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Decline and Traditional Reform, Reforms and Losses

Kara Mustafa Pasha, Peloponnisos, Shah Abbas, Podolia, Peloponnesus

Only when powerful foreign attacks threatened the empire, on which its privileges and wealth depended, did the ruling class accept some sort of reform. In 1623, Shah Abbas I of Iran conquered Baghdad and eastern Iraq and stirred up a series of Turkmen revolts in eastern Anatolia. In response, Sultan Murad IV restored honesty and efficiency to the ruling class and the army. By ruthlessly executing thousands found guilty of violating Islamic law and tradition, he began the so-called Traditional Reforms. The reforms were successful enough for the Ottoman army to drive the Iranians out of Iraq and to conquer the Caucasus in 1638. Muradís successor, however, allowed the previous decay to resume. A war with Venice, which culminated in a Venetian naval attack on the Dardanelles, then led to the rise of the Koprulu dynasty of grand viziers, which once again restored the old institutions with the same methods used by Murad VI. Eradication of the decay and restoration of Ottoman power stimulated the last Koprulu grand vizier, Kara Mustafa Pasha, to make a new attempt to conquer Vienna in 1683. After a short siege, however, the Ottoman army completely fell apart, making it possible for a new European Holy League to conquer integral parts of the empire. The losses of Hungary and Transylvania to Austria; Dalmatia, the Peloponnisos (Peloponnesus), and important Aegean islands to Venice; Podolia and the southern Ukraine to Poland; and Azov and the lands north of the Black Sea to Russia were confirmed in the Treaty of Karlowitz (1699).

Article key phrases:

Kara Mustafa Pasha, Peloponnisos, Shah Abbas, Podolia, Peloponnesus, Azov, Dardanelles, Ottoman army, Dalmatia, Transylvania, ruling class, Caucasus, Islamic law, Baghdad, Eradication, Black Sea, Iranians, Venice, Vienna, privileges, empire, Austria, rise, Russia, war, Poland, wealth, response, methods, efficiency, thousands


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