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The Map Archive offers a rich array of Ottoman Empire maps. The Ottomans were a Turkish nomadic drive, who were driven off the steppes of Central Asia by the Mongols, and converted to Islam. The Ottoman dynasty, named after Osman Gazi (1259–1326) emerged from a small emirate established in northwestern Anatolia after 1071. In the 13th century, the Ottomans began to expand their kingdom westwards into the Byzantine Empire, establishing their capital in Bursa in 1326, and finally capturing the Byzantine capital of Constantinople, which they renamed Istanbul, in 1453. The Ottomans went on to extend their empire into the Middle East and Southeast Europe. Their advance was relentless; they were finally turned back from Europe following their unsuccessful siege of Vienna in 1683. The Ottoman Empire was beset by dynastic struggles and succession disputes, as various candidates vied for imperial supremacy. At the height of the Ottoman Empire, the Turks had highly effective administrative and governmental systems and were tolerant towards their diverse subjects. Ultimately, however, the Empire stagnated and declined and, following its disastrous alliance with Germany in World War I, it finally collapsed in 1922.
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