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Mehmet Koprulu

The most significant figure among the Ottomans of the seventeenth century was Mehmet Koprulu (1570-1661), who, as Grand Vezir , halted the general decline of Ottoman government by rooting out corruption all through the imperial government and returned to the old Ottoman practice of closely observing local government and rooting out injustice. He also tried to revive the Ottoman practice of conquest and protecting Muslim countries from European expansion. Although it didn't happen in his lifetime, this new expansionist policy would begin the steady stream of military defeats against European powers that would slowly contract the Empire.

Wars with Austria

Shortly after Mehmet Koprulu died, his brother-in-law, Kara Mustafa, took over the military and put into practice Koprulu's new expanionist policies. His first target was the Hapsburg Empire of Austria. He wanted nothing less than the complete conquest of Austria, so he marched straight for the capital, Vienna. In 1683, with Vienna under siege, the Ottomans were defeated by an alliance of European forces and by the heavy artillery that had come into practice among European armies. While this defeat initiated a long period peace in the relationships between the Ottomans and the Europeans, it also effectively ended the Ottoman wars of conquest, and the end of conquest also began the steady deterioration of Ottoman power over European territories

In 1699, the Ottomans signed the Peace of Karlowitz. In this treaty, the Ottomans handed over to Austria the provinces of Hungary and Transylvania, leaving only Macedonia and the Balkans under Ottoman control, but the Balkans had begun to destabilize after the Ottoman defeat of 1683.

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