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Class Year

2011

Abstract

The expansion and growth of the Ottoman Empire in the early 1300s is one that has both intrigued and puzzled Western scholars for many years. Small bands of Islamic frontier raiders were able to join together and ultimately become a powerful empire that spanned three continents and had subjects of many different religions, cultural backgrounds and ethnicities. How did this happen? What was the spark that ignited the wildfire that would become the mighty and feared Ottoman Empire? Looking back on Ottoman history, one major acquisition, that is, the successful capture of a peninsula known as Gallipoli or Gelibolu in the Aegean Sea would give the Ottomans a permanent foothold in Europe from which to launch their forces into the Balkans and was responsible for the amazing Ottoman expansion after 1300. The strategic location of Gallipoli between Anatolia and the Middle East and Europe has made Gallipoli one of the most strategic locations within the Ottoman Empire, serving as a gateway between continents. History has proven that whichever nation has been able to hold Gallipoli has been able to keep power in the region.

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