The Ottoman Empire (1299-1922) was a Turkish Empire that surpassed all its predecessors in southeast Asia, eastern Europe and North Africa at its greatest extent. Originating in eastern Turkey during the decline of the Byzantine Empire and following the collapse of the Mongol Empire, it surpassed all its predecessors in power and duration.
The battlefield fell into Ottoman hands in 1516 during the reign of Selim I. After defeating the Safiyid dynasty in Persia after they incited rebellion among Turcoman tribes in eastern Anatolia, Selim turned his attention south to the Mamluk Empire, centered in Cairo, that controlled the holy places if Islam and Christendom. The Mamluks had expanded their rule into Palestine and Syria after the defeat of the Mongols at Ain Jalut in 1260.
By 1516, the Mamluk Sultanate had decayed so far that its army was no match for the disciplined Ottoman cavalry, infantry and artillery. They swept through the valleys of Jezreel and Esdraelon, the battleground named Armageddon, without effective opposition. The populations of Syria and Egypt welcomed the Ottomans as a relief from corruption and turbulence under the Mamluks. Many ejected their Mamluk garrisons, while Mamluk officials elsewhere betrayed their overlords in return for new positions under Ottoman rule. Damascus and Aleppo fell to Selim in 1516 and Cairo in 1517.
The Empire’s decline, however, lasted longer than its growth, and the Empire met its Armageddon on the ancient battlefield in 1918.