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The War of the 35 Years (also called the Byzantine-Ottoman War, the Tenth Crusade and even sometimes the First World War, was a war between Byzantium and the Ottoman Empire, and its respective allies. It occurred between the declaration of war given by the Ottomans toward Byzantium in January 15, 1685, and until the Peace of Bursa in April 10, 1720. Geo-politically, it was an extremely important war, both in the time and in the future, as the main cause for the UK-German strain in relationships and the start of the great decline of the Ottoman Empire, plus the creation of Italian dominance in the western Balkans and the Middle East.
Byzantium got independent from the Ottoman Empire in 1615. Although the Ottoman Empire had only recently reached its maximum territorial extension, it had already fallen into irrevocable decline. The independence of a new Byzantine Empire had further worsened the Ottoman decline, and by 1650, the Ottomans had earned a new name: The Sick Man of Europe.
Ottoman Sultan Mehmed IV decided that the only way to recover the Empire's strength was to recover lost territory.In 1680, the Incident of Constantinople occurred. The Incident was a minor battle within the major city of the New Byzantine Empire, which had forcefully seized European Constantinople after its independence. This started as a small civilian fight in the lower Turkish regions that stretched throughout part of the Golden Horn, but later became a full-blown battle after Ottoman Janissaries landed from Istanbul (formerly the Asiatic side of Constantinople). The Athanatoi were later taken to where the fight was going on. Byzantine policemen, pro-Byzantine traders and three Athanatoi corps were totally massacred.
This incident worsened the Greek-Ottoman relationships, made Mehmed IV's idea of jingoism a favorable one and brought attention from all parts of Europe to the Balkans. In 1683, the Germans signed an alliance with the Ottomans, and to contra-arrest this, Russia and the UK signed alliances with Byzantium. Several German states opposed the Ottoman alliance. The most important of this opposing German states was Saxony, in which even its King, Friedrich August, was against the alliance and future wars. This will prove to be a problem for Germany later on, when Friedrich August declared independence from Germany as soon as he received the throne of Poland-Lithuania, and joined the pro-Byzantines.
Following incidents similar to this, like the Battle of Adrianople or the Battle of the Aegean further worsened Byzantine-Ottoman relationships. Finally, in 1685, Ottoman forces declared war on the New Byzantine Empire and invaded the Dardanelles.
The First Years
The first years of the war proved to be