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17 May '16

The Rise of the Ottoman Empire

Posted by Priyanka S in Islamic culture

The rise of the Ottoman Empire can’t be explained without doubt; however there are 2 main theories that are meant to explain it. The first of these theories is that the Turko-Mongol warriors had eventually grown strong enough to be able to start using direct force to get its position in the Arab communities. It is said that their good organizational skills lead to a number of victories that were exploited to help them attain even more victories, and subsequent land gain. The actual rise of the empire was a very slow one and took nearly a half of a century as the Ottoman’s sought to control Asia Minor, Egypt, The Middle East and Africa. It was in this that they succeeded by first defeating the Byzantines. They were able to utilize their own forces to help them get more and more land and then keep it.

The most popularly known cause for their Rise is due to the fact that their Muslim warriors waged a holy war against the Christian Byzantine Empire that was to the west of them. This is the more likely version of the rise of the Ottoman Empire but it doesn’t really explain how the empire continued its reign for the four centuries that it lasted. However, it is clear that after Ahmad I died, the barbaric methods used by his sons to keep the throne was to basically just kill one another off until the last one standing could restore order.

This may sound horrific; however, when this mode of killing stopped there were a whole new set of problems for the empire. As with most dynasties, position was granted to the eldest living son of the Sultan, but in order to try to prevent threats to the sultan the imperial prince was denied any involvement in public matters and held captive during his upbringing in luxury of course so that no threats to him could be carried out as no one knew who he was. It was common that once the heir finally did get the throne he was generally an alcoholic or lunatic. Holy war and land claiming rose the Ottoman Empire, but it was sheer inheritance that kept it going.