Following the weakening of the Anatolian Seljuk State, several beylics from various Turkish tribes emerged in Anatolia. One of these beylics was the Ottoman Beylic, a member of the Kayi tribe of Oghuz Turks from the Sogut-Yenisehir-Bilecik region. The Ottoman Beylic succeeded in establishing the union of the beylics in Anatolia in a short period of time.

The Ottomans who fought against the neighboring Byzantine State, first crossed into Rumelia and then captured Constantinople in 1453 during the reign of Sultan Mehmed II (1451-1481), putting an end to the Byzantine Empire and thus, to the Middle Ages. In the reign of Sultan Mehmed II, who assumed the title of "the Conqueror", the Ottoman State entered into an era of rapid development which would last until the end of the sixteenth century.

The Ottomans fought with the Serbs, Bulgarians, Hungarians, Venetians, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Britain, the Vatican, Spain and also France and Russia from time to time in the West; and in the East and the South, the Akkoyunlus, Tamerlanes, Mamelukes, Safavids and the Karamanids, which were all Turkish states. During the reign of Sultan Selim I (1512-1520), Egypt was conquered and the "Caliphate" passed from the Abbasids to the Ottoman dynasty. During the reign of Suleyman the Magnificent (1520-1566), the Ottoman State had a developed state organization, a powerful army and finances. The borders of the Empire extended from the Crimea in the North to Yemen and Sudan in the South, and from Iran and the Caspian Sea in the East to Vienna in the Northwest and Spain in the Southwest.

However, the Ottoman Empire lost its economic and military superiority vis-a-vis Europe, which had developed rapidly with the Renaissance and the geographical discoveries starting with the sixteenth century and failed to adapt to the new developments. Thus, the balance of power developed in favor of the European States starting in the same century. The nationalist movements that started in the nineteenth century and the rebellions of the Balkan nations organized and supported by the European States and Russia, brought about the emergence of independent states within the Ottoman territories in the Balkans. The military defeats which exacerbated the process of dissolution of the Empire forced the Ottoman administration to take steps to modernize the country. Thus, reform efforts were made constantly in the Empire throughout the nineteenth century.

The most significant characteristic of the First Constitutional Period in 1876, which coincided with the reign of Sultan Abdulhamid II (1876-1909), was that it provided a constitution in the Western model for the first time.

The constitution, which had been prepared by a group of intellectuals called the "Young Turks" forced Sultan Abdulhamid to accept this constitution and the Ottoman state was transformed into a constitutional state. However, Sultan Abdulhamid disbanded the Parliament in 1877 and terminated constitutional rule, using the Ottoman-Russian War of 1877-1879 as a pretext. The Committee of Union and Progress which started activities as an opposition organization founded by the Young Turks, first forced the Sultan to repromulgate the Constitution in 1908 and later seized power.

However, the liberalization which started after Abdulhamid with the Second Constitution did not last long. The Tripoli War (1911-1912) against the Italians and the Balkan Wars (1912-1913) which erupted in the wake of these political developments, weakened the new administration and the environment of freedom that started with the Second Constitution transformed the democratic environment into a single-party autocracy.

The territories of the Ottoman State, which had allied with Germany in the First World War (1914-1918), were occupied by Britain, France, Russia and Greece following the Moudhros Armistice signed in 1918, after the Central Powers were defeated. The occupation of the homeland and the helplessness of the Istanbul government left no other choice but resistance for the Turkish people in Anatolia and Thrace. The Greek occupation accelerated the establishment of small defense fronts and the formation of regional resistance organizations.

The Selimiye Mosque, one of the masterpieces of Ottoman art which was constructed at Edirne by Sultan Selim II. The Ottoman Empire had a state identity which provided the most tolerant administration of its age throughout the Middle Ages and the New Age. In fact, throughout the six hundred years of its administration it was able to hold together people of different religions, languages and races and undertook an important role in the protection of cultures and languages of these nations by providing freedom of religion and conscience. Furthermore, it contributed significantly to the history of civilization with both scientific and cultural masterpieces due to its cultural, scientific, artistic and state admin- istrative experience and acquisitions of the previous Turkish states.

The Ottoman Empire created rare masterpieces with its unique architecture, stone and wood carving, the art of tilemaking, ornamentation, the art of miniature painting, calligraphy and bookbinding. Above all, it was influencial for hundreds of years in world politics.