Mahmud II

Mahmut IISultan Mahmud IIMahmud
"The Officer Corps in Sultan Mahmud II's New Ottoman Army, 1826–39." International Journal of Middle East Studies (1971) 2#1 pp: 21-39. online. Levy, Avigdor. "The Ottoman Ulema and the military reforms of Sultan Mahmud II." Asian and African Studies 7 (1971): 13-39. Levy, Avigdor. "The Ottoman Corps in Sultan Mahmud II New Ottoman Army." International Journal of Middle East Studies 1 (1971): pp 39+. Palmer, Alan. The Decline and Fall of the Ottoman Empire (1992) ch 6.

Armistice of Mudros

armisticeArmistice of MoudrosArmistice with Turkey
It was later superseded by the Treaty of Lausanne (24 July 1923) following the Turkish victory at the Turkish War of Independence (1919–1923) which was conducted by the Grand National Assembly of Turkey in Ankara (established on 23 April 1920 by Mustafa Kemal Pasha and his followers, including his colleagues in the disbanded Ottoman military, and numerous former MPs of the closed Ottoman Parliament in Istanbul.) World War I took a chaotic turn in 1918 for the Ottoman Empire.

Ottoman naval expeditions in the Indian Ocean

Indian Ocean campaignsa series of Ottoman-Portuguese naval warsextended to the Indian Ocean
In fact, after the Ottoman domination in the Red Sea, the Turco-Portuguese rivalry began. Selim entered into negotiations with Sultan Muzaffar II of Gujarat, (a sultanate in North West India), about a possible joint strike against the Portuguese in Goa. However Selim died in 1520. In 1525, during the reign of Suleiman I (Selim's son), Selman Reis, a former corsair, was appointed as the admiral of a small Ottoman fleet in the Red Sea which was tasked with defending Ottoman coastal towns against Portuguese attacks. In 1534, Suleiman annexed most of Iraq and by 1538 the Ottomans had reached Basra, i.e., the Persian Gulf.


timariotfeudal cavalryTimarli
The sipahis were also in constant competition for control of the Ottoman military with the janissary class. * Two volumes. Two volumes. Two volumes. Two volumes.

Safavid dynasty

SafavidSafavid EmpireSafavids
Iran's neighbors seized the opportunity to attack. The Uzbeks struck in the Spring of 1578 but were repelled by Murtaza Quli Sultan, governor of Mashhad. More seriously the Ottomans ended the Peace of Amasya and commenced a war with Iran that would last until 1590 by invading Iran's territories of Georgia and Shirvan. While the initial attacks were repelled, the Ottomans continued and grabbed considerable territory in Transcaucasia, Dagestan, Kurdistan and Luristan and in 993/1585 they even took Tabriz. In the midst of these foreign perils, rebellion broke out in Khorasan fomented by (or on behalf of) Mohammad's son, Abbas.

Rise of nationalism in the Ottoman Empire

rise of nationalism under the Ottoman Empirerise of nationalismBalkan people's emancipation struggle
The 1877–78 Russo-Turkish War dealt a decisive blow to Ottoman power in the Balkan Peninsula, leaving the empire with only a precarious hold on Macedonia and the Albanian-populated lands. The Albanians' fear that the lands they inhabited would be partitioned among Montenegro, Serbia, Bulgaria, and Greece fueled the rise of Albanian nationalism. The first postwar treaty, the abortive Treaty of San Stefano signed on March 3, 1878, assigned Albanian-populated lands to Serbia, Montenegro, and Bulgaria. Austria-Hungary and the United Kingdom blocked the arrangement because it awarded Russia a predominant position in the Balkans and thereby upset the European balance of power.


EgyptianEGYArab Republic of Egypt
After the French were defeated by the British, a power vacuum was created in Egypt, and a three-way power struggle ensued between the Ottoman Turks, Egyptian Mamluks who had ruled Egypt for centuries, and Albanian mercenaries in the service of the Ottomans. After the French were expelled, power was seized in 1805 by Muhammad Ali Pasha, an Albanian military commander of the Ottoman army in Egypt. While he carried the title of viceroy of Egypt, his subordination to the Ottoman porte was merely nominal. Muhammad Ali massacred the Mamluks and established a dynasty that was to rule Egypt until the revolution of 1952.


Sultan AbdülazizAbdülaziz IAbdulaziz
Under his reign, Turkey's first postage stamps were issued in 1863, and the Ottoman Empire joined the Universal Postal Union in 1875 as a founding member. He also was responsible for the first civil code for the Ottoman Empire. He was the first Ottoman sultan who travelled to Western Europe. His voyage in visiting order (from 21 June 1867 to 7 August 1867): Istanbul – Messina – Naples – Toulon – Marseille – Paris – Boulogne – Dover – London – Dover – Calais – Brussels – Koblenz – Vienna – Budapest – Orșova – Vidin – Ruse – Varna – Istanbul.


BosphorusBosphorus StraitBosphorous
On 29 May 1453, the then-emergent Ottoman Empire conquered the city of Constantinople following a lengthy campaign wherein the Ottomans constructed fortifications on each side of the strait, the Anadoluhisarı (1393) and the Rumelihisarı (1451), in preparation for not only the primary battle but to assert long-term control over the Bosporus and surrounding waterways. The final 53-day campaign, which resulted in Ottoman victory, constituted an important turn in world history.

Principality of Serbia

SerbiaSerbianPrince of Serbia
On 18 April 1867 the Ottoman government ordered the Ottoman garrison, which had been since 1826 the last representation of Ottoman suzerainty in Serbia, withdrawn from the Belgrade fortress. The only stipulation was that the Ottoman flag continue to fly over the fortress alongside the Serbian one. Serbia's de facto independence dates from this event. A new constitution in 1869 defined Serbia as an independent state. Serbia was further expanded to the southeast in 1878, when its independence from the Ottoman Empire won full international recognition at the Treaty of Berlin. The Principality would last until 1882 when it was raised to the level of the Kingdom of Serbia.


Culture of the Ottoman Empire. Mamluk. Millet system. Janissary. "Devsirme" in "Encyclopaedia of the Orient". Website on the Ottoman empire - original German version; here its Janissary page (to be further exploited).


GreekHellenic RepublicGreeks
On the other side, many Greeks were conscripted as Ottoman citizens to serve in the Ottoman army (and especially the Ottoman navy), while also the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, responsible for the Orthodox, remained in general loyal to the empire. The 16th and 17th centuries are regarded as something of a "dark age" in Greek history, with the prospect of overthrowing Ottoman rule appearing remote with only the Ionian islands remaining free of Turkish domination. Corfu withstood three major sieges in 1537, 1571 and 1716 all of which resulted in the repulsion of the Ottomans.


Sources: * Subdivisions of the Ottoman Empire Colin Imber. The Ottoman Empire, 1300-1650: The structure of Power. (Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire, UK: Palgrave Macmillan, 2002.). Halil Inalcik. The Ottoman Empire: The Classical Age 1300–1600. Trans. Norman Itzkowitz and Colin Imber. (London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1973.). Donald Edgar Pitcher. An Historical Geography of the Ottoman Empire (Leiden, Netherlands: E.J.Brill,1972.). Colin Imber. The Ottoman Empire, 1300-1650: The Structure of Power. (Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire, UK: Palgrave Macmillan, 2002.). Halil Inalcik. The Ottoman Empire: The Classical Age 1300-1600. Trans. Norman Itzkowitz and Colin Imber.


Until the death of Suleiman the Magnificent in 1570, the Christian population (counted at some 42,000 families c. 1550 ) managed to retain some privileges and Islamization was slow, mostly among the Albanians or the estate owners who were integrated into the Ottoman feudal system. Although they quickly came to control most of the fertile lands, Muslims remained a distinct minority. Christian communities retained a large measure of self-government, but the entire Ottoman period was marked by a flight of the Christian population from the plains to the mountains.


AlgerianPeople's Democratic Republic of AlgeriaAlgérie
They often made raids, called Razzias, on European coastal towns to capture Christian slaves to sell at slave markets in North Africa and other parts of the Ottoman Empire. In 1544, for example, Hayreddin Barbarossa captured the island of Ischia, taking 4,000 prisoners, and enslaved some 9,000 inhabitants of Lipari, almost the entire population. In 1551, the Ottoman governor of Algiers, Turgut Reis, enslaved the entire population of the Maltese island of Gozo. Barbary pirates often attacked the Balearic Islands. The threat was so severe that residents abandoned the island of Formentera.


Danube RiverRiver DanubeDanubian
Between the late 14th and late 19th centuries, the Ottoman Empire competed first with the Kingdom of Serbia, Second Bulgarian Empire, Kingdom of Hungary, Principality of Wallachia, Principality of Moldavia and later with the Austrian Habsburgs, Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, and Russian Empire for controlling the Danube (Turks call it Tuna), which became the northern border of the Ottoman Empire for centuries. Many of the Ottoman–Hungarian Wars (1366–1526) and Ottoman–Habsburg wars (1526–1791) were fought along the river.

Ottoman Navy

Ottoman fleetNavyOttoman
Between 1387 and 1423 the Ottoman fleet contributed to the territorial expansions of the Ottoman Empire on the Balkan peninsula and the Black Sea coasts of Anatolia. Following the first conquests of Venetian territories in Morea, the first Ottoman-Venetian War (1423–1430) started. In the meantime, the Ottoman fleet continued to contribute to the expansion of the Ottoman Empire in the Aegean and Black Seas, with the conquests of Sinop (1424), Izmir (1426) and the reconquest of Thessaloniki from the Venetians (1430). Albania was reconquered by the Ottoman fleet with landings between 1448 and 1479.

Nizam-I Cedid

Nizam-ı CedidNezām-e JadīdNizam-i Djedid
While that army was largely a failure in its own time, it reflects an important step in the stages of Ottoman attempts at reform in the Modern period. Selim III’s desire for an army necessitated far-reaching changes in the bureaucracy and structure of the Ottoman Empire, and profoundly reorganized contemporary Ottoman politics.

Bayezid I

Beyazid IBayezid I, the ThunderboltSultan Bayezid I
A cycle of paintings in Schloss Eggenberg, near Graz in Austria, translated the theme to a different medium; this was completed in the 1670s shortly before the Ottoman army attacked the Habsburgs in central Europe. Bayezid (spelled Bayazid) is a central character in the Robert E. Howard story Lord of Samarcand, where he commits suicide at Tamerlane's victory banquet.

Western Europe

WesternWestern EuropeanWest European
After the conquest of the Byzantine Empire, center of the Eastern Orthodox Church, by the Muslim Ottoman Empire in the 15th century, and the gradual fragmentation of the Holy Roman Empire (which had replaced the Carolingian Empire), the division between Roman Catholic and Protestant became more important in Europe than that with Eastern Orthodoxy. In East Asia, Western Europe was historically known as taixi in China and taisei in Japan, which literally translates as the "Far West". The term Far West became synonymous with Western Europe in China during the Ming dynasty.

Auspicious Incident

The Auspicious IncidentabolitionAuspicious Event
Ottoman military reform efforts. Ali Pasha of Janina. Mustafa Reshiti. Husein Gradaščević. Devşirme. Goodwin, Jason (1998). Lords of the Horizons: A History of the Ottoman Empire. New York: H. Holt ISBN: 0-8050-4081-1. Kinross, Patrick (1977) The Ottoman Centuries: The Rise and Fall of the Turkish Empire London: Perennial. ISBN: 978-0-688-08093-8. Shaw, Stanford J. & Shaw, Ezel Kural (1977). History of the Ottoman Empire and Modern Turkey (Vol. II). New York: Cambridge University Press. ISBN: 978-0-521-29166-8.

United Principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia

United PrincipalitiesRomaniaPrincipality of Romania
The United Principalities was the official name of the personal union of Moldavia and Wallachia which later became Romania, adopted on 24 January 1859 (O.S.) (5 February N.S.) when Alexandru Ioan Cuza was elected as the Domnitor (Ruling Prince) of both principalities, which were autonomous but still vassals of the Ottoman Empire. On 22 January (O.S.) (3 February N.S.) 1862, the Principality of Moldavia and the Principality of Wallachia formally united to create the Romanian United Principalities, the core of the Romanian nation state. In 1866 a new constitution came into effect, giving the country the name of Romania. The new state remained nominally a vassal of the Ottoman Empire.

Mediterranean Sea

MediterraneanMediterranean coastWestern Mediterranean
Ottoman power based in Anatolia continued to grow, and in 1453 extinguished the Byzantine Empire with the Conquest of Constantinople. Ottomans gained control of much of the sea in the 16th century and maintained naval bases in southern France (1543–1544), Algeria and Tunisia. Barbarossa, the famous Ottoman captain is a symbol of this domination with the victory of the Battle of Preveza (1538). The Battle of Djerba (1560) marked the apex of Ottoman naval domination in the Mediterranean. As the naval prowess of the European powers increased, they confronted Ottoman expansion in the region when the Battle of Lepanto (1571) checked the power of the Ottoman Navy.


CypriotRepublic of CyprusCYP
In the aftermath of the Russo-Turkish War (1877–1878) and the Congress of Berlin, Cyprus was leased to the British Empire which de facto took over its administration in 1878 (though, in terms of sovereignty, Cyprus remained a de jure Ottoman territory until 5 November 1914, together with Egypt and Sudan) in exchange for guarantees that Britain would use the island as a base to protect the Ottoman Empire against possible Russian aggression. The island would serve Britain as a key military base for its colonial routes.


While in Arabic, the word wilaya is used to denote a province or region or district without any specific administrative connotation, the Ottomans used it to denote a specific administrative division. The Ottoman Empire had already begun to modernize its administration and regularize its provinces (eyalets) in the 1840s, but the Vilayet Law extended this to the entire Ottoman territory, with a regularized hierarchy of administrative units: the vilayet, headed by a vali, was subdivided into sub-provinces (sanjak or liva) under a mütesarrif, further into districts (kaza ) under a kaimakam, and into communes (nahiye) under a müdir.