|History of the Ottoman Empire|
|Court and aristocracy|
|Rise of nationalism|
There is considerable controversy regarding social status in the Ottoman Empire. Social scientists[which?] have developed class models on the socio-economic stratification of Ottoman society which feature more or less congruent theories. Albert Hourani described the Ottoman Empire as "a bureaucratic state, holding different regions within a single administrative and fiscal system".
The Ottoman Empire lasted for over six hundred years (1299–1923) and encompassed present-day Turkey, the Balkans and the Fertile Crescent. Thus the Empire included an extremely diverse population ranging from the Muslim majority (Turks, Arabs, Bosniaks, Albanians, etc) to various minority populations, specifically Christians and Jews, whom Muslims referred to as "People of the Book". As an imperial/colonial enterprise, the Ottoman system allowed some Greeks, Tatars, Italians, Albanians, Serbs, Hungarians, Georgians, Bulgarians, Ruthenians and Circassians, kul and azad, to attain high office as soldiers, viziers or members of the imperial family.
The empire was a bureaucratic state, holding different regions within a single administrative and fiscal system. It was also, however, the last great expression of the universality of the world of Islam. [...] It was also a multi-religious state, giving a recognized status to christian and Jewish communities.