What were the Turkish empires called

History of turkey

After the collapse of the empire of Alexander the Great, the Romans continued the Greek legacy from the 2nd century BC. While the Western Roman Empire disappeared from the map at the end of antiquity, the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire with the capital Constantinople (today's Istanbul) continued to exist for a long time.

Due to the strengthening of the Arabs in the 7th century AD, the Byzantine Empire had to accept loss of territory in the east of Anatolia, but it could hold out in the west for a long time.

In the 11th century, however, the balance of power shifted permanently. From Central Asia, Islamic-speaking Turkic-speaking nomads are pushing west again and again.

The Ottomans are coming

Initially, the various nomadic tribes are organized in relatively insignificant, small principalities. In the early 14th century Osman I celebrated some military successes against the Byzantine Empire and united several nomadic tribes.

Over the centuries, a huge empire developed from this, which also conquered Constantinople in 1453. The Ottoman Empire continued to grow under the successors of Osman.

In the 17th century it expanded far beyond what is now Turkey. The Balkans, Greece, Algeria, Libya, Egypt, the entire Middle East and parts of Iraq and the Arabian Peninsula are part of the Ottoman Empire. In 1529 and 1683, however, two attempts to conquer Vienna and penetrate Central Europe failed.

With the strengthening of the European nations, the Ottoman Empire lost more and more influence in the period that followed. In numerous wars it has to accept great losses of territory outside the Anatolian heartland.

During the First World War, the Ottoman Empire sided with the German Empire, which led to unconditional surrender in October 1918. The empire is now under foreign rule.

The French, Italians and Greeks claim the coastal areas for themselves, Istanbul and the Bosporus are under international tutelage and autonomous Armenian and Kurdish areas are to be created in eastern Anatolia.

Turkey becomes a secular state

For the majority of the Turkish-speaking population, the idea of ​​foreign rule is unbearable. In this situation, a young general appears who will have a decisive influence on Turkey's affairs in the following decades: Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.