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Europe and the Turks: The Civilization of the Ottoman Empire

Bernard Lewis writes that the fall of Constantinople was no “victory of barbarism, but rather of another and not undistinguished civilization.” 

Constantinople in Byzantine timesThis year the Turks have been celebrating the 500th anniversary of their conquest of Constantinople. Turkish rule in Europe began nearly a century earlier, and was firmly established by the time that the occupation of the Imperial city rounded off the Turkish dominions and made Constantinople once again the capital of a great empire. But the anniversary may serve as the occasion for some reflections on the place of the Ottoman Empire in the history of Europe and of the world.

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