The Ottoman Empire also referred to as the Turkish Empire or Turkey, was an empire founded by Oghuz Turks under Osman Bey in north-western Anatolia in 1299. With the conquest of Constantinople by Mehmed II in 1453, the Ottoman state was transformed into an empire.

During the 16th and 17th centuries, in particular at the height of its power under the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent, the Ottoman Empire was a powerful multinational, multilingual empire controlling much of Southeast Europe, Western Asia, 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 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. Following a long period of military setbacks against European powers and gradual decline, the empire collapsed and was dissolved in the aftermath of World War I, leading to the emergence of the new state of Turkey in the Ottoman Anatolian heartland, as well as the creation of modern Balkan and Middle Eastern states.


Date Event
1299–1453 Rise
1300  Osman leads the way (About 1300 A.D.). 

To help win a major battle, Osman leads his troops and displaces the Seljuk Turks. He becomes the leader of the new Ottoman dynasty.

1326  A new capital. 

Osman and his troops lay siege to the city of Bursa in northwest Turkey. When the city falls, Bursa is made into the capital of the Ottoman Empire. Osman dies in1326.

1326  Family line continues (1326 - 1389 A.D.). 

Osman's son, Orhan, rules after his father's death. He gains control of Thrace in 1345. His son Murad I rules next. He sets up the system to train ex-slaves into elite soldiers known as Janissaries. He dies in the battlefield while defeating the Serbians.

1400  A win and a loss (1400 - 1402 A.D.). 

Bayezid extends the empire from the Danube River in Bulgaria to the Euphrates River in the east. Mongolian raiders crush his troops in Turkey in 1402 and take him prisoner. Bayezid dies within the year, and the Ottoman Empire is split among his sons.

1402  Civil war, then victory (1402 - 1413 A.D.). 

Bayezid's sons fight for control. In 1413 Mehmed wins and reunites the empire. He dies in 1421.

1453  The end of the Byzantine Empire. 

Mehmed II lays siege to the Byzantine capital of Constantinople in 1453. He uses siege guns and bombards the walls for eight weeks. Heavy fighting continues, but the Byzantine capital is defeated when Emperor Constantine XI dies in battle. The city is now called Istanbul.

1453–1566 Expansion and apogee
1453  Ottoman culture flourishes (1453 - 1481 A.D.). 

Mehmed II rules for thirty years. During his reign Istanbul becomes a political, cultural, and economic center. Mosques, bazaars, roads, inns, and baths are built. A special tax is now charged to non-Muslim residents.

1520  Suleyman I reigns (1520 - 1566 A.D.). 

One of the best known and most powerful leaders of the empire is Suleyman I, known as Suleyman the Magnificent. He conquers parts of western Asia and southeast Europe in his desire to convert people to Islam. The Ottoman Empire reaches its peak under his rule.

1566–1827 Stagnation and reform - Revolts reversals and revivals
1566  A slow decline (1566 - 1574 A.D.). 

At Suleyman I's death, his son Selim II rules. However, he is not like his father. He never goes to fight battles and his government is unstable. During his reign the Turkish fleet is smashed at the Battle of Lepanto in Greece.

1606  At odds with Persia (1606 - 1639 A.D.). 

Poor leaders continue, reducing the Ottomoan threat upon the European world. Fighting begins with the Persians and continues until 1639. The Turks, however, do capture Crete from the Venetians in that year.


The Ottomans try to conquer Venice in 1683, but fail. 

1697 Austrian troops push into the Ottoman territory in Hungary, the Turks are defeated at Zenta. To keep peace the Turks give up much of their land in that region.

Greece revolts against the Ottomans. A long struggle ensues with the Greeks eventually getting help from Britain, France, and Russia. They win their independence in 1830.

1828–1908 Decline and modernization
1878  More losses. 

Abdul Hamit II tries to instill reforms into the empire, including adding a constitution and a parliament. These reforms fail, however. In 1878 the Congress of Berlin acknowledges the independence of Serbia, Romania, and Bulgaria.

1908–1922 Defeat and dissolution
1912  The Balkan Wars (1912 - 1913 A.D.) 

Though actually two different battles, the goal of the Balkan Wars is to take over the European lands that belong to the Ottoman Empire. Its efforts are successful.


During World War I, the Ottoman Empire sides with the Central Powers. They lose the war, and peace treaties cause the empire to dissolve.  Although in power for over 600 years, the Ottoman Empire will best be remembered for its glory years of strong leadership and cultural influences that affected the lands they conquered.

1923 The Republic of Turkey is established 9/19/14 10/27/14