The Grand Turk : Sultan Mehmet II – conqueror of Constantinople, master of an empire John Freely Hardcover. xvii, 265 p.,  p. of plates : ill., maps, ports. ; 24 cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text. VG/VG
Sultan Mehmet II, known to his countrymen as “the Conqueror” and to much of Europe as “the Terror of the World,” was once Europe’s most feared and powerful ruler. Freely brings to life this eastern hero of one of the least known histories in the west.
Mehmet was barely twenty-one when he conquered Byzantine Constantinople, which he decimated into Istanbul and the capital of his mighty empire. Mehmet reigned for thirty years, during which time his armies extended the borders of his empire halfway across Asia Minor and as far into Europe as Hungary and Italy. Three popes called for crusades against him as Christian Europe came face to face with a ruthless new Muslim empire.
Revered by the Turks and seen as a brutal tyrant by the West, Mehmet was an accomplished military leader as well as a renaissance prince. His court housed Persian and Turkish poets, Arab and Greek astronomers, and Italian scholars and artists – many, if not most, enslaved as the spoils of war. In the first biography of Mehmet in thirty years, Freely finds nothing but praise as he whitewashes this tyrant attempting to illuminate a man – and not a monster – behind the myths.