Ottoman Empire

An imperial power with its centre in the Mediterranean, lasting for almost 650 years. Although the first of the rulers had a modest rank of a bey, Murad II declared himself a Sultan (king), thus challenging the superiority of the earlier Seljuk Turkish Sultanate. Conquering Constantinople, the state becomes an actually mighty empire, and Mehmet the Conqueror the first Turkish padishah (emperor). From 1517, the Ottoman Empire gains the significance of a caliphate, an Islamic state. It was one of the mightiest world powers, whose advance threatened the safety of Europe for centuries. However, it fell after the WWI, when a new state was established, the Turkish Republic.


The Turkish Empire is called the Ottoman, after its founder Osman, the Ottoman State. The name actually comes from a corrupt form of an Arabic name Uhtmаn.


Referring to the Turkish taxation records in Bosnia, it can be concluded that the conversion of the Serbian population into Islam was gradual and without coercion. Many Serbs were occupied high political and military offices in the Empire (the Great Vizier Меhmеt Pasha Sоkоlоvić or a military commander Gаzi Husrеv Bey), and some even organised rebellions (Husеin Grаdаščеvić – Dragon of Bosnia). The Serbian Muslims were a rare example of Europeans with the Levantine culture, which made them even closer to the Ottomans rather than the European powers. However, it was a reason they soon lost their Serbian national identity.


Nat the peak of its power, in the 16th century, the empire included regions of Anatolia,  the Middle East and parts of Northern Africa and a great part of south-eastern Europe and all the way to Caucasus.


Turkish Empire was founded by Оsmаn I in 1288, declaring independence of his territory within the Sultanate of the then Seljuk Turks. The Ottomans found their place in history owing to Меhmеt II the Conqueror, who conquered the Byzantine Empire. The first period of the Ottoman rule was the period of rise and new conquests, lasting until the death of Suleiman the Magnificent in 1566. Suleiman reached the peak of the Ottoman advances, conquering Hungary and reaching Vienna on the one hand and conquering Baghdad in Asia, on the other, gaining control over the Middle East.

The Ottoman Empire loses its upper hand in Europe when defeated by Austria in 1699, and the period of decline starts. At that time, the Turks build fortifications all over the Balkans, getting ready for the defence from the European powers, but due to the technological backwardness they lose their step in the rivalry. In 1876 Turkey becomes a constitutional monarchy under the pressure of the “Young Turks”, educated in European centres. The empire got defeated first in the Balkan Wars and then, despite some initial success, in the First World War, as well.