The Osman Ottoman Empire was founded in the year 1299 and this Empire stood the test of time for over six hundred years until it was divided before World War I. The Ottoman Empire was so named after its illustrious founder, Osman. Osman very cleverly established his own Empire.
Initially, at the age of twenty three, Osman took over the leadership of the Kayi tribe from his father, Ertugrul. This tribe had been led westward by Ertugrul towards the west and into Anatolia in order to be free from the clutches of the Mongols. This was a time of chaos and disorder and the primarily Turkish members of Osman's clan were constantly reinforced by refugees.
Osman capitalized on this fact. Among the numbers of these refugees were the Ghazi fighters, who believed that they were actually fighting for the expansion and protection of Islam under Osman's leadership. Soon, due to their skill and Osman's brilliant military genius, the foundations of the Osman Ottoman Empire were quickly laid.
This was a small Empire, which Osman called "Memalik Osmanya" which is literally translated into "The Principality of Osman", in the territory of Bithynia. He made his centre of operations, Bursa- capital- in the year 1305 and went on to capture Gemlik by 1326. This cemented the foundations of the modern Ottoman Empire.
Osman - The Person
Osman was a brilliant warrior no doubt but there was also a humane side to him. There are stories about him - a favorite of Turkish poets and writers- which tell of how generous he was and how soft hearted he was. He gave alms to the poor often and he had even been known to give the clothes on his back to the poor he encountered on the streets.
Osman was known as Osman Kara - or Osman the Black. This was an epithet usually reserved for those men who had reached the epitome of masculine beauty. The name Osman means "bone breaker" and also stands for the royal "Turkish Vulture". He was tall, broad shouldered and had a dark complexion.
Unfortunately, Osman's steady progress threatened others in the region and the declining Byzantine Empire as well as the Tekhfurs joined forces against him. The first war of the Byzantines and Ottomans resulted in the victory of the Ottoman s, in 1302. Osman died defending his territory- the Osman Ottoman Empire, in 1326, when gout killed him.