The Ottomans were an Islamic empire that lasted from 1299 A.D. to 1922 A.D. Their name is derived from Osman I, leader of the Turks and founder of the dynasty that established and ruled the Empire.
At the height of its power in the 16th and 17th centuries the empire spanned three continents and controlled much of Western Asia, Eastern and Southeastern Europe, the Caucasus, and North Africa. In 1680 A.D., under Mehmed IV, the empire controlled 2.12 million square miles (5.5 million square kilometers) of land.
The Ottoman Empire was, in many respects, an Islamic successor to the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire (which started in 395 A.D. and ended when Constantinople fell). In fact, Mehmed II, who captured and made Constantinople the capital of the empire in 1453 A.D., assumed the title of ROMAN EMPEROR. The city of Constantinople was also known as NEW ROME.
For many years the empire flourished economically because of its control of the major overland trade routes between Europe and Asia.
The empire ended at the close of the Turkish War of Independence in 1922 A.D. In its place, the Republic of Turkey was declared in 1923 A.D.