The Ottoman Empire-1

Read the passage below and answer the multiple choice questions that follow.

The Ottoman Empire

The Ottoman Empire was created by a branch of the Turkish peoples who first organized themselves as a military-religious group in 1290 in the northwest area of Anatolia in Turkey. In the late 13th Century the Byzantine Empire had become weakened and the Ottoman Turks were able to get their first foothold in Europe at Gallipoli in 1354 and twelve years later they captured nearby Adrianople and made it their capital. They then focused their expansionist attentions on the Balkans and in 1389 were able to defeat a serious European opponent, the Serbian empire, which they did in the Battle of Kosovo. Christians, under the leadership of the Hungarians, attempted crusades to take back the lost territory but were defeated. After this loss, the Serbian people were deprived of their independence for almost 500 years. By 1400 mainland Greece and Bulgaria also fell under Ottoman rule and in 1453 Constantinople itself fell to the Turks, ending the thousand year history of the Byzantine Empire. The fall of Constantinople is considered as the greatest victory of the Moslem world over the Christian one. 

In the early 16th Century the Ottomans began to expand eastward. They had defeated Tamerlane in Angora in 1402 and over a hundred years later under the sultan Selim I they defeated the Persians in 1514 and then later also conquered Armenia and Kurdistan(1515) before moving on to the Middle East and seizing control of the Holy Lands and Syria. The Ottomans soon after set their sights on Africa and the Arabian Peninsula taking Egypt and Mecca in 1517 and afterwards going west along North Africa conquering Algeria in 1519. In this way the Ottomans had control of the religious centres of the Judaic, Christian and Moslem worlds.

The Ottoman Empire reached the height of its power with the rule of its greatest sultan, Suleiman the Magnificent. He began his rule in 1520 and set out to take more of Europe. This army captured Belgrade in 1521, the island of Rhodes a year later and in 1526 defeated the Hungarians at the battle of Mohacs. Following this victory, the Ottomans sieged Vienna however, were unsuccessful in taking the city. The Ottomans, however, remained a major factor in the balance of power in Europe for a long time, for example, allying with the French King Francis I against their common enemy Charles V, the king of Spain and Holy Roman Emperor. 

The Ottoman Empire in the 16th Century was vast stretching from the Caspian Sea in the east to Gibraltar in the west and from The Ukraine and Hungary in the north to Egypt and Yemen in the south. In order for the Ottomans to maintain order in so large an area containing a wide variety of ethnicities, cultures and religious beliefs, strong leaders were required like Suleiman, however, after his death in 1566, the empire rarely had one who could approach his level. 

This did not mean the Ottomans were not able to take more territory after Suleiman. The Ottoman strengthened their hold on Hungary and were able to advance into Poland and subdue the north coast of the Black Sea. They also took Cyprus in 1573 and Crete in 1669. The Ottomans, nevertheless, were generally in decline after Suleiman and the first blow was dealt by the Persians who annexed Armenia and Georgia in 1618. Also, when the Turks tried once again to capture Vienna in 1683 and again failed, they found themselves on the defensive as Austrians, Poles, Russians and Venetians were able to cooperate more effectively in their effort drive the Ottomans away from European soil. Furthermore, the Ottoman army and administration of the Empire suffered badly from degeneracy and corruption, which, of course, weakened them greatly. As a result, in the 18th Century and 19th Century the Ottoman Empire began to shrink and by the beginning of the 20th Century the only parts that remained were what is now present day northern Greece, North Macedonia, Albania, Kosovo, Turkey, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Israel, Lebanon, Libya and Syria. In 1923 the Ottoman was dissolved and only the modern nation of Turkey remained Turkish. All the other areas mentioned above became independent.