Monday, January 7, 2008


Sultan Selim II was born on 28th May 1524, in Istanbul. He was the son of Suleyman the Magnificant and Hurrem Sultana. Hurrem Sultana was Slav originated. Because, Selim II had blond hair he often called as �Yellow Selim�.

Selim was very well educated. In his father's period he ruled many provinces in Anatolia. While acting as a governor he continued his education.

Suleyman I had passed away when Selim was the governor of Kutahya. On hearing his father's death he went to Istanbul.He succeeded the throne at the age of 42. He was a insignificant sultan compered to his ancestors. His brothers Shehzade Bayezid and Mustafa were killed during his father Suleyman�s period and he ascended the throne without any conflicts. But, he was not as talented as his father Suleyman or his grandfather Selim I. Under successful administrations of experienced statesmen of the period especially grand vizier Sokollu Mehmet Pasha the empire continued to be a world power. Sokollu Mehmed Pasha had been the grand vizier for 15 years and it is possible to say that he ruled the empire in this period. Sultan Selim II never went to campaigns himself. Never commanded his army. Inebahti defeat is a result of his Commander of the Seas Ali Pasha�s failure in commanding the navy.

Sultan Selim had died on 5th December 1574, in Istanbul. He was the first Ottoman Sultan died in Istanbul.

Sons: Murad III, Abdullah, Osman, Mustafa, Suleyman, Mehmed, Cihangir.
Daughters: Fatma, Sah, Gevherhan, Esma.



The Ottomans extended their power in maritime too and they captured most of the Mediterranean islands. The island of Sakiz was under the domination of the Geneoise State and they were paying taxes to the Ottoman Empire, besides, their trading was controlling by the Ottomans. The island was one of the important trade centres of the Aegean Sea. The countries without capitulation were bringing their goods to Sakiz and by the Venetian, Genoise and Dubrovic merchants they were selling those goods to the Ottomans.

The Geneoise islanders were not paying their taxes regularly, moreover, they were attacking the Ottoman forces. Under these circumstances, a navy was sent to the island commanded by Piyale Pasha and Sakiz was captured. His victory brought Piyale Pasha the vizier rank, in 1568.



The Ottomans achieved many overseas glories. To assist the Muslim Ace State in Indonesia an Ottoman Navy emerged by 15-20 ships was sent to the Far East in 1569.



The power struggle in the Indian Ocean was continuing since Suleyman I�s period. A revolt had began in Yemen and an army sent there, the revolt immediately repressed in 1570.



Cyprus was ruled by the Venetians. Before Ottoman invasion of Egypt, Cyprus was paying taxes to the Mamelukes. After the Turkish invasions the islanders were imposed to taxes to the Ottoman Empire. The island was very significant in terms of its strategic and geographical location. Lala Mustafa Pasha was insisting on the necessity of a campaign to Cyprus. But, Sokollu Mehmed Pasha was opposing the campaign considering the possibility of a new crusade.

In October 1570, the Ottomans captured the capital Nicosia (Lefkosa) and most of the small towns of Cyprus. But, Famagusta (Magosa) one of the important cities of the island remained. Lala Mustafa Pasha besieged the city both from the land and the sea. The siege took nearly a year at last the city had surrendered in August, 1571 and Turks settled on the island.



After the capture of Cyprus, the Europeans began to organise a new crusade navy. The navy was commanded by Don Juan and it was emerged by the ships of Venice, Spain, Malta, Vatican and the other Italian governments. Experienced admirals of the Ottoman Navy, Pertev Pasha and Uluc Ali Pasha recommended a defence war, but Ali Pasha the Minister of Navy made the first attack.

The war taken place in the North of the island of Morea on 7th October 1571. In the end of the war the Ottomans were defeated and Ali Pasha had died. Uluc Ali Pasha was rescued his ships and he replaced Ali Pasha.

This defeat declined the Ottoman authority in the seas and in the trading roads.



The Ottoman Navy under the command of Uluc Ali Pasha sailed through the Mediterranean Sea and, invaded some shores of Tunisia in 1574.



Russia invaded Astrahan, her main target was to go down through the Mediterranean. 13 years later the Ottoman government decided to take back the city. They planned to cut a canal between the Don, running into the Sea of Azov from the northwest, and the Volga, running into the Caspian Sea from the northwest. This would link the two seas, the Black Sea, already an Ottoman lake, with the Caspian. It will facilitate the entry of the Turks into Persia and the central Asia. Moreover it will blocade Russia in her intention to go downwards to the Mediteranian.



In 1569, the canal of the Black Sea was began to be built. Ayasofya Mosque was restored and two new minarets were constructed. Mimar Sinan built Selimiye Mosque in Edirne in October 30, 1574.

Eyub Zal Mahmud Pasha Mosque, Selimiye Mosque in Konya, Sokollu Mosque in Luleburgaz, Sultan Selim Mosque in Payas are some of important monuments erected in Selim II�s period.

Defterdar Kasım Bey was appointed for the canal project. He completed one third of the canal. The winter was on the way and the Khan of Crimea was discouraging the Ottoman workers by romouring about the difficulties of winter and the workers gave up working. The Ottomans abandoned the enterprise, they did not begin again.

The Suez Canal was planned in the period of Sultan Selim II but it could not have been began.

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