In 1451, the sultan became Mehmed II, who was nicknamed the Conqueror. He was a clever, educated, power-hungry, cruel and very insidious man.
Mehmed II mastered in 1453 Constantinople, made it the capital of his state and renamed Istanbul. In Istanbul there lived not only Turks, but also Greeks, Armenians, Jews and representatives of other peoples. This giant city has become the religious and cultural center of the Muslim world. Several slave markets operated in it.
XVI century. From the work of Václav Bratislava “Adventures”
Hassan Pasha raided Croatia… and very solemnly drove to Istanbul 300 Christian prisoners… The next day in the morning, a tenth of these slaves were taken to the sultan, and others were sent to the market… It was sad to observe at that marketplace how there they sell and buy Christians. One will buy a mother, another one for children, a third for small boys, and some for girls, and so the whole family is separated…
so that they can not see each other until death.
The conquest of Constantinople greatly strengthened the Ottoman state. Nevertheless, this was not enough for Mehmet II. He finally conquered the Balkans and Asia Minor, ousted the main trading competitors of Turkey – the Venetians and Genoese – from the Black Sea. Sultan took possession of the Genoese colonies in the Crimea, including the city of Kafa with its gloomy slave market. The Crimean Khan became his vassal. The Turks, thus, completely reigned in the Black Sea.
Only death put an end to the conquests of the ambitious Mehmed II. For his more than thirty years of domination, he turned the Ottoman state into a powerful Muslim empire, before which all of Europe fluttered.
Mehmed II ordered to compile a set of secular laws that limited the operation of the Sharia. The Sultan deprived the aristocrats of independence, but they did not become more obedient.
How was the giant Ottoman Empire managed? The Sultan enjoyed unlimited power. He surrounded himself with unheard-of splendor, led a dissolute life. He was served by more
than 10 thousand courtiers, among them – the guards of the coat and turban of the Sultan, his nightingale and parrot! Particularly crowded was the harem – a hotbed of palace intrigues and conspiracies. The sultan was assisted by the great Vizier. The ministers were the viziers, subordinates of the Grand Vizier. At the Sultan, there was an advisory body of authority – the Divan. The influential Muslim clergy was headed by the all-powerful chief Mufti. Without his permission, the laws promulgated by the Sultan were invalid.
Turkish officials were former palace slaves who received special education. Officials were rabid bribe takers and abused power. Trade flourished in the state.
In Turkey there were religious communities of Muslims and non-Muslims. They were engaged not only in religious affairs, but also collected taxes for the sultan, they executed the trial of coreligionists. Due to the existence of non-Muslim communities, the peoples conquered by the Turks did not become overzealous. At the peak of power, Turkey was short-lived. At the end of the XVI century. its decline began.
Vizier is the title of the highest member of the government in many Muslim countries.
Diwan is a council of high dignitaries in Sultan Turkey.
Mufti is a Muslim bishop.