Ottoman Empire

Over the last 30 years, western ideas about the Ottoman Empire have been transformed, just as Turkish attitudes towards the West have become increasingly negative, writes Erik Zurcher.

Lansing Collins describes how, in honour of a previous gift sent in the other direction, Elizabeth I presented Sultan Mohammed III with an elaborate clock, surmounted by singing birds that shook their wings.

The arrival in 1833 of a Russian fleet signalled Russian control for several years of the Bosporus and of the Turkish Empire, writes Lansing Collins.

Anthony Bryer takes a visit to Nicaea; The seat of early Church Councils and, for a while, of the Byzantine Emperors, it has a history stretching from the reign of Alexander the Great to the present day.

Anne Kindersley describes ‘a triumph of Good over Evil’; for Serbs it was a physical defeat against the Ottoman Turks, but a moral victory.

Sarah Searight describes how the Levant Company, which had received its first charter from Elizabeth I, did not surrender its monopolistic hold over trade with the Middle East until the reign of George IV.

In the year of Napoleon’s coronation, writes Ann Kindersley, three patriotic Serbs officially asked for the help of the Tsar in their revolt against the Turks.

A.D. Lacy describes how, under the leadership of Pierre d’Aubusson, the Knights Hospitallers at Rhodes withstood a ferocious attack by the Turks.

On August 26th, 1071, writes Jasper Streater, a Byzantine army was defeated by the Seljuk Turks, and Anatolia was forever lost to Christendom.

Eighteenth-century ambassadors to the Sublime Porte found little to admire in Turkey, writes Lavender Cassels, and suffered many humiliations before they reached the Sultan’s presence.