- Growth of the Ottoman Empire
During the growth of the
Ottoman Empire(also known as the " Pax Ottomana"), the Ottoman Empire expanded southwestwards into North Africa and battled with the re-emergent Persian Shi'ia Safavid Empireto the east.
Bayezid IIwas enthroned upon his father's death in 1481, he first had to fight his younger brother Cem, who took Inegöland Bursa and proclaimed himself Sultan of Anatolia. After a battle at Yenişehir, Cem was defeated and fled to Cairo. The very next year he returned, supported by the Mameluks, and took eastern Anatolia, Ankaraand Konyabut eventually he was beaten and forced to flee to Rhodes.
Sultan Bayezid attacked
Venicein 1499. Peace was signed in 1503, and the Ottomans gained the last Venetian strongholds on the Peloponnesosand some towns along the Adriaticcoast. In the 1500sMameluks and Persiansunder Shah Ismail Iallied against the Ottomans. The war ended 1511in favor for the Turks.
Later that year, Bayezid's son Ahmet forced his father into making him regent. His brother Selim was forced to flee to
Crimea. When Ahmet was about to be crowned the Janissaries intervened, killed the prince and forced Bayezid into calling Selim back and making him the sultan. Bayezid abdicated and he died immediately after leaving the throne.
Yavuz Sultan Selim
During his reign,
Selim Iwas able to expand the empire's borders greatly to the south and east. He defeated the Mamelukesand conquered most of modern Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, and Egypt, including the holy city of Jerusalemas well as Cairo, the residence of the Abbasid caliph. Thus, Selim was able to claim himself caliph of Islam. Selim Iconquered the Safavid Empire, only to lose it soon after; the Safavids later defeated and conquered the eastern Ottomans, and captured Baghdad. The Empire established a navy in the Red Sea that succeeded, at least for a while, in countering Portuguese influence on the spice trade. During this period, the Empire vied with the emerging European colonial powers, in the Indian Ocean. Fleets, with soldiers and arms, were sent to support Muslimrulers in Kenyaand Aceh(on the northern tip of the island of Sumatra), and to defend the Ottoman spiceand slave trades. In Aceh, the Ottomans built a fortress, and supplied it with huge cannon. The Dutch Protestantswere at first helped by the Ottomans in their struggle against Catholic Spain. The Ottoman navy also had much influence in the Mediterranean Sea, and trade there flourished, because of the stability afforded to the shipping lanes.
Battle of Chaldiranin eastern Anatoliain 1514, Ottoman forces under Sultan Selim Iwon a decisive victory against the Safavids, ensuring Ottoman security on their eastern front.
Suleiman the Magnificent
Suleiman the Magnificentfirst put down a revolt led by the Ottoman-appointed governor in Damascus. By August, 1521, Suleiman had completed the conquest of Serbiacapturing the city of Belgrade. In 1522, Suleimancaptured Rhodes. On August 29 1526Suleiman defeated Louis II of Hungaryat the Battle of Mohács, and set up Ottoman rule in Hungary. By 1541, Suleiman controlled most of present-day Hungary, known as the Great Alföld, and installed Zápolya's family as rulers of the independent principality of Transylvania, a vassal stateof the Empire. ( Walachiaand Moldaviaalso became tributary principalities of the Ottoman Empire.) Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperorclaimed the so-called " Royal Hungary" (present-day Slovakia, North-Western Hungaryand western Croatia), a territory which temporarily fixed the border between the Habsburgs and the Ottomans.
Suleiman the Magnificent, 1566.] The Shi'ite Safavid Empireruled Persia and modern-day Iraq. Suleiman waged three campaigns against the Safavids; in the earliest, the historically important city of Baghdadfell to Suleiman's forces in 1534. The second campaign, 1548- 1549, resulted in temporary Ottoman gains in Tabrizand Azerbaijan, a lasting presence in the province of Van, and some forts in Georgia. In his third campaign, in 1555, Suleiman's forces failed to eliminate the Shah's army, which withdrew into the mountains of Luristan, and eventually signed a treatyat Amasya, in which the Shah recognized the existing borders and promised to end his raids into Ottoman territory. Huge territories of North Africaup to west of algeria were annexed. The Barbary Statesof Tripolitania, Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco became autonomous provinces of the Empire, The piracycarried on thereafter by the Barbary piratesof North Africa remained part of the wars against Spain, and the Ottoman expansion was associated with naval dominance for a short period in the Mediterranean Sea.
Ottoman navies also controlled the
Red Sea, and held the Persian Gulfuntil 1554, when their ships were defeated by the navy of the Portuguese Empire. The Portuguese would continue to contest Suleiman's forces for control of Aden. In 1533 Khair ad Dinknown to Europeans as Barbarossa, was made Admiral-in-Chief of the Ottoman navies were who actively fighting the Spanish navy.
1535the Habsburg Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V (Charles I of Spain) won an important victory against the Ottomans at Tunis, but in 1536Francois I of France allied himself with Suleiman against Charles. In 1538, the fleet of Charles V was defeated at the Battle of Prevezaby Khair ad Din, securing the eastern Mediterranean for the Turks for 33 years. The French king Francois I, asked for help from Suleiman, then sent a fleet headed by Khair ad Din who was victorious over the Spaniards, and managed to retake Naplesfrom them. Suleiman bestowed on him the title of " Baylar Bey". One result of the alliance was the fierce sea duel between Dragutand Andrea Doria, which left the northern Mediterranean European and the southern Mediterranean in Ottoman's hands.
Thereafter, attention reverted to the west, and Suleiman I, upon ascending the throne in 1518, led a series of campaigns into the Balkans. Under Suleiman, a brilliant strategist, the Ottomans advanced steadily northward, taking
Belgrade, the capital of Serbia in 1521, defeating Hungary in 1526, and besieging Vienna in 1529.
Selim II, the Shadow Emperor
Mehmed Pasha was one of the Grand Viziers of Suleiman but he gained absolute power after the death of Sulemian. During the reign of
Selim II, he became the real ruler of the Ottoman Empire, a situation which lasted until Mehmed Pasha's death in 1579.
In the earlier part of his reign Ahmed I showed decision and vigour, which were belied by his subsequent conduct. The wars which attended his accession both in
Hungaryand in Persia terminated unfavourably for the Empire, and her prestige received its first check in the Treaty of Sitvatorok, signed in 1606, whereby the annual tribute paid by Austriawas abolished. Georgia and Azerbaijanwas ceded to Persia.
Osman IIafter securing the Empire's eastern border by signing a peace treaty with Safavid Iran, he personally led the Ottoman invasion of Polandduring the Moldavian Magnate Wars. Forced to sign a peace treaty with the Polish after the Battle of Chotin (Chocim) (in fact siege of Chotinby the Polish hetman Jan Chodkiewicz) in September-October, 1621, Osman II returned home to Istanbulin shame, blaming the cowardice of the Janissaries and the insufficiency of his statesmen for his humiliation.
Murad IVwas the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1623to 1640, known both for restoring the authority of the state and for the brutality of his methods. Murad IV's reign is most notable for a war against Persiain which Ottoman forces conquered Azerbaijan, occupied Tabriz, Hamadan, and, in the last great feat of Imperial Ottoman arms, captured Baghdadin 1638. Murad IV himself commanded the invasion of Mesopotamia and proved to be an outstanding field commander.
Ottoman wars in Europe
Ottoman Conquest of the Balkans
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.