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The Rise and Fall of Ottoman Empire

Misbah has always wanted to pursue writing as a career. She loves to write on different topics, and she loves to read about history as well.

Coat of Arms of the Ottoman Empire

Coat of Arms of the Ottoman Empire

It is not uncommon for European historians to ignore the existence of the Ottoman Empire in 16th-century historical studies, as they are often more preoccupied with the advances in Christianity, the rise of the Spanish, British and Dutch empires, and the discovery of the New World.

The Ottoman Empire was a huge empire, however, that remained in conflict with Europe for centuries over certain territories and for various political reasons.

Moreover, different branches of science, such as astronomy, chemistry, and medicine, were given great importance within the empire. It had cultural richness, as well as liberal political institutions, and thus managed to carry its cultural heritage to the present day.

When and Where Was the Ottoman Empire Founded?

After Istanbul was conquered in 1453, the administrative center of the state was moved there, where the sultans continued to live for more than four centuries. The Ottoman state collapsed during World War I when its back was broken by the British Indian Army under Field Marshal Allenby in battles in Mesopotamia and Gaza.

The Ottoman Empire managed to survive, however, for more than 600 years, from 1301 to 1922. It spread to Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa and ruled Egypt, Bulgaria, Romania, Greece, Hungary, Macedonia, Palestine, Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon. It stretched from the south of Algeria to the Danube River.

Suleiman the Magnificent, the best-known of the sultans, ruled globally between 1520–1566. These years are known as the Golden Age of the Ottoman Empire. The state and the armies under its command were so strong that they started attempts to conquer Iran, Austria, and Russian lands.

After 1571, the Ottoman navy was captured by the European powers under the leadership of the Pope, and the course of history began to change for the Turks. After this event, their influence in Europe waned, each campaign failed, and the empire entered a period of decline that would last for hundreds of years

Ottoman Foundation Period

Osman I (Osman Ghazi) is the founder of the Ottoman Dynasty and the first sultan of the principality—the Ottoman Empire itself is named after him.

It is thought that in the middle of the 13th century, his father, Ertugrul Ghazi, migrated to Anatolia with his principality to escape the oppression of the Mongol Empire. The political and military power of other Muslims escaping the Mongol invasions increased with the taking refuge in Osman Ghazi.

The success of Osman Bey, who led one of the many tribes in Anatolia at that time, went so far that he moved towards today's Istanbul, previously known as Constantinople, in the territory of the Byzantine Empire and soon became the ruler of Anatolia and Eastern Rome.

Almost 150 years later, the empire, built by Osman Bey in 1453 thanks to Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror, would reach Constantinople, a feat which he had been waiting for for a long time. The city's name was changed to Istanbul and became the center of the Ottoman Empire.

The Golden Age of the Ottoman Empire

With the conquest of Istanbul, the Ottoman Empire continued to grow stronger for more than a century. The armies under the command of Bayezid, Selim I, and Suleiman the Magnificent conquered Syria, the Arabian Peninsula, Palestine, and Egypt. During this period, which is called the period of Ottoman rise, the empire reached its widest borders.

The Turkish Empire grew steadily throughout this period. But, after Kanuni, things began to shift slightly under Selim II's reign. The people revolted and the Ottomans were defeated in their wars at the hands of the European armies. As a result, the empire's influence began to wane.

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Many of the surgical instruments we use today were invented by Muslim scientists of various nations during the Ottoman period.


During the Golden Age of the Ottoman Empire, the sultans effectively used Istanbul's significant position to strengthen their trading and business.

Istanbul has always been strategically located on trade routes between East and West, connecting Europe, Africa, and Asia. The Ottomans were trading with China in the far east and with Italy in Europe.

Of course, he also benefited from the flow of expensive goods, such as silk, dyes, and spices. For example, when the Ottomans conquered Yemen, local coffee came under Turkish control, making it an incredibly prosperous city when it was sold in Cairo, the capital of Egypt.

Education and Culture

The period of Kanuni was also the most productive in the artistic sense of the Ottoman Empire. There have been incredible developments in art branches such as Islamic calligraphy, poetry, painting, music, and ceramics.

Courses in mathematics, chemistry, and philosophy were given in the education centers. Many of the surgical instruments we use today were invented by Muslim scientists of various nations during the Ottoman period.

During the reign of Kanuni, European artists such as Titian and Bellini also stated that after spending time in Istanbul, Mimar Sinan changed the face of the Middle East with his brilliant intelligence and magnificent designs.


One of the reasons for the hostility and distrust between early modern Europe and the Ottomans was religion; while the Turks were Muslims, Europe was very Christian.

Although the Ottoman Empire is now known as a very religious liberal regime, at that time many horror stories were circulating in Europe about the role of Islam. Many literary products were propagated, such as Shakespeare's play Othello, which was thought to raise suspicion about Islam.

Kanuni was both a religious and a political leader, as the title of sultan included responsibilities as the guardian of Islam. He set up many training centers for religious and literacy education. Unlike most of Christian Europe, Jews occupied an important place in the Ottoman Empire and were constantly encouraged to come to Istanbul.

Ottoman Style of Management

It is necessary to look at the techniques of government and administration to understand how the Ottoman Empire survived for such a long time and how they ruled for almost seven centuries with a single dynasty.

The Ottoman state was known for keeping the center strong and stable. In the empire, two sultans were never allowed to share the throne, so throne fights between brothers took place. One peculiarity of the empire was that only one son was allowed to survive and others were killed, for the simple reason that later there would be no wars of succession or division of the empire.

One of the legends known about the Ottoman Empire was that the sultan disguised himself and walked the streets of the city to supervise the employees and see the situation of the people. There were always knowledgeable statesmen around the sultan and he would consult them on all kinds of issues. Still, the sultan would have spoken the last word, of course.

Besides the central power of the absolute monarchy, the Ottomans maintained power with an incredibly powerful army and could expand by conquering new lands. Thanks to the skill and knowledge of the commanders on land and sea, the Ottoman armies terrorized their enemies.

rise and fall gif of ottoman empie

rise and fall gif of ottoman empie

Collapse of the Ottoman Empire

Like every magnificent empire, the Ottoman Empire began to lose its power after a while. But what was interesting was that this process took centuries.

Inebahti Naval Battle

In this naval battle between the Ottoman Empire and the Crusader navies in 1571, the Ottoman navy was badly damaged and this battle is known as the biggest sea defeat in the rise of the empire. After this war, in the period of Selim II, the world realized that the Ottoman navy was not invincible.

In this war, many important naval officers were lost and nearly 200 ships were destroyed, along with 40,000 soldiers. This war was the biggest sign that the Turks' dominance over the Mediterranean had weakened.

The Second Siege of Vienna

The 17th century passed with military defeats and territorial losses for the Ottoman Empire after this war, which historians thought started a period of decline. The biggest wounding defeat of this was the unsuccessful Siege of Vienna.

This was the second siege of Vienna by the Ottoman armies (the first in 1529) and permanently halted Ottoman attempts to conquer more land in Europe.

The Order of the Ottoman Sultans

  • Osman Gazi (1299–1326)
  • Orhan Gazi (1326–1359)
  • Murad I (1359–1389)
  • Bayezid I - Yıldırım Bayezid (1389–1402)
  • Mehmed I (1413–1421)
  • Murad II (1421–1451)
  • Fatih Sultan Mehmed (1451–1481)
  • Bayezid II (1481–1512)
  • Yavuz Sultan Selim (1512–1520)
  • Suleyman the Magnificent (1520–1566)
  • Selim II (1566–1574)
  • Murad III (1574–1595)
  • Mehmed III (1595–1603)
  • Ahmed I (1603–1617)
  • Mustafa I (1617–1618/1622–1623)
  • Young Osman (1618–1622)
  • Murad IV (1623–1640)
  • Abraham (1640–1648)
  • Mehmed IV (1648–1687)
  • Solomon II (1687–1691)
  • Ahmed II (1691–1695
  • Mustafa II (1695–1703)
  • Ahmed III (1703–1730)
  • Mahmud I (1730–1754)
  • Osman III (1754–1757)
  • Mustafa III (1757–1774)
  • Abdul Hamid I (1774–1789)
  • Selim III (1789–1807)
  • Mustafa IV (1807–1808)
  • Mahmud II (1808–1839)
  • Abdulmecid (1839–1861)
  • Abdulaziz (1861–1876)
  • Murad V (May 30, 1876–August 31, 1876)
  • Abdul Hamid II (1876–1909)
  • Mehmed Resad (1909–1918)
  • Mehmed Vahdeddin (1918–1922)

The Entire History of Ottoman Empire Explained in 7 Minutes


This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2021 Misbah Sheikh


Misbah Sheikh (author) on March 06, 2021:

Thanks a lot MG Singh for appreciation

Nice to see you have great knowledge of History

I did mention it but you elaborated it

I am glad you provided me more information, I will adjust it in the article

The Ottoman state is known for keeping the center strong and stable. In the Ottoman Empire, two sultans were never allowed to share the throne, so throne fights between brothers took place

When the Ottoman state collapsed during World War I (1301 - 1922), it managed to survive for more than six hundred years.

(I will adjust the information you provided in these paragraphs)

Thanks a lot for the information

Kind regards and blessings

MG Singh emge from Singapore on March 06, 2021:

This is a very interesting article and well written. I will add some information. One peculiarity of the empire was that only one son was allowed to survive and others were killed for the simple reason that later there would be no wars of succession or division of the empire. The Ottoman empire collapsed during WW I when its back was broken by the British Indian Army under Field Marshal Allenby in battles in Mespotomias and Gaza

Misbah Sheikh (author) on March 06, 2021:

Linda, Thank you so much for appreciating

I am glad you liked it


Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on March 05, 2021:

Thank you for creating this very informative article, Misbah. I had heard of the Ottoman Empire before I read your article, but I knew almost nothing about it. I appreciate the education that you have provided.

Misbah Sheikh (author) on March 05, 2021:

Thanks a lot, Chitra Di

Glad to hear that you liked it

the ottoman empire lasted for a very long time

and yet have a lot to share

will probably write more on it

Sending Blessings

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on March 05, 2021:

A very well written and researched article about the Ottoman Empire. I have read about it, but didn’t know so many details. Good of you to share it with the readers.

Thank you and well done.

Misbah Sheikh (author) on March 05, 2021:

Thank you so much Rosina

I am glad that you liked the rise and fall history of Ottoman Empire


Misbah Sheikh (author) on March 05, 2021:

Thanks a lot Mubarak Shaik for your kind comment

I am glad you liked it

Rosina S Khan on March 04, 2021:

It was nice to note the rise and fall of Ottoman Empire. An interesting piece of history indeed. Thanks for sharing, Misbah.

Mubarak from INDIA on March 04, 2021:

Excellent way of explanation.

Misbah Sheikh (author) on March 04, 2021:

Thank you so much, Manatita

Your words mean a lot to me.

Jazak Allah

Misbah Sheikh (author) on March 04, 2021:

Thank you so much, Peggy

I am grateful for such a nice comment from your side


manatita44 from london on March 04, 2021:

An impressive list at the end and yes, they lasted a long, long time. Fascinating! History has always been altered or ignored with various forms of 'spin' used to distort it.

All these things only support my view and the view of spiritual teachers, that there have always been wars and mans inhumanity to man has only shifted to the 21st century, but is very much alive. A brilliant piece of history and story-telling.

Misbah Sheikh (author) on March 04, 2021:

Thank you so much, Mr.Bill

coming such a beautiful compliment from your side is an honor for me.

Kind regards and Blessings

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on March 04, 2021:

You have brought history to life in your excellent article. Thank you!

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on March 04, 2021:

I taught history for twenty years. Excellent job in this article.

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