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The Great Turkish War refers to a series of conflicts between the Ottoman Empire and contemporary European powers, then joined into a Holy League, during the second half of the 17th century.

1667-1683

After Bohdan Khmelnytsky's rebellion, when Russiamarker acquired parts of Eastern Ukrainemarker from the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, some cossacks stayed in the southeast of the Commonwealth. Their leader, Petro Doroshenko, wanted to connect the rest of Ukraine with the Ottoman Empire, starting a rebellion against hetman (Polish army commander) John III Sobieski. The Sultan Mohamed IV, who knew that the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth was weakened due to internal conflicts, attacked Kamieniec Podolskimarker, a large city on the border.

A small Polish army was defeated by a larger Ottoman one in what is sometimes known as the Polish-Ottoman War of 1672–1676. The first battle took place in Sconograd, Hungarymarker, which was occupied by the Ottomans. The Polishmarker army was defeated. The Poles retreated after three months. They subsequently tried to defeat the Ottomans for four years, with no success. The Turkish advance followed later to the beginning of the Russo-Turkish Wars. The Poles agreed to surrender Kamieniec Podolskimarker, Podolia and to pay tribute to the Ottoman Sultan.

When a message about the defeat and treaty terms reached Warsawmarker, the Sejm refused to pay the tribute and organized a large army under Jan Sobieski. Subsequently, the Poles won the battle of Chocim in 1673. The Turks retained control over Kamieniec Podolski. After King Michael’s death in 1673, Jan Sobieski was elected king of Poland.

War of the Holy League (1683–1698)

After a few years of peace, the Ottoman Empire attacked the Habsburg Empire. The Turks almost captured Viennamarker, but John III Sobieski led a Christian alliance that defeated them in the Battle of Vienna which stalled the Ottoman Empire's hegemony in south-eastern Europe.

A new Holy League was initiated by Pope Innocent XI and encompassed the Holy Roman Empire (headed by Habsburg Austria), the Venetian Republicmarker and Polandmarker in 1684, joined by Muscovite Russia in 1686. Various German, English and Scottish Protestants served as volunteers in the alliance. The second Battle of Mohács was a crushing defeat for the Sultan.

Russia's involvement marked the first time the country formally joined an alliance of European powers. This was the beginning of a series of Russo-Turkish Wars, which continued into the 20th century. As a result of the Crimean campaigns and Azov campaigns, Russia captured the key Ottoman fortress of Azovmarker.

Following the decisive Battle of Zentamarker in 1697 and lesser skirmishes (such as the battle of Podhajce in 1698), the League won the war in 1699 and forced the Ottoman Empire to sign the Treaty of Karlowitz. The Ottomans ceded most of Hungarymarker, Transylvania and Slavoniamarker to Austria while Podolia returned to Poland. Most of Dalmatia passed to Venice, along with the Morea (the Peloponnesusmarker peninsula), which the Ottomans regained in the Treaty of Passarowitz of 1718.

See also



References

  1. Kemp, Arthur, Jihad: Islam's 1,300 Year War Against Western Civilisation, (Lulu.com, 2008), 38.
  2. Treasure, Geoffrey, The making of modern Europe, 1648-1780, (Methuen & Co Ltd., 1985), 614.
  3. Sicker, Martin, The Islamic world in decline, (Praeger Publishers, 2001), 32.



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