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Ottoman Lands: 100 Years Ago And Now

The Ottoman Empire arose from the ashes of Byzantine Europe in the mid-15th century and grew to dominate not just the Anatolian peninsula, but large swaths of Southeastern Europe, the eastern Mediterranean, North Africa, the Caucasus, and Middle East. It was twice halted in battle at the gates of Vienna, in the 16th and 17th centuries, sparing then-Christian Europe from near-certain defeat. By the 19th century, though, the empire had entered into terminal decline and was frequently referred to as the "sick man of Europe." Following defeat in World War I, it was formally abolished in 1922. More than a dozen independent countries emerged from territories the Ottoman sultans once ruled.

Pull cursor to the right to see 1915 map and to the left to see 2015 map

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By Christina Hicks and Jan Radl, RFE/RL