Selim II

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Selim II Sarkhosh (Ottoman Turkish: سليم ثانى Selīm-i sānī, Turkish:II.Selim; 28 May 1524 – 12 December/15 December 1574), also known as "Selim the Sot (Mest)" or "Selim the Drunkard"; and as "Sarı Selim" or "Selim the Blond", was the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1566 until his death.

Contents

Biography

Early years

He was born at Manisa or in Istanbul[1][2] a son of Suleiman the Magnificent and his fourth and favourite wife Hürrem Sultan, originally named Roxelana, a Ruthenian.

In 1545, at Konya, he married Nurbanu Sultan, originally named Cecilia Venier-Baffo, a Venetian noblewoman, and mother of Murad III, who later became the first Valide Sultan who acted as co-regent with the sultan in the Sultanate of Women.

After gaining the throne after palace intrigue and fraternal dispute, succeeded as Sultan on 7 September 1566, Selim II became the first Sultan devoid of active military interest and willing to abandon power to his ministers, provided he was left free to pursue his orgies and debauches. Therefore, he became known as Selim the Drunkard or Selim the Sot (Turkish:Sarhoş Selim).[3] His Grand Vizier, Mehmed Sokollu, a Bosnian devsirme from what is now Bosnia and Herzegovina, controlled much of state affairs, and two years after Selim's accession succeeded in concluding at Constantinople an honourable 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 essentially granted the Ottomans authority in Moldavia and Walachia.

Against Russia Selim was less fortunate, and the first encounter between the Ottoman Empire and her future northern rival gave presage of disaster to come. A plan had been prepared in Istanbul for uniting the Volga and Don by a canal, and 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. But a sortie of the garrison of Astrakhan drove back the besiegers; a Russian relief army of 15,000 attacked and scattered the workmen and the Tatar force sent for their protection; and finally, the Ottoman fleet was destroyed by a storm. Early in 1570 the ambassadors of Ivan IV of Russia concluded at Constantinople a treaty which restored friendly relations between the Sultan and the Tsar.

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