Ottoman Sultans

Osman was a bey (or "chieftain") of the Söğüt tribe (based in western Turkey) who declared independence from the Seljuk Turks in 1299. The name of the Ottoman Empire derives from him. Osman's grandson Murad I was the first to take the title Sultan (derived from an Arabic word meaning "strength, authority"). Murad and his successors expanded the growing realm into Europe, conquering Serbia and Bulgaria and eating into Byzantine territory. Constantinople finally fell in 1453 to Mehmed II, marking the end of the Byzantine Empire, and the city became the Ottomans' new capital.

The empire continued its expansion over the next century. Selim I conquered Egypt and Syria, and his son Süleyman the Magnificent conquered Hungary and portions of Persia and North Africa. The empire reached its peak under Süleyman and began a slow decline after his death in 1566. After Murad IV, who ruled until 1640, the sultans were generally ineffective leaders who left much of the actual governance to their viziers.

Slow to adopt technological advances and having lost much territory in war, the empire was referred to as the "sick man of Europe" in the 19th century. The Young Turk Revolution of 1908 stripped the sultan of power, and the position was officially abolished in 1922.

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NameYearsAlso Known As
Abdülaziz1861-1876(Abd ul-Aziz)
Abdülhamid I1774-1789(Abd ul-Hamid)
Abdülhamid II1876-1909(Abd ul-Hamid)
Abdülmecid I1839-1861(Abd ul-Majid)
Ahmed I1603-1617(Ahmad, Ahmet)
Ahmed II1691-1695(Ahmad, Ahmet)
Ahmed III1703-1730(Ahmad, Ahmet)
Bayezid I1389-1402(Beyazit)
Bayezid II1481-1512
Ibrahim1640-1648
Mahmud I1730-1754
Mahmud II1808-1839
Mehmed I1413-1421(Mehmet, Muhammad)
Mehmed II the Conqueror1444-1445; 1451-1481(Mehmet, Muhammad)
Mehmed III1595-1603(Mehmet, Muhammad)
Mehmed IV1648-1687(Mehmet, Muhammad)
Mehmed V1909-1918(Mehmet, Muhammad)
Mehmed VI Vahideddin1918-1922(Mehmet, Muhammad)
Murad I1359-1389
Murad II1421-1444; 1445-1451
Murad III1574-1595
Murad IV1623-1640
Murad V1876
Mustafa I1617-1618; 1622-1623
Mustafa II1695-1703
Mustafa III1757-1774
Mustafa IV1807-1808
Orhan1326-1359(Orkhan)
Osman I1281-1326(Othman, Usman, Uthman)
Osman II1618-1622(Othman, Usman, Uthman)
Osman III1754-1757(Othman, Usman, Uthman)
Selim I1512-1520
Selim II1566-1574
Selim III1789-1807
Süleyman I the Magnificent1520-1566(Sulayman, Suleiman)
Süleyman II1687-1691(Sulayman, Suleiman)