The Ottoman Empire

The Ottoman Empire dominated much of the Mediterranean region (the Middle East and southeastern Europe) from the 14th to the 20th centuries. Look at the maps below to see how it grew (and shrank) over the centuries until it came to an end in 1918.

In the map above you can see that the Ottoman Empire is expanding by 1451 to cover a large part of Asia Minor (modern Turkey) and the Balkan Penninsula in Europe. The areas in light green are vassals of the Empire, meaning they are independent but have agreed to submit to the Empire in exchange for certain privileges, such as protection.

By 1566, the Ottoman Empire covered all of Asia Minor and stretched down into Mesopotamia (modern Iraq), Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Egypt, parts of modern Saudi Arabia, north Africa, and all of southeastern Europe.

In 1683 the Empire covered the most territory in its history.

By about 1905, the Empire had shrunk quite a bit. Above you can see the Empire's vilayets (meaning provinces) in different shades of green. After World War I ended in 1918, with the Ottoman Empire on the losing side with Germany, the victorious countries took control of much of the Empire and the new country of Turkey was born.

Picture credits: 1451 Map: By Chamboz at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 4.0,; 1566 map: By Chamboz (talk · contribs) - Wikipédia, CC BY-SA 4.0,; 1683 Map: By Chamboz - Dávid, Géza; Pál Fodor, eds. (2000). Ottomans, Hungarians, and Habsburgs in Central Europe: The Military Confines in the Era of Ottoman Conquest. Brill.Finkel, Caroline (2005). Osman's Dream: The Story of the Ottoman Empire, 1300-1923. New York: Basic Books. ISBN 978-0-465-02396-7.Hathaway, Jane (2008). The Arab Lands under Ottoman Rule, 1516-1800. Pearson Education Ltd. ISBN 978-0-582-41899-8.Kołodziejczyk, Dariusz (2004). The Ottoman Survey Register of Podolia (ca. 1681). Harvard University Press.Peirce, Leslie (1993). The Imperial Harem: Women and Sovereignty in the Ottoman Empire. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-508677-5.Pop, Ioan-Aurel; Ioan Bolovan, eds. (2006). History of Romania Compendium. Romanian Cultural Institute.Magocsi, Paul Robert (2010). A History of Ukraine: The Land and Its Peoples (2 ed.). University of Toronto Press.Rhoads, Murphey (1999). Ottoman Warfare, 1500-1700. Rutgers University Press. ISBN 1-85728-389-9., CC BY-SA 4.0,; 1905 Map: By Julieta39 - Own work derivative since File:Map-of-Ottoman-Empire-in-1900-Latvian.svg, CC BY-SA 4.0,