Turks in Italy (Turkish: İtalya Türkleri) are Italian citizens of Turkish origin. The term Turk or Turkish used in Italy may apply to immigrants or the descendants of immigrants born in the Ottoman Empire before 1923, in the Republic of Turkey since then, or in neighbouring countries once part of the Ottoman Empire that still have a population whose language is Turkish or who claims a Turkish identity or cultural heritage, in contrast to the many other peoples from present-day Turkey and the former Ottoman Empire, who identify with their own communities.
During the 15th century, the Ottoman Empire was expanding mightily in southeastern Europe. It completed the absorption of the Byzantine Empire in 1453 under Sultan Mehmet II by conquering Constantinople and Galata. It seized Genoa's last bastions in the Black Sea in 1475 and Venice's Greek colony of Euboea in 1479. Turkish troops invaded the Friuli region in northeastern Italy in 1479 and again in 1499–1503. The Apulian harbor town of Otranto, located about 100 kilometers southeast of Brindisi, was seized in 1480, but the Turks were routed there in 1481 when Mehmet died and a war for his succession broke out. Cem Sultan, pretender to the Ottoman throne, was defeated despite being supported by the pope; he fled with his family to the Kingdom of Naples, where his male descendants were bestowed with the title of Principe de Sayd by the Pope in 1492. They lived in Naples until the 17th century and in Sicily until 1668 before relocating to Malta.
From the early 17th century through to 1838, the Fondaco dei Turchi served as a one-building-ghetto for Venice's Ottoman Turkish population (thus "dei Turchi"). The fondaco then served as a combination home, warehouse, and market for the Turkish traders. When the Venetian Republic was conquered and abolished by Napoleon Boneparte in 1797, the Turkish traders continued to live in the palazzo until 1838.