Here is the maximum extent of the Ottoman Empire (circa 1590):

Ottoman Empire, circa 1590

Here is the propagation of Arabic culture, prior to the modern era:

Diffusion of Arabic culture

As you can see there is quite an overlap.

However, while these territories were considered Arabic during the time of the Caliphates and are generally considered Arabic in the modern post-Ottoman era - for the Ottoman Empire they were not considered Arabic territories or a singular Arab empire; despite retaining the same religion, language and culture of the earlier Caliphate era.

So why was the Ottoman empire not seen as an Arabic empire?

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    I don't see what is unclear with the question. It seems a valid question to me. The answer may be simple and quite obvious, but that doesn't make the question unclear. – Lennart Regebro Sep 29 '13 at 6:46
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    Please note that what you mentions as "countries" are actually cities nowadays. – Paŭlo Ebermann Sep 29 '13 at 12:54
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    What evidence is there that the Ottoman empire was not considered an Arabic empire? – Mark C. Wallace Sep 29 '13 at 17:01
  • @MarkC.Wallace Wikipedia and other sources , even the answer below says that ottoman is not arab – moudiz Sep 29 '13 at 18:56
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    The map indicated as showing Arab populations is actually showing far more Moors, Spaniards, Berbers, Turks, Kurds, Uzbeks, Iranians, Afghans, Hindus and others than Arabs; by area and even more predominantly by population. Less than half the area indicated as the Ottoman Empire is populated by Arabic-speaking peoples. – Pieter Geerkens Oct 13 '13 at 2:00

The leading people of the Ottoman empire were not Arabs, but from Turkish tribes. They speak a variety of the Turkish languages (Ottoman Turkish). Turkish is its own language family, Arabic belongs to the Afro-Asiatic/Semitic language family.

Big areas of the empire were Arab, but there where also big non-Arab areas and peoples (Greece, Albania, the former Yugoslavia, Hungary, parts of the Ukraine...)

You say it was sharing the same religion, culture and language; that's not correct. The Ottoman empire was an empire with many peoples and religions. See for example the 1906 Ottoman census

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  • I edit my questiong – moudiz Sep 28 '13 at 16:37
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    This seems to be the perfect (and obvious) answer to the question. The Ottoman empire is not considered an Arab empire because its rulers were not Arabs, with Arab defined (as it usually and most helpfully is) as someone whose maternal language is Arabic. – Olivier Sep 29 '13 at 19:10
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    It is also not correct to refer to Turkish and Arabic peoples as sharing the same culture. Through Islam they share many cultural attributes, but there was just as much, or perhaps even more, not shared. Wahhabi interpretations of Islam are distinctly Arabic in origin, and not at all common in areas populated by Turks. – Pieter Geerkens Sep 30 '13 at 3:59
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    Also worth noting, which might perhaps be confusing to some, is that Arabic was the official language of the empire because it was incidental to their being Muslims. That of course doesn't mean they were an empire run by Arabic peoples; which itself doesn't automatically equate to them speaking Arabic. – inappropriateCode Sep 30 '16 at 9:07

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