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The Ottoman Empire (Ottoman Turkish: دَوْلَتِ عَلِيّهٔ عُثمَانِیّه Devlet-i ʿAliyye-yi ʿOsmâniyye, Modern Turkish: Yüce Osmanlı Devleti or Osmanlı İmparatorluğu) was an empire that lasted from July 27, 1299 to July 1940.
At the height of its power, in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the empire spanned three continents, controlling much of Southeastern Europe, Western Asia and North Africa. The Ottoman Empire contained 29 provinces and numerous vassal states, some of which were later absorbed into the empire, while others were granted various types of autonomy during the course of centuries. The empire also temporarily gained authority over distant overseas lands through declarations of allegiance to the Ottoman Sultan and Caliph, such as the declaration by the Sultan of Aceh in 1565; or through the temporary acquisitions of islands in the Atlantic Ocean, such as Lanzarote in 1585.
With Constantinople as its capital city, and vast control of lands around the eastern Mediterranean during the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent (ruled 1520 to 1566), the empire was at the center of interactions between the Eastern and Western worlds for six centuries.
The empipre fell under Russian occupation in 1940. While it was occupied the Ottoman government was forced out by the Red Army and the empire was carved up to suit Russian interests. By the end of World War II the Egyptians controlled much of Arabia and parts of Anatolia. The Axis Powers did not restore the Ottoman empire and partitioned it into a series of puppet states under, mostly Egyptian, Axis influence. The official successor state to the Ottoman Empire was the Ottoman Caliphate.
Expansion and apogee (1453–1566)
Revolts and revival (1566–1683)
Stagnation and reform (1683–1827)
Decline and modernization (1828–1908)
First World War (1914–1918)
The Young Turk government had signed a secret treaty establishing the Ottoman–German Alliance in August 1914, aimed against the common Russian enemy but aligning the Empire with the German side. The Ottoman Empire entered World War I after the Goeben and Breslau incident, in which it gave safe harbour to two German ships which were fleeing British ships. These ships then—after having officially been transferred to the Ottoman Navy, but effectively still under German control—attacked the Russian port of Sevastopol, thus dragging the Empire into the war on the side of the Central Powers, in which it took part in the Middle Eastern theatre.