This thematic approaches the challenges transnational studies are confronted with in three very interesting ways. First, it looks at the Ottoman Empire, an imperial construction that was transformed into a nation state without imperial ambitions, encroachments, and expansions only relatively late in its history (and still not completely… when only thinking of the Kurdish question or the engagement of current Turkey in Syria). Second, it is about the constitution of this empire through its manifold contacts in and to other parts of Europe (and of course far beyond). Third, in order to be able to grasp these transregional contacts, encounters, exchange processes, cultural transfers, perceptions, and appropriations, the authors take a broader view and do not orientate themselves on the borders of countries such as Germany, Austria, and Switzerland (even in the period under study anything but fully territorialised nation-states!), but rather group them together as a kind of cultural space defined primarily by language: the Germansphere.