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Seljuks and Ottomans

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The Seljuks were a group of Turkish warriors from Central Asia who founded the Seljuk Sultanate in Baghdad. Malik Shah was the most famous Seljuk ruler. They revived the Sunnite Islamic administration with religious institutions and universities to train bureaucrats and religious officials. In Anatolia, they established the Sultanate of Konya.

With the Seljuks, began the Ottoman Empire in Anatolia. The Ottoman was a Muslim Turkish state that extended over Southeastern Europe, Anatolia, the Middle East and North Africa. They first entered Anatolia as Seljuk soldiers. Murad II and Mehmed II consolidated much of the empire in Anatolia. The last Byzantine stronghold, Constantinople was captured by Mehmed II. The Ottoman Sultans introduced the Devshirme system by which young Christians were converted to Islam and recruited in the army. They formed an elite infantry corp called the Janissaries.

The Ottomans also had an elite ruling class who enjoyed great power and wealth. This group was composed of the original Turko-Islamic population and the new Devshirme converts. The two groups were played against each other to exercise control. Mehmed II also executed all brothers of the reigning sultan so that the crown would pass on to his son.


History of Anatolia | Indo-European Settlements | Greeks and Romans | The Byzantine Empire | Seljuks and Ottomans | Decline of the Ottomans | Republic of Turkey