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Ottoman Empire

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Ottoman Empire Collection

History Archive - Ottoman Empire Collection

The Ottoman Empire, also known in Western Europe as the Turkish Empire or simply Turkey, 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 Sogut (modern-day Bilecik Province) by the Oghuz Turkish tribal leader Osman I. 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.

During the 16th and 17th centuries, at the height of its power under the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent, 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. 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.

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.

The empire continued to maintain a flexible and strong economy, society and military throughout the 17th and much of the 18th century. 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. 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 modernization known as the Tanzimat. Thus, over the course of the 19th century, the Ottoman state became vastly more powerful and organized, despite suffering further territorial losses, especially in the Balkans, where a number of new states emerged.

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. 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, genocide was committed by the Ottoman government against the Armenians, Assyrians and Pontic Greeks.

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.

References:

1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica, Volume 27 pgs. 426-467.

Stanford Shaw, History of the Ottoman Empire and Modern Turkey (Cambridge: University Press, 1976), vol. 1 p. 13

Regional Sub-Divisions

Available Books

Book Title Date
Ottoman Empire - Histoire de l'Egypte sous le Gouvernement de Mohammed-Aly [Atlas] Histoire de l'Egypte sous le Gouvernement de Mohammed-Aly [Atlas] 1823
Ottoman Empire - The World in Miniature: Turkey Vol. 2 The World in Miniature: Turkey Vol. 2 1821
Ottoman Empire - Views in Palestine Views in Palestine 1804
Ottoman Empire - Views in the Ottoman Dominions Views in the Ottoman Dominions 1810
Ottoman Empire - Views in Egypt Views in Egypt 1801
Ottoman Empire - The Present State of the Ottoman Empire The Present State of the Ottoman Empire 1668
Ottoman Empire - Constantinople Painted and Described Constantinople Painted and Described 1906
Ottoman Empire - Kitab-ı Bahriye [Book of Navigation] Kitab-ı Bahriye [Book of Navigation] 1525
Ottoman Empire - The World in Miniature: Turkey Vol. 5 The World in Miniature: Turkey Vol. 5 1821
Ottoman Empire - Interesting Views in Turkey Interesting Views in Turkey 1819
Ottoman Empire - Views in the Ottoman Empire Views in the Ottoman Empire 1803
Ottoman Empire - Elbicei atika : Musee des Anciens Costumes Turcs de Constantinople Elbicei atika : Musee des Anciens Costumes Turcs de Constantinople 1855
Ottoman Empire - Histoire de l'Egypte sous le Gouvernement de Mohammed-Aly Vol. 1 Histoire de l'Egypte sous le Gouvernement de Mohammed-Aly Vol. 1 1823
Ottoman Empire - The World in Miniature: Turkey Vol. 1 The World in Miniature: Turkey Vol. 1 1821
Ottoman Empire - Voyage Pittoresque de Constantinople et des Rives du Bosphore Vol. 1 Voyage Pittoresque de Constantinople et des Rives du Bosphore Vol. 1 1819
Ottoman Empire - The World in Miniature: Turkey Vol. 3 The World in Miniature: Turkey Vol. 3 1821
Ottoman Empire - The Military Costume of Turkey The Military Costume of Turkey 1818
Ottoman Empire - Journal of a Tour in the Levant Vol. 2 Journal of a Tour in the Levant Vol. 2 1820
Ottoman Empire - Journal of a Tour in the Levant Vol. 3 Journal of a Tour in the Levant Vol. 3 1820
Ottoman Empire - The World in Miniature: Turkey Vol. 4 The World in Miniature: Turkey Vol. 4 1821
Ottoman Empire - Promenades Pittoresques dans Constantinople Vol. 2 Promenades Pittoresques dans Constantinople Vol. 2 1815
Ottoman Empire - Turkey, Russia, the Black Sea, and Circassia Turkey, Russia, the Black Sea, and Circassia 1854
Ottoman Empire - Promenades Pittoresques dans Constantinople Atlas Promenades Pittoresques dans Constantinople Atlas 1817
Ottoman Empire - Anatolica Anatolica 1874
Ottoman Empire - Histoire de l'Egypte sous le Gouvernement de Mohammed-Aly Vol. 2 Histoire de l'Egypte sous le Gouvernement de Mohammed-Aly Vol. 2 1823
Ottoman Empire - The World in Miniature: Turkey Vol. 6 The World in Miniature: Turkey Vol. 6 1821
Ottoman Empire - Recueil de Cent Estampes Representant Differentes Nations du Levant Recueil de Cent Estampes Representant Differentes Nations du Levant 1714
Ottoman Empire - The Costume of Turkey The Costume of Turkey 1802
Ottoman Empire - The Oriental Album The Oriental Album 1862
Ottoman Empire - A Journey through Albania, and other Provinces of Turkey A Journey through Albania, and other Provinces of Turkey 1813
Ottoman Empire - Promenades Pittoresques dans Constantinople Vol. 3 Promenades Pittoresques dans Constantinople Vol. 3 1815
Ottoman Empire - Clouds in the East Clouds in the East 1876
Ottoman Empire - Promenades Pittoresques dans Constantinople Vol. 1 Promenades Pittoresques dans Constantinople Vol. 1 1815
Ottoman Empire - Journal of a Tour in the Levant Vol. 1 Journal of a Tour in the Levant Vol. 1 1820
Ottoman Empire - Voyage a Athenes et a Constantinopole Voyage a Athenes et a Constantinopole 1825
Ottoman Empire - Voyage des Souverains du Canal du Suez Voyage des Souverains du Canal du Suez 1870
Ottoman Empire - Life in Asiatic Turkey Life in Asiatic Turkey 1879
Ottoman Empire - Voyage Pittoresque de Constantinople et des Rives du Bosphore Vol. 2 Voyage Pittoresque de Constantinople et des Rives du Bosphore Vol. 2 1819
Ottoman Empire - The Dardanelles : Colour Sketches from Gallipoli The Dardanelles : Colour Sketches from Gallipoli 1915

Related Images

Image Name
Recueil de Cent Estampes Representant Differentes Nations du Levant - Le Kistar - Agassi, Chef des Eunuques noir (1714)
A Journey through Albania, and other Provinces of Turkey - [Greek Bas-Relief] (1813)
The Costume of Turkey - An Attendant of the Harem of the Grand Signior (1802)
Views in Palestine - A Maronite Monk & Pilgrims (1804)
The Costume of Turkey - An Officer of the Janissaries (1802)
The Costume of Turkey - The Capitan Pasha (1802)
Journal of a Tour in the Levant Vol. 2 - Speciments of Turkish Drawings [I] (1820)
Recueil de Cent Estampes Representant Differentes Nations du Levant - Ast - chi, Cuisinier de Grand Seigneur (1714)
Promenades Pittoresques dans Constantinople Atlas - XX. Vue de la partie septentrionale de Constantinople, depuis la tour de l'Aga des Janissaires jusqu'au palais d'Hussein-Pacha (1817)
Recueil de Cent Estampes Representant Differentes Nations du Levant - Emir, homme de Loy de la Race de Mahomet (1714)
The Costume of Turkey - Capidji Bachi (1802)
The Military Costume of Turkey - Mameluke of Egypt (1818)
A Journey through Albania, and other Provinces of Turkey - A Dancing Girl (1813)
Views in the Ottoman Dominions - Monuments near Tortosa No. 2 (1810)
Voyage Pittoresque de Constantinople et des Rives du Bosphore Vol. 2 - No. 9. Vue de la seconde cour intérieure du sérail (1819)
Recueil de Cent Estampes Representant Differentes Nations du Levant - Femme Turque qui fume sur le Sopha (1714)
Promenades Pittoresques dans Constantinople Atlas - X. Vue de la place de l'Hyppodrome (1817)
Voyage Pittoresque de Constantinople et des Rives du Bosphore Vol. 2 - No. 27. Vue de l'entrée du Bosphore et d'une partie de la ville de Scutari, prise de la tour de Léandre (1819)
Views in Egypt - Ruins of the Gymnasium, near the Canopic Gate of Alexandria (1801)
The Oriental Album - Turkish Lady (Unveiled) (1862)
Views in the Ottoman Dominions - Eski-Estamboul (1810)
Constantinople Painted and Described - Carpet-Menders (1906)
The Military Costume of Turkey - Officer of Police (1818)
Voyage Pittoresque de Constantinople et des Rives du Bosphore Vol. 2 - No. 40. Vue de la partie occidentale du village de Buyuk-Déré, sur la rive européenne du Bosphore (1819)
The Costume of Turkey - A Jew (1802)
The Dardanelles : Colour Sketches from Gallipoli - H.M.S. Sarnia Landing Troops in Suvla Bay (1915)
The Costume of Turkey - Private Secretary to the Grand Seignior (1802)
The Costume of Turkey - An Inferior Officer of the Janissaires (1802)
Clouds in the East - A Skirmish with Robbers in Mazanderan (1876)
Recueil de Cent Estampes Representant Differentes Nations du Levant - Fille Turque a qui l'on tresse les cheveux au bain (1714)
Recueil de Cent Estampes Representant Differentes Nations du Levant - Hongroise (1714)
The Costume of Turkey - Stool-Bearer to the Grand Signior (1802)
Voyage a Athenes et a Constantinopole - Ali Tebelen, Pacha de Janina, dessine d'apres nature le 14 Mars sue le lac de Butrinto (1825)
Views in the Ottoman Dominions - Ponte Grande (1810)
A Journey through Albania, and other Provinces of Turkey - View of the Valley of Plistus, with part of the Gulph of Salama (1813)
Views in the Ottoman Dominions - Chapel of Mount Calvary (1810)
Promenades Pittoresques dans Constantinople Atlas - IX. Vue du tombeau du sultan Suleïman (1817)
The Military Costume of Turkey - Pacha (1818)
Views in the Ottoman Dominions - Pera (1810)
Promenades Pittoresques dans Constantinople Atlas - II. Vue de la Porte Dorée (1817)
A Journey through Albania, and other Provinces of Turkey - First Gate of the Seraglio (1813)
Journal of a Tour in the Levant Vol. 2 - Tomb of Absalom (1820)
Life in Asiatic Turkey - Plan of the Ruined City of Isaura (1879)
Recueil de Cent Estampes Representant Differentes Nations du Levant - Afriquaine en habit de ceremonie (1714)
Views in Palestine - The Sepulchre of Rachel (1804)
The Dardanelles : Colour Sketches from Gallipoli - Front Cover (1915)
Voyage Pittoresque de Constantinople et des Rives du Bosphore Vol. 2 - No. 43. Fontaine de Sari-Yéri, près de Buyuk-Déré (1819)
A Journey through Albania, and other Provinces of Turkey - A Greek Lady in her walking dress (1813)
Views in Palestine - Tomb of Joseph of Arimathea (1804)
The Dardanelles : Colour Sketches from Gallipoli - Submarine Eii at Kephalo (1915)
Views in the Ottoman Dominions - Palace at Bucharest (1810)
The Costume of Turkey - The Kislar Aga, or first Black Eunuch of the Seraglio (1802)
Promenades Pittoresques dans Constantinople Atlas - XIV. Vue d'Anadoli Hissar (1817)
The Oriental Album - Turkish Cavass (Police Officer) (1862)
The Costume of Turkey - A Sultana, or Odalisk (1802)
Journal of a Tour in the Levant Vol. 1 - Title Page (1820)
A Journey through Albania, and other Provinces of Turkey - Greek Music [II] (1813)
The Military Costume of Turkey - Janissary No. 2 (1818)
The Costume of Turkey - An Ichlogan (1802)
Journal of a Tour in the Levant Vol. 1 - Mode of Travelling in Turkey (1820)
Recueil de Cent Estampes Representant Differentes Nations du Levant - Jannissaire en Turban ordinarie (1714)
Voyage Pittoresque de Constantinople et des Rives du Bosphore Vol. 2 - No. 38. Vue de Keffeli-Kieuï, et d'une partie de Buyuk-Déré (1819)
Constantinople Painted and Described - A Howling Dervish (1906)
Recueil de Cent Estampes Representant Differentes Nations du Levant - Kasseki, Officier des Bostangis (1714)
Voyage a Athenes et a Constantinopole - Une Maison Grecque a Turnavo en Thessalie (1825)
Voyage des Souverains du Canal du Suez - La Tribute des Souverains (1870)
Recueil de Cent Estampes Representant Differentes Nations du Levant - Dervich, ou Moine Turc qui tourne par devotion (1714)
Recueil de Cent Estampes Representant Differentes Nations du Levant - Fille de Bulgarie (1714)
Voyage Pittoresque de Constantinople et des Rives du Bosphore Vol. 2 - No. 20. Vue générale de Constantinople, prise du chemin de Buyuk-Déré (1819)
Voyage a Athenes et a Constantinopole - Title Page (1825)
Views in the Ottoman Dominions - View near Tortosa (1810)
The Oriental Album - Jewish Marriage (1862)
The Costume of Turkey - An Albanian (1802)
Voyage a Athenes et a Constantinopole - Un Suliote a Corfou Nicolo Pervoli (1825)
Voyage a Athenes et a Constantinopole - Une Demoiselle Grecque de Livadie (1825)
Voyage a Athenes et a Constantinopole - L'Acropolis Vu de la Maison du Consul de France Mr Fauvel (1825)
Recueil de Cent Estampes Representant Differentes Nations du Levant - Dervich des Indes (1714)
Voyage Pittoresque de Constantinople et des Rives du Bosphore Vol. 2 - No. 17. Vue d'Aïnali-Kavak, près de l'arsenal, dans l'intérieur du port de Constantinople (1819)
Views in the Ottoman Empire - A Colossal Vase near Limisso in Cyprus (1803)
Voyage des Souverains du Canal du Suez - Promenade a Ismailia (1870)
Voyage a Athenes et a Constantinopole - Le Temple de Thesee a Athenes (1825)
The Oriental Album - Armenian Lady (at home) (1862)
Voyage a Athenes et a Constantinopole - Ismael, Bey et Mehemet, Pacha, Fils de Veli, Pacha de Thessalie, et Petits-fils d'Ali-Tebeleu, Visir de Janina (1825)
Life in Asiatic Turkey - The Ajemi Café at Adana (1879)
Journal of a Tour in the Levant Vol. 3 - Peragmus (1820)
Recueil de Cent Estampes Representant Differentes Nations du Levant - Filled Turques qui jouent au Mangala (1714)
The Oriental Album - Armenian Bride (1862)
Recueil de Cent Estampes Representant Differentes Nations du Levant - Le Grand Seigneur dans Le Serrail (1714)
Views in Palestine - Tomb of the Virgin Mary (1804)
Interesting Views in Turkey - Ciala Kavak (1819)
Voyage a Athenes et a Constantinopole - Une Mosquee a Athenes (1825)
Constantinople Painted and Described - Simit-Seller (1906)
Views in Egypt - Mamalukes Exercising in the Square of Mourad Bey's Palace (1801)
Voyage Pittoresque de Constantinople et des Rives du Bosphore Vol. 2 - No. 10. Intérieur d'une partie du harem du Grand-Seigneur (1819)
Voyage Pittoresque de Constantinople et des Rives du Bosphore Vol. 2 - No. 15. Kiâhd-Hané, lieu de plaisance du Grand-Seigneur (1819)
Constantinople Painted and Described - A Blacksmith's Shop (1906)
The Military Costume of Turkey - Capidgi Bachi (1818)
Voyage a Athenes et a Constantinopole - Front Cover (1825)
Voyage Pittoresque de Constantinople et des Rives du Bosphore Vol. 2 - No. 33. Troisième vue du Bosphore, prise à Kandilly (1819)
Views in Egypt - A Mamaluke Exercising (1801)

Related Maps

Map Name
A Journey through Albania, and other Provinces of Turkey - Map of Albania (1813)
A Journey through Albania, and other Provinces of Turkey - Map of the Western Half of the Hellespontine Phrygia (1813)
Journal of a Tour in the Levant Vol. 1 - Map of Greece and the Archipelago (1820)
Journal of a Tour in the Levant Vol. 3 - Map of the Countries on the East Coast of the Mediterranean Sea (1820)
Life in Asiatic Turkey - A Sketch Map to Illustrate Revd E. J. Davis' Journey's in Cilicia &c. (1879)
Life in Asiatic Turkey - Map of Asia Minor Shewing the District Visited by Revd E. J. Davis (1879)

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