Ottoman Territory in 1525

In 1299 the Ottomans arrived in central Anatolia to assist their fellow Turks conquer the Christian Byzantine Empire. The Ottomans soon eclipsed their Seljuk kinsmen and with the capture of Constantinople in 1453 the destruction of Rome's thousand year old empire was complete.

By the end of the 15th Century the Ottomans were masters of Asia Minor, Greece, Bulgaria, the Levant, Mesopotamia, Egypt and North Africa and as the 16th Century progressed their great sultan Suleiman the Magnificent extended Ottoman rule deep into Central Europe.The Turkish advance was bitterly opposed by the kings of Hungary, the princes of Wallachia (Romania) and Venice's colonies in Dalmatia but one by one these Christian states were conquered and their lands absorbed into the Ottomans' Islamic empire.

Only the Hapsburgs, hereditary Archdukes of Austria and Holy Roman Emperors, had the power to resist the Ottoman Turks' advance and for the next four hundred years the descendants of Charles V and Suleiman the Magnificent fought endless wars for control of Central Europe. The struggle continued until Austria and Turkey found themselves uneasy allies in the First World War and their defeat in 1918 resulted in the final destruction of both empires.

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