Ottoman Sultan. Born in Trabzon on the Black Sea, the son of Sultan Selim I and his consort, Hafsa Sultan. At about age 17, he was appointed governor of the port of Kaffa, followed by a tenure in Manisa. After Selim's death in 1520, he ascended the throne and began his rule with the suppression of a revolt in Damascus in 1521. He initiated several military campaigns, moving into Europe, and besieged Belgrade. The city, with a garrison of 700 men, fell in August 1521. He then besieged the island of Rhodes, headquarters of the order of the Knights Hospitaller. After five months of heavy casualties, he took the island. In 1526, he defeated Louis II of Hungary at the Battle of Mohács leading to the Ottoman Empire becoming a power in Central Europe. In 1530, he laid siege to Vienna where he was defeated. It was to be the furthest extent of his western ambitions. In 1533, his armies pushed into Asia Minor, entering the Persian capital of Baghdad in 1535, but had not yet defeated the Shah who employed evasion and scorched earth tactics which led to a stalemate and a subsequent treaty in 1554. In 1559, his empire absorbed the Adal Sultanate on the Horn of Africa which then led to Ottoman rule in Somolia. In 1535, Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V led 27,000 soldiers to victory against the Ottomans at Tunis. Suleiman responded by allying with Francis I of France to defeat the Spanish fleet at the Battle of Preveza in 1538. He was also known for reforms including his formally denouncing blood libels against the Jews in the Empire and enacting new criminal legislation, prescribing a set of fines for specific offenses, as well as reducing the instances requiring death or mutilation, thereby gaining the by-name Lawgiver (kanuni). In 1553, yielding to harem politics, he had his ablest son and presumed heir, Mustafa, strangled. He was known as the patron of imperial artistic societies and was himself a poet. While directing the siege of Szigetvar in Hungary in 1566, his death at age 71 was kept a secret from his troops for well over a month to avoid conflict before the succession of his son, Selim II. He has also been known as Suleiman I, Süleyman, Kanunî Sultan Süleyman and Muhteşem Süleyman.
Bio by: Iola