14.2 The Ottoman Empire.pdf - THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE Burak...

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THE OTTOMAN EMPIREBurak Sansal Source: Origins of the Ottoman Empire Pressured out of their homes in the Asian steppes by the Mongols, the Turkish nomadic tribes converted to Islam during the eighth and ninth centuries. By the tenth century, one of the Turkish tribes, the Seljuk, had become a significant power in the Islamic world and had adopted a settled life that included Islamic orthodoxy, a central administration, and taxation. However, many other Turkish groups remained nomadic and, pursuing the gazi tradition, sought to conquer land for Islam and to acquire war booty for themselves. This led them into conflict with the Seljuk Turks, and to pacify the nomadic tribes, the Seljuks directed them to the eastern domain of the Byzantine Empire, Anatolia. The tribe known as the Ottomans arose from one of the smaller emirates estab-lished in northwestern Anatolia after 1071. The dynasty was named for Osman(1259-1326), who began to expand his kingdom into the Byzantine Empire in Asia Minor, moving his capital to Bursa in 1326. Ottoman Empire The political and geographical entity governed by theMuslim Ottoman Turks. Their empire was centered in present-day Turkey, and extended its influence into southeastern Europe as well as the Middle East. Europe was only temporarily able to resist their advance: the turning point came at the Battle of Varna in 1444 when a European coalition army failed to stop the Turkish ad-vance. Only Constantinople (Istanbul) remained in Byz-antine hands and its conquest in 1453 seemed inevitable after Varna. The Turks subsequently es-tablished an empire in Anatolia and southeastern Europe which lasted until the early twentieth century. Although the Ottoman Empire is not considered a European kingdom per se, Ottoman expan-sion had a profound impact on a continent already stunned by the calamities of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries and the Ottoman Turks must, therefore, be considered in any study of Europe in the late Middle Ages. The ease with which the Ottoman Empire achieved military victories led Western Europeans to fear that ongoing Ottoman success would collapse the political and social

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