Africa's History

The Magnificent Suleiman, Part IV

“Fate saw the Jewel in me and pawed the heart apart to have it” It was one of his favorite poems. Once he saw the joy all throughout it the hope with the struggle But over time he’d forgotten it all but that one line.

 it was 1533 Ibrahim Led his Forces one more time, this time they headed south the Safavids had acted to anger him on more than one occasion, Now he would do away with the Shia Kingdom to the south. But as Ibrahim marched his army south he found that the sun and mountains were their principal opponents, the territory was captured. But no battle was ever had they wintered than they captured to the breeze, the capital of the Safavids without a fight now it was Suleiman turned to join them to accept homage and to remind his provinces of his might.

 There was only one problem with this conquest, the leader of the Safavids was nowhere to be found. He wasn’t in their capital when Ibrahim marched in and neither was his army so they pushed deeper into the south of territory and yet nothing No, the army no shah.

 They took the ancient city of Baghdad and yet during the whole March their force wasn’t even harassed, not a trace was found of this phantom desert, Army, or their king. The only way they knew this army was even real was the fact that everywhere they went all the grain was missing, markets were stripped bare, fields were burnt, wells smashed.

 try as they might his majestic imperial army of 200,000 simply couldn’t catch up to the force of light horse of the Safavid king, no matter how far they chased him he would always Dance back burning all in his way. Eventually, he was forced to call off the pursuit, his grand army of 200,000 had lost 30,000 men without ever firing a shot, supplies were just too difficult to attain and his line of communication with his capital was stretched too thin.

 even as he marched back to Istanbul showered and praise and glory, he wondered how long they could even hold on to such remote and inhospitable territory, But something even worse troubled his mind, a black rage filled him for months.

Roxelana had been whispering to him of how his vizier, Ibrahim, was starting to forget who was Sultan that his friend had been returning friendship with ingratitude. That he could center himself master, and Suleiman slave. he had put these words from his thoughts, He could not doubt Ibrahim.

 But on the campaign, Ibrahim had said that he would take the title of Sir Oskar Sultan. This means, in Safavid Persia, the governors were known as Sultan But in the ottoman empire, there was only one Sultan, it burnt like coal in his chest, it nods at his heart and wouldn’t let him go.

 Each step on the road to Istanbul consumed his mind, every minor irritation, every little problem, every small sign of Arrogance from Ibrahim Rekindled the thought with renewed vigor.

 At the start of January, they arrived back in Istanbul and the thought still would not leave him. Until the 15th of March, Ibrahim’s body was found strangled in his room, There would be only one Sultan in the Ottoman Empire.

 The next years passed and a renewed rivalry with that hated Spanish Prince Charles. Charles’s Forces had seized Tunis out from under him. While he’d been busy in Safavid, Which led Suleiman to finally truly Ally with the French. He joined them in their war in Italy against the Hapsburgs and broke with the ancient policy of Ibrahim to go to war with Venice. the war in Italy has poorly managed all around with the French showing their true colors, and Often seeming more embarrassed to have a Muslim ally than they were eager to crush their foe, so at last, Suleiman recalled his great admiral Barbarossa and had him removed the Venetians from the islands that had long occupied off the ottoman coasts. He, Suleiman, also pushed the Empire East Fighting with the Portuguese for control of the Indian Ocean, and the lucrative trade had promised.

 Also, Warden Hungary with Charles and Ferdinand, when John ZáPolya died in 1540, Ferdinand had seen it as an opportunity to attack and laid siege to Buda. Suleiman again marched his forces north and repulsed the Viennese prince but this time there would be no puppet state, no Intermediaries. He annexed hungry.

 Finally, bringing it under complete ottoman control and with the capitulation of the Hapsburgs and the peace he forced upon them, He could finally again turn his eyes south to the wellspring of Tragedy, Safavid Persia.

 The question of succession still plagued his mind he had made with Mustafa his official heir, even in Europe They wrote of him one had said may God never allow a Barbary of such strength to come near us. Of his second son Selim, Even he knew they called him the sot, behind his back. Bayezid his third son was perhaps not a bad man, but he wasn’t a great one either, and his fourth son Cihangir was Perhaps Brilliant. His mind worked in ways that some days outpaced his own, but he was humpbacked and sickly, no one would ever accept him as Sultan. But of all of his sons, only his first Mustafa was not of his beloved Roxelana.

 And so as he sent his chief vizier Rustem to lead his army south his mind was not at ease. Then he received a letter from Rustem saying that the soldiers were beginning to whisper that Suleiman was weak, and succumbing to old age because he was not out there leading them that perhaps it was time for a younger prince that they had even sent word to Mustafa, along these lines and that Mustafa had not entirely rejected them.

 He was furious, Crushing the letter in his hand, he bellowed God protect us from Mustafa daring to take such infamy upon himself during my lifetime, He immediately ordered the army recalled. The invasion would be canceled the next year, He would lead them himself. And when summer came he did, and then he sat and penned a letter to Mustafa, He would ask his son to join him to clear his name. If he came, he was innocent. If he stayed away in Fear, it would be an admission of guilt.

 Days passed then outside of Cairo Mania a small band appeared on the Horizon, men on Horseback growing by the Moment coming towards the Sprawling Camp of the imperial Force, it was Mustafa come to prove his innocence, as The sunset Mustafa was summoned to his father’s tent, he lifted the heavy flap and entered alone.

 Immediately, he was set upon from all sides while from behind a curtain. His father watched in Silence, But Mustafa fought with a strength of ten men and threw off all of those who piled upon him. They raced forward to seize him again, but he froze them all with a look the men wavered. Perhaps, they were about to join this young warrior, so proud and alive. But, then Suleiman stood and peered over the curtain with a glare of such fear and rage, that the men all threw themselves upon Mustafa again, this time he could not shake them off.

 Once he was pinned, one of the men seized a nearby bowstring and strangled him to death. They then threw the body in front of the tent, for all to see But even as they did so the black rage passed, And Suleiman sank back down into his chair and wept. He would pay many times for this decision, so would his empire, so would the entire ottoman world.

 One decision sometimes decides a thousand other choices. Now he had no option but to kill Mustafa’s son, his own grandson. And so he sent men to Bursa to deliver the order when they arrived and read the order to Murad Mustafa’s son, He simply said “I am willing to die in obedience not to the emperor’s orders but to god”.

 Then, Suleiman ordered Mustafa not disposed of like a traitor but given the funeral he deserved. for a week he lay in state in the Hagia Sophia, but it did nothing to assuage his guilt, and Then word came, that she hunger sick and weak beloved Jahangir favorite of all his sons succumbed to grief for he had loved Mustafa and looked up to him, and now, at last, followed him into death.

 And He was left with but two sons, but even as he campaigned in Persia his decision caused other ripples. Mustafa’s Death led the two remaining sons to quarrel more, he could see them both beginning to compete for power. His campaign in Persia proceeded like the last one with the Safavids retreating, and burning the land. This allowed him time to think he would separate his sons, move them both farther from the capital.

 He would never be able to achieve a complete victory against the Safavids, they kept him occupied for a few years before he could finally force on them, if not the peace he desired at least a piece He could accept.

 At last with that out of the way he could return and put his house in order then Roxelana died. Another, little piece of him fell away, He ordered his sons apart away from him away from the capital, away from anywhere they might think of seizing the throne. Selim moved right away, Bayazid hesitated his mind raced, what was hesitation other than disobedience. And what was disobedience to the Sultan except for treason, his fury boiled over; he would not abide treason in his empire. He threw his support behind Selim against Bayzeid, and crushed his army in the field, but busied fled with his family to the hated court of the Safavid King. Again and again, he demanded of the Safavids that they kill that filthy traitor. That they wiped him and his family from the world, but they refused again, and again they refused.

 Then he made sure they wouldn’t refuse (Gold), he even sent his own executioner to take their heads, he had but one son and there he was a lonely old man walking through his garden…

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