The Ottoman Empire (Ottoman Turkish: دولت عالیه عثمانیه Devlet-i Âliye-yi Osmâniyye, also known as Turkey or Turkish Empire by its contemporaries, see also the other names of the state) (1299 to 1922), was a multi-ethnic and multi-religious Turkish ruled state which, at the height of its power (16th 17th centuries), spanned three continents (see also the extent of Ottoman territories), controlling much of Southeastern Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, stretching from the Strait of Gibraltar (and in 1553 the Atlantic coast of North Africa beyond Gibraltar) in the west to the Caspian Sea and Persian Gulf in the east, from the edge of Austria, Slovakia and parts of Ukraine in the north to Sudan, Eritrea and Yemen in the south.
The empire was at the centre of interactions between the Eastern and Western worlds for six centuries. With Istanbul (or Constantinople) as its capital, the Ottoman Empire was in some respects an Islamic successor to earlier Mediterranean empires namely the Roman and Byzantine empires. As such, the Ottomans regarded themselves as the heirs to both Roman and Islamic traditions, and hence rulers of a "Universal Empire" through this "unification of cultures".
In the course of its lifespan, it undertook, more than once, programmes of both Islamisation and modernisation (reform), blurring the difference between the West and the East. The golden age of the Ottoman Empire was during the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent in the 16th Century. This could be observed in many different fields, such as the architectural masterpieces of Koca Mimar Sinan Ağa, and the domination of the Mediterranean Sea by the Ottoman navy, led by Barbarossa Hayreddin Pasha. The Ottoman Empire reached its territorial peak in the 17th century. It developed its own distinctive culture, from a diverse system of Millets to a multi-ethnic state (see Ottomanism); which was influential in both Europe and the Muslim lands.
The empire was the only Islamic power to seriously challenge the rising power of Western Europe between the 15th and 19th centuries. It steadily declined during the 19th century and met its demise after its defeat in the Middle Eastern theatre of World War I. In the aftermath of the war, the Ottoman government collapsed and the empire's lands were partitioned.
Following the victory at the Turkish War of Independence, waged by the Turkish revolutionaries led by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk who opposed the Treaty of Sèvres which was signed by the Ottoman government, the revolutionaries abolished the Ottoman Sultanate on November 1, 1922. The last Ottoman Sultan, Mehmed VI Vahideddin, left Istanbul on November 17, 1922. The Treaty of Lausanne was signed on July 24, 1923, replacing the Treaty of Sèvres and internationally recognizing the territorial gains of the Turkish War of Independence. Turkey was declared a republic on October 29, 1923.
: Osman, founder of the Ottoman dynasty, born.
: Osman declares the independence of his small principality from the Selcuk sultanate of Konya.
: Orhan Gazi captures Bursa, which becomes the second Ottoman capital (the small town of Sogut was the first capital).
: Black Death sweeps Europe.
: Benefitting from the deadly strife within the Byzantine Empire, the Ottomans cross the Dardanelles and sieze a foothold on the European side.
: Murad I captures Edirne (Adrianople). As the third Ottoman capital, Edirne now becomes the head-guarters for the further expansion.
: The conquest of Sofia (capital of present-day Bulgaria).
: The final conquest and annexation, under Bayezid I the Thunderbolt, of the territories of the medieval kingdoms of Bulgaria and Serbia.
: A new force out of the plains begins to make its presence felt in West Asia, forcing the Ottomans to over-extend themselves two distant fronts.
: The Battle of Ankara between Timur the Lame (Tamerlane) and Bayezid I. Alienated by Bayezid's hasty push of rapid centralization, the forces of the recently annexed Turcoman principalities of Anatolia cross over to the side of the relatively semi-tribal Timur in the heat of battle. deserted by all expect his Serbian allies, Bayezid is captured and eventually commits suicide
: The Interregnum : Bayezid's four sons fight each other for the throne, which is eventually won by Çelebi Mehmed I (1412-1420).
: War between Venice and the reconsolidating Ottoman state-the first of many for supremacy in the Aegean and the Mediterranean, and ultimately for control over the traditional trade routes of the Old World.
: Second battle of Kossova consolidates the Ottoman rule in Balkans.
: With the death of Murad II, his son Mehmed II ascends the throne for the second and final time, and immediately launches preparations for...
: The conquest of Constaninople (Istanbul), which becomes the fourth and last Ottoman capital. The remaining 29 years of Mehmed II's reign witness the decisive conquest or reconquest of Serbia, Albania and Greece in the West as well as most of Anatolia. The whole course of this second great Ottoman advance into the Balkans is marked by wars with Venice for control of the Adriatic shoreline.
: Construction work begins on the Topkapi Palace.
: Columbus 'discovers' the Bahamas.
: Greece, Trebizond and Crimea conquered.
: The peaceful reign of Bayezid II is marred by a conservative religious reaction against the Conqueror's cosmopolitan cultural outlook and strong centralization drive. From 1500 onwards, the Safavids of Iran begin to take advantage of Ottoman passivity in pushing their Shiite proselytizing efforts into Eastern and Southeastern Anatolia.
: Selim I the Grim, who with janissary support, dethroned his father in 1512, relies on his cannon to defeat Sah Ismail at the battle of Caldiran, conquers Tabriz, secures his left flank for the subsequent advance into Egypt, and returns to Istanbul with enormous war booty as well as large numbers of Persian artists and craftsmen.
: In lightning campaigns marked by the continued superiority of Ottoman field artillery, Selim I completes the conquest of Eastern Anatolia, Northern Iraq, Syria, Palestine, Egypt, and the Hicaz.
: Portuguese Magellan circumnavigates the world.
: Luther launches attack on Roman church.
: The capture of Belgrade marks the second year of the long reign of Suleyman I the Magnificent (1520-1566). He resumes the westward drive towards the rich markets and trade crossroads of Central Europe.
: The capture of Rhodes, a manifestation of rising Ottoman naval power.
: Ottoman firepower destroys the flower of the Hungarian nobility at the battle of Mohacs; the conquest of Buda and Peşte follows. That same year, François I appeals to Suleyman, who agrees to provide military and economic assistance to France against the Hapsburgs in order to help restore the balance of power in Europe
: Szapolyai, king of Hungary, accepts Ottoman overlordship.
: The first siege of Vienna by the Ottomans, who are, however, unprepared for a long and all-out effort.
The great Eastern expedition led by the Grand Vizier Ibrahim Pasa.
Hayrettin Pasha (Barbarossa), the Ottoman Grand Admiral, annexes Algeria and Tunisia.
Suleyman the Magnificent's expedition into Iran and Iraq.
The naval battle of Preveza off the Adriatic coast. Barbarossa defeats a much larger allied fleet commanded by the great Genoese admiral Andrea Doria.
The first coffeehouse opens at Tahtakale in Istanbul.
Suleyman the Magnificient dies on his last expedition to the fort of Szigetvar on the Hungarian border, leaving Istanbul as Europe's biggest city (1/2m inhabitants). Selim II ascends the throne.
The great fire of Istanbul.
At Lepanto (off the Morean coast), the last great naval battle between galleys takes place. The Allied fleet led by Don Juan of Austria defeats and destroys most of the Ottoman fleet expect one squadron commanded by Kilic Ali Pasa. This, however, cannot prevent the capturen of Venetian-held Cyprus.
The death of Mimar Sinan, the master architect of the 16th century.
: Mehmed III sets out on his Egri expedition. At Haçova/Mezsökeresztes, the sipahis break and run on the first two days of the battle, which is regained with great difficulty on the third day; nevertheless, it is clear that the Ottoman military system is in crisis, and that the preeminence of the provincial cavalry is over.
: Treaty with Austria gives Hapsburg Emperor titular equality.
: The high tide of the Celali uprisings, rebellions against the land tenure system of the provincial fief-holding cavalry. This turn-of-the-century upheaval marks the end of the Classical Age and the opening pf a new chapter in Ottoman history characterized by the waning of the state's political and military fortunes.
: Virginia colonised.
: Work begins on the Blue Mosque.
: Thirty Years' War' in central Europe.
: Osman II the Young, the first Ottoman sultan to formulate a reform program (and to lose his head for it), sets out on his Hotin expedition - essentially to overcome the developing crisis of confidence and to re-establish charismatic leadership over the army.
: Murad IV restores order.
: Murad IV, who succeeded by imposing his unusually harsh will to halt progressive anarchy and destabilization, sets out on his great expedition to the East. His journey culminates in the capture of Baghdad. He is the last great centralizing sultan.
: China's decaying Ming dynasty swept away by Manchurian Qing dynasty.
: Execution of Charles I of England.
: Siege of Venetian Candia, capital of Crete.
: The great earthquake of Istanbul.
: Another great fire in Istanbul.
: For the first time in decades, a sultan, Mehmed V the Huntsman, personelly leads an Austrian expedition as far as Belgrade.
: The second siege of Vienna, led by the ambitious Grand Vizier Merzifonlu Kara Mustafa Pasa. He overestimates his strength and commits the inwardly fragile Empire to an impossible project of conquest. With defeat, everything begins to crumble.
: The Ottomans are forced to evacuate Hungary.
: Istanbul is ravaged by yet another great fire.
: Peace of Karlowitz : loss of Pelopponese, Hungary, Podolia, Azov to Christian enemies.
: Peter the Great founds St Petersburg.
: The battle of Pruth against the Russians under the command of the Grand Vizier Baltaci Mehmed Pasha. According to a spicy tradition, Pasha surrounded Peter the Great's army but then let them avoid humiliation because he was "persuaded" by a secret nocturnal visit to his tent by the tsar's mistress (later empress) Catherine.
: Peace treaty with Russia.
: Death of Aurangzeb presages decline of Moghul power in India.
: The Treaty of Passarowitz with Austria following yet another lost war.
: First Ottoman ambassadors sent to western capitals.
: Patrona Halil rebellion against taxation and western influences; Ahmet III deposed, Tulip Period ends.
: Peace of Belgrade returns Belgrade to the Ottomans; Russians forced to sign separate peace.
: Another great Istanbul fire burns covered markets to the ground.
: A major earthquake in Istanbul.
: Clive's victory at Plassey establishes British in India.
: War with Russia renewed.
: The Crimean Tartars switch sides to conclude an anti-Ottoman alliance with Russia.
: Cin-Ali Bey, who had proclaimed himself sultan of Egypt, is defeated in battle, and his rebellion crushed. Nevertheless, esraf and ayan (newly crystallizing dynasties of provincial notables) are on the move throughout the empire.
: Disastrous Treaty of Kucuk Kainardji with Russia.
: American Declaration of Independence.
: Russia annexes Crimea.
: A fire in Istanbul lasts 50 hours.
: Selim III, a dedicated reformer, ascends the throne in the same year as the French Revolution. Some of his social experiments are inpired by the same democratic ideologies which motivated the French.
: Ottoman-Prussian alliance against Austria and Russia.
: Napoleon's Egyptian expedition becomes stranded after Nelson destroys the French fleet at the battle of the Nile. Napoleon advances into Syria, but is forced to retreat the next year in the face of determined Ottoman resistance.
: Napoleon Bonaparte reshapes map of continental Europe.
: The British navy attempts to force the Straits; the Ottoman government declares war on both Britain and Russia.
: An Istanbul revolt instigated by conservative elements within the ruling elite and led by Kabakci Mustafa, a man of the urban underclass, dethrones Selim III. The sultan first is imprisoned and later killed when an army of provincial reformers led by Alemdar Mustafa Pasa advences on the capital to rescue the Sultan. Alemdar, nevertheless, succeds in overthrowing Mustafa IV and putting Mahmud II on the throne.
: Congress of Vienna.
: The Greek revolt and war of independence: the first step in the formation of new nation-states by the former Christian subjects of the Ottoman Empire.
: Massacre of the Janissaries by Mahmud II.
: Greece's European allies help defeat and destory the combined Ottoman-Egyptian fleet.
: Fez introduced, along with judicial, military and administrative reforms on more western models.
: Greek independence.
: Anglo-Turkish Trade Treaty marks the incorporation of the Ottoman internal market into world economy.
: Noble Rescript' promulgated, a liberal charter of reform. All creeds and declared equal.
: Crimean war pits Turkish, English and French troops against Russia.
: American Civil War.
: The signing of the Protocol of Istanbul. It marks the birth of Romania with the unification of Wallachia and Moldavia.
: Abdulaziz visits Europe on the invitation of Napoleon III.
: Meiji Restoration in Japan.
: Empire declares bankruptcy. Balkan uprisings.
: The Empire continues to crumble, revolt in Bosnia and Herzegovina, war against Serbia and Montenegro.
: The short-lived First Constitutional Period.
: War against Russia, known in Turkey as "the campaign of 93", after which the Russian army dictates the Treaty of Ayastefanos. Sultan Aldulhamid II uses the crisis to dissolve parliament and suspend the constitution.
: Treaty of Berlin - to which Ottomans are not invited - establishes partial Bulgarian autonomy.
: The French invade Tunisia.
: Mustafa Kemal Ataturk is born in Selonika.
: The British invade and take over Egypt.
: Last Ottoman province in the Balkans, Macedonia, succumbs to civil war.
: Mutiny in Monastir, calling for restoration of the constitution. Committee of Union and Progress triumphs. Bulgaria declares independence. Crete unites with Greece.
: The Young Turks Revolution overthrows Sultan Abdulhamid II. The Second Constitutional Period begins
: Muslim counter-revolution thwarted. Sultan deposed. Constitutional manarchy declared.
: Republic in China.
: Serbia, Greece and Bulgaria launch joint assault on European Turkey.
: The victors turn upon each other; Turkey recaptures Edirne.
: Turkey enters World War I on German side.
: Armistice. CUP leadership flees. Civil War erupts, followed by war with Greece in Anatolia.
: Mustafa Kemal Ataturk secures boundaries of a new Turkish state.
: The War of Independence culminates in the creation of the modern Rupublic of Turkey in 1923.
: Deposition and exile of last sultan, Mehmed Vahiduddin
: Turkey proclaimed a republic.
Only one piece of history; but how interesting.
Ottomans have built one of the biggest empire of history. We can say that Ottoman Golden age was around 1450-1600. After that, Europe started to get back on its feet, sent priests back to the church, enlightment, industrial revolution and scientific improvements followed. Around the end of 1800s, Ottoman Empire was nothing but just a name.