Alternate History

Ottoman Empire (Think Before You Act)

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The Ottoman Empire, also known as the Turkish Empire (of Turkey), was one of the few last modern, but yet powerful Islamic empires. It was one of the largest and longest lasting empires in history. Its politics, conflicts, and cultural heritage in a vast geography and history made it one of the most famed empires in its history.

It was formed by Osman I. At the time, Anatolia was a bunch of Turkish states. However, under Osman’s leadership, the states were united one by one. Later, under other rulers, it expanded into other regions of Anatolia and later, the Byzantine Empire. In 1453, Constantinople fell to the Turks, giving the Ottomans the strength that would allow them to become one of the most powerful empires in history.

After 1453, the Ottomans expanded into the Middle East and Europe, taking with them Syria, Palestine, Egypt, Cyprus, the Balkans, the Crimea, and Serbia. Under Suleiman the Magnificent’s reign during the 16th and 17th Centuries, the Ottoman Empire was at its greatest height, taking the rest of North Africa, Mesopotamia, Armenia, and Hungary into the empire. At its height, it was the most powerful nation in the world, with only the power of Charles X close to the power of the Ottomans. It touched the southern borders of the Holy Roman Empire to the western border of Persia to Armenia and Azerbaijan in the northeast, to Morocco (the only North African state untouched by the Ottomans), to Arabia in the southeast, and to the Sudanese region in the south. The empire held together 29 provinces and numerous vassal states, with some later absorbed into the empire, and some having some degree of autonomy.

However, the Ottoman defeats at Vienna and Lepanto led to the stagnation of the empire’s strength. Expansion from Russia and Austria forced the country to give up land in the Caucasus, Hungary, the Balkans, and Crimea. Its inability to catch up with the changes of Europe also led to the strength of the economy and military crumbling.

But it would be the Egyptian War of Independence and the First Franco-Turkish War that would lead to the crumble of the empire. During this time, the Ottomans were forced to give away its Arab and its remaining European and African possessions to France and Egypt. Later, after the Second Franco-Turkish War, Napoleon II officially incorporated it into the French empire, ending the Ottoman Empire forever.

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