Asia and North Africa between the 14th and early 20th centuries. It was founded at the end of the 13th century in northwestern Anatolia in the town of Söğüt (modern-day Bilecik Province) by the Oghuz Turkish tribal leader Osman I.[10] After 1354, the Ottomans crossed into Europe, and with the conquest of the Balkans, the Ottoman beylik was transformed into a transcontinental empire. The Ottomans ended the Byzantine Empire with the 1453 conquest of Constantinople by Mehmed the Conqueror.[11]

During the 16th and 17th centuries, at the height of its power under the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent,[12] the Ottoman Empire was a multinational, multilingual empire controlling most of Southeast Europe, parts of Central Europe, Western Asia, parts of Eastern Europe and the Caucasus, North Africa and the Horn of Africa.[13] At the beginning of the 17th century, the empire contained 32 provinces and numerous vassal states. Some of these were later absorbed into the Ottoman Empire, while others were granted various types of autonomy during the course of centuries.[note 5]

With Constantinople as its capital and control of lands around the Mediterranean basin, the Ottoman Empire was at the centre of interactions between the Eastern and Western worlds for six centuries. While the empire was once thought to have entered a period of decline following the death of Suleiman the Magnificent, this view is no longer supported by the majority of academic historians.[14] The empire continued to maintain a flexible and strong economy, society and military throughout the 17th and much of the 18th century.[15] However, during a long period of peace from 1740 to 1768, the Ottoman military system fell behind that of their European rivals, the Habsburg and Russian empires.[16] The Ottomans consequently suffered severe military defeats in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, which prompted them to initiate a comprehensive process of reform and modernisation known as the Tanzimat. Thus, over the course of the 19th century, the Ottoman state became vastly more powerful and organised, despite suffering further territorial losses, especially in the Balkans, where a number of new states emerged.[17] The empire allied with Germany in the early 20th century, hoping to escape from the diplomatic isolation which had contributed to its recent territorial losses, and thus joined World War I on the side of the Central Powers.[18] While the Empire was able to largely hold its own during the conflict, it was struggling with internal dissent, especially with the Arab Revolt in its Arabian holdings. During this time, major atrocities were committed by the Ottoman government against the Armenians, Assyrians and Pontic Greeks.[19]

The Empire's defeat and the occupation of part of its territory by the Allied Powers in the aftermath of World War I resulted in its partitioning and the loss of its Middle Eastern territories, which were divided between the United Kingdom and France. The successful Turkish War of Independence against the occupying Allies led to the emergence of the Republic of Turkey in the Anatolian heartland and the abolition of the Ottoman monarchy.[20]


The word Ottoman is a historical anglicisation of the name of Osman I, the founder of the Empire and of the ruling House of Osman (also known as the Ottoman dynasty). Osman's name in turn was the Turkish form of the Arabic name ʿUthmān (عثمان‎). In Ottoman Turkish, the empire was referred to as Devlet-i ʿAlīye-yi ʿOsmānīye (دولت عليه عثمانیه‎),[21] (literally "The Supreme Ottoman State") or alternatively ʿOsmānlı Devleti (عثمانلى دولتى‎). In Modern Turkish, it is known as Osmanlı İmparatorluğu ("The Ottoman Empire") or Osmanlı Devleti ("The Ottoman State").

The Turkish word for "Ottoman" (Osmanlı) originally referred to the tribal followers of Osman in the fourteenth century, and subsequently came to be used to refer to the empire's military-administrative elite. In contrast, the term "Turk" (Türk) was used to refer to the Anatolian peasant and tribal population, and was seen as a disparaging term when applied to urban, educated individuals.[22] In the early modern period, an educated urban-dwelling Turkish-speaker who was not a member of the military-administrative class would refer to himself neither as an Osmanlı nor as a Türk, but rather as a Rūmī (رومى‎), or "Roman", meaning an inhabitant of the territory of the former Byzantine Empire in the Balkans and Anatolia. The term Rūmī was also used to refer to Turkish-speakers by the other Muslim peoples of the empire and beyond.[23]

In Western Europe, the two names "Ottoman Empire" and "Turkey" were often used interchangeably, with "Turkey" being increasingly favoured both in formal and informal situations. This dichotomy was officially ended in 1920–23, when the newly established Ankara-based Turkish government chose Turkey as the sole official name. Most scholarly historians avoid the terms "Turkey", "Turks", and "Turkish" when referring to the Ottomans, due to the empire's multinational character.[9]

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Ottomaanse Ryk
Alemannisch: Osmanisches Reich
aragonés: Imperio Otomán
asturianu: Imperiu Otomanu
azərbaycanca: Osmanlı İmperiyası
Bân-lâm-gú: Osman Tè-kok
беларуская: Асманская імперыя
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Асманская імпэрыя
català: Imperi Otomà
español: Imperio otomano
Esperanto: Otomana Imperio
Fiji Hindi: Ottoman Samrajya
føroyskt: Osmanska ríkið
français: Empire ottoman
한국어: 오스만 제국
Bahasa Indonesia: Kesultanan Utsmaniyah
interlingua: Imperio Ottoman
íslenska: Tyrkjaveldi
italiano: Impero ottomano
Kiswahili: Milki ya Osmani
Lëtzebuergesch: Osmanescht Räich
lietuvių: Osmanų imperija
Limburgs: Ottomaans Riek
lumbaart: Impero Otoman
македонски: Отоманско Царство
Malagasy: Empira Otomana
مازِرونی: عوسمانی
Bahasa Melayu: Empayar Uthmaniyah
Mìng-dĕ̤ng-ngṳ̄: Osman Dá̤-guók
Nederlands: Ottomaanse Rijk
Nordfriisk: Osmaansk Rik
norsk nynorsk: Det osmanske riket
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Usmonlilar imperiyasi
Papiamentu: Imperio Otomano
ភាសាខ្មែរ: ចក្រភព អូតូម៉ង់
Plattdüütsch: Osmaansch Riek
português: Império Otomano
qırımtatarca: Osmanlı Devleti
română: Imperiul Otoman
русиньскый: Османьска імперія
Seeltersk: Osmoansk Riek
sicilianu: Mpiru uttumanu
Simple English: Ottoman Empire
slovenčina: Osmanská ríša
slovenščina: Osmansko cesarstvo
Soomaaliga: Dawlada Cosmaniya
српски / srpski: Османско царство
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Osmansko Carstvo
tarandíne: 'Mbere Ottomane
татарча/tatarça: Госман империясе
Türkmençe: Osman imperiýasy
українська: Османська імперія
ئۇيغۇرچە / Uyghurche: ئوسمان ئىمپېرىيىسى
Vahcuengh: Osman Daeqgoz
vèneto: Inpero Otoman
Tiếng Việt: Đế quốc Ottoman
žemaitėška: Uosmanu imperėjė
Lingua Franca Nova: Impero Osmanan