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Suleyman the Magnificent

Suleyman the Magnificent
Kanuni Sultan Suleyman Han
Father:   Yavuz Sultan Selim
Mother:   Hafsa (Hafize) Hatun
Year of Birth:   1495
Accession to the Throne:  30/9/1520
Year of Death: 1566

Kanuni ascended the throne at the age of 26 and became sole ruler of the Empire. He immediately started organising the treasury, army and administration, issuing new laws, and this is where his name comes from as Kanuni means “Law Maker”. He went on to conquer Belgrade, followed by Rhodes and Budin and launched military expeditions to Germany. After demanding tributes from all his enemies, and being presented with the keys to the Algiers, and capturing Baghdad, which was the seat of the Caliphate, he returned to Istanbul one year later.  He had two expeditions to Azerbaijan, marched again to Persia, and on route seized the cities of Nahcivan, Erivan, Van and Sehrizor. The following years he started campaigns from Roumelia to Temesvar and east to Yemen and Ethiopia. His last important campaign was to the fortress of Sigetvar which he took by force. It was said that “no head was left unbowed before him and no heart, which did not tremble with fear”. He was the patron of many charitable institutions and foundations, not only in Turkey but also in Mecca, Medina and Damascus and among them, the most famous of all, is the Suleymaniye Mosque Complex in Istanbul.  

Süleyman the Magnificent had dark brown eyes with black eyebrows joined together, in a handsome bright face, with a ram-nose and a thick long moustache. He had a broad chest and long muscular arms; he resembled a lion with majestic bearing and spoke with a beautiful clear voice. He was very determined, heroic and powerful, blessed with good fortune and luck not just for himself but those around him. He dressed very elegantly and had a turban wrapped around a mücevveze (tall cylindrical headgear) and during his reign many shops opened in Istanbul producing and selling a variety of turbans.
 

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