The Grand Turk

Sultan Mehmet II-Conqueror of Constantinople and Master of an Empire

John Freely - Author

Hardcover | $26.95 | add to cart | view cart
ISBN 9781590202487 | 288 pages | 01 Oct 2009 | Overlook | 9.25 x 6.25in | 18 - AND UP
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A gripping biography of one of the most sensational figures in Turkish history

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.

"In this biography, the first in English in decades, Prof. Freely (Bosporus University), author of some 40 books, mostly on Turkey and Turkish history, explores Mehmet's complex personality, fitting him into his times and culture, seeing him essentially as a Renaissance prince while throwing light on the nature of the Ottoman state and the Balkans in the fifteenth century, both neglected areas of European history." — NYMAS Review

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