This week we start a new history section on Fethiye Times and we’ll kick off with a series all about the Otoman Sultans.

From 1453, when the Turks took Constantinople, until 1923 when Ataturk established the republic, Turkey was ruled by a total of 36 sultans spanning twenty one generations over the course of more than six centuries.  At its height the Ottoman Empire stretched from central Europe to North Africa and from Persia (Iran) to the Adriatic.

We at Fethiye Times believe that, if you really want to understand Turkey, you should try to learn the language and the basics of the history.  Hence this series on the Ottoman Sultans which has been researched using the following books:

Freely, J. (1999) Inside the Seraglio : private lives of the Sultans in Istanbul
Freely, J. (1996) Istanbul : the imperial city
Goodwin, J. (1999) Lords of the horizons
Mansel, P. (1995) Constantinople : city of the world’s desire, 1453 – 1924.

We’ll be looking at each sultan in turn starting with Mehmet the Conqueror, Mehmet Fatih in Turkish, who rode triumphantly into Istanbul on the afternoon of 29 May, 1453.  He was actually the seventh sultan in the dynasty but the first to include Istanbul in his empire and, certainly to the rest of the world, the Ottoman Empire began with Mehmet Fatih, or Mehmet II.

Log on tomorrow to read about Mehmet II in more detail and then follow our occasional series on the Ottoman Sultans throughout the remaining summer months.  Every sultan had his own unique tuğra, which is a calligraphic representation of his name.  Mehmet’s is below and the website www.tugra.org is well worth a visit to view masterpieces of calligraphy.

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