What factors led to the growth of the Ottoman Empire? What were the developments of the Ottoman Empire? What is the origin and development of the Ottoman Empire? When did the Ottoman Empire develop?
The period starting from the death of Orhan Bey until the conquest of Istanbul is the period of the development of Ottoman Empire. During this period, the structure of the state was fully formed. While the expansion in the Balkans were continuing, the state was fighting against principalities in order to complete the Ottoman dominance in Anatolia. The important rulers of this period are Murat I (1362-1389), Bayezid I (1389-1402), Mehmet I (1413-1421) and Murat III (1421-1451).
Some of the important incidents that occurred during the rise period are as follows:
Battle of Sırp Sındığı (1364): The rapid advance of the Ottomans in the Balkans made Balkan countries anxious. With the instigation of Pope, a Crusader army was formed under the leaderships of the Hungarian, Bulgarian and Serbian kingdoms. The Crusaders passed the Maritza (Meriç) river and camped at the place called Sırp Sındığı. Since they relied on their numbers, they did not take the necessary precautions. Using this opportunity, the Ottoman army under the command of Haji Ilbey defeated the Crusader army with a night raid. This is the first battle of the Ottomans against the Crusaders. As a result of the victory, the advent of the Muslims in the Balkans accelerated. The dominance of Byzantium in the Balkans weakened. The capital was transferred from Bursa to Edirne.
First Battle of Kosovo (1389): Balkan countries gathered again seeing that the Ottomans captured cities such as Sofia, Nis and Manastır, strengthened their dominance in the Balkans. the Hungarians, the Polish, the Croatians and the Wallachian also joined the Crusaders union which was formed under the leadership of the Serbians. Upon this, Murat I moved and met the Crusader army in Kosovo. Although the Ottomans were victorious in the war held there, Murat I was assassinated by a Serbian soldier named Milos while he was wandering around the battlefield (after him, Bayezid I ascended the throne). The victory of the First Kosovo is he third-greatest victory of the Ottomans after the battles of Sırp Sındığı and Çirmen (1371) gained in order to stay in the Balkans.
Battle of Nicopolis (1396): The Ottomans expanded their boundaries in the Balkans up to the banks of Danube, which scared the Hungarians. Not daring to struggle against the Ottomans alone, the Hungarian King Sigismund called the European states to the Christian union with the support of the Pope. Thereupon, a strong army was formed with the participation of countries such as Hungary, Venice, Germany, France, England, Belgium, Switzerland, Dutch, Scotland and Wallachia. The Crusaders besieged the fortress of Nicopolis on the banks of the Danube River. Since Bayezid I besieged Istanbul at the same time, he had to lift the siege. The Crusaders were defeated in battle in front of the fortress of Nicopolis. Bulgaria entered into the Ottoman rule. After the defeat of Nicopolis, the Crusaders were unable to set a new crusade union against the Ottomans for almost 50 years.
The Battle Ankara and Interregnum: After Bayezid I became the Sultan, he took control of the most of the lands of the Anatolian principalities in order to establish the political unity in Anatolia. The rulers of the principalities who lost their lands asked help from Tamerlane. Tamerlane was a Turkish ruler who had established a powerful state the center of which was Samarkand. He was planning to organize an expedition over China at the time. He was uncomfortable for having the Ottomans as a factor of threat behind him. The rulers of the principalities who lost their lands in Anatolia provoked the Tamerlane against Bayezid I. Tamerlane asked Bayezid I to return the lands of the principalities and accept his authority. Upon Bayezid’s refusal of this request, the two Muslim army met somewhere near Ankara. Bayezid I lost the battle and was captured by Tamerlane (1402).
Tamerlane returned the lands of principalities and took Bayezid I with himself as a captive. The headless state experienced the danger of collapse. Bayezid I’s sons started to fight with each other in order to become the ruler of the state. This period lasted for 11 years (1402 – 1413). This period is called in Ottoman history as “Fetret Devri (Interregnum)”. Çelebi Mehmet (Mehmet I) neutralized his brothers and ascended to the throne. He reestablished the order in Anatolia. This is why he is also regarded as the second founder of the state.
Battle of Varna (1444): The crusader army commanded by Wladyslaw III of Poland (or the King of Hungary) got together to remove the Ottomans from the Balkans. The Ottoman Army under Sultan Murad II defeated the Hungarian-Polish and Wallachian crusader in the plain of Varna. The King was killed in the battlefield. The attack organized by the Crusaders in order to take the southeastern part of Europe and Istanbul from the Ottomans could not reach its aim.
The Second Battle of Kosovo (1448): The Crusader army that wanted to erase the traces of their defeat at Varna was defeated one more time at Kosovo by the Ottoman army under the command of Sultan Murad II. Thus, the Crusaders’ plans to remove the Ottomans out of the Balkans failed. The Second Battle of Kosovo ensured the establishment of the Ottomans in the Balkans.