What made the Ottoman Empire such an important chapter in world history? What did Istanbul mean to the Ottomans and Europeans? Why was the family such a pivotal institution for Ottoman society? What kind of place was the Enderun palace school, at which future members of the administrative and military elite as well as good many artists were raised? What was special about the Ottoman palaces? How did the Topkapı Palace manage to be both modest and sumptuous?
What did the Ottoman sultans and pashas do on a daily basis? What did the Ottomans tend to cook? What made Sinan the Architect such a genius, this man whose works continue to inspire people even today. What features distinguished Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror from the other Ottoman emperors, and what strategy did he apply during the conquest od Istanbul? What kind of information were people in interested in history able to glean from Ottoman travel-accounts? In what sense is Sultanahmet the square at the centre of the world? Discovering the Ottomans seeks answers to these and other questions, addressing key issues the still intrigue people in Turkey and abroad. It is the work of İlber Ortaylı, one of Turkey’s foremost historians, and is memorable not just for its interpretations, which attest to the author’s rich intellectual background, but also for its fluid and engaging style. The book invites history buffs of all ages to discover the Ottomans.