The Ottoman Turks (or Osmanlı Turks, Turkish: Osmanlı Türkleri) were the Turkish-speaking population of the Ottoman Empire who formed the base of the state's military and ruling classes. Reliable information about the early history of Ottoman Turks is scarce, but they take their Turkish name, Osmanlı ("Osman" being corrupted in some European languages as "Ottoman"), from the house of Osman I (reigned ca. 1299–1326), the founder of the dynasty that ruled the Ottoman Empire for its entire 624 years. After the expansion from its home in Bithynia, the Ottoman principality began incorporating other Turkish-speaking Muslims and non-Turkish Christians, becoming the Ottoman Turks and ultimately the Turks of the present. The Ottoman Turks blocked all land routes to Europe by conquering the city of Constantinople, the capital city of the Byzantine Empire, and Europeans had to find other ways to trade with Eastern countries.
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