The Ottoman Empire was a state that controlled much of Southeastern Europe, Western Asia, and Northern Africa between the 14th and early 20th centuries. It was founded at the end of the 13th century in northwestern Anatolia in the town of Söğüt by the Turkoman tribal leader Osman I. After 1354, the Ottomans crossed into Europe and with the conquest of the Balkans, the Ottoman beylik was transformed into a transcontinental empire. The Ottomans ended the Byzantine Empire with the conquest of Constantinople in 1453 by Mehmed the Conqueror.
Under the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent, the Ottoman Empire marked the peak of its power and prosperity as well as the highest development of its government, social, and economic systems. At the beginning of the 17th century, the empire contained 32 provinces and numerous vassal states. Some of these were later absorbed into the Ottoman Empire, while others were granted various types of autonomy over the course of centuries.
With Constantinople as its capital and control of lands around the Mediterranean Basin, the Ottoman Empire was at the centre of interactions between the Eastern and Western worlds for six centuries.