By Yousif Al Hamadi
The Turks entered Anatolia at the beginning of the 13th century. They are originally Mongol who displaced from Central Asia and headed west to Anatolia after the Battle of Manzikert, in which the Muslims defeated the Byzantine army in 1071. During the 13th century, the Seljuks dynasty of Rum (1077-1308) declined because of the repeated Mongol attacks, and Anatolia has divided into small principalities, to twenty Anatolian beyliks. Osman I (1258-1326), one of the beyliks leaders, whose history is uncertain. However, he was the founder of the Ottoman dynasty. He declared independence from Seljuks in 1299, extended the control of his principality, and eventually conquered Byzantine towns along the Sakarya River. The Ottomans continued to expand, and in a short period, extended their hold over all of Anatolia. In 1453, they captured Constantinople and ended the Byzantine Empire under Mehmed the Conqueror (r. 1444 – 1481), who changed the city’s name to Istanbul.