The Ottoman Empire experienced rapid initial growth in the 15th and 16th centuries, followed by a long decline. Initially the Empire was successful at consolidating Arab territories and conquering Christian ones, but a series of weak rulers, military mistakes and technological failures or inadequacies reversed this trend, and by the end of the 17th century the Empire was losing power and territory.
The rule of Suleiman, also spelled Suleyman, is considered to be the period at which the Empire had the greatest power, in the mid-1500s. The Ottoman territory included the following;
- The Balkans
- Crimea and portions of Ukraine, including control of the Black Sea
- Asia Minor (modern-day Turkey)
- The Middle East, extending eastward from the Caspian Sea to the Persian Gulf
- The north and western Arabian Peninsula
- coastal and Nile Egypt
- coastal territories in North Africa
At the height of its glory, the Ottoman empire under the rule of Suleiman the Magnificent, was one of the most powerful empires in the world. It was a multinational and multilingual empire (yes, that's how large it was) and it controlled most of Southeast Europe, Western Asia, North Africa, and the horn of Africa.