There is no one left alive that can give much first hand knowledge about the Ottoman Empire…..unless one is a history major or buff. It has been about 93 years since the Ottoman Empire collapsed.
The Ottoman Empire was an imperial state that was founded in 1299 after growing out of the break-down of several Turkish tribes. The empire then grew to include many areas in what is now present-day Europe to and it eventually became one of the largest, most powerful and longest-lasting empires in the history of the world. At its peak, the Ottoman Empire included the areas of Turkey, Egypt, Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, FYROM (Macedonia), Hungary, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, and parts of the Arabian Peninsula and North Africa.
In the 1700s the Ottoman Empire began to rapidly deteriorate following the Russo-Turkish Wars and a series of treaties during that time caused the empire to lose some of its economic independence. The Crimean War, which lasted from 1853-1856, further exhausted the struggling empire. In 1856 the independence of the Ottoman Empire was recognized by the Congress of Paris but it was still losing its strength as a European power.
In the late 1800s, there were several rebellions and the Ottoman Empire continued to lose territory and political and social instability in the 1890s created international negativity toward the empire. The Balkan Wars of 1912-1913 and uprisings by Turkish nationalists further reduced the empire’s territory and increased instability. Following the end of World War One, the Ottoman Empire officially came to an end with the Treaty of Sevres.
I bring up this simplistic history about Turkey because of the situation today in the Middle East.
Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan called last year for the “conquest” of Europe by Islam “through emigration” into Europe and announced that the “conquest is to have the courage, tenacity, and sagacity to defy the entire world even at the hardest times.”
The speech, delivered in Istanbul on May 30, 2015, at a public meeting celebrating the 562nd anniversary of the fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Empire’s Muslim armies, has just been translated into English for the first time.
Turkey’s interest in northern Syria and northern Iraq is not an abstraction triggered by a group of religious fanatics calling themselves the Islamic State; it is the bypass, intersection and reinforcement of multiple geopolitical wavelengths creating an invisible force behind Ankara to re-extend Turkey’s formal and informal boundaries beyond Anatolia.
They, Turkey, has already started making in roads in the empire business…..they have ground troops in Syria and Iraq and they have little intention of leaving…..
Turkey insisted on Thursday that its troops will remain in Iraq despite Baghdad’s growing anger ahead of a planned operation to retake the Iraqi city of Mosul from ISIS.