In Asia Minor the sultanate of Konya was taken over, after the Mongol wave had receded, by the emirate of Karamania (see Karaman), but the Osmanli Turks completed the overthrow of the Byzantine Empire. A minor tribe and the last of the Turkish invading peoples, the Osmanli had been assigned (13th cent.) to the border area of the Byzantine Empire by their Seljuk overlords. It was largely this position as guards of a constantly contested frontier that allowed them to develop their highly disciplined organization, which in turn enabled them in the 14th cent. to make themselves masters of the ruins of the Seljuk empire in Anatolia. Their first historic ruler Osman I, gave his name both to the nation and to the dynasty that ruled an empire extending, at one period, from Vienna to the Indian Ocean and from Tunis to the Caucasus (see Ottoman Empire). The people of modern Turkey, which was founded after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire in 1918, are called Osmanli Turks. The original Osmanlis had merged at an early stage with the Seljuks, and their descendants mixed extensively with Muslim converts from the many dozens of nationalities that made up their empire.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.