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Ottomans vs Christians

Battle for the Mediterranean

The Mediterranean may be a beautiful tourist destination today but in the 16th Century it was the central arena for an almighty power struggle between Christian Europe and the formidable Muslim Ottoman Empire that lasted for over four centuries.

In this series, Ottomans Versus Christians: Battle for the Mediterranean, presenter Julian Davidson takes us on an incredible journey across the Mediterranean and back in time to a world of magnificent galleys laden with riches, merciless pirates who prowled the waters, and spectacular battles and bloodied acts of treachery and revenge. Our journey takes us to some of the most extraordinary destinations in the Mediterranean to relive some the most dramatic and critical moments of this legendary clash of civilizations and experience its rich and varied legacy.

Battle for Europe

In the first episode we follow the Ottomans rise from obscure beginnings as a nomadic tribe in Anatolia to their game changing conquest of the famed Byzantine capitol of Orthodox Christianity, Constantinople.

In episode two we explore the Ottoman Empire’s Golden Age and chart the height of its expansion into Europe, climaxing with the 1683 siege of Vienna.

Our third and final episode looks at the Ottoman Empire’s slow decline in the face of Russian expansion and explores the complex alliances it would forge with European powers in an effort to survive. The map of Europe would be radically redrawn and the Ottoman Empire would come to a humiliating end, giving birth to the modern Turkish Republic.

Ottomans vs Venetians: The Battle For Crete

The island of Crete resides at the crossroads of the eastern Mediterranean. Its long and vivid history has seen the land occupied by a myriad of ancient Empires – Minoan, Greek, Roman, Arab and Byzantium.

More recently Crete was ruled for 700 years by two other great empires, the Venetian Empire and the Ottoman.

This half hour program sees journalist Ian Cross exploring the traces of 450 years of Venetian rule, beginning in the 13th century, when Crete became its main colony due the strategic position linking vital sea trading routes. Claimed by the Ottomans in the 1669 after one of longest sieges in military history, and despite many rebellions by Christian Cretans, it was to remain part of the Ottoman Empire, until the very end of the 19th century.