The Rise and Fall of the Ottoman Empire

The Rise and Fall of the Ottoman Empire
Main Dates of the Ottoman Empire ======== b Ca. 1243: Turkish Nomads settle in Asia Minor b 1299-1326: Osman I b 1301: Osman I declares himself sultan and creates the Ottoman Empire b 1345: Seljuk Turks first cross the Bosporus straight, which divides Asia and Europe. b 1389: The Ottomans defeat the Serbs in Kosovo. b 1402: Tamerlane defeats the Ottomans at Ankara, now capital of Turkey. b 1451-81: Mohammed the Conqueror. b 1453: Ottomans conquer Constantinople, formerly Byzantium, and renamed the city Istanbul and capital of the Empire until 1922. b 1520-1566: Sulayman II the magnificent b 1526: The Battle of Mohacs. b 1529: First Siege of Vienna. b 1571: Combined forces from Vienna, Spain, Genoa, Venice and the Papal States crush the Ottoman fleet at the battle of Lepanto. b 1641-1687: Mohammed IV b 1656-1676: Vizierial reforms. b 1683: Second Siege of Vienna. b 1703-1730: Cultural revival under Ahmed iii. b 1774: Treaty of Kucuk Kaynarca. b 1792: Treaty of Jassy. (The Romanian city of IaÅŸi.) b 1793: Selim iii declares a ?New Order?. b 1798-1799: Napoleon attempts to conquer Egypt. b 1804: First Serbian uprising. b 1815: Second Serbian uprising. b 1822-1830: Greek War of independence. b 1826: Massacre of Janissaries, when the Sultan?s personal guard revolted against the decision to create a regular force. b 1827: Ottoman and Egyptian fleets sunk at Navarino by a combined English, French and Russian fleet. b 1829: Treaty of Adrianople. b 1839: Hatt-i Serif of Gulhane; the Tanzimat Period begins. b 1841: The Straits convention. b 1853-1856: The Crimean War. b 1876: The Ottoman Constitution is proclaimed. b 1878: Serbia and Montenegro are given independence and Bulgaria broad autonomy at the Congress of Berlin. b 1908: Congress of Union and Progress is formed. b 1908: Ottoman constitution restored. b 1908: Austria annexes Bosnia and Herzegovina. b 1912-1913: First Balkan War. b 1913: Second Balkan War. b 1914: The Ottoman Empire joins WW1 as one of the central powers. b 1919-1924: End of the Empire. b 1923: Sultanate is abolished and Turkey becomes a republic. b 1924: Office of Caliph abolished.
Overview ==== The Ottomans were one of the most powerful and according to some the greatest, Islamic civilisations. In their strongest period, the sixteenth century represents new heights in human creativity and artistry. They built one of the largest and most influential Muslim Empires, with their culture and military expansion crossing into Europe. Islam had never been such a military threat to Christendom since the invasion of Spain in the 8th century, and the Empire has had a lasting effect on the History of the world. The Ottoman Empire lasted well into the current Century. While not as strong as it once was, the Ottoman Empire was a force to be reckoned with right up until the beginning of the 20th century. In fact some historians argue the Empire only died in Turkey after WW2, when the government changed to a more European model. Origins === The Ottomans arose from Antolia in the west of Turkey. They has mostly come as settlers during the reign of the Seljuks in Turkey, who reigned during the 11th to 14th centuries. The frontier of Antolia was mostly hostile to Islam and some warriors were carrying out jihads, or holy struggles, to spread the Muslim faith amongst these peoples. The Sejuks had been amongst the first to truly maintain power in the area. The Ottomans ruled a small military state in western Antolia by the 1300?s, around when the Sejuk State was collapsing. The small state fought with others too, each preying on each other for territory. By 1400 they had managed to extend their influence over much of Antolia and the Byzantine Empire in Eastern Europe: Macedonia and Bulgaria. In 1402 the Ottomans moved their capital to Edirne in Europe, where they could threaten the Byzantine?s last stronghold, Constantinople. No matter how much territory was won by the Ottomans, Constantinople still resisted every siege and invasion. The Ottomans greatly wanted the city for it would both represent a huge symbol of Ottoman, and Islamic power, but also gain the Empire all East-West trade. The city finally fell in 1453 to Sultan Mehmed ?The Conqueror? who renamed it Istanbul. From then on the centre of the Empire would remain fixed in this one great City, and under the patronage of the Sultans it become one of the wealthiest and most cultured in the early modern world. The Empire had been started; It expanded greatly under Sultan Selim I but it was under his son, Sultan Suleyman (called ?The Lawmaker? in Islamic History and ?The Magnificent? in Europe.) that the Empire would reach it?s greatest expansion over Asia and Europe. The Ottoman State ===== The Ottomans inherited their varied and rich mixture of traditions from many sources; the Turks, Persians, Mongols, Mesopotanians alongside Islam. The state gave absolute authority to the monarch, like Turkish, Mongol and Mesopotamian states before it. The nature of the autocracy however has a habit of being misunderstood. In theory the function of the Sultan was to guarantee justice and all authority hinges of the rulers personal commitment to justice. This idea had Turkish, Islamic and Persian roots. The Islamic idea tended to be one of a ruler giving out fair and equal rulings. Further more the Turkish and Persian heritage promotes the Sultan as a protector of the lower members of society from unfair taxes and corrupt courts. The Ottomans believed the latter, with the Sultan have absolute power in order to guarantee justice. For if he wasn?t absolute ruler, then the system would depend on others who were corruptible. Absolute authority was needed in order to build a just government and laws instead elevating the ruler above the law. In order to guarantee justice the Ottoman State set up a number of practices and institutions around the Sultan. This bureaucracy in turn controlled local governments. This type of system would carry on to be the European model during the seventeenth century. Other such institutions and practices included: Observance of government: The Sultan?s main role was to keep watch on officials. Further more in some cases this entailed the Sultan personally observe the proceeding of his central advisory group or the courts. An example of this would be when Molla Kabiz asserted the spiritual superiority of Jesus over Mohammed. The courts sentenced him to death but the Sultan Suleyman overturned the verdict because the courts had not disproved the man?s arguments1. If the Sultan believed there was an injustice against the people, he would interfere directly and overturn the decision. Some historians go so far as to declare that the decline of the Ottoman Empire was due to Sultans no longer having interest in the workings of Government and justice. However, for most of the time a huge and vastly complex spy network checked the government. The intelligence system was widely considered the best in the world until the twentieth century. Siyasa: Corruption needed punishment if it was to be stopped, and those who abused their power were subject to special jurisdiction that was called siyasa. The siyasa were a set of harsh punishments imposed by the Sultan onto the corrupt. There was no way of getting out of the punishment once the verdict had been made; either corporeal or more likely capital punishment. Under this system some of the most severe crimes included illegal taxation, billeting troops without permission and forced labour of the peasantry. Public declaration of Taxes: In order to stop illegal taxes and wrong laws by officials, all Taxes and Laws were declared and posted in public. Accessibility: Often thought of as the most important aspect of the Ottoman government was universal access to authority. The highest reaches of power, except the Sultan, were available to every citizen of the Empire. Every Ottoman could approach the council with grievances against officials and know that their petitions would be dealt with the utmost seriousness. If the Council ruled against the Officials, they would be subjected to Siyasa. Public Opinion: In the Ottoman Empire, it was believed that the state rested on public opinion and so they cultivated this through propaganda as well as through policy. In addition to the dealing of corrupt officials, the government also cultivated opinions of its wars and conquests. Soldiers were not allowed to take from peasants without permission or reimbursement. Wars were planned well in advance which allowed the government to lay up stores for the military along the route so armies could feed without stealing from the population. Generals believed no conquest could last without the support of those conquered, and so these wars were easy on the average peasant. The Ottomans also had an early form of polling by using Friday prayers. One aspect of these prayers was to pray for the welfare and life of the ruler. Further more this was an optional part and so those who take it tended to support the state, while those who didn?t were dissatisfied. The numbers of those attending were used to gauge public sentiments. The Government ====== Officially the Sultan was the government. He had absolute power and, in theory, involved himself in ever decision taken by the government. The Sultan also assumed the title of ?Caliph?, or supreme leader, of Islam. The Ottomans claimed this title for several reasons the two major holy sites, Mecca and Medina, were part of the Empire and primary goal of the government was security of Muslims around the world, and more importantly safety during the pilgrimage to Mecca. As Caliph the Sultan was responsible for Muslim Orthodoxy. Almost all the military conquests and annexations of other countries were done for one of two reasons: To guarantee the safe passage of Muslims to Mecca (The justification for invading non-Muslim territories) or the rooting out of heretical Islamic practices and beliefs (the reason for invading Islamic territories.) However Historians simply cannot agree how the Sultanate changed from one generation to another. In the Early period of the Empire, the title moved to the eldest son (or sometimes the most worthy contester) and all his brothers and their sons were executed. Their executions guaranteed that there would be no future wars or struggles between claimants for the throne. In the seventeenth century, the Ottoman Sultans began to revise this practice and simply imprisoned their brothers, for instance Ahmed I was succeeded by his brother. Many historians point to this practice being the main reason for the failure of the government. Since the crown was being handed to men who had been imprisoned for most of their lived, the state saw a succession of mad rulers, which lead to increases in the power of the corrupt bureaucracy. The fundamental qualification for the Sultanate was the individual?s worthiness to have the title. Simple succession proved a man?s worthiness for the title, but a Sultan who grew old feeble or corrupt lost his worthiness, for instance Selim I deposed his father who was too old to lead the state?s armies against external threats. When Suleyman became old two of his sons plotted to overthrow him and so he had them executed, thus proving his worthiness. The Ottomans also followed the Mongol practice of considering the Sultan?s lands to be joint possessions of the Sultan?s families. Accordingly Ottoman lands were handed out to members of the Royal family when a new Sultan came to power or when the Empire conquered a new province. Although the Sultan had total power, beneath him there was a large bureaucracy at the top of that was the Diwan, which served as a cabinet for the Sultan. The most powerful member of the government was the Grand Vizier. Suleyman ==== Suleyman in his time was regarded as the most significant ruler in the world. This was both from a Muslim and European point of view, for his military Empire was expanding both east and West, and he threatened to overwhelm Europe itself. In Istanbul he started great cultural and architectural projects. In the middle of the 16th Century, Istanbul was the most architecturally innovative city in the world. He was both an excellent strategist and politician. He sponsored hundreds of artists, religious thinkers and philosophers; so many that it outshone the most educated courts of Europe. Suleyman the Just: In most Islamic History, Suleyman is regarded as the perfect ruler. He had all the necessary characteristics one of the most important of which was justice. Suleyman was named after Solomon, and definitely lived up to his name. The reign of Suleyman is regarded in Islamic history as the greatest period of justice and peace in any Islamic State. Suleyman the Lawgiver: European history named him ?The Magnificent? but Islamic "The Lawgiver." The role of lawgiver is the foundation of Islamic thoughts about him. The original word used for law was ?kanun?, which has a very specific meaning. In Islamic tradition, the Shari?ah were laws that originally derived from the Qur?an and universally applied to all states, which no ruler had the right to overturn or replace. The kanun refers to situational decisions that are not covered by the Shari?ah. Although the Shari?ah provided all the necessary laws, it was recognised that many situations fell outside the parameters of the Shari?ah. In Islamic tradition, if a case did fall outside of the parameters then a judgement could be reached through anthology of cases and rules already included in the Shari?ah. This method of juridical thinking was only accepted by the most liberal school of Shari?ah, Hanifism so it is no surprise that this dominated Ottoman law. The Ottomans though elevated kanun into an entirely separate code of laws. The first two centuries of Ottoman rule showed an explosion in kanun rulings and laws. This unique separation had many factors behind it, such as Turkish and Mongol traditions, Imperial law, Monarchic laws. When Imperial law and Shari?ah tradition collided, a compromise combining both was reached. These Sultanic laws where first collected together by Mehmed the Conqueror. He divided kanun into two separate sets of laws, the first about the organisation of the government, the second about taxation and treatment of the peasantry. The Ottoman kanun had pretty much been finalised by 1501. Suleyman revised the law code, but on the whole there was not much difference between his and the 1501 sets of codes. However it was under his reign that the code of laws took on it?s final form, and no more changes were made after his death. From this point onwards the laws were known as ?kanun-i Osmani?, or the Ottoman laws. Suleyman the Conqueror: Western historians knew Suleyman primarily as a conqueror, for he made Europe know fear like it never had before from an Islamic state. Like every other Ottoman tradition, conquest had many routes, with origins as far back as Persia and Mesopotamia, as well as Mongol and Turkish peoples of eastern and central Asia. Amongst his many titles for himself he called himself "master of the lands of Caesar and Alexander the Great." This title was not just to prove the extent of the lands he controlled, and their vast historical importance, but also to humble any other rulers that surrounded him. He believed, it?s thought, that the entire world was his possession as a gift from God, even though he did not occupy Roman lands he claimed them and almost launched an invasion of Rome. (The city came a few hairbreadths from invasion during Suleyman?s conquest of Corfu.) In Europe he conquered Rhodes, most of Greece, Hungary and a major part of the Austrian Empire. His campaign against Austria led him right up to Vienna. ?If you set out to take Vienna; take Vienna? ? Napoleon. When Christianity split into Protestant and Catholic factions, Suleyman poured financial support onto the Protestant ones in order to rip Europe into two. He pursued an aggressive policy of de-stabilising Europe, most notably the Roman Catholic Church and the Holy Roman Empire. Several historians go so far as to argue that Protestantism would never have succeeded without the support of Suleyman. Suleyman was responding to an aggressively expanding Europe. Like most other non-Europeans he could easily see the consequences of a greatly expanding Europe, and saw Europe as the greatest threat to Islam. The Islamic world was beginning to shrink under expansion, for Portugal had invaded several Muslim cities in eastern Africa in order to dominate trade with India, and the Russians, which he thought of as European, had been pushing south into central Asia since the 16th century. So, in addition to destabilising Europe, Suleyman pursued a policy of helping any Muslim country under threat from European expansion. It was this role, the Ottomans believed, that gave him the right to declare himself Caliph of Islam. He was the only one successfully protecting Islam from unbelievers and, as protector of Islam, deserved to be ruler of it too. Suleyman the Builder: Suleyman decided to make Istanbul the centre of Islamic culture and civilisation. He began a series of building projects, including bridges, mosques and palaces that rivalled the greatest cities of that Century. Arguably the greatest builder and architect of that century was in his employ, Sinan. Mosques built by Sinan are often considered the greatest architectural triumphs of Islam, especially as they represent a unique genius when dealing with nearly insurmountable engineering problems. Suleyman was also a great cultivator of the arts and poetry. Under him Istanbul became a centre for visual art, music, writing, philosophy and Islamic teaching. This cultural flowering under Suleyman represents the most creative period in Ottoman history; with almost all-cultural styles we associate with the Ottomans dating from this time. The reign of Suleyman, however is generally believed by both the Western and Islamic historians to be the high point of Ottoman culture and history. While Ottoman culture flourishes under Suleymans son, Selim II, the power of the state, both internally and externally, began to decline. Islamic historians believe that this was due to two factors: the decrease in the Sultan?s vigilance over the goings on of the government, which led to it?s increased corruption, in turn a decreased interest of the government in popular opinion. Western historians however are unsure as to the causes of the decline. A major factor appears to have been the series of eccentric and sometimes insane Sultans all throughout the 17th century. The Ottomans stopped the practise of killing all rivals to the throne, and instead merely imprisoned them. Therefor the Sultanate often fell upon individuals who had been locked up for decades, and were quite mad. The decline of the Empire in the Western tradition is also considerably determined by the ever-increasing expansion of the European Powers. How much this caused the decline of the Empire in the 17th and 18th centuries is hard to determine, but there is no question that the hyper-aggressive expansionism of the European powers was the principle factor in the decline of the empire in the 19th century. Whatever the reasons, the Empire started its decline with Selim II. Selim II ==== Historians always like to blame someone for major events, and with the Ottoman Empire it?s Selim II, the son of Suleyman. It?s clear Selim was the first disinterested Sultan among the ottomans. Addicted to sexual and alcoholic pleasures, Selim II retired almost completely from decision making and the administration of the Empire. The process of the Sultan?s disengagement with the government actually began with Suleyman. Towards the end of his life, elderly and broken by the execution of his two favourite sons, Suleyman withdrew to his palace and handed over the day to day affairs of the state to his Grand Vizier. It was this model that his son would follow. In addition, however, Suleyman would abandon an Ottoman tradition of sending his son off to join the military and raising them to become Sultan, for only this period of apprenticeship could make them worthy of the Sultanate. Suleyman had done this with his older children, but he had been forced to execute them after they plotted to overthrow him in his old age. Selim had not been trained in government or military affairs, and so there was little interest in him taking part in them. Selim II reigned for only eight years, but he set a precedent, which was followed for the next two centuries. It was because of this that some argue that the Empire and Caliphate that had once stood against the advancing Europe slowly crumbled under its pressure. 17th and 18th Centuries ======= At the beginning of the Seventeenth Century the Ottoman Empire was still the most powerful state in the western world, both by wealth and military. The personal style of government, however, cultivated by the early sultans, simply did not exist, instead the bureaucracy pretty much ran the state. Power struggles among the various elements of the government, the Grand Vizier, the Diwan and especially the military led to a constant shifting of power in the government. Western historians point to the increasing power of the military powers in Europe as the main cause of the decline. However the decline was a staggered one lasting well over two centuries. The Empire itself would only finally collapse with the Great War, at which point the Europeans finally erased it from the maps once and for all. Perhaps the most significant cause was allowing the brothers of the Sultan to survive. Although the method of transferral of the title is hotly disputed, many believe that it was through divine favour that the title was transferred, and so all members of the family had equal claim. This explains the tradition of killing the Sultans brothers and nephews. The abandonment of this practise, which led to mad sultans, and of not sending Sultans-to-be to train in the military, explains the decline in the power of the Sultanate to the government. As a result of this loss of power from the Sultanate, the power moved on. Principally it went to the Janissaries, the military arm of the government, Throughout the seventeenth century; the Janissaries slowly took over the military and administrative posts in the government and passed these offices onto their sons, often by bribing corrupt officials. Through this practice, the government quickly dissolved into an odd military feudal class. Under the early Ottomans, a position in government was decided purely upon merit. After the 16th century, it was decided largely upon hereditary. Therefor the quality of administration and bureaucracy swiftly declined. Muhammad Kuprili ==== The most significant figure in among the Ottomans in the seventeenth century was Muhammad Kuprili (1570-1661), who, as Grand Vizier, halted the general decline of the Ottoman government by rooting out corruption throughout the system. He also tried to resume the practices of conquest and protecting Muslim countries from European conquest. Although it didn?t happen in his lifetime, this new expansionist policy actually began a steady stream of defeats against the European powers, which greatly reduced the size of the Empire. Wars with Austria ===== Shortly after Muhammad Kuprili died, his brother in law, Kara Mustafa took over the military and put into practice Kuprili?s new policies. His first target was the Hapsburg Empire of Austria. He wanted nothing less than complete conquest of Austria, and so he marched straight for the capital, Vienna. In 1683, with Vienna under siege, the Ottomans were defeated by an alliance of European forces and especially by the heavy artillery they had begun to use. While the defeat started a long period of peace in the Ottoman-European relationship, it also effectively ended the Ottoman wars for conquest and the deterioration of Ottoman power compared to European. In 1699, the Ottomans signed the Peace of Karlowitz. In this treaty the Ottomans handed over Transylvania and Hungary to Austria, leaving only Macedonia and the Balkans under Ottoman Control, but even the Balkans began to destabilise after the Ottoman defeat of 1683. European Wars ===== In the eighteenth century the Ottomans fought a series of wars with European powers. Between 1714 and 1718 they fought with Venice; between 1736 and 1739 with Austria and Russia in order to protect Muslim territories. The Russians in particular expanded aggressively into Central Asia, and these small Muslim states and no one else to turn to except the Ottoman Empire. War with Russia dominates the 18th century; the two clashing between 1768 and 1774, and again between 1787 and 1792. In all these wars there were no clear victors and losers. Internal Decline ==== European historians tend to show the decline of the Ottoman Empire purely from the perspective of the wars with Europe. While these wars were significant, Ottoman decline was more pronounced internally and economically in the 18th Century. There are two major aspects to this decline: Huge population increase and failure to modernise. For all the bad things for the Empire, the seventeenth and Eighteenth centuries were largely prosperous for the Empire due to its trade routes. The population doubled, which produced both unemployment and famine, for the economic resources of the country could not support such a large population. The wealth of the Empire had always been largely due to their trade routes. The Empire stood on the crossroads of India, Asia, Africa and Europe. However, the Europeans began creating new trade routes that bypassed the Empire and so destroyed its monopoly. The state collected tariffs on all goods that passed through the Empire, and so this loss of trade effected their wealth tremendously. In addition, the Ottomans didn?t have an Industrial Revolution on a scale comparing the rest of Europe during the eighteenth century. An important point to remember is that industrialisation isn?t mechanisation, it?s a complete overhaul of labour practices. The Ottomans retained old methods of labour, in which production was mainly carried out in centralised craft guilds. Increasingly the industrial relationship between the Empire and Europe changed gears, with the Europeans only buying raw materials from the Ottomans, and they in turn shipped back finished products from Europe. Since these products were made with new industrial methods, they were far cheaper then a comparative product made in the Empire. This practise effectively destroyed secondary industry in the Empire during the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. European Colonialism ==== In the nineteenth century Ottoman history was dominated by European wars for expansion. The Europeans scrambled for territory in throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The vast majority of this territory was non-European. The end result of this scramble was the callapse of the Ottoman Empire, and eventually the fall of the Ottoman dynasty itself. The Crimean War === The first major Ottoman war, the Crimean War (1854-1856), came with Russia. Like so many of the later conflicts with Europe, the Ottomans didn?t start this one, instead by the Russians. Throughout the 17th and 18th centuries, Russia had slowly been annexing Muslim states in central Asia. By 1854 Russia was near the banks of the Black Sea. Anxious to annex territories in Eastern Europe, particularly the Ottoman provinces of Moldovia and Walachia. The Russians started the war on the thinnest of pretexts, the Ottomans had granted France the right to protect Christian Holy sites in Palestine (Which the Ottomans Controlled) rather then Orthodox Russia. The war is unique in Ottoman history in that it wasn?t heavily predicted by the ottomans. And the only thing that stopped them loosing was the balance of power in Europe. The war soon became a European war when Britain allied with France and the Ottomans in order to protect their lucrative trade in the region. The war ended badly for the Russians, and the Paris peace of 1856 was unfavourable to them. Not only did the war shift the balance of power in Europe, but it also effected the Ottoman Empire, for from this point onwards it was obvious that the Empire was controlled by the Europeans. The war started a decline in Ottoman morale and, at the same time, allowed to Europeans to reconsider the Empire, it was no longer a force to be reckoned with, but instead a tool to be used against each other, Balkan Rebellion ==== In this twilight of Ottoman history, the largest European power was Russia. The expansionist Russians desired several key territories that belonged to the Ottomans. The only thing that stopped them snatching them was Germany and Austria, who didn?t want to see the Russians gain them. However the real prize for the Russians would have been Istanbul, which they still called Constantinople because the Orthodox Byzantines had once controlled it. If they could seize the city they could control Euro-Asian trade through the Black Sea. The Ottomans, for their part, had largely lost all morale. The military state that had once confidently defended Islam from Europe had lost all confidence after the series of defeats and draws in its wars with Russia. In 1875, the Slavic peoples living in the Ottoman provinces of Bosnia and Herzegovina led an uprising against the Ottomans in order to gain their freedom. The weakened state of the Empire led two independent states, Montenegro and Serbia, to aid the rebellion. Within a year it had spread to Bulgaria. The rebellion was part of a larger movement called the Pan-Slavic movement, which intended to unite all Slavic peoples in the Ottoman Empire, Austria and Germany into a single country under the protection of Russia. Anxious to gain territories and capture ?Constantinople?, Russia allied with the Slavic peoples and declared war against the Ottomans. The war went terribly for the ottomans, and in 1878 they had to sue for peace. Under the treaty they had to free all the Balkan provinces, including Bosnia, Herzegovina and Bulgaria. The Russians also took large amounts of land from the Ottomans, (Much like the Germans in the Brest-Litovsk treaty or the Allied powers at Versailles). The Russian victory also caused a crisis in Europe over Russian Expansionism. The Balkan Wars, WW1 and the Death of an Empire =========== The history of Europe in the latter half of the nineteenth century and the first decade or so of the twentieth is one of politics, land grabbing and conflict. The Ottoman Empire, on the point of collapse was drawn into these and ultimately died. In 1911, Italy and France were in competition with Libya. Fearful that France might attack the Ottoman Empire and seize Libya, the Italians attacked first. They defeated the Ottomans and, through a peace treaty, obtained the Dodacanese Islands and Libya from the Ottomans. Seeing this as a good idea, the states of Greece, Serbia and Montenegro attacked, hoping to gain the north of Greece, Thrace and the south of the Black Sea from the Ottomans. They easily defeated the Ottomans and nearly drove them out of Europe all together. The second Balkan war erupted two years later in 1913, when Greece, Serbia and Montenegro disagreed with Bulgaria over the amount of land they had annexed. Joined by the Ottomans they managed to roll back Bulgaria?s gains. This was the last territorial victory in the history of the Empire2, and the cause of World War I. As a result of this conflict and the Treaty of Versailles in 1919, the Ottomans lost all their territory in Syria, Palestine, Arabia and Mesopotamia in the form of Mandates, mostly to Britain and France. The European powers fought each other in Africa and the Middle East by encouraging revolution there3. An example of which would be the British promising Arab States independence if they revolted against the Ottomans in the McMahon agreement. By 1919 the Ottoman Empire was reduced to Turkey, which extended from the southern shores of the Black Sea to Asia Minor in the West, Iran in the East and Syria and Iraq in the South. The Ottoman Empire and its power were effectively over. The Russians however had effectively torn themselves apart in the 1917 revolution and never did manage to conquer the Dardanelles or ?Constantinople? and the city is still under the control of Turkey. Turkey == In 1922, Ottoman rule officially came to an end when Turkey was declared a republic. While the ottomans were suffering defeats in Europe, internally they faced revolution from liberal nationalists who wished to adopt a Western style government. These liberal nationalists called themselves the ?Young Turks? and in the 1920?s they began an open revolt against the Ottoman government, the goal of which was to modernise and westernise Turkey, and their primary theoretician was Mustafa Kemal, who is called in Turkish history ?Ataturk?, father of the Turks. As President of Turkey between 1922 and 1928, he introduced a series of legislative reforms that adopted the European legal system and thus overthrew both the Shari?ah and the kanun. He legislated against Arabic script and converted Turkish writing to a European Roman script. He legislated against the Arabic call to prayer and eliminated the Caliphate and all the mystical Sufi orders of Islam. Ataturk is one of the most important figures in Islamic history, the first to put into practice the secular Islamic State. A diagram of the Ottoman Empire in 1580, when it was at its heigh

The Rise and Fall of the Ottoman Empire 8.2 of 10 on the basis of 802 Review.