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Dynasty: Ottoman Empire
Ruler: Mehmed II the conqueror 2nd reign
Reigned: 848-850 AH + 855-886AH / 1444-46 + 1451-81 AD
Denomination: AR Akce First issue
Mint: Adrana (Edirne)
Date of Issue: 855 AH / 1444 AD
Obverse: Arabic inscriptions
Reverse: Arabic inscriptions
Reference: Album 1308
Weight: 1 gms
Diameter: 10.6 mm

Ottoman Empire

Turkish empire which endured from c.1300 to 1922 and at its greatest territorial extent spanned three continents, covering the area from Hungary in the north to Aden in the south and from Algeria in the west to the Iranian frontier in the east, though centred on the region of modern Turkey. Through its vassal state of the Khanate of the Crimea, Ottoman power also extended into the Ukraine and southern Russia. Its name derives from its founder, the Turkish Muslim warrior, Osman, who established the dynasty which ruled over the empire throughout its history.

The early Ottoman state was a small principality in northwest Anatolia, one of many such petty states which grew out of the wreckage of the former Seljuk state of Rum. Incessant warfare and judicious alliances brought the Ottomans success. In about 1325 they captured Bursa, which became their capital, and by 1338 the Byzantines had been expelled from Anatolia. At the same time the Ottomans extended their territories southwards and eastwards at the expense of other Turkish princedoms, and in 1354 took Ankara in central Anatolia. In the same year the Ottomans occupied Gallipoli (Gelibolu) on the European side of the strait of the Dardanelles, which became the base for their subsequent drive into southeastern Europe. In 1361 the Ottomans took Adrianople (Edirne) which became their new capital and by 1389, when Murad I defeated the Serbs at the Battle of Kosovo, the Ottomans held Thrace, Macedonia, and much of Bulgaria and Serbia. The Ottoman defeat at the hands of the Central Asian conqueror Timur Lang (Tamerlane) in 1402 proved to be only a temporary setback to the Ottomans who quickly rebuilt, consolidated, and extended their power. In May 1453 Sultan Mehmed II (son of Murad II) conquered Constantinople and renamed it Istanbul and made it the third and last Ottoman capital city. He added Trezibond, the Karaman state, Morea, Albania, Bosnia, Serbia and Wallachia to his lands, but to finance his campaigns he debased the coinage, causing tremendous inflation. The tide of conquest continued to flow throughout the 16th century. Under Sultan Selim I (the Grim) first the Safavids of Iran were defeated (Chaldiran, 1514) and eastern Anatolia added to the empire and then in 1516-1517 the Mamelukes of Syria and Egypt were beaten and their territories also annexed. With the Mameluke possessions came the Muslim holy places in Arabia, and the Ottomans also inherited the Mameluke interest in the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean. Selim's son and successor, Suleiman I the Magnificent (also called the Lawgiver), is commonly regarded as the greatest of the Ottoman rulers. During his reign Iraq was added to the empire (1534), Ottoman control was established in the eastern Mediterranean, and, via the annexation of Algiers and the activities of the Barbary Coast corsairs, Ottoman power was thrust into the western Mediterranean. Also Suleiman carried Ottoman arms far into Europe: Belgrade was captured in 1521 and the Hungarians defeated at the Battle of Mohacs in 1526. In 1529 Suleiman unsuccessfully laid a siege of Vienna.

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