Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Addition on the Ottomans - again having to add the Hungarian angle. A bit of history. After 150 years of battles, in 1526 the Ottomans decisively defeated the Hungarian kingdom. The next 150 years are generally known here as the miserable years of Turkish Subjection. However, there is some post-facto spin on this (winners write history and such). The historical fact is, that while Ottoman Occupation had a lot of casualties, the greatest misery was brought by the so-called 15-Year-War at the turn of the 16th and 17th centuries, which was this region's equivalent of the Thirty Years War. It was kicked off by the Habsburgs who held Northern Hungary at the time, ended in stalemate, and in-between most destruction was wrought by marauding vallon mercenaries who didn't receive pay, and robbed and raped and killed peasants instead. The central regions were practically depopulated, total population fell maybe by 50%.

A consequence was that a forming national independence movement wasn't fighting against the Ottomans, but the Austrians. In the next hundred years, there were several rebellions, some of them in alliance with the Ottomans. One of these gained control of most Austrian-held territory before the self-defeating 1683 Ottoman attack, which they helped. After the last one, the 1703-1711 rebellion in a Royal Hungary now largely reconquered from the Ottomans (again with elements of genocide) by the Habsburgs, its leader went to exile to a city near Istambul.

BTW, when the Hungarian capital of Buda was re-taken in 1686, in a kill-them-all siege reminiscent of the taking of Jerusalem by the Crusaders, the Ottoman castle captain was a convertite from beyond the conquered areas: a born Swissman.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Jul 5th, 2005 at 10:57:57 AM EST
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