Monday, October 26, 2009
John Freely's THE GRAND TURK Examines the Life and Times of Sultan Mehmet II
In a new book released this month, scholar and historian John Freely looks at the life of Sultan Mehmet the Conquerer, who captured Constantinople at the age of 21 and went on to reshape the world. The Grand Turk is a vivid and detailed account of the life and conquests of the man described by contemporary Christian rulers as “Ruler of the Glorious Empire of the Turks, the Present Terror of the World.” Mehmet was the seventh Ottoman sultan. He was only 21 years old when he brought an end to the centuries-old Byzantine Empire. During his 30-year reign, he extended the borders of his realm across Anatolia (then called Asia Minor) and into Europe, reaching into Hungary and Italy. Three popes called for Crusades against him. Why? Because the city of Constantinople was more than just a city. When Constantine the Great moved his capital from Rome to Byzantium in A.D. 330, he did not just change the course of history, he made this city into the capital of the Holy Roman Empire. As such, it became a jewel almost as religiously important as Jerusalem itself.