Interested in the history of the Turkish Empire? Want to know how and when the empire was founded and how it finally declined? Our brief guide to the Turkish Empire gives you the facts & information you want to know.
At its zenith the Turkish Empire spanned over an area that included parts of three continents. This great empire which initially started off as a small band of warriors who raided the Byzantine frontier gradually progressed to form one of the greatest empires in the history of mankind. Also known as the Ottoman Empire this empire was one with people from different ethnicities and religions. It lasted from the small conquests in 1299 all the way up to 1923. In its run of more than 600 years the Turkish Empire left behind a rich legacy of art and architecture along with domestic refinement.
Turkish Empire Territories
The sheer quantity of the land that came under the Turkish Empire is overwhelming. During the peak years of the Empire much of Southeastern Europe, North Africa and the Middle East were under the Turkish rule. The territories between the Strait of Gibraltar in the west all the way to the Caspian Sea and the Persian Gulf were engulfed in Turkish occupation. In the north the Turkish Empire enveloped parts of Ukraine and the whole of Austria and Slovakia and in the East their rule spread over Sudan, Somalia and Yemen.
This great empire that rose from the ruins of the Byzantine Empire covered a staggering 1.114.502 square miles of the earth.
With the inhabitants of the Empire being spread over three continents the estimated population of the Empire is said to have been around 25,000,000 people of different races and religions. Since it possessed such an extensive portion of the Earth it had the most important highways both by land and sea under its control therefore it served as a centre of interaction between the East and the West. The empire was no doubt what succeeded the earlier Mediterranean empires. Under the rule of Suleiman the Magnificent with Constantinople as its capital the Turkish Empire was reminiscent of the Empire of Justinian the Great that ruled almost the same territory about 1000 years earlier.
Turkish Empire Achievements
The Ottomans were known for their creativity and discipline. They took what they found of the Byzantine and Roman traditions and conducted extensive studies of them eventually developing many new branches of knowledge from them. When these developments began to flourish they were absorbed by the multi ethnic and multi confessional population of the Empire. As a result the Ottoman Empire formed its own unique and distinctive cultural identity that still stands out today.
Turkish Empire Decline
Although the Empire lasted for about 600 years the last half of the rule was plagued with decline and stagnation. Initially the Turks were known to be far ahead of the rest of Europe in various fields of science, technology, industry and education but buy the 1890’s they were lagging far behind. Over the years some reformists tried to curb the aging Empire from its doom but were unsuccessful on the whole although they did manage to achieve some partial success. The “Sick man of Europe” as it began to be known was laid to rest after the First World War when Kemal Ataturk abolished the Ottoman Empire and establish the modern day Turkish republic.