The Ottoman Empire (;Ottoman Turkish: دولت عليه عثمانیه,Devlet-i ʿAlīye-i ʿOsmānīye;Modern Turkish: Osmanlı İmparatorluğu or Osmanlı Devleti), also known as theTurkish Empire, Ottoman Turkey, was an empirefounded at the end of the thirteenth century in northwestern Anatolia in the vicinity of Bilecik and Söğüt by the Oghuz Turkish tribal leader Osman. After 1354, the Ottomans crossed intoEurope, and with the conquest of the Balkans the OttomanBeylik was transformed into a transcontinental empire. The Ottomans ended theByzantine Empire with the 1453 conquest of Constantinople by Mehmed the Conqueror.
During the 16th and 17th centuries, at the height of its power under the reign ofSuleiman the Magnificent, the Ottoman Empire was a multinational, multilingual empire controlling much ofSoutheast Europe, parts ofCentral Europe, Western Asia, the Caucasus, North Africa, and the Horn of Africa. At the beginning of the 17th century the empire contained32 provinces and numerousvassal states. Some of these were later absorbed into the Ottoman Empire, while others were granted various types of autonomy during the course of centuries.
With Constantinople as its capital and control of lands around the Mediterranean basin, the Ottoman Empire was at the centre of interactions between theEastern and Western worlds for six centuries. While the empire was once thought to have entered a period ofdecline following the death ofSuleiman the Magnificent, this view is no longer supported by the majority of academic historians. The empire continued to maintain a flexible and strong economy, society, and military throughout the seventeenth and much of the eighteenth century. However, during a long period of peace from 1740 to 1768, the Ottoman military system fell behind that of their European rivals, the Habsburg and Russian Empires. The Ottomans consequently suffered severe military defeats in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, which prompted them to initiate a comprehensive process of reform and modernization known as the Tanzimat. Thus over the course of the nineteenth century the Ottoman state became vastly more powerful and organized, despite suffering further territorial losses, especially in the Balkans, where a number of new states emerged.The empire allied withGermany in the early 20th century, hoping to escape from the diplomatic isolation which had contributed to its recent territorial losses, and thus joined World War I on the side of the Central Powers.While the Empire was able to largely hold its own during the conflict, it was struggling with internal dissent, especially with the Arab Revolt in its Arabian holdings. Starting before World War I, but growing increasingly common and violent during it, major atrocities culminating ingenocide were committed by the Ottoman government against the Armenians,Assyrians and Pontic Greeks.
The Empire’s defeat and the occupation of part of its territory by the Allied Powersin the aftermath of World War I resulted in its partitioningand the loss of its Middle Eastern territories, which weredivided between the United Kingdom and France. The successful Turkish War of Independence against the occupying Allies led to the emergence of the Republic of Turkey in the Anatolian heartland and the abolition of the Ottoman monarchy and caliphate.