Sokollu Mehmed Pasha and The Apogee of Empire
This chapter focuses on Sokollu Mehmed Pasha, one of the most compelling personalities of the entire 16th century and the mastermind of the Ottoman Empire's last great push into the Indian Ocean. Much like his well-placed predecessors Ibrahim and Rustem, Sokollu Mehmed was a palace favorite, a member of the Imperial Divan since 1554, and a figure especially close to the sultan's son Selim, whose daughter he married in 1562. Promoted to the grand vizierate just three years later, upon the death of his aged colleague Semiz Ali, Sokollu would thereafter dominate political life in the empire as perhaps no other grand vizier ever had before. His uninterrupted tenure in office eventually spanned fifteen years and the reigns of three successive sultans, before his own death in 1579.
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