Full Name: Mehmed II aka Mehmed the Conqueror
Profession: Ottoman Sultan
Why Famous: At the age of 21, Mehmed II conquered Constantinople (modern-day Istanbul) and brought an end to the over 1,000 year old Byzantine Empire.
Mehmed continued his conquests in Southeast Europe, expanding the Ottoman Empire by conquering among others, Anatolia and Bosnia. As Sultan he styled himself Caeser and the Ottoman State as a continuation of the Roman Empire. He encouraged the arts and sciences and many political and social reforms.
Mehmed rebuilt Constantinople into a thriving imperial capital with extensive rebuilding and resettlement programs. He urged the construction of mosques, bazaars and Muslim institutions and the return of those who had fled during the siege. Many Muslims, Jews, and Christians were also resettled from other parts of the empire in the city. Under his successors Bayezid II and Suleiman the Magnificent, Constantinople regained its status as Europe's largest city.
To this day he is considered a hero by many in modern-day Turkey and the wider Muslim world, with Istanbul's Fatih district, Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge and Fatih Mosque named in his honor.
- 1451-02-03 Sultan Mehmed II, the Conqueror inherits the throne of the Ottoman Empire
- 1453-04-02 Turkish forces under Sultan Mehmed II begin the siege of Constantinople (İstanbul), which falls May 29
- 1453-05-29 Constantinople, capital of the Eastern Roman Empire falls to the Turks under Mehmed II; ends the Byzantine Empire
- 1462-06-17 Vlad III the Impaler attempts to assassinate Mehmed II (The Night Attack) forcing him to retreat from Wallachia
- 1953-05-29 500th anniversary of the fall of Constantinople and the end of the Byzantine Empire (to Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II)
- 1988-07-03 The Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge in Istanbul, Turkey is completed, providing the second connection between the continents of Europe and Asia over the Bosphorus