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