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History, Rise of the Ottomans

Ottoman dynasty, Byzantines, Mongols, military systems, raids

The Ottomans emerged in history as leaders of those Turks who fought the Byzantines in northwestern Anatolia. The location enabled Osman, founder of the Ottoman dynasty, to take the fullest advantage of Byzantine weakness and secure booty by raids into Christian territory. This situation lured into his service thousands of Turkish nomads and also many Arabs and Iranians fleeing from the Mongols. Osmanís conquests in Anatolia were crowned with the capture in 1326 of the provincial capital Bursa by his son Orhan, which gave the Ottomans control over the Byzantine administrative, financial, and military systems in the area. Thus began the Ottoman tradition to expand by force only at the expense of the declining Christian states to the west, but not against the Turkmen principalities to the east. The peaceful acquisition of Turkmen lands by purchase, marriage, and the sowing of dissension within the ruling dynasties was, however, acceptable, and the Ottomans thus took over large territories in western Anatolia.

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Article key phrases:

Ottoman dynasty, Byzantines, Mongols, military systems, raids, Arabs, Iranians, Turks, marriage, expense, capture, force, situation, founder, leaders, purchase, area, history, location


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