Last Adulation

Andalusian supplications were only in vain. Although embassies have stopped, difficult conditions were greater and more significant than the capabilities of those who stayed there… 

Who is Salim Khan II?

Sultan Salim II has took power after his two predecessors Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent, his father, and Sultan Salim Khan I, his grandfather. This Second, Salim, took power but he was not endowed with qualifications to maintain the control and extension achieved by his father. This was the main concern of the state as it continued ignoring its surrounding situations in order to keep gains which, mostly, came by violating rights of Muslims especially those in Andalusia.

Salim Khan II tried to prevent gifts from being given to soldiers. Since they declared rebellion and disobedience, he yielded to their requests. Despite of all alliances concluded during the reign of his father, Suleiman Khan, he increased them by granting other privileges to, the most important of which was that any French person shall be exempted from paying personal tribute; in addition, consuls shall have the right to search for French people at Ottomans who were kept as slaves and release them. Worse still, they shall search for those who took them as slaves to be punished. It seems that Sultan Salim II pretended to have forgotten that Ottoman House and his army basis were grounded on this even if expressions differ and lurk implications such as Al- Doshrama and other.

Grand Vizier of Ottoman Empire, Sokollu Pasha, was the First Vizier of three Sultans; First of whom is Suleiman the Magnificent, second of whom is Salim Khan II, and third of whom is Murad Khan III. Sokollu Pasha has professionally managed the affairs of Sultan Salim II as well as his father’s affairs as a veteran politician. However, it was the management of imposing personal control in the name of Sultan.

After profound studies, some researchers have written examples of such management. In 1569, Ottoman Empire wanted to open an aqueduct of 60 km length which should penetrate unpaved terrain in order to connect Volga river with Don river. It aimed at facilitating army movement to defend northern borders of the Empire against any potential Russian attack; in addition to transferring its forces to southern Caucasus and attacking Safavids from the north, if required. The Empire has sent a force of Janissaries and knights along with engineers and workers in order to start the works of the aqueduct. Meanwhile, it besieged Sea of Azov in Black Sea. However, Tsar Ivan, commonly known as Ivan the Terrible, considered this an assault on regions of his influence. His forces were able to defeat Ottoman Tatar forces, as described by researchers. A storm has broken out and smashed Ottoman fleet. Their attempt ended in failure. After months, Ottoman Empire has signed with Russia a treaty of friendship and good- neighborliness, fearing that the situation would deteriorate.

Sultan Salim Khan II was known and famous for being a drunkard and such character stuck to him. Since Sultan Salim II was driven by his desires as he could hardly come to his senses, ruling became actually in the hands of his brother- in- law, his sister’s husband, Sokollu Pasha due to Sultan weakness on one hand, and due to administrative reforms performed by Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent which expanded the powers of Grand Vizier. However, he might have been forced not to use his powers in order to preserve his position as Grand Vizier. In 1570, Sokollu Mehmet Pasha proposed to Ottoman Sultan Salim II to provide military support to revolution of Moriscos because they were still calling for help and asking the assistance of Empire while they were the remaining Muslims of Andalusia in Spain after the fall of burning Granada in Basharat Mountain opposite to Granada in Spain. His response was not surprising but it showed how weak his character was, and the complete exploitation of this by those close to him. His response was: “our Lord became aware of the revolution of Muslims in Basharat. Two years have passed since they have taken up army against their enemy and our enemy, King of Spain. A rescue consisting of soldiers of the Guarded Grand Empire that shall be sent by our Lord, the Master of land and sea, is the only thing that separates them from victory. Once Sokollu Pasha finished his proposal, Sultan Salim looked in his eyes in apparent coldness. His eyes looked swollen impacted by drunkenness. He said, after consulting officers of Cabinet, we have decided to send our armies to Cyprus in order to conquer it and forcibly remove it from the power of Venetian infidels”. Although Cyprus was conquered by early Muslims since the era of Caliph Othman bin Affan, may Allah be pleased with him, and tomb of Umm Haram who was one of Ansar is the best witness, Ottomans used to describe their battles and expansions as conquer. It is noteworthy that Jew Joseph Nasi was one of Cabinet and it is him who persuaded the Sultan to conquer Cyprus. He asked him to give him its possession if his armies succeeded in taking over it. Joseph had Zionist aspirations during that early period to establish Israeli Kingdom on the lands of Cyprus and to be crowned as its King. After failing to do so, Nasi transferred his dreams to Palestine. He asked his friend Salim II to issue a Decree that enables him to establish a Jewish colony in Tiberias, and he was granted the title of King. Historians have written examples of Salim II desire to take over Cyprus because of its famous luxury wines. This is confirmed by the interest of Ottoman Empire in types of goods in which it was eager to trade including wine trade. Turkish Anatolia used to import and export wine at the same time. Islamic and Western history books documented this including Ibn Battuta; as well as documents of Ottoman archive, some of which date back to 1437, and other. Cyprus had its commercial strategy. This does not give excuse to the sloth and ignorance of supplications of Andalusia people conducted by Sultans of Ottoman Empire as it is a mandatory duty of an Empire which assigned itself as a protector of the Islamic World. Discussion has scattered remnants which shall be written in order to be shown as testimonies for history.

Conclusion for Contemplation

The founding president of “Sokollu Mehmet Pasha” endowment, Ibrahim Ayçiçek, said that four pieces of the Black Stone were placed in “Sokollu Mehmet Pasha” Mosque by architect Sinan. Each of them has the size of a thumb knuckle. Architect Sinan has placed the largest piece on the tomb of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent.