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Suleiman the Magnificent

 

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Suleiman the Magnificent

 

Suleyman the Magnificent (Kanuni Sultan Suleyman)Suleiman I (Ottoman Turkish: سليمان Sulaymān, Turkish: Süleyman; formally Kanuni Sultan Süleyman in Turkish) (November 6, 1494 – September 5/6, 1566), was the tenth and longestserving Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, reigning from 1520 to 1566. He is known in the West as Suleiman the Magnificent and in the Islamic world, as the Lawgiver (in Turkish Kanuni; Arabic: القانونى, alQānūnī), deriving from his complete reconstruction of the Ottoman legal system. Within the empire, Suleiman was known as a fair ruler and an opponent of corruption. As well as being a capable goldsmith and distinguished poet, Suleiman was also a great patron of artists and philosophers, overseeing the golden age of the Ottoman Empire's cultural development.

 

Suleiman was considered one of the preeminent rulers of 16th century Europe. Under his leadership, the Ottoman Empire became among the worlds' foremost powers. Suleiman personally led Ottoman armies to conquer Belgrade, Rhodes, and most of Hungary, laid the Siege of Vienna, and annexed most of the Middle East and huge territories in North Africa as far west as Algeria. For a short period, Ottomans achieved naval dominance in the Mediterranean Sea, Red Sea, and Persian Gulf. The Ottoman Empire continued to expand for a century after his death.

 

Suleiman the Magnificent

 

Early life

 

A portrait of Suleiman as a young manSuleiman was born in Trabzon in modern day Turkey, probably on November 6, 1494. At the age of seven, he was sent to study science, history, literature, theology, and military tactics in the schools of the Topkapı Palace in Istanbul. As a young man, he befriended Ibrahim, a slave who would later become one of his most trusted advisers.

 

From the age of seventeen, young Suleiman was appointed as the governor of first Kaffa (Theodosia), then Sarukhan (Manisa) with a brief tenure at Edirne (Adrianople). Upon the death of his father, Selim I (1512–20), Suleiman entered Istanbul and acceeded to the throne as the tenth Ottoman Sultan. An early description of Suleiman was provided by the Venetian envoy Bartolomeo Contarini a few weeks following his accession. Venetians wrote down their descriptions of the new sultan and their predictions of what his reign might mean to Europe. Contarini observes: "He is twentyfive years of age, tall, but wiry, and of a delicate complexion. His neck is a little too long, his face thin, and his nose aquiline. He has a shade of a mustache and a small beard; nevertheless he has a pleasant mien, though his skin tends to pallor. He is said to be a wise Lord, fond of study, and all men hope for good from his rule."

 

 

Some historians claimed that Suleiman, in his youth, had an admiration for Alexander the Great as he wanted very much to learn how he had managed to unite the peoples of the east and the west. He was influenced by Alexander's vision of building a world empire that would encompass the east and the west, creating a drive for his subsequent military campaigns in Asia and in Africa, as well as in Europe.

 

Military campaigns

Conquests in Europe

 

Suleiman I attributed to Titian c.1530Upon succeeding his father, Suleiman began a series of military conquests, first putting down a revolt led by the Ottomanappointed governor of Damascus in 1521. Suleiman soon made preparations for the conquest of Belgrade from The Kingdom of Hungary—something his greatgrandfather Mehmed II had failed to achieve. Its capture was vital in eliminating the Hungarians who following the defeats of the Serbs, Bulgars and Byzantines, remained the only formidable force who could block further Ottoman gains in Europe. Suleiman encircled Belgrade and began a series of heavy bombardments from an island in the Danube. With a garrison of only seven hundred men, and receiving no aid from Hungary, Belgrade fell in August 1521.

 

News of the conquest of one of Christendom's major strongholds spread fear across Europe. As the ambassador of the Holy Roman Empire to Istanbul was to note,

 

The capture of Belgrade was at the origin of the dramatic events which engulfed Hungary. It led to the death of King Lewis, the capture of Buda, the occupation of Transylvania, the ruin of a flourishing kingdom and the fear of neighbouring nations that they would suffer the same fate…

 

The road to Hungary and Austria laid open, but Suleiman diverted his attention to the Eastern Mediterranean island Rhodes whose proximity to Asia Minor and the Levant had posed a perennial problem to Ottoman interests. In the summer of 1522, taking advantage of the navy he inherited from his father, Suleiman dispatched an armada of some four hundred ships whilst personally leading an army of 100,000 across Asia Minor to a point opposite the island. Following a siege of five months with brutal encounters, Rhodes capitulated and Suleiman allowed the Knights of Rhodes to depart, forming their new base in Malta.

 

As relations between Hungary and the Ottoman Empire deteriorated, Suleiman resumed his campaign in Eastern Europe and on August 29, 1526, he defeated Louis II of Hungary (1516–26) at the Battle of Mohács. In its wake, Hungarian resistance collapsed and the Ottoman Empire became the preeminent power in Eastern Europe. Upon encountering the lifeless body of King Louis, Suleiman is said to have lamented:

 

"I came indeed in arms against him; but it was not my wish that he should be thus cut off while he scarcely tasted the sweets of life and royalty."

 

Following the collapse of the Hungarian kingdom, a power struggle ensued. Some Hungarian nobles proposed that Ferdinand, Archduke of Austria (1519–64), who was ruler of neighbouring Austria and tied to Louis II's family by marriage, be King of Hungary, citing previous agreements that the Habsburgs would take the Hungarian throne if Louis died without heirs. However, other nobles turned to the nobleman John Zápolya, who was supported by Suleiman, and who remained unrecognized by the Christian powers of Europe. A threesided conflict ensued as Ferdinand moved to assert his rule over as much of the Hungarian kingdom as he could, resulting in a threeway partition of the Kingdom by 1541: Suleiman claimed most of presentday Hungary, known as the Great Alföld, and after eliminating the threat of the rebellious Stephen Maylad, he had Zápolya's family installed as rulers of the independent principality of Transylvania, as a vassal state of the Empire. Ferdinand claimed "Royal Hungary", including presentday Slovakia, western Croatia, and adjacent territories, temporarily fixing the border between the Habsburgs and the Ottomans.

 

Under Charles V and his brother Ferdinand, Archduke of Austria, the Habsburgs occupied Buda and took Hungary. As a result, in 1529, Suleiman once again marched through the valley of the Danube and reoccupied Buda and in the following autumn laid siege to Vienna. It was to be the Ottoman Empire's most ambitious expedition and the apogee of its drive towards the West. With a reinforced garrison of 20,000 men, the Austrians would inflict upon Suleiman his first defeat and sow the seeds of a bitter OttomanHapsburg rivalry which lasted until the 20th century. A second attempt to conquer Vienna failed in 1532, with Suleiman retreating before reaching Vienna. In both cases, the Ottoman army was plagued by bad weather (forcing them to leave behind essential siege equipment) and was hobbled by the overstretched supply lines. In 1537, an army of 25,000 men was sent to capture Corfu but was unsuccessful.

 

Regardless of the defeat, Suleiman had assured the Ottoman Empire a powerful role in the political landscape of Europe.

 

A miniature depicting Suleiman the Magnificent marching with army in Nakhchivan, summer 1554

 

Conquests in Asia

As Suleiman stabilized his European frontiers, he now turned his attention to the ever present threat posed by the Shi'a Safavid dynasty of Persia (Iran). Two events in particular were to precipitate a recurrence of tensions. First, Shah Tahmasp had the Baghdad governor loyal to Suleiman killed and replaced with an adherent of the Shah, and second, the governor of Bitlis had defected and sworn allegiance to Safavids. As a result, in 1533, Suleiman ordered his Grand Vizier Ibrahim Pasha to lead an army into Asia where he retook Bitlis and occupied Tabriz without resistance. Having joined Ibrahim in 1534, Suleiman made a push towards Persia, only to find the Shah sacrificing territory instead of facing a pitched battle, resorting to harassment of the Ottoman army as it proceeded along the harsh interior. The following year, Suleiman and Ibrahim made a grand entrance into Baghdad, with its commander surrendering the city, cementing Suleiman as the leader of the Islamic world and the legitimate successor to the Abbasid Caliphs.

 

Attempting to defeat the Shah once and for all, Suleiman embarked upon a second campaign between 1548–1549. Just as in the previous attempt, Shah Tahmasp I avoided confrontation with the Ottoman army and instead chose to retreat, torching Azerbaijan in the process and exposing the Ottoman army to the harsh winter of the Caucasus. Suleiman abandoned the campaign with temporary Ottoman gains in Tabriz and the Azerbaijan region of Iran, and a lasting presence in the province of Van, and some forts in Georgia.

 

In 1553, Suleiman began his third and final campaign against the Shah. Having initially lost territories in Erzurum to the Shah's son, Suleiman retaliated by recapturing Erzurum, crossing the Upper Euphrates and laying waste to parts of Persia. The Shah's army continued its strategy of avoiding the Ottomans leading to a stalemate from which neither army made any considerable gain. In 1554, a settlement was signed which was to conclude Suleiman's Asiatic campaigns. It included the return of Tabriz, but secured Baghdad, lower Mesopotamia, the mouths of the river Euphrates and Tigris, as well as part of the Persian Gulf. The Shah also promised to cease all raids into Ottoman territory.

 

Barbarossa Hayreddin Pasha, appointed by Suleiman as the admiral‐in‐chief of the Ottoman navy, defeats the Holy League of Charles V under the command of Andrea Doria in the Battle of Preveza in 1538 The Siege of Malta in 1565: Arrival of the Turkish fleet, by Matteo Perez d' Aleccio

 

Mediterranean and North Africa

Having consolidated his conquests on land, Suleiman was greeted with bad news that the fortress of Koroni in Morea had been lost to Charles V's admiral, Andrea Doria. The presence of the Spanish in the Eastern Mediterranean concerned Suleiman, who saw it as an early indication of Charles V's intention to rival Ottoman dominance in the region. Thus recognizing the need to reassert the navy's preeminence in the Mediterranean, Suleiman appointed an exceptional naval commander in the form of Khair ad Din, known to Europeans as Barbarossa. Once appointed admiralinchief, Barbarossa was charged with rebuilding the Ottoman fleet, to the point where the Ottoman navy equaled in number all those of the other Mediterranean countries put together. In 1535, Charles V won an important victory against the Ottomans at Tunis, which together with the war against Venice the following year, led Suleiman to accept proposals from Francis I of France to make an alliance with Suleiman, both of whom shared a mutual rivalry with Charles. In 1538, the Spanish fleet was defeated at the Battle of Preveza by Barbarossa, securing the eastern Mediterranean for the Turks for 33 years until the defeat at the Battle of Lepanto in 1571.

 

East of Morocco, huge territories of North Africa were annexed. The Barbary States of Tripolitania, Tunisia, and Algeria became autonomous provinces of the Empire, and served as the leading edge of Suleiman's conflict with Charles V, whose attempt to drive out the Turks failed in 1541. The piracy carried on thereafter by the Barbary pirates of North Africa remained part of the wars against Spain, and the Ottoman expansion was associated with naval dominance for a short period in the Mediterranean Sea. Ottoman navies also controlled the Red Sea, and held the Persian Gulf until 1554, when their ships were defeated by the navy of the Portuguese Empire. The Portuguese would continue to contest Suleiman I's forces for control of Aden, in presentday Yemen.

 

Francis I was persuaded to sign a peace treaty with Charles V in 1538, however he again allied himself with the Suleiman in 1542. In 1543, Charles allied himself with Henry VIII of England and forced Francis to sign the Truce of CrepyenLaonnois. Charles signed a humiliating treaty with Suleiman to gain some respite from the huge expenses of the war. In 1544, when Spain declared war on France, the French King Francis asked for help from Suleiman. He then sent a fleet headed by Barbarossa who was victorious over the Spaniards, and managed to retake Naples from them. Suleiman bestowed on him the title of Beyler Beyi (Commander of Commanders). One result of the alliance was the fierce sea duel between Dragut and Andrea Doria, which left the northern Mediterranean European and the southern Mediterranean in Islamic hands.

 

When the Knights Hospitallers were reestablished as the Knights of Malta in 1530, their actions against Muslim navies quickly drew the ire of the Ottomans, who assembled another massive army in order to dislodge the Knights from Malta. In 1565 they invaded, starting the Great Siege of Malta, which began on May 18 and lasted until September 8, and is portrayed vividly in the frescoes of Matteo Perez d'Aleccio in the Hall of St. Michael and St. George. At first the battle looked to be a repeat of the one on Rhodes, with most of the cities destroyed and about half the Knights killed in battle, but a relief force from Spain entered the battle, resulting in the loss of 30,000 Ottoman troops.

 

A bas-relief of Suleiman adorning the interior of the U.S. House of Representatives. It is one of 23 commemorating famous lawmakers throughout history

Administrative reforms

Whilst Sultan Suleiman was known as the "Magnificent" in the West, he was always Suleiman Kanuni or "The Lawgiver" to his own Ottoman subjects. As Kinross notes, "Not only was he a great military campaigner, a man of the sword, as his father and greatgrandfather had been before him. He differed from them in the extent to which he was also a man of the pen. He was a great legislator, standing out in the eyes of his people as a highminded sovereign and a magnanimous exponent of justice". The overriding law of the empire was the Shari'ah, or Sacred Law, which as the divine law of Islam was outside of the Sultan's powers to change. Yet an area of distinct law known as the Kanuns (canonical legislation) was dependent on Suleiman's will alone, covering areas such as criminal law, land tenure and taxation. He collected all the judgments that had been issued by the nine Ottoman Sultans who preceded him. After eliminating duplications and choosing between contradictory statements, he issued a single legal code, all the while being careful not to violate the basic laws of Islam. It was within this framework that Suleiman sought to reform the legislation to adapt to a rapidly changing empire.

Suleiman gave particular attention to the plight of the Rayas, Christian subjects who worked the land of the Sipahis. His Kanune Raya, or “Code of the Rayas” reformed the law governing levies and taxes to be paid by the Rayas, raising their status beyond serfs to the point Christian serfs would migrate to Turkish territories to benefit from the reforms. Furthermore, Suleiman enacted new criminal and police legislation, prescribing a set of fines for specific offences, as well as reducing the instances requiring death or mutilation. In the area of taxation, taxes were levied on various goods and produce, including animals, mines, profits of trade, import and export duties. In addition to taxes, officials who had fallen into disrepute were likely to have their land and property confiscated by the Sultan.

 

Education was another important area for the Sultan. Schools attached to mosques and funded by religious foundations provided a largely free education to Muslim boys in advance of the Christian countries of the time. In his capital, Suleiman increased the number of mektebs (primary schools) to fourteen, teaching children to read, write as well as the principles of Islam. Children wishing further education could proceed to one of eight medresses (colleges), offering studies in grammar, syntax, logic, metaphysics, philosophy, tropics, stylistics, geometry, astronomy, and astrology. Higher medresses provided education of university status, whose graduates became imams or teachers. Educational centers were often one of many building surrounding the courtyards of mosques, others included libraries, refectories, fountains, soup kitchens and hospitals for the benefit of the public.

 

When the Kanun laws attained their final form, the code of laws became known as the kanuni Osmani, or the "Ottoman laws". Suleiman's legal code was to last more than three hundred years.

 

 

Cultural achievements

Tughra of Suleiman the MagnificentUnder Suleiman's patronage, the Ottoman empire entered the golden age of its cultural development. Hundreds of imperial artistic societies (called the Ehli Hiref, "Community of the Talented") were administered at the Imperial seat, the Topkapı Palace. After an apprenticeship, artists and craftsmen could advance in rank within their field and were paid commensurate wages in quarterly annual installments. Payroll registers that survive testify to the breadth of Suleiman's patronage of the arts, the earliest of documents dating from 1526 list 40 societies with over 600 members. The Ehli Hiref attracted the empire's most talented artisans to the Sultan's court, both from the Islamic world and recently conquered territories in Europe, resulting in a blend of Islamic, Turkish and European cultures.

 

Suleiman himself was an accomplished poet, writing in Persian and Turkish under the nom de plume "Muhibbi"(or the Gracious One). Some of Suleiman's verses have become Turkish proverbs, including the likes of the wellknown "Everyone aims at the same meaning, but many are the versions of the story," and "In this world a spell of good health is the best state". In addition to Suleiman’s own work, great names dominated the literary sphere under Suleiman’s rule, including Fuzuli, Baki and many others. The historian E.J.W Gibb notes "at no time, even in Turkey, was greater encouragement given to poetry than during the reign of this Sultan."

 

The people think of wealth and power as the greatest fate,

But in this world a spell of health is the best state.

What men call sovereignty is a worldly strife and constant war;

Worship of God is the highest throne, the happiest of all estates.

 

—For the throne (Saltanat) by Suleiman

 

Suleiman also became renowned for sponsoring a series of monumental architectural developments within his empire. The Sultan sought to turn Istanbul into the center of Islamic civilization by a series of projects, including bridges, mosques, palaces and various charitable and social establishments. The greatest of these was built by the Sultan's chief architect, Mimar Sinan, under whom Ottoman architecture would reach its zenith. Sinan became responsible for over three hundred monuments through the empire, including his two masterpieces, the Selimiye and Süleymaniye mosques. Building activities were not limited to Istanbul however, Suleiman also restored the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem and the Jerusalem city walls (which are the current walls of the Old City of Jerusalem), renovated the Kaaba in Mecca and constructed a complex in Damascus. He also issued a firman, formally denouncing blood libel against the Jews. In doing this, he set a precedent that was followed by emperors after him, including the firman against the Damascus affair.

 

Personal life

Hurrem Sultan

Roxelana, Roxolana, Roxelane, Rossa, Ruziac, known also by her Turkish name of Hürrem (or Khourrem or Karima), meaning "the cheerful one", (c. 1510 - April 18, 1558)Suleiman was very much infatuated with Hurrem Sultan, a harem girl of Ruthenian origin. In the West, foreign diplomats taking notice of the palace gossip about her, called her "Russelazie" or "Roxolana", referring to her Slavic origins. The daughter of an Orthodox Ukrainian priest, she was captured and rose through the ranks of the Harem to become Suleiman's favorite wife. Breaking with 300 years of Ottoman tradition followed by subsequent Sultans, Suleiman married Hurrem Sultan in a formal ceremony, making her the first former slave to gain legitimacy as the Sultan's legal wife, to the astonishment of many observers both in the Empire and in Europe. He also allowed Hurrem Sultan to remain with him at court for the rest of her life, breaking another tradition that when imperial heirs come to their age, they would be sent along with the imperial concubine who bore them to govern remote provinces of the Empire, never to return unless their progeny succeeded to the throne.

 

Under his pen name, Muhibbi, he composed this poem for Roxolana:

 

"Throne of my lonely niche, my wealth, my love, my moonlight.

My most sincere friend, my confidant, my very existence, my Sultan

The most beautiful among the beautiful…

My springtime, my merry faced love, my daytime, my sweetheart, laughing leaf…

My plants, my sweet, my rose, the one only who does not distress me in this world…

My Istanbul, my Caraman, the earth of my Anatolia

My Badakhshan, my Baghdad and Khorasan

My woman of the beautiful hair, my love of the slanted brow, my love of eyes full of mischief…

I'll sing your praises always

I, lover of the tormented heart, Muhibbi of the eyes full of tears, I am happy."

 

Ibrahim Pasha

Pargalı İbrahim Pasha was the boyhood friend of Suleiman. Ibrahim was originally Greek Orthodox and when young was educated at the Palace School as a devshirme. As the Sultan's male favorite, he shared Suleiman's quarters and his tent while at home and on campaign. Suleiman made him the royal falconer, then promoted him to first officer of the Royal Bedchamber. Eventually, Ibrahim Pasha became the Grand Vizier in 1523 and commanderinchief of all the armies. Suleiman also conferred upon Ibrahim Pasha the honor of beylerbeyi of Rumelia, granting Ibrahim authority over all Turkish territories in Europe, as well as command of troops residing within them at times of war. According to a 17th century chronicler, Ibrahim had asked Suleiman not to promote him to such high positions, fearing for his safety, to which Suleiman replied that under his reign no matter what the circumstance, Ibrahim would never be put to death.

 

Yet Ibrahim would eventually fall from grace with the Sultan. During his thirteen years as Grand Vizier, his rapid rise to power and vast accumulation of wealth had made Ibrahim many enemies among the Sultan's court. Reports had reached the Sultan of Ibrahim's imprudence committed during a campaign against the Persian Safavid empire, in particular his adoption of the title serasker sultan was seen as a grave affront to Suleiman. Suleiman's suspicion of Ibrahim was worsened in a quarrel between the latter and the Minister of Finance Iskender Chelebi. The dispute ended in the disgrace of Chelebi on charges intrigues against the Sultan, with Ibrahim convincing Suleiman to sentence the Minister to death. Before his death however, Chelebi's last words were to accuse Ibrahim of conspiracy against the Sultan. Since these were his dying words, Suleiman became convinced of Ibrahim's disloyalty and on March 15, 1536, Ibrahim's lifeless body was discovered in the Topkapi palace.

 

Succession

Suleiman's two wives had borne him eight sons, four of whom survived past the 1550s. They were Mustafa, Selim, Bayezid, and Cihangir. Of these, only Mustafa was not Hurrem Sultan's son, but rather belonged to Gülbahar Sultan "Rose of Spring" and preceded Hurrem's children in the order of succession. Hurrem was aware that should Mustafa succeed he would have his brothers strangled, who were all her sons. Yet Mustafa was recognised as the most talented of all the brothers and was supported by Pargalı İbrahim Pasha, who was by this time Suleiman's Grand Vizier. Ambassador Busbecq would note "Suleiman has among his children a son called Mustafa, marvelously well educated and prudent and of an age to rule, since he is 24 or 25 years old; may God never allow a Barbary of such strength to come near us", going on to talk of Mustafa's "remarkable natural gifts".

 

In power struggles apparently instigated by Hurrem, Suleiman had Ibrahim murdered and replaced with her sympathetic soninlaw, Rustem Pasha. By 1552, the campaign against Persia had begun, with Rustem appointed commanderinchief of the expedition, it was here where intrigues against Mustafa were to begin. Rustem sent one of Suleiman's most trusted men to report that since Suleiman was not at the head of the army, the soldiers thought the time had come to put a younger prince on the throne, whilst spreading rumors that Mustafa had proved receptive to the idea. Angered by what he felt was Mustafa's plans to claim the throne, the following summer Suleiman summoned Mustafa to his tent, stating he would “be able to clear himself of the crimes he was accused of and would have nothing to fear if he came”.

 

Mustafa was confronted with either appearing before his father and possibly being killed, or refusing to attend and be accused of betrayal. In the end, Mustafa chose to enter his father's tent, confident the support of the army would protect him. Busbecq who claims to have received an account from an eyewitness, describes Mustafa’s final moments as follows:

 

“Mustafa entered, the drama commences, and he was seized on very side. But the prince, in the moment he believed would be his last, regained his strength and was animated with heroic courage. …Mustafa’s ardent desire to live and reign made him invincible, although alone against them all; the result of the combat was still uncertain, but Suleiman, on the other side impatient for success, raised his head above the hanging and saw this mutes were ready to succumb; his fears were greatly increased and he looked menacingly at them, his eyes full of anger, and filled with cruelty at the lack of courage…They instantly threw themselves on Mustafa for a second time, knocked him straight down and snatched his life from him”

 

The two surviving brothers, Bayezid and Selim were given command in different parts of the empire. Within a few years however, civil war broke out between the brothers and their loyal forces. With the aid of his fathers troops, Selim defeated Bayezid in Konya in 1559, clearing the path for Selim's succession to the throne. It was not until 1566 however, that Suleiman would enter his final year. Having set out from Istanbul to command an expedition to Hungary, Suleiman would die on September 5 1566, two nights before an Ottoman victory at the Battle of Szigetvar, in Hungary. The Sultan's body was returned to Istanbul and with full honors buried in the grounds of Süleymaniye Mosque, near the tomb of Roxelana.

 

Suleiman I's conquests were followed by continuous territorial expansion until the Empire's peak in 1683

Legacy

At the time of Suleiman's death, the Ottoman Empire was among the world's foremost powers, if not the most, possessing unrivalled military strength, economic riches and territorial extent. Suleiman's conquests' had seen the major Muslim cities (Mecca, Medina, Jerusalem, Damascus, and Baghdad), many Balkan provinces (up to today's Austria), and most of North Africa fall under the control of the empire. His expansion towards Europe had provided the Ottoman Turks with a powerful presence in the European balance of power. Indeed such was the perceived threat of the Ottoman Empire under the reign of Suleiman, that ambassador Busbecq would warn of Europe's imminent conquest:

 

“On [the Turks'] side are the resources of a mighty empire, strength unimpaired, habituation to victory, endurance of toil, unity, discipline, frugality and watchfulness...Can we doubt what the result will be?...When the Turks have settled with Persia, they will fly at our throats supported by the might of the whole East; how unprepared we are I dare not say”

 

Suleiman's legacy was not only a military one however. The French traveller Monsieur de Thevenot a century later bears witness to the "strong agricultural base of the country, the well being of the peasantry, the abundance of staple foods, and to the pre-eminence of organization in Suleiman's government". His administrative and legal reforms which saw him named the Law Giver ensured the empires survival long after his death, something which "took many generations of decadent heirs to undo".

 

Through his personal patronage, Suleiman also presided over the Golden Age of the Ottoman Empire, representing the pinnacle of the Ottoman Turks' cultural achievement in the realm of architecture, literature, art, theology and philosophy. Today, the skyline of the Bosphorus and other former Ottoman provinces are still adorned with the architectural works of Mimar Sinan. Of these, the Süleymaniye Mosque is the final resting place of Suleiman and Hurrem Sultan who are buried in separate domed mausoleums attached to the mosque.

 

 

Source: Wikipedia

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

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