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Selim II

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Gender Male
Born Topkapi Palace Museum
İstanbul
DiedTopkapi Palace Museum
İstanbul
Spouse Nurbanu Sultan
Place of burialHagia Sophia, İstanbul
Children Murad III
Ismihan Sultan
Fatma Sultan
Siblings Şehzade Bayezit
Şehzade Mustafa
Mihrimah Sultan
Şehzade Bayezid
Parents Suleiman the Magnificent
Hurrem Sultan
Date of Reg.
Date of Upd.
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Selim II Life story


Selim II, also known as Selim the Blond or Selim the Drunk, was the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1566 until his death in 1574. He was a son of Suleiman the Magnificent and his wife Hurrem Sultan.

Selim II (Ottoman Turkish: سليم ثانى Selīm-i sānī, Turkish: II. Selim; 30 May 1524 – 15 December 1574), also known as Selim the Blond (Turkish: Sarı Selim) or Selim the Drunk (Turkish: Sarhoş Selim), was the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1566 until his death in 1574. He was a son of Suleiman the Magnificent and his wife Hurrem Sultan. Selim had been an unlikely candidate for the throne until his brother Mehmed died of smallpox, his half-brother Mustafa was strangled to death by the order of his father, his brother Cihangir succumbed to chronic health issues, and his brother Bayezid was killed on the order of his father after a rebellion against Selim. Selim died on 15 December 1574 and was buried in Hagia Sophia.

Early life


Selim was born in Constantinople (Istanbul), on 30 May 1524, during the reign of his father Suleiman the Magnificent. His mother was Hurrem Sultan, a slave and concubine who was born an Orthodox priest's daughter in contemporary Ukraine, and later was freed and became Suleiman's legal wife.In 1545, at Konya, Selim took as concubine Nurbanu Sultan, whose background is disputed. It is said that she was originally named Cecilia Venier Baffo, or Rachel, or Kale Kartanou. She was the mother of Murad III, Selim's successor.

Reign


Selim II gained the throne after palace intrigue and fraternal dispute, succeeding as sultan on the 7th of September 1566. Selim's Grand Vizier, Mehmed Sokollu and wife, Nurbanu Sultan, a native of what is now Bosnia and Herzegovina, controlled much of state affairs, and two years after Selim's accession succeeded in concluding at Constantinople a treaty (17 February 1568) with the Habsburg Holy Roman Emperor, Maximilian II, whereby the Emperor agreed to pay an annual "present" of 30,000 ducats and granted the Ottomans authority in Moldavia and Walachia. Gazanfer Agha (d. 1602), a friend to Selim and to the writer Mustafa Ali, was castrated so he could serve in Selim's harem. (Gazanfer's younger brother Cafer was also castrated, but did not survive.)

A plan had been prepared in Constantinople for uniting the Volga and Don by a canal in order to counter Russian expansion toward the Ottomans' northern frontier. In the summer of 1569 a large force of Janissaries and cavalry were sent to lay siege to Astrakhan and begin the canal works, while an Ottoman fleet besieged Azov. However, a sortie from the Astrakhan garrison drove back the besiegers. A Russian relief army of 15,000 attacked and scattered the workmen and the Tatar force sent for their protection. The Ottoman fleet was then destroyed by a storm. Early in 1570 the ambassadors of Ivan IV of Russia concluded at Istanbul a treaty that restored friendly relations between the Sultan and the Tsar.Expeditions in the Hejaz and Yemen were more successful, but the conquest of Cyprus in 1571, led to the naval defeat against Spain and Italian states in the Battle of Lepanto in the same year.

At the historic Battle of Naupaktos or Battle of Lepanto, on 7 October 1571, the Holy League defeated the Ottoman navy decisively; the Holy League sank or destroyed 50 Ottoman ships and captured 117 galleys and 20 galliots, 30,000 Turks were lost in battle, 10,000 Turks were taken prisoners, and many thousands of Christian slaves were rescued. The Holy League lost about 7,500 men.

The Empire's shattered fleets were soon restored (in just six months, it consisted of about 150 galleys and eight galleasses), and the Ottomans maintained control of the eastern Mediterranean (1573). In August 1574, months before Selim's death, the Ottomans regained control of Tunis from Spain, which had captured it in 1572.

Selim is known for restoring Mahidevran Hatun's status and her wealth. He also built the tomb of his eldest brother, Şehzade Mustafa, who was executed in 1553.

In the famine of 1573, caused by severe cold, the farmers were unable to produce food for the people. Selim gave people food and vegetables in the food kitchen. In April 1574, a fire started in the printing house of Topkapi Palace, killing many cooks, servants and maids.

Character


Selim is introduced as a generous monarch who is fond of pleasure and entertainment in the sources of the period, who is fond of drink councils, enjoys the presence of scholars and poets around him, as well as musicians, wrestlers, and connoisseurs, who do not want to break the hearts of anyone. However, it is stated that he did not appear much in public, and that his father often went to Friday prayer and out among the public; Selim neglected this and spent his time in the palace.

Family


Selim's only wife, Nurbanu Sultan, was the mother of his successor Murad III and most of his daughters. As a Haseki Sultan she received 1,000 aspers a day, while lower-ranking concubines who were the mothers of princes received 40 aspers a day. Selim bestowed upon Nurbanu 110,000 ducats as a dowry, surpassing the 100,000 ducats that his father bestowed upon his mother Hürrem Sultan. According to a privy purse register cited by Leslie Pierce, Selim had four other women, and each of them was mother of a prince.

ConsortsNurbanu Sultan, mother and Valide of Murad III;

unknown concubines, mothers of the other princes and princessesSonsSelim had seven sons:

Murad III (4 July 1546, Manisa Palace, Manisa – 15 January 1595, Topkapı Palace, Istanbul, buried in Murad III Mausoleum, Hagia Sophia), son of Nurbanu Sultan;

Şehzade Mehmed (died 1572, Topkapı Palace, Istanbul, buried in Hürrem Sultan Mausoleum, Süleymaniye Mosque);

Şehzade Abdullah (murdered 22 December 1574, Topkapı Palace, Istanbul, buried in Selim II Mausoleum, Hagia Sophia Mosque);

Şehzade Cihangir (murdered 22 December 1574, Topkapı Palace, Istanbul, buried in Selim II Mausoleum, Hagia Sophia Mosque)

Şehzade Mustafa (murdered 22 December 1574, Topkapı Palace, Istanbul, buried in Selim II Mausoleum, Hagia Sophia Mosque);

Şehzade Osman (murdered 22 December 1574, Topkapı Palace, Istanbul, buried in Selim II Mausoleum, Hagia Sophia Mosque);

Şehzade Suleiman (murdered 22 December 1574, Topkapı Palace, Istanbul, buried in Selim II Mausoleum, Hagia Sophia Mosque).DaughtersSelim had at least four daughters:

Ismihan Sultan (1544, Uşak – 8 August 1585, Istanbul, buried in Selim II Mausoleum, Hagia Sophia Mosque), daughter with Nurbanu, married firstly in 1562 to Sokollu Mehmed Pasha, married secondly in 1584 to Kalaylıkoz Ali Pasha;

Gevherhan Sultan (1544, Bursa - fl. 1622, Istanbul, buried in Selim II Mausoleum, Hagia Sophia Mosque), daughter with Nurbanu, married firstly in 1562 to Piyale Pasha, married secondly in 1579 to Cerrah Mehmed Pasha;

Şah Sultan (1544, Manisa Palace, Manisa – 3 November 1577, Istanbul, buried in Zal Mahmud Paşa Mausoleum, Eyüp), daughter with Nurbanu, married firstly in 1562 to Çakırcıbaşı Hasan Pasha, married secondly in 1574 to Zal Mahmud Pasha;

Fatma Sultan (1559, Konya Palace, Konya – October 1580, Istanbul, buried in Selim II Mausoleum, Hagia Sophia Mosque), daughter with Nurbanu, married in 1574 to Kanijeli Siyavuş Pasha;

References


Sources


Finkel, Caroline, Osman's Dream, Basic Books, 2005.

Fotić, Aleksandar (1994). "The Official Explanations for the Confiscation and Sale of Monasteries (Churches) and their Estates at the Time of Selim II". Turcica: Revue d'études turques. 26: 34–54.

Fotić, Aleksandar (1994). "Lʹ Eglise chrétienne dans lʹEmpire ottoman: Le monastére Chilandar à lʹépoque de Sélim II". Dialogue: Revue trimestrielle d'arts et de sciences. 12 (3): 53–64.

This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Selim". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.

Further reading


Ancestry of Sultana Nur-Banu (Cecilia Venier-Baffo)

John Julius Norwich, A History of Venice (1989), ISBN 0-679-72197-5

External links


Media related to Selim II at Wikimedia Commons

Selim II Tomb

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