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Ottoman Empire / Rulers /
Süleyman 1 Kanuni

Sultan Süleyman 1

Sultan Süleyman 1.
(1495-1566) Ottoman sultan 1520-1566.
Süleyman's regime was marked by strong territorial advances in North Africa, central Europe, Bessarabia and Iraq. But he also oversaw great advances in fields like law, literature, art and architecture. His nickname, Kanuni, is best translated into "the Lawgiver", indicating his importance in these fields.
Süleyman put strong emphasis on building strong fortresses to defend captured Christian cities, and he improved the infrastructure of many cities in the Muslim world, like Mecca, Damascus and Baghdad. But most remarkable was that during his time, Istanbul, formerly Constantinople, was fully transformed into a Muslim city through its new organization, architecture and institutions.

1494 November: Born as the only son of sultan Selim 1.
Early 16th century: Süleyman becomes sacak beyi, governor in Kaffa in the Crimea.
Around 1512: He is moves to Anatolia, where he becomes governor in Manisa.
1520: Following the death of his father, Süleyman becomes new sultan. He immediately sets out on campaigns against the Christian powers in Europe.
1521: Belgrade (today's Serbia) falls to the Ottomans.
1522: The island of Rhodes (today's Greece, EU) falls to the Ottomans. This meant the end of the rule of the Knights of St. John.
1526: Süleyman strikes a final defeat on the Hungarians at the battle at Mohacs. Their king is killed, and Süleyman supports the new king John after this accepts to be vassal king under the Ottomans.
1529: Süleyman starts a short-lived and unsuccessful siege to Vienna.
1532: Important victory against Austria, where Ottoman loots large parts of the country. But still Austria is not put under direct rule from the Ottoman, as the sultan is mainly occupied with his Asian neighbours at this time.
1534: A campaign is launched against Persia.
1535: Both Iraq and the region of Erzurum is conquered from the Persians.
1538: The Ottomans wins the sea battle off Preveza under the leadership of Khayru d-Din, known in Europe as Barbarossa. This makes the Ottomans the leading power in the Mediterranean Sea.
1541- 62: War on Hungary, that leads to few changes in the situation in Ottoman dominance.
1548: A second campaign is launched against Persia.
1549: The region around Van Lake comes under Ottoman control.
1551: Tripoli falls to the Ottomans, giving the empire control over all of the eastern Mediterranean coast from today's Macedonia to southern Tunisia (including today's Greece (EU), Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Palestine, Egypt and Libya).
1553: Süleyman's son, Mustafa, rebels against his father's rule and gets many supporters in Anatolia. Süleyman's reaction is to have him executed.
1554: A third campaign is launched against Persia.
1555: A formal peace is signed between the Safavids of Persia and the Ottomans, without substantial changes in the borders between the states.
1559: 2 other sons of Süleyman, Selim and Bayezid, start fighting over the succession to the sultanate.
1560: A strong Spanish campaign against Jerba is crushed by Ottoman troops.
— Süleyman's son Bayezid is executed, leaving Selim heir of the sultanate.
1565: The Ottomans do not succeed in capturing Malta from the Knights of St. John.
1566 September 5 or 6: Dies near Szigetvár in Hungary.

By Tore Kjeilen