Ottoman Empire

The Ottoman Empire, officially the Sublime Ottoman State (Ottoman: دَوْلَتِ عَلِيّهٔ عُثمَانِیّه Devlet-i Aliyye-i Osmâniyye), is a multinational empire in Southeastern Europe and the Near East. The Empire is commonly called Turkey. Founded by Osman Bey in 1299, the Ottoman Empire grew to encompass much of eastern and southern Europe and almost all of the Arab world in its period of ascendancy.

Though the Empire lost most of its European and African territories during the nineteenth and early twentieth century, it retained control over much of the Near East. After the World War, the Ottoman Empire, which was a founding member of the victorious United Nations, became the foremost power in the Muslim world. The discovery of oil in Ottoman Iraq soon revived the Empire’s economy, making it one of the fastest-growing economies in the world.

Today, the Ottoman Empire is a member of the Group of 10 and the OECD, and an observer in the European Union. It is considered an industrialized country, and its economy is the world’s sixth-largest, though large disparities in wealth persist among its provinces. The Ottoman Empire is a multilingual, multiethnic, and religiously diverse society, with Arabic-speakers constituting about half of its population and Turkish-speakers about one-third. The majority of the Empire’s population is Muslim, but it has significant Christian and Jewish minorities as well.