He succeeded in 1512 his father Beyazid II, whom he dethroned, and whose death, following immediately afterwards. He signalled his accession by putting his brothers and nephews to death; this was the custom of his grandfather Fatih Mehmed II. There had been civil war between his father Beyazid and his uncle Cem, and between himself and his brother Ahmed, Selim was determined not to have the same problems with his other brothers.
He extended Ottoman territory by placing Syria, Palestine, Egypt and the holy cities of Mecca and Medina under his control. When Egypt was taken from the Mameluk Turks, he announced himself to be the [Hadim ul Haremeyn] [The Servant of The Two Holy Cities] instead of [Hakim ul Haremeyn] The Ruler of The Two Holy Cities. Like his grandfather Fatih, he also claimed to be the Caliph (in Arabic meaning "successor" of Muhammad); the "guardian of Islam", considered to be the chief civil and religious ruler of all Islam, both Shi'ite and Sunni. Selim determined on war with Persia, where the ruler Sah Ismail claimed to be caliph as well. The campaign which followed was a triumph for Selim, whose firmness and courage overcame the pusillanimity and insubordination of the Janissaries.
Syria and Egypt next fell before him; he became master of the holy cities of Islam and, most important of all, he induced the last Caliph of the Abbasid dynasty formally to surrender the title of caliph as well as its outward emblems, the sword and the mantle of the prophet. After his return from his Egyptian campaign he was preparing an expedition against Rhodes when he was overtaken by sickness and died in the ninth year of his reign. He was about fifty-five years of age. He died from sirpence, a skin infection, which he developed on his 8 years rule on horse back. He also was a poet and wrote with the nickname [mahla] Selimi In one of his poems, he wrote: the whole world does not form a sovereignty vast enough for one monarch. In another, he wrote:
- sanma şahım, herkesi sen sadıkane yar olur.
- herkesi sen dostun sandın, belki ol ağyar olur.
- sadıkane, belki ol cihana serdar olur.
- yar olur, ağyar olur, serdar olur, didar olur.
Tip: read both horizontally as well as vertically
|Ottoman Sultan||Succeeded by:
Suleiman the Magnificent