The Grand Turk
Sultan Mehmet II--Conqueror of Constantinople and Master of an Empire
By John Freely
(Overlook Press, Hardcover, 9781590202487, 265pp.)
Publication Date: October 2009
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
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Sultan Mehmet II, known to his countrymen as ?the Conqueror? and to much of Europe as ?the Terror of the World, ? was once Europe's most feared and powerful ruler. Now, Turkey's most beloved American scholar, John Freely, brings to life this charismatic hero of one of the richest histories in the world.
Mehmet was barely twenty-one when he conquered Byzantine Constantinople, which became Istanbul and the capital of his mighty empire. Mehmet reigned for thirty years, during which time his armies extended the borders of his empire halfway across Asia Minor and as far into Europe as Hungary and Italy. Three popes called for crusades against him as Christian Europe came face to face with a new Muslim empire.
Revered by the Turks and seen as a brutal tyrant by the West, Mehmet was a brilliant military leader as well as a renaissance prince. His court housed Persian and Turkish poets, Arab and Greek astronomers, and Italian scholars and artists. In the first biography of Mehmet in thirty years, John Freely vividly illuminates the man behind the myths.