Up Fatih Sultan Mehmed Suleiman the Magnificent
Sultans of the Ottoman Empire
ancestors of the Ottomans (Osmanli, Uthmanli) were Oguz
Turks who followed the victorious Seljuqs into
Anatolia in the 11th century. The Ottoman state began as a Ghazi Kingdom
based in Bursa (old Bithynia), on the fringes of the Mongol
dominated regions of central Anatolia. As Ilkhanate authority waned, Ottoman
power grew and, successfully vanquishing other Ghazi domains, they became
the new Power of the region.
The Grand Viziers were the highest-ranking bureaucrats in the
Ottoman Empire. They were the heads of the Sultan's divan, or council, and held
meetings every four days to assess the state of the empire, pass legislation,
and issue decrees (these meetings were only rarely attended by the Sultan).
Except in rare cases of exceptionally strong-willed Sultans, the Grand Viziers
were the true rulers of the Ottoman state (much as the
of the Palace were the power behind the Frankish throne). Many of the Grand
Viziers were commoners, and quite a few were of non-Turkish origin, a testement
to the meritocratic nature of Ottoman society.
[ Home ] [ Up ] [ Fatih Sultan Mehmed ] [ Suleiman the Magnificent ]