Suleiman The Magnificent
Sultan Suleiman The Magnificent of the Ottoman Empire Facts
Sultan Suleiman became the ruler of Ottoman Empire at the age of 25. He ruled the empire for 46 years, from 1520 to 1566. He lived a long life comparing to most of the other Ottoman Sultans.
He was the 10th Sultan of the Ottoman Empire and he was the only heir to the throne. Therefore he did not have to struggle with rivals in order to seize the throne.
The young Ruler immediately proved his talents. Altough his official title was “Suleiman I”, he was known as Suleiman the Magnificent in the Western world. He is known in Turkey as Kanuni Sultan Suleyman which literally means Suleiman the Lawgiver.
Greatest Borders of Ottoman Empire
Suleiman released major legislative changes related to society, education and criminal law. His Codex-Suleiman synthesized Turkish traditions with Islamic law. His concept of “Justice” fixed the form of the Ottoman Empire for centuries. That is why he is known as Kanuni (The Lawgiver)
His military skills tripled the size of his Ottoman Empire. Suleiman personally leaded his legions for capturing the Christian strongholds of Belgrade, Hungary and even Rhodes.
Ottoman Admirals in 16th Century
He reached to the gates of Austria in 1529. In those days the Turkish fleet had been dominating Mediterranean Sea thanks to Turgut (Dragut), Hayreddin (Barbarossa) and Piri Reis. These were the best admirals of Turkish history ever.
Sultan Suleiman and Ibrahim Pasha
He had military strategist Ibrahim Pasha as his Grand Vizier (Prime Minister). Ibrahim had raised from Enderun School (Royal school which was located in Topkapi Palace) and became a close friend of Suleiman when he was a young prince. Suleiman broke with precedent when he commissioned him as Grand Vizier.
16th Century is known as Age Of Great Kings
16th century was also known as Age of Great Kings. Henry VIII of England, Ivan the Terrible of Russia, Francis I of France, Charles V of Holy Roman Empire were also the contemporaries of Sultan Suleiman.
Like every Ottoman Sultan, Suleiman specialised on some personal skills. He was known as a poet and goldsmith. The letters he wrote to his wife (Hurrem) are famous in Turkey. He also designed flamboyant rings for her.
Suleiman subsidised architecture, calligraphy, painting, tiles. His reign is literally known as the golden age of Ottoman Empire.
Genious and productive Ottoman Architect, Mimar Sinan, became the chief architect of the palace during his reign. Suleiman commissioned him for building Sehzade Mosque (Prince Mosque), Suleymaniye Mosque and Ayasofya Hurrem Sultan Bath (next to Hagia Sophia).
Suleymaniye Mosque in Istanbul
Rise of Roxelana
Ottoman Sultans usually did not marry. Suleiman broke with precedent and married with Roxelana. She is believed to have Ukrainian origins. Suleiman fell in love with this charming lady and married her. She delivered four sons and one daughter for royal family.
Roxelana renamed as Hurrem Sultan and became the most powerful lady in the Ottoman history. She became Valide Sultan (mother of Sultan) when her son Selim II was crowned as next Sultan.
Hurrem Sultan is known to be the first member of Sultanate of Women. For almost 100 years, the ladies had strong influence on the state matters.
Magnificent Century TV Series
Recently a TV Show became extremely popular in Turkey and neighboring countries. Muhtesem Yuzyil (Magnicifent Century) became a became TV phenomenon and spread to Eastern Europe, Arabic Peninsula and Northern Africa (former Ottoman territories). It lasted for 3 years and became the most successful Turkish TV Show ever.
Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent Facts
Sultan Suleiman’s Heritage
When Sultan Suleiman died at the age of 72, Ottoman Empire reached to its greatest extent. Ottomans were dominating the Eastern Europe, Middle East and Northern Africa. They were situated in the center of traditional trade routes (Silk Route and Spice Route).
However the end of Sultan Suleiman‘s reign also considered as the beginning of decline. Because he failed to prepare a suitable heir to replace him. His successor Selim II and grandson Murad III failed to fill Suleiman’s shoes. They focused on earthly pleasures and left the state government to women and grand viziers.
It lead the empire to a period called Sultanate of Women. Corruption among the Ottoman elite troops (Janissaries) also started in this era. Ottoman expansion stopped during the late 16th and 17th centuries and a steady decline started.
Written by Serhat Engul