Ottoman Empire

Ottoman Empire (also Otto manic or Turkish Empire, Ottoman دولت علیه, ià Devlet-i ʿ Aliye, “the exalted state” and in 1876 officially دولت عثمانيه / Devlet-i ʿ Osmaniye /, the Ottoman state ‘; Turkish Ottoman Imparatorlugu) is the name of the kingdom of the dynasty of the Ottomans from about 1299 up to 1923. In Europe, the country was referred to as “Turkey” or “Turkish Empire”. Anatolia was in Latin works after the conquest of the Turkish Seljuks as the 12th Century as “Turchia” (“Turkey”), respectively. [6]

The Ottoman Empire went out of the remnants of the Seljuk Sultanate of Rum- out and was for several centuries the decisive power in Asia Minor , the Middle East , in the Balkans , in North Africa and the Crimea . Capital since 1453 was Constantine Opel ( Ottoman Kostantiniyye, today Istanbul ). During the 18th and especially in the 19th Century, the Ottomans were forced back into conflict with European powers as well as various rebellions of other nations who lived under Ottoman rule, to Asia Minor and the Middle East. After the Ottoman Empire in the succession turmoil of the lost First World War had set 1923 as the successor state of the Republic of Turkey was founded.


The traditions about the early days of the Ottoman Empire are sparse, probably because it is a relatively small among many Beylik acted (principalities). These principalities were after the defeat of the Sultanate of Rum Seljuk Turks originated in Asia Minor. Many valuable books and texts in the destruction of Bursa by Timurlenk lost 1402. The namesake Osman I was to the early 14th Century, the rulers of a nomadic tribe, the clan of the tribe of Kayı Bozok, at the Söğüt in northwestern Anatolia had its center. The Kayı were yörükturkmenischer origin and Islamic faith. From 1299 Osman made his Beylik increasingly independent of the Rum Seljuk Empire. This year, therefore, traditionally regarded as the founding year of the Ottoman Empire. On 27 July 1302 led the Ottomans their first battle against the Byzantine army (Battle of Bapheus / Battle of Koyunhisar), which ended with a victory for the Ottomans. The Byzantine scholar Georgios Pachymeres it was after this victory over a Byzantine army of Osman earned fame in many parts of Anatolia. Thus, the 27 July 1302 considered the day of the establishment of the dynasty. [7] Osman gradually gained the upper hand over the neighboring Turkish tribes and extended his domain at the expense of the Byzantine Empire . By Paul Wittek who played Ghazi ideology a major role in warfare and the development of early Ottoman beylics. They had set it apart from the beginning to the conquest of the Byzantine territories, so that the first conquests on the frontier of the Byzantine Empire (UC) occurred and direction Rumelia continued. Finally, he laid siege to Bursa and Nicaea ( Iznik ), the two largest cities in Byzantine Anatolia. Bursa fell shortly before Osman’s death in 1326.

Iznik was in 1331 by his son and successor, Orhan conquered after 1329 at Maltepe in the battle of Pelekanon had defeated a Byzantine army. Orhan had inherited a principality in 1326, which was almost half the size of today’s Switzerland. He made ​​the capital of Bursa, and to the conquest of Constantinople in 1453, it remained grave, the place of the Ottoman sultans.

He also built the Janissaries on, (in Turkish Yeniçeri, “new force”) that the elite group of the next few centuries the Ottoman army should represent. They were originally made ​​of non-Turkish prisoners of war, under the spiritual guidance of sufitschen Bektashi were trained to Order and fanatical warriors loyal to the Sultan. Beside them the cavalry played an important role, especially the Sipahi , the heavy cavalry of the holders of Timar said noninheritable military fief was. Other military units provided the Akıncı , represent, Storm Rider, whose livelihood was mainly financed from the spoils, and also in the slave trade operated. At the same time the Central entertained own troops of the Sultan to them was the bodyguard of the Sultan, the Kapikuli , while the provincial governors, the Walis , regional units chatted, including the Serratkuli .

The Ottomans supplanted the Byzantine Empire largely from Asia Minor. When Orhan’s death in 1359 the kingdom was already more than three times as large as when his father died. But he had his sphere of influence extended not only at the expense of Byzantium, the 1333 first tribute paid, but at the cost of his Turkmen neighbors. So he broke in 1345 the neighboring regional power Karesi . By skillful acting during the Byzantine throne disputes that John IV brought to power, he was able to Beylik of Aydin on the Aegean incorporate his territory.

The Ottomans were to supremacy in Asia Minor. When the Byzantines Cantacuzenus inquired help from the Sultan Orhan Gazi, this took the chance and gave him 6,000 men Orhan Gazi conquered some areas such as the coastal areas of the Black Sea and Edirne. This military experience also helped him in the conquest of Thrace . At the same time, the Ottomans expanded their power to Smyrna , Sardis and Miletus from.

Orhan’s still alive began to expand into Europe by crossing the Sea of Marmara (Marmara Denizi), with 1354 was Gallipoli (Gallipoli) captured the first town on European soil. 1361 succeeded in taking Adrianople , the second largest Byzantine city after the Battle of Maritsa (1371) followed the attack on Macedonia (1371) and Bulgaria (1385 and 1396). 1389 succeeded Murad I in the Battle of Kosovo in a victory over the allied Christian princes of Serbia and Bosnia . Nevertheless, in parallel began the conquest of Asia Minor, especially of Aydin (1390), but also of Menteşe (1390, finally in 1421) in the southwest and Germiyan and also against Karaman in the east, the resistance but to 1466 and thus the expansion eastward long disabilities.
Shift in focus to Europe

If also took place in Asia Minor, both by war and by marriage gains, the European part of the empire was now become more important. Thus, the military leadership was a “from 1385 Beylerbey of Rumelia “(the European part of the Ottoman Empire) and a” Beylerbey of Anatolia “betrayed, whereby the former had the chief command. Many of the characteristic features of the Ottoman Empire had already been formed at that time. From the conquered territories were the warriors benefices – Timar called – where, in return, they had as sipahis in the cavalry of the Ottoman army serve. This system was similar to the first European feudal system of the Middle Ages, but there were also large differences. Thus, for example, developed no serfdom . As a standing army, the major infantry of the Janissaries provided (Turkish Yeniçeri), mainly from the so-called boys’ reading on the Balkans and the Caucasus obtained were converted to Islam and received training, they of to negotiable instruments of power politics Empire made. On the other hand, they increasingly specific with respect to policy matters and rose to the farm with the administrative apparatus and the Ottoman nobility, a third force behind the sultan.

Sultan Murad I was in June 1389 on the field of Kosovo after the battle by a wounded enemy, the Serbian nobleman Miloš Obilić killed. He was succeeded by Bayezid I. (sometimes Beyazit Beyazit or written), who soon made ​​it to Opel Constantinople, or Byzantium to conquer, but this was not yet possible, however, Byzantium was obliged once again to pay tribute. In 1396, the Ottomans had a Crusader army led by the Hungarian King and later Emperor Sigismund put that in the Battle of Nicopolis was defeated.
Existential crisis by Timur

A first existential crisis had to endure the Ottoman Empire, as his army in the Battle of Ankara against Tamerlane and Bayezid was defeated in 1402 devastating was captured. The founder of the Timurid dynasty had a vast empire from north within a short time india over Georgia and Persia to Anatolia conquered, but which fell apart quickly after his death 1405th The administration of the territories of the Ottoman Empire, he had the sons of Bayezid, Süleyman (Rumelia), Mehmed given (central Anatolia with Amasya) and Isa (near Bursa Anatolian part). These fought in the result of both the lost Timur gone regions as well as against each other for supremacy. In the struggles between the brothers Suleiman was beaten by another brother, Musa, 1410, which in turn Mehmed in 1413 with the support of the Byzantine Empire inflicted a defeat (see also Ottoman Interregnum ). Sultan Mehmed stood as the reunited kingdom in the following years the challenge of consolidating the country and at the same time restore the old size.

Even the throne of Murad II was not running smoothly. Shortly before the death of Mehmed Mustafa as a son Bayezid’s alleged claims asserted. Probably he was a biological son, but he was defamed by Mehmed as “false Mustafa”. Both he and a brother Murad (also known as “Mustafa small” (Küçük Mustafa)), of Byzantium as the pretender to the throne had been built, were executed. On this occasion, the siege of Constantinople in 1422 had to be canceled again. Venice defended Selânik ( Thessaloniki ) from 1423 against the Ottomans, but which by 1430, the city, the surrounding area was long in her hand, finally fell to. Twice, 1387-1391 and 1394-1403, the city had been Ottoman, Byzantine then the last time.
Resumption of expansion
Mehmed I. receives dignitaries

In South East Europe that was Kingdom of Hungary became the main opponent. In 1440 it was the capture of the important fortress in Belgrade to prevent. Above all, John Hunyadi keeps returning military success, though his and the attempts of the Pope , a Crusader army in Western and Central Europe were hardly summon the expulsion of the Ottomans from Europe hearing. Three years later, Hunyadi was even after Bulgaria penetrate. Even the Albanians under Skanderbeg fought a war of independence against the Ottomans. Murad graduated in 1444 Szeged, a ten-year peace treaty, however, was immediately broken by Hungary to lead a campaign initiated by the Pope. Murad had just power to his son Mehmed issued and retired, but now came again to the forefront of the army, which the Crusaders under the Polish – Hungarian king Władysław III. (Poland and Hungary) in the Battle of Varna devastating hit. Again, he had to take over power in 1446 for his inexperienced successor to a Janitscharenaufstand crush, and in 1448 added the Hungarians under John Hunyadi in Kosovo in the battle of Kosovo Polje to a heavy defeat.

Mehmed II ascended the throne in 1451 definitively and immediately prepared the conquest of Constantinople Opel , the “golden apple” before (when the Ottomans had the golden apple high importance and was considered mythical object of every effort and luck, and later Vienna wore this designation). This event is often seen as a turning point in history, as the end of the Byzantine Empire and the end of the Middle Ages . In fact, Byzantium had, however, hardly any power at that time and was limited to little more than the area of ​​the (albeit important) city of Constantinople Opel. For Europe, the city was nevertheless of great importance in two respects. On the one hand she held the ground in the open Black Sea, on the other hand was culturally still of great importance.

Byzantium was Mehmed but also because of an eyesore because it set a pretender with Orhan Ottoman. In the case of the “wrong” Mustafa similar behavior had led to civil war. Opel Constantinople fell 54tägiger siege on 29 Mai in 1453. After the usual for this time looting the city became the new capital of the Ottoman Empire, and they tried the old population – such as Greeks and Jews – to move to stay and new to settle there. The Hagia Sophia became a mosque Ayasofia. As the last remnants of Byzantine rule in 1460, the Morea (were Peloponnese ) and 1461, the Empire of Trebizond subject.

In the Balkans, the Ottomans were slow. 1456 Hunyadi was able to avert the conquest of Belgrade and secured the independence of Hungary for the next seventy years. However, Mehmed conquered to 1460, the Peloponnese and the rest of Serbia. 1470 came Albania, 1475 to the Crimea. 1481 climbed Bayezid II to the throne, under the weakened the drive for expansion of the empire. A role was played by his brother Cem , who first from the Order of St. John was later used against him and the Pope hostage. Bayezid himself was in 1512 by his son Selim deposed and probably poisoned.

Selim sat mainly in the east continued the conquest. 1514 scored a victory against the Safavids in Persia, in 1516 against Syria. Finally, was the 1516/17 Mameluke Empire in Egypt shattered. Thus the Ottoman Empire took over the protectorate over the holy cities of Mecca and Medina (ie the protection of the pilgrimage routes and the supply of cities) and the Ottoman Sultan received the title Caliph the unique supremacy in the Islamic world.
Süleyman the Magnificent
Sultan Suleiman I the Ottomans expanded the empire by several times and founded the great power status

The era of Süleyman I (1520-1566) is generally regarded as the culmination of the power of the Ottoman Empire. In the Ottoman and Turkish history, he received the nickname “kanuni” (“legislator”) because under his rule created a series of laws, the loopholes in the provisions of Sharia complete and the positive law should consolidate and codify. [8] in the western world it is called “the Magnificent”. He is also considered one of the greatest patrons of the arts under the Ottoman rulers. Under his reign fall about the architectural masterpieces of Mimar Sinan . Through many campaigns of Suleyman expanded the empire to the west, east and southeast.

1521, he conquered within just 3 weeks Belgrade . The fortress was regarded as the strongest in the Balkans . In 1522 he landed with his troops on Rhodes and took the fortress in December 1522. He let starve the defenders, who had to give up exhausted. Four years later in the Battle of Mohács , in the Louis II of Hungary’s fate was killed sealed. Although the Ottoman army withdrew before the end of time being off, but the succession to the Throne there was a dispute between the Habsburg Ferdinand I and the Hungarian Johann Zápolya , which invited the Ottomans for help. Ultimately, the Western Hungary fell to Austria, while in Zápolya peace of Oradea was recognized as king of Hungary rest under Ottoman suzerainty. After his death in 1540, the front gate of the middle third of the former Hungary and settled Zapolyas son of the Principality of Transylvania . Suleiman also wanted to Malta conquer, but the Knights of Saint John defeated the invasion force.
Battle of Preveza (1538) in the Khair ad-Din Barbarossa defeated the fleet of the Holy League. Historistisches paintings of 1866

Meanwhile, Suleiman took the position in 1529, at first to lay siege to Vienna , but this was not successful. After only 19 days Suleiman was forced to cancel due to the siege of a very early onset of winter. Yet Austria has long tributary as a result of this conflict. Through three campaigns against the Safavids succeeded the Ottoman Empire, the East Asia Minor to finally conquer. On other fronts, there was annexations: 1534 Mesopotamia, with Baghdad , Azerbaijan 1534, 1540 parts of Dalmatia , 1547 large parts of Yemen . In addition, the fleet defeated Khair ad-Din Barbarossa in 1538 the fleet of the Holy League under Andrea Doria at Preveza .

1566 Ottoman forces broke again to Hungary campaign. He besieged Szigetvár that of Nikola Zrinski Šubić was defended. Suleiman, however, died during this siege of Szigetvár . The death of the Sultan, the total losses in the siege of about 20,000 men, and the encroaching winter led the Ottoman army to retreat to Constantinople Opel.

The time Suleiman also initiated closer relations with the European powers. 1536 was the first so-called capitulation signed with France, France agreed to free trade and transferred the jurisdiction over his subjects on the floor of the Ottoman Empire.
Stagnation, revival and beginning of the decline

Even during the reign of Süleyman there were first signs of crisis, worsened in the course of time and the demise ushered in the Ottoman Empire. So were Tımare , non-hereditary fiefs with which the spahi tab their livelihood and their equipment financed, and increasingly awarded to non-signatories, which led to a weakening of the core group of the army. Because hardly any new territories were conquered, there was a lack of land that could be integrated into the timar system. The Tımare were therefore assigned into smaller denominations, what Spahis also weakened. The fewer troops could be financed by Tımare itself, the more had salaried are what turned the Porte before financial tasks that they could not cope. The means by which the Grand Viziers and the sofa to remedy since the 16th Chronic financial attacked century of the Empire, worsened the crisis. On the one hand was tax farming introduced the so-called “malikâne”: The right cashing a certain tax was auctioned , which the Treasury received the sum immediately. The “Mültezim” called tax farmers were now trying to squeeze out a lot more in taxes from the territory assigned to them, as they had paid at the auction, which made them hated by the taxable rural population. As a result, general spread corruption in the Ottoman empire – without “gifts” or bribes could not do anything to the authorities. This also contributed since the 17th Century widespread venality of offices at. While you filled the state treasury and especially the pockets of responsible for the occupation of vacant sites and post Grand Viziers and Beylerbeys with significant sums. On the other hand it also brought a lot of incompetent and untrained for the task personnel in office that tried in the shortest possible time to recoup the amount originally invested for the purchase offices. Result was an intensified exploitation of the common people.

Another means to consolidate public finances were repeated Münzverschlechterungen by the silver content of the akçe reduced, the currency of the Ottoman Empire, by reducing the coins or by the addition of base metals. The result was a significant inflation . Prices rose, among which mainly suffered from the common people. Another reason for the decline in the value of the coins came from the West: Because the Atlantic trade large amounts of silver from the Spanish colonial empire flocked to Europe decreased inversely proportional to the amount of silver available its value. [9]

The expansion of the Christian countries overseas had other negative consequences for the Ottoman Empire. With the discovery of the sea route around Africa to the Ottomans lost their monopoly on trade with India. Although brought the caravans of the spice route and the Incense Road in the 16th and 17 Century still valuable luxury goods to the ports of the Levant, but decreased their share of world trade resistant to the Atlantic trade. Also in the Mediterranean sea trade, the Ottomans lost more and more important, since they had given in 1536 to the French significant commercial benefits. Similar capitulations were with England, Venice and the Netherlands closed, so the Ottoman merchant fleet was soon condemned to insignificance and the Empire lacked an important source of income.

The Ottoman ships were inferior to those of the Europeans soon also technically, the gains from trade in their technical innovations such as the schooner invested. In other areas soon became a technical backwardness of Christian Europe against the Ottomans. The sultans were little open to innovation – the printing press with movable type had Bayezid II in 1483, for example, banned on pain of death. Therefore, the Christians were soon produced in their factories produce significantly cheaper and flooded the kingdom with their manufactured goods. This resulted in unemployment of artisans and factory workers in the cities and a balance of trade , under the Ottoman Empire since the 17th Century suffered permanent. exports of food products such as cereals, which could offset the balance, were banned in order to secure the supply of the population with bread. They found on the way of smuggling still held to an extent that was sufficient for repeated supply crises.

The increasing dissatisfaction of large parts of ordinary people was reflected in a series of uprisings such as the Celali riots , the Anatolia could hardly come to rest during the 1519 bis, 1598. Because the rural population suffered particularly under increasing pressure control, inflation and corruption, leaving many farmers their farms. They moved to the cities in inaccessible mountainous areas or joined the rebels or marauding bands of robbers on the so-called Levent, often led by former Spahis whose Tımare no longer sufficient to delivering adequate livelihood. The rural exodus, the consequences are still being felt in the structural problems of agriculture in Anatolia, in turn exacerbated the problem because without the farmers yielded the Tımare no more profit, the food supply of the population was more difficult and also escaped the Treasury taxpayers.

The state was this diverse and mutually reinforcing crisis symptoms largely helpless against. After the death of Suleiman unsuitable personalities were repeated on the Sultan’s throne, as the alcoholic, Selim II , the mentally retarded Mustafa I. , who on his accession only eleven years old Murad IV and Ibrahim the Mad . They were mostly under the influence of their wives or mothers, the Valide Sultan , although they did not have any previous training to the government of an empire and the harem also were not allowed to leave, but de facto ruled the kingdom. It is therefore referred to the late 16th and the first half of the 17th Century, the time of Weiberherrschaft (“Kadınlar saltanatı”). Against the women of the harem, the Grand Viziers were powerless, who were appointed and dismissed at the discretion of the harem residents: While the women rule the average amounted term of office of Grand Vizier little more than a year, too short to take the necessary reform measures.
Ali Pasha, commander of the Ottoman fleet off Lepanto, woodcut after 1571
Kara Mustafa Pasha, commander of the Ottoman forces at the siege of Vienna in 1683
Reception at Selim II in Edirne

In the battle of Lepanto on 7 October 1571 was the Christian powers with Spain and Venice achieve the first major victory with the almost total destruction of the Ottoman fleet at the top. However, the political impact was low, as the Christian alliance fell apart shortly thereafter, and the Ottomans were able to completely rebuild their fleet again a year later. Venice had even Cyprus resign. But the dispute before Lepanto led to a streamlining of spheres of influence in the Mediterranean. The Ottomans now confined to their supremacy in the eastern part, for example, with the conquest of the Venetian island of Cyprus in 1571 and Crete in 1669, while Spanish, Maltese and Italian fleets divided the western Mediterranean, however. Nevertheless taught Selim II his attention to Tunisia, which came in 1574 in the hands of pirates, who were tributary to the Porte. Selim also supported the Muslim rulers in Southeast Asia.

1683 undertook the gate again an attempt to advance into Central Europe and Vienna to conquer. But what is already in the heyday of the Ottoman Empire 150 years was not possible before, now in the campaign was Kara Mustafa against John III. Sobieski of Poland-Lithuania to the disaster and the turning point of the discussion of the European states. After the military weakness of the Ottomans had become obvious in this defeat, began the following year, initiated by Pope Holy League of Austria , the Republic of Venice and Poland-Lithuania, an attack on the Ottoman Empire on several fronts. After several heavy defeats at Mohács in 1687, Slankamen 1691 and Senta , 1694, during the Great Turkish War , had the peace of Carlowitz 1699, the loss of central Hungary with Transylvania to Austria, Podolia and the right-bank Ukraine to Poland-Lithuania and the Peloponnese with Dalmatia to Venice be committed. As a new enemy on the northern border was Russia into play. An important goal of Czar Peter I was an outlet to the Black Sea, he 1695 Azov got.

The external difficulties attracted domestic problems by themselves. 1687 was Mehmed IV was deposed because of military defeats. 1703 came to a bloody “incident of Edirne” in which the insurgents Scheichülislam Feyzullah Efendi murdered and Sultan Mustafa II deposed.

Although the Ottoman Empire became increasingly on the defensive, it was still a potent force.1711 during the Great Northern War , the encircled army of the Sultan , the Russian army on the Pruth , after the Ottoman Empire at the request of the volatile Swedish King Charles XII. had entered the war. In subsequent negotiations, Peter the Great had to return Azov to the Ottomans. After the Moldavian voivode Dimitrie Cantemir had defected to Russia, the Ottomans occupied the Hospodars -offices in Moldavia and Wallachia to the middle of the 19th Century Phanariots had played an important role, Greeks from the Phanar district of Constantinople Opel, which for a long time as a translator in politics. In the Danube principalities of this era is as Phanariots -called rule. Against the Republic of Venice, it was successful and gained back the Peloponnese in 1715.
Audience of the French ambassador le Vicomte d’Andrezel with Sultan Ahmed III. on 10 October 1724 (Jean-Baptiste van Mour 1724)

Because the Crimean Tatars with their raids the Ukraine threatened, Russia began an alliance with Austria in 1736 a war against the Ottoman Empire. The Russians marched to the Crimea and the Ottoman vassals weakened considerably. Under the leadership of Burkhard Christoph von Munnich the Russian army defeated the Turks at Otshakoff and Stawutschany and took the important fortress Chotin one. The Austrians suffered a defeat by the Turks. In the Peace of Belgrade in 1739, they had the Ottomans north of Belgrade, Serbia and Oltenia return, previously the Habsburgs in the Treaty of Passarowitz had won in 1718 by the Ottomans. Russia was once again awarded Azov and permanently. In this war had played a role that the Ottomans their artillery ( Topçu ) with French consultants like Ahmed Pasha, the Comte de Bonneval , had modernized. On the whole, no significant change was observed in the territory of the expensive and costly wars of the past three decades. This was followed by a relatively long period of peace.
Russo-Turkish War
See also : Ottoman wars

In the Russian-Turkish war 1768-1774 , the Ottoman Empire had to recognize finally that it had lost its imperial power. 1770 Russia moved his fleet from the Baltic to the Mediterranean and destroyed in the Battle of Çeşme the Ottoman fleet at anchor. In the Treaty of Küçük Kaynarca the Ottomans had the Crimean Khanate in the “independence” released (it was but after a few years, a Russian province), and parts of the North Caucasus went to Russia, Bukovina in Austria.

Neither side had the intention to keep it for a long while. Tsarina Catherine II drew her so-called ” Greek project “, where the Byzantine Empire was resurrected as a Russian vassal and the other parts of the Ottoman Empire between Austria, Venice and Russia should be split, but what these Allies showed little interest. Russia annexed the Crimea in 1783 and began its economic structure. The Ottomans, who were already out on making their losses from the previous war reversed, declared in the same year according to various litigation war on Russia. However, after initial success, the Black Sea Fleet in 1792, they had peace of Jassy again to accept the loss of territory, including areas between Dnieper and Bug .
Reforms and power struggles
Ottoman Tughra ( Mahmud II )
Palace of Hatice, sister of Selim III. (Antoine Ignace Melling (1763-1831), 1795-1813)

Selim III. pulled from the defeats his teaching and led comprehensive reforms in the administration and the military. Parallel to the Janissaries, he tried with the help of European advisors, a new force, the Nizam-ı Cedîd / نظام جديد /, New Rules’ to build. However, his planned gradual transition to the new corps of Janissaries led to riots, which culminated in his dismissal in 1807. His cousin Mustafa Bayraktar marched his troops into Constantinople Opel and was planning to use again when Sultan Selim. But he came too late, as Selim had been strangled. It only remained for him, the used of the Janissaries Mustafa IV by Mahmud II to replace, which was only narrowly escaped an assassination. Mahmoud Mustafa Bayraktar sat as Grand Vizier and followed a course of reform, which he avoided coming into direct conflict with the Janissaries. The very next year it was repeated uprisings. To prevent that, he would again overthrown in favor of Mustafa Mahmud had assassinated his brother. The beleaguered Grand Vizier blew himself up in a powder magazine in the air.
The “sick man” on the Bosporus

In Egypt, the governor broke Muhammad Ali Pasha gradually power for themselves and let the powerful Mamluk emirs liquidate. Through a series of reforms, Egypt was soon in many ways superior to the Opel headquarters in Constantinople. Muhammad Ali established the Chediven Dynasty, the first half of the 20th Century came to an end. After Sultan Mahmud II had refused, Muhammad Ali Pasha as governor of Syria use, occupied Egyptian troops under Ibrahim Pasha in 1831 Palestine and Syria came after several victories over the Ottomans in Homs and Konya 1832 Anatolia before. In 1838, the Ottoman Empire felt strong enough to take up the struggle in Syria against the Egyptian troops under Ibrahim Pasha again. But the Egyptian troops defeated the Ottoman army under Hafiz Pasha in the Battle of Nisibis 24 Juni, 1839. At this battle took the later German Field Marshal Helmuth von Moltke, in part as a military advisor to the Turkish army. Only through the intervention of Britain, Russia, Prussia and Austria (1840) Muhammad Ali Pasha in 1841 was forced to evacuate Syria and Palestine again.

A growing problem for the multinational state of the Ottomans was the nationalism of increasingly comprehending as a separate ethnic groups in the territories occupied by them. These were eloquently entitled to representation in their own countries. First, in 1804 brought the Serbs to 1830 they were given a large degree of autonomy. Also the Phanariotenherrschaft in the Danubian Principalities in 1826 found its end. In the 1820s, endorsed by some Europeans won independence movement in Greece momentum. A particular problem in this case Ottoman presented the influential Greeks represent in the administration, who sympathized with some of the independence movement. In the War of 1826 Mahmud was forced to call of all troops of the enemy Muhammad Ali Pasha of Egypt to help. Nevertheless, he had granted independence in 1830 Greece.
The destruction of the Ottoman fleet at Sinope in the Crimean War, by Ivan Aivazovsky

This example showed how the Ottoman Empire, which by the media of the time as sick man of Europe satirizes was increasingly became the plaything of European powers. Russia saw this as an opportunity, its power influence in Europe to make more asserts and access to the Mediterranean and the Balkans to get. The Ottoman rule in the Balkans seemed endangered, and Russia urged the control of the important straits of the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles to receive. In the Balkans, Russia brought the protective power of the local Orthodox Christians into play. Earlier, the Russian Tsar had tried in vain, the governments of Austria and Great Britain to win a division of the Ottoman Empire. Britain and France, however, opposed this Russian expansion. They did not believe that the key fell into Russian hands and supported the Ottomans to the status quo to maintain their own power and thus sovereignty in South Eastern Europe to safeguard the Ottoman borders. In the so-called Eastern Question about to be or not of the empire they were of the opinion that the Ottoman Empire, which still had a huge expansion at that time, had to be obtained. Its collapse would have caused a power vacuum. For the UK, the main trading partner at the time of the Ottoman empire, it also was about the connection routes to India to control and supremacy aspirations of Russia in Asia to stop ( The Great Game ).

This meant that the new alliances came together depending on the situation. In the Crimean War (1853-1856), by the Russian occupation of the Principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia was triggered, Britain, France, and later fought Piedmont-Sardinia on the part of the Ottomans. In the Treaty of Paris , part of the 1812 won by Russia Southern went Bessarabia in the mouth of the Danube (about a quarter of the total area) with the circles Cahul, Bolgrad and Ismail returned to the Principality of Moldavia , which is an autonomous State under the suzerainty of the Porte was, and the Black Sea was demilitarized . At the same time the territorial inviolability and independence of the Ottoman Empire was guaranteed.
Tanzimat period
→ Main article : Tanzimat
Ottoman Empire in 1900

A new phase of reform (1838-1876) began working closely with the name of the Grand Viziers Reşid Mustafa Pasha , and later Ali Pasha and Fuad Pasha is linked. The measures were under the name “Tanzimat-ı Hayriye” known (Healing reorganization) and fall with the reign of Abdülmecid and Abdulaziz together. They questioned the non-Muslims in the empire on the same level as the Muslims and introduced a new judicial system, organized the tax system and established a compulsory service in the army. Over the following decades, the control rents were abolished. The devastated state finances led on 13 April 1876 to the declaration of national bankruptcy .

The most important reform edicts were in this context the ” Hatt-i Sherif (imperial decree) of Gülhane “(1839), the ” Hatt-i Humayun ” (1856), and the Ottoman Constitution , which gradually and with restrictions (1839 read this “under the Scheriatgesetze”) the equality and equal treatment of all subjects was introduced irrespective of their religion.

With the reforms demanded by the powers went – partly due to the industrial backwardness – increasing economic problems associated. In the “capitulations” said trade agreements in the Ottoman Empire, the market was opened to the Europeans, and import duties were lower export duties. Due to the lack of competitiveness of the Ottoman craft was the Ottoman Empire to the exporter of raw materials and importer of European goods.
Sultan Abdulhamid II (1842-1918)

Meanwhile found the unrest in the Balkans no end. After a war against Serbia in 1876 was Constantine Opel international conference convened to include the future of the Balkans was discussed. To demonstrate its willingness to reform, the come in a coup to power announced Abdulhamid II to a liberal constitution, which would have introduced a parliamentary system. An important role in its design played the Grand Vizier Midhat Pasha .

As a result of the conference summarized the powers of autonomy for both two provinces on the territory of Bulgaria and Bosnia and Herzegovina for the eye. As the ” Sublime Porte “rejected this, Russia declared war , occupied the entire European part of Turkey and moved to Istanbul before (Konstantin Opel). After the decisive battle at Shipka Pass in January 1878, the victory of Russian troops was not to prevent.

End of January 1878 asked the Ottoman Empire to conclude a peace treaty. On 3March 1878 was in the village of San Stefano, the Peace Treaty of San Stefano signed. With the Treaty of Bulgaria were awarded all territories where Bulgarians lived. In this contract, the Ottoman Empire was forced to major concessions. It had to recognize the independence of Romania, Serbia, Montenegro and Bulgaria. It also came from the province of Kars to the Russian Empire.

Since the other European powers have sought to protect their interests, and in turn threatened a Europe-wide war, 1878 was the Congress of Berlin organized, the main initiator Bismarck was. Here Serbia and Montenegro were given their independence, and the earlier ruled in personal union with Wallachia, Moldavia joined to the independent state Romania together. The Congress of Berlin was the Berlin Treaty completed, so the revised including several articles of the Treaty of San Stefano, the sole Russian influence in the Ottoman Empire was expanding influence of European powers in the kingdom.
Baghdad Railway (Photo: between 1900 and 1910)

Domestically made ​​Abdulhamid II ‘s government reforms to reverse. Midhat Pasha was deposed and dissolved Parliament. Abdülhamids reign was marked by tyranny and spying, and as Sultan, he had de facto sole power. Financially got the gate now completely in the dependence of the major European powers. After the bankruptcy was declared, which took Dette publique a good part of financial management. The European capital could flow freely in the state. His interests focused on the natural resources in Iraq, but also large-scale projects such as the construction of the Baghdad railway . It was the German Empire to the course, which had become ever since the Congress of Berlin for good partner for the Ottoman Empire.

At the beginning of the 20thCentury resurgent the internal opposition forces, particularly the movement of the Young Turks who their starting point, especially in Salonika had. 1908 had to be re-enacted in the face of the threat posed by insurgent forces the constitution.
The Young Turk movement
→ Main article : Young Turks
Ottoman “20 Para” coin from 1906
Ottoman “20 Para” coin from 1906 (back)

Bulgaria took advantage of the confusion to get along with Eastern Rumelia to establish an independent state. Bosnia and Herzegovina were annexed by Austria-Hungary, which was in fact affiliated in 1878 and were only nominally Turkish ( Bosnian annexation crisis ). The enormous loss of territory laid the reactionary forces of the Young Turk leadership and tried to load a 1909 coup. Whose failure led to his brother Abdulhamid by Mehmed V. (Mehmed Reşat) was replaced. The Sultan had from then on essentially only representation functions, while the government was established by the Grand Vizier. This in turn was appointed under substantial influence of the Young Turks. A parliamentary system was established by an altered constitution.

The Young Turks pursued a course of reform, which, however, was inhibited by the tense international situation. A momentous element of their policy was Turkish nationalism. Thus, the Turkish language was used as an official language as the Arab provinces. In subsequent wars, the government lost the support of the population as in the non-Turkish territories.

The decade of the Young Turk government was marked by a number of serious wars. First, in 1911 went Tripolitania (Libya) lost to Italy. In the First Balkan War, Bulgaria, Serbia, Greece and Montenegro joined in 1912 the Balkan League against the Ottoman Empire, which by almost all European territories, including the town of Edirne lost. Just under a month later, Bulgaria attacked its former allies (Second Balkan War), supported by the Ottomans. After the defeat of the Bulgarian border demarcation in the contracts was from Bucharest and from Constantine Opel determined so as it runs today between Bulgaria and Turkey.
First World War and its effects
Loss of territory of the Ottoman Empire
Enver Pasha

In the First World War, firstly tried to stay out in an “armed neutrality” of the fighting. In the event that you would not be able to maintain this neutrality, there was only a connection to one of the two groups of powers. Traditionally, you’d often with the German Reich issues (particularly because of the Baghdad Railway project), but also with the Entente powers, there was a close relationship and a brisk trade. At the instigation of Enver Pasha finally it came to a military alliance with Germany and Austria-Hungary , which was somewhat controversial in the Cabinet. Furthermore, it came to the Arab Revolt .

In the Ottoman Empire political leaders understood the world war as an opportunity to recapture lost territories in the Balkans, to expansionist objectives in the Caucasus and Central Asia and to a solution of the Armenian question of reform to stop. This question was closely connected with the Eastern question linked. It also meant a permanent opportunity for intervention for the Western powers and Russia in the internal politics of the Ottoman Empire, and could provide a pretext for intervention -., With the aim of dividing the Empire [10] [11]
Turkish machine gun position on the Dardanelles

The Ottoman leadership (the Young Turk Party Ittihad ve Terakki ) announced soon after entry into the war, the Agreement of 8 Februar 1914. [12] Set in World War II, on 5 September 1916, announced the Ottoman leadership all other contracts and agreements contained the international intervention. These included the Treaty of Paris (1856) , the Treaty of Berlin (1878) , the Declaration of London (1871). [13]

On 24April 1915 the Ottoman government prompted the arrest and deportation of Armenian civilians in Constantinople Opel. This policy culminated in the murder of about 600,000 to about 1,500,000 Armenians. [14] This came about two-thirds through, the deportations of living in the territory of the Ottoman Empire Armenians killed (see main article on the Armenian genocide ). Also among other population groups, there were massacres (see genocide of the Aramaic ).

The consequences of the war were disastrous. In Arabia, the British forces had nothing to oppose. In 1916 shook the Emir of Mecca, Husayn ibn Ali , the Ottoman suzerainty from and proclaimed himself King of Arabia. He eventually became the King of the Hejaz recognized, while the remaining part of the empire under the Sykes-Picot Agreement was divided into spheres of interest. In the Balfour Declaration of 1917 the Jews a “national home” in Palestine was promised. Because of the October Revolution Russia difference though with the Peace Treaty of Brest-Litovsk from the war, but the Allies occupied in November 1918, a large part of the Ottoman Empire. The ” Young Turkish triumvirate “of Cemal Pasha , Talât Pasha and Enver Pasha was released and fled. After that year Mehmed V. had died, moved his brother Mehmed VI. (Mehmed Vahideddin) after which the victorious powers was politically completely exposed however, and after the abolition of the Sultanate in November 1922 left Constantinople Opel.
The emergence of modern Turkey
Gazi Mustafa Kemal Atatürk

The nationalist movements of the 19th Century had been a powerful force that had disintegrated the multi-ethnic empire. But this power was also present in the core areas of the Ottoman Empire. There was a resistance movement against the occupying powers, which had divided the remnants of the Empire into spheres of interest. The leading role was played by the Turkish general Mustafa Kemal . His role in the following discussions was considered so significant that the Turkish Parliament nicknamed him Atatürk gave (“Father of the Turks”). Soon formed the eponymous Kemalist movement in the occupied territories is not a kind of counter-government.

The work carried out in the December 1919 elections, the liberation movement won a two-thirds majority, and moved its headquarters to Angora (now Ankara ). In April 1920, this constituted the ” Turkish Grand National Assembly “, which in 1921 a provisional Constitution Act adopted. The new government had good relations with the now Bolshevik Russia and was in fact recognized by France, which had the mandate for the South-Central Anatolia.
The Treaty of Sevres provided zones of interest

Of 1920 by the Sublime Porte signed the Treaty of Sèvres , but knew of the Turkish state’s sovereignty was not recognized by Ankara. It came to a war of national liberation , in which the Greek troops from Asia Minor were repulsed. Also the majority of the Greek civilian population, especially in Smyrna (Turkish Izmir ) was expelled from the country. Greek side of these events as the ” Asia Minor disaster “, respectively. Both were hundreds of thousands of Empire residents who were regarded as Turks, expelled from Greece. The nationalist movements sought – not only in Turkey – according to a unified nation state.

The success of the Kemalists made ​​for a loss of prestige for the government of Sultan Mehmed VI. During the negotiations on the Treaty of Lausanne in 1923, a delegation from the Kemalist Ankara was represented, which was tantamount to an international recognition. The conference (which began on November 30, 1922) was formally invited the Constantinople government. To prevent that Turkey was represented by two governments, the government in Ankara managed under Mustafa Kemal on 1 November 1922 from the Sultanate. Three days later, the Istanbul government stepped Ahmed Tevfik Pasha officially back. This ended on 4 November 1922, the Ottoman Empire.

On 13October 1923 was declared the capital of Ankara and 29 October proclaimed the Republic, Mustafa Kemal Pasha was president, Ismet Pasha , which should be awarded against the Greek army at Inönü the last name “İnönü” because of the victories later, Prime Minister of the newly formed Republic . The last sultan, Mehmed VI., And all members of the dynasty of Osman had to leave the country.

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