A number of factors contributed to technological advancements in the Ottoman Empire. First of all, Ottoman culture placed a large value on education and scientific inquiry. The Ottomans saw themselves as the inheritors of the great centers of Islamic learning of past centuries and strived to carry on the legacy of valuing academia and scientific advancements. It certainly helped that Ottoman rulers saw the value in learning. Sultan Mehmed II al-Fateh founded Fatih Kulliyesi as the main madrasah in Istanbul in 1453. This school in particular attracted and trained many Ottoman scientists and engineers, leading to a surge in technological and scientific progress.
The madrasah system of education had already been established in Anatolia by the Seljuks and the Ottomans continued to utilize these centers of learning. From its very inception, learning was highly promoted in the empire. The Ottomans also built observatories to study the stars, numerous madrasahs with science-focused programs, and libraries throughout the empire. They conducted research into medicine as well as military technology. High levels of literacy, as well as a robust middle-class, allowed many Ottomans to pursue this type of learning.
By the 1600s, the Ottomans were becoming increasingly aware of the technological advances taking place in Europe. They were particularly concerned with new European military technology, particularly firearms. They sent many researchers to Europe to investigate these developing technologies who returned home where they copied and sometimes improved on European designs.