The resounding victories of Ottomans over the European Christian powers
Compiled by: Syed Ali Shahbaz
The Mediterranean Sea was a virtual Ottoman Lake
On June 20, 1631 AD, Baltimore in Ireland was attacked by a naval force of Algerians, Ottoman Turks and Dutch converts to Islam, in the biggest such operation by Muslims in the British Isles in retaliation for European Christian acts of piracy on the African coasts for abduction of black people and their selling as slaves in the Americas. The Muslim naval force was led by Murad Raees, a Dutch captain, who before conversion to Islam was named Jan Janszoon van Haarlem. It is to be noted that most of the hundred-odd people captured and taken to North Africa were English settlers who were exploiting the local Irish people.
Three of the captives who were found to be Irish were later released and returned to Ireland. As for the rest, they started a new life in Algeria and in Istanbul in the palace of the Sultan, since Islam discourages slavery and considers the Mamluk as adopted persons entitled to all privileges as Muslims, including education and training in military, administrative affairs and various other vocations. It is also worth noting that in the 17th and most of the 18th century, the Mediterranean Sea was a virtual Ottoman Lake with Turkish, Algerian, and Moroccan navigators, wrongly called Barbary Corsairs by the Europeans, operating in the Atlantic Ocean as far as the North Sea and the coasts of Iceland.
Ottomons Navy inflicted a stunning defeat to the combined European fleet
On 18th of the Islamic month of Jamadi as-Sani in 947 AH, a treaty was signed in Istanbul between the Ottoman Empire and the Republic of Venice, ending the 3-year naval war, with the Venetians paying three million gold liras as war damage to the Turks, in addition to ceding all islands in the Aegean Sea as well as key mainland holdings in the Peloponnese Peninsula. The war had started over a Venetian insult to Sultan Suleyman, which prompted the Ottoman navy, led by Khairoddin Pasha (Barbarossa or Redbeard to the Europeans), to raid Apulia in southern Italy. In response, a combined fleet of 81 Venetian ships, 50 Spanish ships, and 36 papal ships of the Holy Roman Empire, launched an attack on the Ottoman fleet. Khairoddin Pasha retaliated with further raids up and down the coasts of the Aegean and Adriatic seas, capturing numerous Venetian-controlled islands and trading outposts, and staging a major raid on Crete. Next, with 120 warships he engaged the might of the combined European fleet and inflicted a stunning defeat at Prevesa, forcing the allies to admit defeat and conclude a peace treaty.
The Barbary Wars
On May 10, in 1801 AD, the First Barbary War, occurred off the coast of Tripolitania (present day Libya) between the North African Berber Muslim states and the intruding US fleet. The principalities of Tripoli, Algiers, and Tunis, which were quasi-independent entities nominally under the Ottoman Empire, along with the semi independent Sultanate of Morocco, defeated the US navy. The war lasted four years, and the US, as per the advice of France and Spain, had to pay war indemnities in order to procure the release of its prisoners. In 1815, the US, now no longer engaged in hostilities with the British, again attacked the North African states in the Second Barbary War (known as the Algerian War). With Ottoman naval power on the wane and the Mediterranean Sea no long the Turkish Lake of the past three centuries, the Barbary States were forced to seek peace by paying heavy damages to the US. Within decades, European powers built more sophisticated ships which the Turks and the Barbary States could not match in numbers or technology. These iron-clad warships of the late 19th century and the early 20th century ensured European dominance of the Mediterranean. As a result Algeria and Tunis were occupied by France, although the Turks continued to hold Tripolitania (Libya) till 1911, when it fell to Fascist Italy.
Ottoman Emperor Bayezid I defeats a united Christian army at the Battle of Nicopolis
On September 25, 1396 AD, Ottoman Emperor Bayezid I defeated a united Christian army of Hungarian, French, German, Serb, Italian, Burgundian, and Wallachian troops, at the Battle of Nicopolis, resulting in the end of Bulgaria as a country. Seven years earlier, after the victory and subsequent death of his father, Murad I, at the Battle of Kosovo in 1389, he had conquered most of the Balkans, and had reduced the Byzantine Empire to the area immediately surrounding Constantinople. This made European powers to form an alliance to try to drive out the victorious Turks. In 1394, Pope Boniface IX proclaimed a new crusade against the Turks, but the huge Christian force that numbered over 200,000 was decisively defeated by Bayezid, who six years later in 1402 lost the Battle of Ankara against the Central Asian conqueror, Amir Timur, and was taken in a humiliating manner as a prisoner of war to Samarqand, where he died in captivity.
Grand Victory of the Ottomans in the Second Battle of Maritsa
On September 26, 1371 AD, the Second Battle of Maritsa took place in the Balkans as part of the Serbian-Turkish wars, resulting in another resounding victory for the Ottomans against the combined Serb and Greek army of 70,000 soldiers. The Muslim army was led by Sultan Murad I's lieutenant, Lala Shahin Pasha, who through superior military tactics defeated the huge force the Christians had assembled in a bid to avenge their loss in the First Battle of Maritsa seven years ago in 1364. Both the Serbian king and the Greek despot died on the battlefield. Macedonia and parts of Greece fell under Ottoman power after this battle, which was preceded by the Turkish capture of Sozopol and succeeded by the capture of the cities of Drama, Kavala and Serrai in modern Greece. It was prelude to the historic Battle of Kosovo, eighteen years later in 1389 that completed the conquest of the Balkans by Murad I and his subsequent death on the battlefield.
The Siege of Vienna by the Ottoman Empire
On September 27, 1529 AD, the Siege of Vienna started with the attack of Suleiman I on the Austrian city. It marked the pinnacle of the Ottoman Empire's power or the maximum extent of Muslim expansion in central Europe. The Turkish failure to capture Vienna turned the tide against almost a century of unchecked Muslim conquest throughout eastern and central Europe. According to the British historian Toynbee, "The failure of the first [siege of Vienna] brought to a standstill the tide of Ottoman conquest which had been flooding up the Danube Valley for a century past."
Decisive victory of Ottomans in the Battle of Preveza
On September 28, 1538 AD, during the Ottoman–Venetian War, the Turkish navy scored a decisive victory over a so-called Holy League fleet assembled by the Christian powers in the Battle of Preveza in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Greece. Commanded by Khayr od-Din Pasha (Barbarosa or the Red-beard to the Europeans), the Muslim navy sunk 10 ships, burned 3 others, captured 36, and took about 3000 prisoners, as the Christian fleet fled the sea battle. The Turks did not lose any ships.
Bosnian Muslim revolutionary general, Hussein-Kapetan
On August 17, 1834 AD, Bosnian Muslim revolutionary general, Hussein-Kapetan, died in Istanbul under mysterious circumstance sat the young age of 32 years, after fighting against the policies of the Ottoman Empire and for Bosnian autonomy. He was born Gradacac and grew up surrounded by a political climate of turmoil in the western reaches of the Ottoman Empire. The young Hussein developed a reputation for wise rule and tolerance and soon became one of the most popular figures in Bosnia. When Sultan Mahmoud II tyrannically attempted to forcefully mass-recruit the Bosnian populace into his new army in the year 1830, the Bosniaks led by Hussein Kapetan felt compelled to launch a massive uprising that lasted for three years. His forces dealt a heavy defeat to the imperial army during the Third Battle of Kosovo and at Novi Pazar. The uprising was only subdued when Ali-Pasha Rizvan-Begovic defected to Mahmoud II, in return for rule over the Vilayet of Herzegovina. Hussein Kapetan was forced to flee to Austria from where he negotiated for his return and was ultimately allowed back but barred from ever entering Bosnia. He moved to Belgrade and then to Istanbul, where he died under suspicious circumstances. He was an able military commander and administrator and was well versed in Turkish and Arabic. He was taught by two Bektashi dervishes and built the sprawling Husseiniyya Mosque in his hometown.
The Ottoman Turks captured Belgrade, the capital of Serbia
On August 28, in 1521 AD, the Ottoman Turks captured Belgrade, the capital of Serbia during the reign of Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent. The earlier attempt to take Belgrade by the Ottomans under Sultan Mohammad Fateh had proved inconclusive in 1456.
The Battle of Mohacs
On August 29, 1526 AD, the Ottoman Turks led by Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent defeated Hungary in the Battle of Mohacs, in which Louis II, the last Jagiellonian king of Hungary and Bohemia, lost his life. The Muslim victory led to the partition of Hungary for several centuries between the Ottoman Empire, and the Habsburg Monarchy of Austria. Only in the 20th century would Hungary regain its political independence.
France forced to withdraw from Egypt
On September 2, 1801 AD, a joint Ottoman-British force succeeded in defeating and forcing France to withdraw from Egypt, the French occupation army was left behind by Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte.
Ottoman Sultan defeated a joint army of the kingdoms of Croatia and Hungary
On September 9, 1493 AD, Ottoman Sultan, Bayezid II defeated a joint army of the kingdoms of Croatia and Hungary at the Battle of Krbava, a part of Lika region in southern Croatia. The Ottoman forces were led by Khadem Yaqub Pasha, the Governor of Bosnia.
The Ottoman army on the verge of conquering Vienna
On September 12, 1683 AD, the Ottoman army which was on the verge of conquering Vienna, the capital of Austria, as part of its sweep into the heart of Europe, was surprisingly defeated by a coalition of European powers, including Poland. The setback suffered by the Turks marked the end of Ottoman aspirations to conquer all of Europe.
The Battle of Wofla
On August 28, 1542 AD, during the 19-year long Turkish-Portuguese War that lasted from 1538-to-1557, the Ottomans emerged victorious in the Battle of Wofla. The Portuguese were scattered, and their leader Christovão da Gama was captured and later executed.
Ottoman conquered the city and district of Thessalonica in Macedonia from the Greek Byzantine Empire
On 17th of the Islamic month of Jamadi as-Sani 1433 lunar hijri in 833 AH (1430 AD), Ottoman Sultan Murad II conquered the city and district of Thessalonica in Macedonia from the Greek Byzantine Empire. Thessalonica and its adjoining districts were lost by the Turks almost five centuries later during the First Balkans War in 1330 AH (1912 AD) to Greece, while the rest of Macedonia, which had a sizeable Muslim population, was split up between Serbia and Greece. The Greeks, who destroyed mosques and other sites of the centuries old Islamic heritage, continue to suppress the Muslims of Thessalonica and treat them as second class citizens.
The French Mediterranean port of Toulon under Ottoman Rule
On 16th of the Islamic month of Jamadi as-Sani in 950 AH, the Ottoman Turks concluded a treaty with France to run the French Mediterranean port of Toulon. The Ottoman flag hovered in Toulon and almost all the French left the port. The Ottomans introduced the Azan for the five-times-daily prayers in this port, and turned the Cathedral into a mosque during their 8-month stay. In this period under the command of the famous Turkish admiral, Khairoddin Pasha (known as Barbarossa or Redbeard to the Europeans), the Ottoman navy, equipped with 30,000 troops raided the Spanish and Italian coasts and defeated the combined attacks by Spanish-Italian navies. The Ottomans left after King Francis I of France paid a sum of 800,000 in the currency of those days and released all Turks and Arabs who were forced to work on French galleys. Khairoddin Pasha died two years later, but Toulon was again used as a safe harbour for several months, some three years later by another Ottoman admiral, Turgut Raees.
Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia in Europe under Ottoman Rule
On 15th of the Islamic month of Jamadi as-Sani in 1094 AH, the Ottoman Turkish army led by Hussein Pasha conquered Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia in Europe, with the crown of the Austrian emperor being among the spoils of war.
Victory of Ottomans over the Byzantine Empire in the Battle of Bapheus
On July 27, 2012, 1302 AD, the Battle of Bapheus occurred, resulting in a decisive victory for the rising principality of the Ottomans against over the Byzantine Empire, and opening up of all of Asia Minor for Turkish conquest. The Ottomans achieved characteristics and qualities of state after this battle near what is now Yalova in Turkey. Osman I, who served the Seljuq sultans of Roum or Anatolia, had succeeded in the leadership of his clan in 1282, and over the next two decades launched a series of ever-deeper raids into Byzantine territories. By 1301, the Ottomans were besieging Nicaea, the former imperial capital. In the spring 1302, Emperor Michael IX launched a campaign, but the Turks avoided open battle and carried on hit-and-run raids that weakened and isolated the Byzantine army, forcing the emperor to retreat by the sea, followed by waves of refugees. At this Michael's co-emperor Andronikos II Palaiologos sent another army across the Bosporus which was routed by Ottoman at Bapheus – the first major victory for the nascent Ottoman emirate. The Byzantine defeat sparked a massive exodus of the Christian Greek population from the area into the European parts of the Empire. In the next one-and-a-half centuries, the Ottomans were to complete the conquest of the Byzantine Empire by capturing its capital Constantinople in 1453 and renaming it Islambol (Istanbul).
Ottomans took control of the Mediterranean island of Corsica
On 7th of the Islamic month of Ramadhan in 960 AH, Ottoman admiral Turgut Raees took control of the Mediterranean island of Corsica and the city of Catania in Malta, to free some seven thousand Muslim captives. He gave Corsica to the French, who soon lost it to the Spanish.
Belgrade under Ottoman Rule
On 14th of the Islamic month of Jamadi as-Sani in 1152 AH, the trilateral Treaty of Belgrade was signed, according to which the Germans surrendered Belgrade (capital of Serbia) to the Ottoman Turks after 22 years of occupation, and Russia pledged to demolish the Fortress of Azak, and leave its land to the Ottomans, with a promise that no Russian ship will sail in the Black Sea.
Malta Island in the Mediterranean Sea under Ottoman Rule
On 11th of the Islamic month of Jamadi as-Sani in 985 AH, the Ottoman fleet captured Malta Island in the Mediterranean Sea, thereby ending the frequent raids on Muslim territories by the Christian Knights.
Hungary under the Ottoman Turks Rule
On May 1 in 1544 AD, Hungary was conquered by the Ottoman Turks and for over some two centuries remained as the province of Majarestan in the Ottoman Muslim Empire.
Montenegro under Ottoman Rule
On May 21 in 2006, following a referendum, Montenegro declared its independence. From 1499 till the second part of the 19th century, it was part of the Ottoman Turkish Empire, and after World War I was absorbed in the Socialist Republic of Yugoslavia. Following disintegration of Yugoslavia, and emergence of the Kosovo crisis in the late 1990s, Montenegro, after some hesitation, formed with Serbia in 2003 a Two-State Federation, which collapsed with the referendum of 2006. Montenegro covers an area of almost 14,000 sq km. It is situated in the Balkan Peninsula and lies on the coastlines of Adriatic Sea. It shares borders with Serbia, Bosnia, and Albania. Some 30 percent of its citizens are Muslims.
Ottomans resounding victory over the Spaniards and other European Christian powers
On 4th of the Islamic month of Rajab in 948 AH, the Ottomans achieved a resounding victory over the Spaniards and other European Christian powers who tried to attack Algeria with a huge army. More than twenty thousand European invaders were killed and their corpses scattered for several kilometers along the Algerian coast. The Ottomans captured about 130 ships, and reaffirmed their superiority in the Mediterranean over the European powers.
Balkans under Ottoman Rule
On 13th of the Islamic month of Rajab in 792AH, the Ottomans under the command of Sultan Murad I defeated the Serbian army led by Prince Lazar in the famous battle of Kosovo, also known as the Battle of Blackbird's Field, about 5 km northwest of modern-day Pristina. In this battle which brought the Balkans under Turkish control both Murad and Lazar lost their life.
Ottomans and Vlad the Impaler
On June 17, 1462 AD, Vlad the Impaler, the murderous ruler of Wallachia in Romania, attempted to assassinate the Ottoman Sultan Mohammad II, the Conqueror of Constantinople. Also known as "Dracula" which means Son of Dragon, his sadistic cruelties later inspired stories of the bloodsucking Vampire. He is said to have impaled nearly 100,000 Turkish Muslims, although despite claiming to be a defender of Christianity, he impaled and burned tens of thousands of Christians as well during his 19-year reign of terror that ended with his defeat by his consanguineous brother, Radu, who had embraced Islam and was appointed Pasha of Wallachia by the Ottoman Sultan.
Vlad, who along with Radu had been sent to the Ottoman court while an adolescent, and taught martial arts, the holy Qur'an as well as the Turkish and Persian languages, developed a deep hatred for his brother because of his being favoured by the young prince Mohammad, the future Sultan. In 1447, on the death of his father he was installed as ruler of his homeland by the Ottomans, but instead of showing gratitude, he turned against them and started the brutal killing of Turkish envoys and tradesmen.
In 1462, fed up with his savagery, Sultan Mohammad II led a massive army across the River Danube, with Radu at the head of the famous Jan-Nisari Corps. Vlad fled and during his retreat burned and killed everything in sight. When the Ottoman forces approached, they encountered over 20,000 of their soldiers impaled by the forces of Vlad, creating a "forest" of dead or dying bodies on stakes. This atrocious, gut-wrenching sight was too much to bear and Sultan Mohammad turned back in disgust. Four years later Vlad, who fled to Hungary, was imprisoned for ten years by the local Christian ruler for crimes against humanity. On release in 1476, when he attempted to stir up sedition once again, he was killed by the Ottomans and his head sent to Constantinople.
Ottomans Victory over Bulgaria
On 27th of the Islamic month of Rajab in 848AH, Ottoman Sultan Murad II won a decisive victory at the Battle of Varna in eastern Bulgaria over the joint Bulgarian, Hungarian and Polish armies under King Władysław III of Poland, who lost his life in the encounter in which the Turks captured some 80 thousand prisoners. This was one of the most important events in European history and established Muslim rule over a large part of southeastern Europe.
The Ottomans began the second siege of the Austrian capital Vienna
On 28th of the Islamic month of Rajab in 1094AH, the Ottomans led by Sultan Mohammad IV began the second siege of the Austrian capital Vienna that lasted for two months and ended in the defeat of the Turkish army by the combined forces of the holy Roman Empire and the Polish-Lithuanian alliance. This marked the decline of Ottoman power in Europe. A century and-a-half earlier also the Ottomans had failed to take Vienna, as they swept across central Europe.
The prominent Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire, Mohammad Pasha Sokolovich
On June 30, 1579 AD, the prominent Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire, Mohammad Pasha Sokolovich, was assassinated at the age of 73. He was a Serb by birth who converted to Islam at an early age and raised among the special Jan-Nisari Corps. He rose through the ranks of the Ottoman imperial system, eventually holding positions as head of the imperial guard, High Admiral of the Navy, Governor-General of Rumelia, Third Vizier, Second Vizier, and as Grand Vizier, which position he held for over 14 years under three Sultans: Suleiman, Selim II, and Murad III. In addition to his native Serbo-Croat, he was fluent in Turkish, Persian, Arabic, and Venetian-Italian. He had taken part in wars against Safavid Iran as head of a force of Serbs and Greeks, but later, due to Shah Tahmasp's diplomacy and proposal of a lasting peace accord, he advised the Ottoman Sultan to accept it. He was a great builder and constructed many mosques, schools, musafer-khanas and bridges in Istanbul, Belgrade, Sarajevo, and Mecca.
Ottoman fleet freed the Libyan sea port of Tripoli
On 12th of the Islamic month of Sha’ban in 958 AH, the Ottoman fleet under the command of Turgut Raees freed the Libyan sea port of Tripoli from the 21-year occupation of Christian Knights. He was subsequently named the Pasha of Tripolitania by Sultan Suleiman.
Born into a Greek family, Turgut Raees converted to Islam at an early age, and grew up into an expert gunner and sailor, whose services were utilized by the Ottomans during the conquest of Mamluk Egypt. He subsequently served as admiral in the Mediterranean Sea and for over forty years subjugated and captured many islands and the coastal areas of the Italian kingdoms and Spain, never allowing the Genoese, the Venetians, and the Spanish fleets to dominate the region or setting foot on the north African coast.
He built the city of Tunis and made it into a leading trade centre, before being appointed the Beglarbeigi of Algeria. He died during the Ottoman siege of Malta.
The Ottomans navy defeats 75 Spanish warships
On 12th of the Islamic month of Sha’ban in 1197 AH, the Ottomans succeed in dispersing 75 Spanish warships which were trying to land their forces at the Algeria ports as a step for occupying it.
The Treaty of al-Arish
On 22nd of the Islamic month of Sha’ban in 1214 AH, the Treaty of al-Arish was signed by France and the Ottoman Empire for withdrawal of French forces from Egypt, three years after Napoleon Bonaparte had invaded and occupied the Land of the Nile.
The Siege of Belgrade by the Ottomans
On July 22, 1456 AD, Ottoman Sultan, Mohammad II, suffered a defeat during his siege of Belgrade, three years after his capture of Constantinople that ended the Byzantine Empire. Hungarian warlord, John Hunyadi, led the counterattack on the Turks in which the Sultan was wounded and forced to retreat. This stopped the Muslim advance towards the heart of Christian Europe for 70 years until the fall of Belgrade to the Turks in 1521, although in the preceding years, the Ottomans continued to tighten their hold on the Balkans.
Ottoman Prime Minister “Damaad” Ibrahim Pasha
On 25th of the Islamic month of Sha’ban in 942 AH, Ottoman Prime Minister “Damaad” Ibrahim Pasha, who was the Sultan’s son-in-law, concluded a treaty with France for lease of the French Port of Toloun to establish a Turkish naval base for checking Spain’s ambitions. For the period of the lease, the French evacuated the local Christian population, while the Ottomans built mosques and used Toloun as a safe haven to raid Spanish coasts and dominate the Mediterranean Sea.
Ottoman Navy defeated a combined Christian fleet in Mediterranean
On 18th of the Islamic month of Shabaan in 967 AH, the Ottoman fleet led by Admiral Piyale Pasha (a Croat Muslim) and the Bey of Tripoli Turgut Raees (a Greek Muslim), defeated a combined Christian fleet, led by the Spanish, in the Battle of Jerba at the island of the same name near Tunis, in one of the major marine battles in the world that prevented North Africa from falling to the expansionist designs of Spain and other Christian powers.
In this battle over two thirds of the huge Christian armada was destroyed and as many as 18,000 killed in additionto 5,000 captured and taken to Istanbul, while the Ottoman loss was only one thousand soldiers. Since losing to Khayreddin Pasha’s (Barbarossa) Ottoman fleet at the Battle of Preveza over two decades ago, and the disastrous expedition of Emperor Charles V against Algiers, some three years later, the major European sea powers in the Mediterranean, especially King Philip II of Spain together with Venice, appealed to Pope Paul IV in Rome and his allies to organize a Christian expedition against North Africa, two years after Piyale Pasha and Turgut Raees had captured the Balearic Islands and raided the Mediterranean coasts of Spain. The battle again proved the naval superiority of the Muslims and was over in a matter of hours, with about half the Christian ships captured or sunk.
The Second Battle of Kosovo and the decisive victory of the Ottomans
On 20th of the Islamic month of Sha’ban in 852 AH, Ottoman Sultan, Murad II, decisively defeated a united European Christian Crusader army of 100,000 soldiers, led by the King of Hungary, in the Second Battle of Kosovo after three days of fierce fighting. The Crusaders arrived at the Kosovo Field, the same place the famous First Battle of Kosovo had occurred 60 years earlier between the Serbs and Ottomans, and resulted in Turkish domination of the Balkans. In this Second Battle of Kosovo, the 60,000-strong Muslim army completely destroyed the numerically superior Christian army, and five years later ended the existence of the tottering Byzantine or Eastern Roman Empire by taking its capital Constantinople and renaming it Islambol (present Istanbul).
Constantinople, Islambol popularly called Istanbul
On August 27, in 330 AD, Constantinople was founded by Emperor Constantine 1 as the new capital of the Roman Empire at the ancient town of Byzantium.
The city was built on seven hills on the Sea of Marmara overlooking Asia Minor, and was an impregnable fortress. For over a thousand years, it was the seat of Christianity, until its conquest in 1453 by the Ottoman Emperor, Sultan Mohammad Fateh, who changed its name to Islambol and made it the capital of his empire that straddled Europe and Asia – with parts of Africa added in the subsequent century.
Popularly called Istanbul, it was the Ottoman capital till 1923, and is Turkey's most important and populous city today, spanning both the European and Asian sides of the Bosporus Strait.
Me'mar Sinaan, the chief Ottoman architect
On July 17, 1588 AD, Me'mar Sinaan, the chief Ottoman architect and civil engineer for sultans Suleiman, Selim II, and Murad III, died at the age of 99 years. He was responsible for the construction of more than three hundred major structures and other projects, such as mosque, caravanserais, public baths, and libraries, in the Ottoman Empire, including the Selimiyeh Mosque in Edirne, the Suleymaniyeh Mosque Complex in Istanbul, the Rustom Pasha Mosque, and the Shahzadeh Mosque. He was a contemporary of Italian Renaissance architects and sculptors, Leonardo Da Vinci, and Michelangelo.
Prince Bayazid son of the Ottoman Emperor, Sultan Sulaiman the ‘Magnificent’
On 21st of the Islamic month of Sha’ban in 966 AH, Prince Bayazid lost the Battle of Konya against the forces of his father, the Ottoman Emperor, Sultan Sulaiman, and sought refuge in Iran at the court of Shah Tahmpasp I in Qazvin, roughly the same time when the Safavid Emperor was hosting another royal dignitary as refugee – the Mughal Emperor Humayun Shah who had been ousted from India by the Afghan rebel, Sher Shah Suri. Eventually, Humayun, through Iranian support managed to regain the throne of Delhi, but when Shah Tahmasp tried to patch up the differences between the Ottoman Sultan and his son, by persuading Bayazid to return, the latter along with his four sons, was cruelly killed by Sulaiman the so-called ‘Magnificent’, who years earlier had killed his eldest son, Prince Mustafa on mere suspicion.
The Treaty of Passarowitz
On July 21, 1718 AD, The Treaty of Passarowitz was signed between the Ottoman Empire on one side and the Habsburg Monarchy of Austria and the Republic of Venice on the other. During the years 1714-1718, the Ottomans had been successful against Venice in Greece and Crete, in the Ottoman-Venetian War, but at the same time, in the Austro-Turkish War of 1716–1718, they were defeated at Petrovaradin (1716).
The treaty reflected the military situation. The Ottoman Empire lost Banat and southeastern Syrmia, central part of present-day Serbia (from Belgrade to south of Krusevac), and a tiny strip of northern Bosnia to Austria. Venice, for its part, renounced claim to the Peloponnesus Peninsula and Crete, retaining only the Ionian Islands and the cities of Preveza and Arta. The result of the treaty was restoration of Habsburg rule over much of the territory of present-day Serbia, which had been lost to the Ottomans during the Great Turkish war between 1688 and 1699.
6-year Russo-Turkish War
On July 21, 1774 AD, the 6-year Russo-Turkish War ended with the signing of the Treaty of Kuchuk-Kainarji, according to which the weakened Ottoman Empire lost Southern Ukraine, Northern Caucasus, and Crimea to an expansionist Russia.
Macedonia for five centuries was part of the Ottoman Empire
On September 15, 1991 AD, Macedonia, in southeastern Europe, gained its independence. For five centuries it was part of the Ottoman Empire until its occupation by Bulgaria in late 19th century.
In 1913, Serbia seized control of Macedonia, which then became part of the new state of Yugoslavia. After the end of socialism in Europe in 1989, Macedonia followed the path of Croatia and Slovenia, to secede from Yugoslavia.
Of the two-million plus population of the country, around 40 percent Macedonians are Muslims, mostly ethnic Albanians. Macedonia covers an area of almost 26,000 sq km, sharing borders with Greece, Serbia, Albania, and Bulgaria in the Balkan Peninsula.
Malta in the Mediterranean Sea became a Muslim island for over three-and-a-half centuries
On September 21, 1964 AD, the island state of Malta in the Mediterranean Sea gained its independence from British rule. Once part of the Roman Empire, it became a Muslim island for over three-and-a-half centuries, until its occupation by the Crusaders in the medieval era. Several times it was raided by the Ottoman Turks, and in 1798 was occupied by France, before falling to the British.
Malta covers an area of 316 sq km. The official language is Maltese which is heavily influenced by Arabic, and is actually a variant of the now extinct Sicilian Arabic dialect, written today in the Latin alphabet.
The Treaty of Istanbul
On 2nd of the Islamic month of Ziqadeh in 883 AH, the Treaty of Istanbul was signed by the Ottoman Empire and the Republic of Venice, officially ending the 15-year war between the two sides as a result of the advance of the Turks under Sultan Mohammad Fateh (the conqueror of Constantinople) to the outskirts of Venice.
The treaty made the Venetians to cede Shkodra and other territories on the Dalmatian coastline, as well as the Greek islands of Negroponte and Lemnos. The Venetians also agreed to pay a tribute of around 10,000 ducats per year in order to acquire trading privileges in the Black Sea.
The Crimean War
On October 4, 1853 AD the disastrous Crimean conflict started on the Black Sea coast of what is now Ukraine, with the declaration of war against the expansionist Russian Empire by the Ottoman Turkish Empire, supported by France and Britain.
The Crimean War, which lasted three years without any tangible results on either side, was one of the first wars to be documented extensively in written reports and photographs.
News correspondence reaching Britain from the Crimea was the first time the public were kept informed of the day-to-day realities of war. It was also the first war in which railways and the electric telegraph were used. The Russian navy in the Black Sea was totally destroyed, but the Turks failed to restore the rights and sovereignty of the Tartar Muslims in Crimea.
Ottoman and Austria-Hungary Empires seize the strategic port of Salonika in northeastern Greece
On October 5, 1915 AD, the strategic port of Salonika in northeastern Greece was seized by the Axis Powers during one of the most important military operations of World War I. Britain, France, and Russia suffered worst defeat at the hands of the Ottoman and Austria-Hungary Empires, losing half of their forces.
The First World War was eventually won by the Allied Powers, resulting in the loss of huge territories for the Ottoman Turks.