Ottoman-Polish diplomatic relations in the sixteenth century
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The Ottoman Empire and Poland-Lithuania remained direct neighbors from the late Middle Ages until the end of eighteenth century. Long coexistence of both states led to development of rich and diverse forms of contacts on various levels. The sixteenth century was marked by both continuity and change in the bilateral contacts. The overall peaceful political and diplomatic cooperation during the reign of the last Jagiellonians evolved into active competition by the end of the sixteenth century. The Ottoman statesmen tried to influence results of first royal elections and to secure continuity of the balance of power in Central Europe. This policy became most successful during the reign of Stephan Bathory. The reign of Bathory’s successor, Sigismund III Vasa became a step towards a century of military conflicts between the Ottoman Empire and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Unlike the political relations, trade and other economic activities remained stable. The thesis will present a critical approach towards existing historiography as such and it will reexamine major questions concerning the Ottoman-Polish relations in the sixteenth century. The Ottoman attempts to influence the royal elections in Poland-Lithuania and the border activities of the Cossacks, the Tatars and the border lords will be analyzed, in order to verify whether they influenced the deterioration of bilateral political and diplomatic issues. Practical dimensions of everyday OttomanPolish contacts together with analysis of major reasons of changes in relations will be the focal point of this study.