Turks


The Ogoose-Turk tribe, consisting of four-hundred families escaping from the Mongols, moved from the steppes of Turkestan to Asia Minor, neighborhood of the then-feeble Byzantian empire. They called themselves "Seldshoos" or "Osmans". From Asia Minor, they started to spread to the east and west, exploiting the infighting inside neighboring emirates, and the Balkans. The Osman (Ottoman) high command of war could always count on the help of the Tartars, who had been to every battleground from the Adria to Caucasus. Their importance in battle wasn't their strength at siege, or open fighting, but the complete devastation and torching of the battlegrounds. As a result of one-and-a-half centuries long battling, the Turks occupied the Balkan-peninsula and Asia Minor for a long time, and eventually conquered most of Near-East. They gained control of the seas and straits, the routes vital for world trade. Europe had to face a new situation, an Osman empire more agressive than ever. At the beginning, only a few states reacted to the Osman-Turk threat, those who were in immediate danger. The counterattack of Christian Europe delayed for another hundred years. The two superpowers at the time, the Habsburg and the Osman, clashed in the area of Hungary, and since neither of them could defeat the other, they both built their defence lines here. They divided the country up amongst themselves, and made war an everyday event in Hungary for the next two centuries. Besides the "spahees", the horsemen fighting for land, the other base of the Osman army were the "yanissaries". Yanissaries were picked from amongst Christian prisoners of war, mostly young men. They made up about a fifth of the p.o.w.s, and the sultan declared ownership over them. Brutal training and military drill made them become yanissaries. The main weapon of spahees and yanissaries was the bow. In Istanbul, on the Square Of The Bows they kept the names of archers who could shoot their arrows the farthest, carved into stone columns. They considered those "holy" and "victorious" who "died in battle, amongst the arrows and spears of the enemy, and not at home". Eventually, at the end of the sixteenth century, European countries decided to intervene. As a result of the cooperation of nations, Hungary was also liberated from the one-and-a-half centuries long Turkish occupation. The Osman empire suffered a massive loss of land, which led to an era of deterioration. Remains of Turkish architecture still can be found in Hungary...churches, djamees, and mosques mainly.


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