Sultan Suleiman The Magnificent Of Ottoman Empire

Suleiman The Magnificent

Sultan Suleiman The Magnificent of The Ottoman Empire

Sultan Suleyman 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 many 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 is known as Suleiman the Magnificent in the Western world.

He is known in Turkey as Kanuni Sultan Suleyman meaning that Suleiman the Lawgiver.

Sultan Suleiman Portrayed in a TV Show

Sultan Suleiman The Magnificent of Ottoman Empire
Muhtesem Yuzyil (Sultan Suleiman) TV Series

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. Turkish fleet dominated 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 (Abraham) Pasha as his Grand Vizier (Prime Minister). Ibrahim had raised from Enderun School (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 is also known as Age of Kings. Henry VIII of England, Ivan the Terrible of Russia, Francis I of France, Charles V of Holy Roman Empire are also 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 arts, textile, woodwork, 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

suleymaniye-mosque-interior
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 be born in Crimea. 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.

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.

Sultan’s Room in the Harem of Topkapi Palace

Suleiman The Magnificent
Topkapi Palace Harem Rooms

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.

Suleiman The Magnificent And Hurrem Sultan

Sultan Süleyman Ve Hürrem Sultan
Sultan Suleiman & Roxelana

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.

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Sultan Suleiman The Magnificent of Ottoman Empire Article

Suleiman The Magnificent

By Serhat Engul

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