Destan Episode 18 English Subtitles –

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The Ottoman empire Part 12

If the phrase “expansion” aptly depicts the overall Ottoman military and political experiences until the later sixteenth century, then “consolidation” likely best summarizes the situation during the subsequent
a century or so.

Following S ¨Suleyman’s death, Ottoman victories continued
but less frequently than before. The great island of Cyprus with its fertile lands became an Ottoman possession in 1571, bolstering Istanbul’s dominance over the sea routes of the eastern Mediterranean.

The EuEuropeans naval victory at Lepanto in 1571 and utter destruction of the Ottoman navy, one of the greatest in the Mediterranean at the time, proved ephemeral. The next year a new fleet re-established Ottoman dominion in the eastern Mediterranean, the locale of their recent defeat.

On land, Ottoman armies captured Azerbaijan between 1578 and 1590 and regained Baghdad in 1638. Crete, the largest of the eastern Mediterranean islands after Cyprus, was incorporated into the state in 1669,
followed by Podolia in 1676.

Not every battle was a victory but the overall record until the later
seventeenth century was a successful one, bringing more extensive
frontiers containing new treasures, taxes and populations.

By the later seventeenth century, Ottoman garrisons overlooked the Russian steppe,
the Hungarian plain, the Saharan and Syrian deserts, and the mountain
fastness of the Caucasus.

Ottoman military forces had achieved virtually From its origins to 1683 25
full dominion over the entire Black Sea, Aegean, and eastern Mediterranean basins, including most or all of the drainages of the Danube, Dniester, Dnieper, and Bug rivers, as well as the Tigris–Euphrates and
the Nile.

Thus, the trade routes and resources that had supported Rome
and Byzantium, but then had been divided among the warring states of
Venice, Genoa, Serbia, Bulgaria, and others, now belonged to a single
imperial system.

How to explain this remarkable record
of Ottoman success?

Describing victories is much easier than explaining why they happened.
The Ottomans certainly profited from the weaknesses and confusion of
their enemies. For example, their ability to expand against the Byzantines in part must be credited to the enduring harm done to Byzantium by the terrible events in 1204.

At that time, Venetians and other Crusaders occupied Constantinople and plundered it so ruthlessly that
Byzantium never regained its former strength. Also, consider the bitter rivalries among and warring between the most powerful states in the eastern Mediterranean – Venice, Byzantium, and Genoa. In addition, the
decline of the feudal order, c. 1350–1450, left many states in shambles
both militarily and politically.

Thus, the collapse of the once-powerful Serbian and Bulgarian kingdoms at the very moment of Ottoman expansion into the Balkans left the road open to the invaders. Then there is
the matter of the eruption of the Black Death in 1348. Here, historians
like to argue that the plague most heavily affected urban populations,
relatively sparing the Ottomans and softening their mainly urban enemies.

To counter this point, it must be said that we have no evidence
on how horribly the plague struck the populous Ottoman encampments
or the towns and cities (such as Bursa, Iznik, and Izmit) already under
their control.

Moreover, such arguments ignore the repeated and terrible plague outbreaks that later wracked Ottoman cities and, notably, undermined Mehmet the Conqueror’s efforts to repopulate Ottoman Constantinople. Such emphases on the divisions and weaknesses of enemies
and the impact of the plague underscore good fortune and downplay
Ottoman achievements by attributing success to factors outside of their

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