History of Europe
Ottoman Empire

Why was the Ottoman Empire referred to as the sick man of Europe?


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The Ottoman Empire, prior to its demise in WW I, was notoriously corrupt, badly managed, impoverished, and backward. Some or all of these traits linger in some middle eastern countries which were formerly part of the Ottoman Empire. I should also mention that although the Ottoman Empire was predominant middle eastern, it did extend into Europe - and even today, the nation of Turkey, which was the administrative center of the Ottoman Empire, does extend into Europe, and wishes to join the European Union, although its chances do not look good.