The Great Turk
In the footsteps of Suleiman the Magnificent (1494-1566)
Under Suleiman the Magnificent, Turkey enjoyed its Golden Age. The Ottoman Empire stretched from the Danube to the Euphrates, the Tigris and the Nile. For his biography of the sultan, Henk Boom spoke to historians and innumerable other specialists in Rhodes, Budapest, Vienna, Sarajevo and Istanbul, places where the Great Turk left a rich heritage. He demonstrates convincingly that the influence Suleiman had on Europe persists right up to the present day.
Suleiman, the son of a Bosnian slave girl, ascended the throne in 1520, shortly before Charles v became Habsburg emperor. The two rulers engaged in a dogged battle for European hegemony, but Suleiman was not just a successful warlord, he was fair, tolerant and a true patron of the arts. All over the Empire, splendid buildings arose and his court architect Sinan gave Constantinople a completely new face, with the Süleymaniye Mosque as one of its most impressive features.
Suleiman’s love for his harem wife Roxelana has sparked the imaginations of many writers and film directors. Boom describes the sultan’s life and world not as a scientist but as an investigative journalist. The result is a lively and engrossing book.