The Ottoman Empire is one of the most famous ruling classes of all human history. The Ottoman Period itself lasted for about 600 years and only ended in the 20th century! Here are some fun facts about the Ottoman Empire to help clue you up on this powerful dynasty.
1. When did the Ottoman Empire begin?
The Ottoman Empire first set its roots back in 1299 – at the cusp of the 14th century. However, its dynasty ran until the earlier half of the 20th century, marking over 600 years of rule!
2. How big was the Ottoman Empire?
In total, the Ottoman Empire covered an area of about 1.8 million km squared! It is one of the largest empires ever to have ruled the Mediterranean area. It covered disparate regions such as the Middle East, Anatolia, part of North Africa, and part of southeast Europe.
3. What’s in a name?
The Ottoman Empire was founded by Osman Gaza, who reigned over the empire from 1299 to 1324. In Italy, he was known as Ottomano, which is where the English word Ottoman, in the Ottoman Empire, came from. No – the empire wasn’t named after the footstool!
4. Osman Gaza was a pretty notable leader.
Originally, Osman Gaza was a Turkish tribal leader. However, he was, of course, best known for unifying lands and creating the Ottoman Empire!
5. The Ottomans were instrumental in the building of modern Turkey.
Modern Turkey as a region was established in 1923, following the first World War. It was created following the capture of the Ottoman Empire lands by the Allies. The Ottoman elites, therefore, created what is now known as modern Turkey during the Turkish War of Independence. On July 24, 1923, Turkey officially became the Republic of Turkey!
6. When was the Ottoman Empire at its strongest?
Although it lasted for centuries, the Ottoman Empire reached its impressive pinnacle in the 16th century, when it was under Suleiman I’s rule. During that time, the empire went from the Persian Gulf in the east to Hungary in the west, Egypt in the south, and to the Caucasus in the north! That’s a pretty impressive growth plan!
7. When did the Ottoman Empire begin to fail?
The Ottoman Empire started to grow weaker around the 17th century – though they’d hold on for at least another 300 years! This weakening was due to continued wars against Persia, Russia, Austria-Hungary, and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Following the conflicts, the Ottoman Empire set up a constitutional monarchy.
8. The Ottomans took over from the Byzantines.
The Ottoman regime was not the first empire to have such power in the area. In fact, it replaced the Byzantine Empire as the biggest power in the Eastern Mediterranean complex.
9. The last of the Ottomans?
Mehmed VI was the last ruler – or Sultan – of the Ottoman Empire. He was forced to abdicate the position and was exiled from the country in 1922.
10. Power didn’t come easy!
The Ottoman Empire was so powerful and therefore notable for multiple reasons! One of the main reasons it was so great was due to its gained control over some of the world’s most vital trading routes. This led the empire to great riches. And its strong military led to its military strength.
FAQs about The Ottoman Empire
What religion were the Ottomans?
The Ottoman Empire was an Islamic Caliphate. However, it did contain other religions in minorities. Some of the other religions in the empire included Christianism and Judaism.
Do you know any fun facts about the Ottoman Empire? Share them in the comments below!