Decline of the Ottomans

The decline of the Ottoman Empire began when the Devshirme class began to manipulate the Sultans for their own benefit. This combined with the flight of the Turko-Islamic Aristocracy and the rampant corruption and nepotism resulted in a general misrule. The Empire survived for about three centuries more as the Europeans did not know of its weakened state. Murad IV temporarily tried to restore order by ruthless executions but national revolts were rife in the region. Meanwhile the Europeans gained in power in Algeria, Tunisia and Egypt, threatening the existence of the Ottoman rule. Sultan Abd al- Hamid II tried to bring in reforms and rebuild the financial system, but he ruled so despotically that a rebel group arose in the form of Young Turks.

The Young Turks dethroned Al-Hamid completely in 1909. Rapid modernization followed, with emphasis on improving cities, agriculture, industry, and emancipation of women.

However, after World War I, the victorious Allies tried to take control of the Anatolian territory, leading to the Turkish war of Independence from 1918-23. Under Kemal Ataturk, the Turkish Nationalists emerged victorious and established the Republic of Turkey in 1923, formally recognized by the treaty of Lausanne.