Contantinople, the capital, has a population (probably) of a million and a quarter of in-habitants, or about that of Philadelphia. Among the other important towns in European Turkey are Saloniki, an important shipping centre, with 105,000 inhabitants; Adrianople, which has had a large domestic traffic since the completion of the railway to Northern Europe.
IT is important for purposes of reference, if not directly interesting, to relate so much of Ottoman history as may be necessary for the comprehension of the rise and decline of the empire. This recital will be limited to historic facts touching the acquisition and loss of territory. Readers who wish a brief survey of the historical development of Turkey will find the same in Stanley Lane-Poole's attractive summary, " The Story of Turkey, " and those seeking an exhaustive treatment of the subject are referred to Von Hammer's comprehensive work in seventeen volumes, " History of the Ottoman Turks” .
When it is recalled that at the beginning of the 13th century the Osmanli Turks were pastoral tribes living in tents and movable huts in central Asia, slightly fixed to the soil, holding the camp rather than the land as native country, and recognizing allegiance only to powerful chiefs; that at the beginning of the 14th century they had migrated into Asia Minor and had become somewhat fixed to a small tract of land in Anatolia; at the beginning of the 15th century they had acquired vast possessions in Anatolia and Rumelia, Bulgaria, Eagusa, Servia, and Wallachia in Europe; at the beginning of the 16th century they had added Trebizond, Karaman, and Armenia in Asia, and Greece (including Constantinople), Bosnia, Herzegovina, Albania, and the Crimea in Europe; and by the middle of that century Tunis, Egypt, Algiers, and Tripoli in Africa, Kurdistan, Arabia, Syria, and Bagdad in Asia, and Moldavia, Hungary, and Transylvania in Europe " when significant facts like these are recalled it is obvious that a brief historical survey of the rise and decline of the Ottoman Empire will form a necessary introduction to a study of “Turkey and the Turks”.