Skip links

Facts about the Ottoman Empire For Kids

The Ottoman Empire was founded in 1299 by Osman I and ran for over 600 years until 1923 when Kemal Atatürk led its dissolution. The Ottomans were one of the major powers in Europe until the 20th century has influenced many parts of the continent with their military might.

  • They were also one of the most crucial forces in world history, influencing European warfare with cannons. Some historians credit them with starting the “gunpowder revolution,” which changed warfare forever.
  • The Ottoman Empire is now often held up as an example of how not to run a state. This is because the empire was extremely centralized, corruption was rife, and it didn’t have any real support from its people.
  • This system paid off for most of the empire’s existence. The Ottomans could conquer large parts of the Middle East without fighting an all-out war with their neighbors. As a result, until the 20th century, they were one of the strongest powers in Europe.
  • The Ottomans reshaped eastern Europe by controlling the Bosphorus Strait, which enabled them to prevent Russian incursions into Europe. They also created the largest empire in the Islamic world.
  • The Ottoman Empire was also at its strongest before World War One, when it had its most territory. They were able to overcome the Austrian Empire in the Battle of Vienna before defeating another Christian army at Kosovo Polje.
  • The Ottoman Empire’s most powerful period came after Mehmed II took over his father’s empire before declaring official independence from the Caliphate in 1299.
  • Mehmed II is often regarded as one of the greatest sultans, and he even led an invasion into Italy. He conquered Constantinople in 1453 before expanding his empire across North Africa and much of southeastern Europe.
  • The Battle of Kosovo Polje was a crucial moment in the history of the empire. The battle saw the Turkish army defeat a Serbian coalition, allowing them to control all Serbian lands.
  • The Caliphate officially fell in 1924 when Mustafa Kemal Atatürk officially declared Turkey independent from it. Mustafa Kemal’s actions would lead to the collapse of many institutions controlled by Islam, including the Ottoman Empire.