Mehmed II (30 March 1432 – 3 May 1481) was Sultan of the Ottoman Empire and notable for conquering Constantinople.
- Strategy: military (5) and culture (2).
- Favourite religion: Islam.
- Wonder Construct random: 20 (from 0 to 50).
- Base Attitude: -1 (from -1 to 2).
- Base Peace Weight: 2 (from 0 to 10).
- Warmonger Respect: 1 (from 0 to 2).
- Espionage Weight: 110 (from 50 to 150).
- Refuse To Talk War Threshold: 8 (from 6 to 10).
- No Tech Trade Threshold: 5 (from 5 to 20).
- Tech Trade Known Percent: 40% (from 0 to 100).
- Max Gold Trade Percent: 5% (from 5 to 20).
- Max War Rand: 100 (from 50 to 400).
- Raze City Prob: 25 (from 0 to 75).
- Build Unit Prob: 40 (from 0 to 40).
- Close Borders Attitude Change: -2 (from -4 to -2).
- Same Religion Attitude Change Limit: 4 (from 2 to 7).
- Different Religion Attitude Change: -2 (from -2 to 0).
- Favorite Civic Attitude Change Limit: 4 (from 1 to 6).
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- Max War Nearby Power Ratio: 90 (from 80 to 130).
- Max War Distant Power Ratio: 50 (from 30 to 100).
- Max War Min Adjacent Land Percent: 1 (from 0 to 4).
- Limited War Rand: 100 (from 40 to 200).
- Limited War Power Ratio: 100 (from 80 to 130).
- Dogpile War Rand: 25 (from 25 to 100).
- Make Peace Rand: 60 (from 10 to 80).
- Demand Rebuked Sneak Prob: 20 (from 0 to 100).
- Demand Rebuked War Prob: 40 (from 0 to 50).
- Base Attack Odds Change: 2 (from 0 to 6).
- Worse Rank Difference Attitude Change: 0 (from -3 to 0).
- Better Rank Difference Attitude Change: 3 (from 0 to 4).
- Share War Attitude Change Limit: 4 (from 2 to 4).
- Vassal Power Modifier: 0 (from -20 to 50).
Mehmed II, also known as el-Fatih ("the Conqueror") was the sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1451 - 1481 AD. He is best known for capturing the city of Constantinople, turning it into the new Ottoman capital and destroying the Byzantine Empire in the process. Mehmed was born in Edirne, which was then the capital of the Ottoman state, in 1432. He was fascinated by military matters from an early age; by the time that he reached maturity and ascended to the position of sultan (in 1451), Mehmed was prepared to begin the attack upon the city of Constantinople.
During the thousand-year history of the Byzantine Empire, Constantinople had withstood sieges many times. It had only been captured once, by the Fourth Crusaders in 1204. But by the fifteenth century the Byzantine Empire was a battered shell of its former self: while it still held Constantinople, it retained only a few small territories outside the city's walls (mainly in Greece).
Mehmed began the siege by constructing a pair of fortresses on both sides of the straits surrounding the city, thus preventing reinforcement by sea. When Mehmed attacked in 1453, the Byzantines were horribly outnumbered: there were only 7000 defenders to meet an army of roughly 100,000 Turks. Help was not forthcoming from the West, which remained hostile to the Byzantines because of the split between the Catholic and Orthodox churches.
Using enormous primitive cannon, the Ottomans battered the walls of Constantinople for weeks (although the rate of fire was so slow that the defenders were able to repair much of the damage as it took place). On May 29 Mehmed finally ordered an assault at a damaged section of the walls. The assault was successful, and the attackers succeeded in breaking into the city streets. The city's fate was sealed. The last Emperor, Constantine XI, died in battle, and the ancient empire was extinguished forever.
Mehmed gave his soldiers a day to loot the city (which was a customary practice at the time), during which a large portion of the populace was slaughtered, raped, or enslaved. After his soldiers' greed and lust were sated, Mehmed made every effort to rebuild the city and repopulate it with Turks. (Despite this odious "ethnic cleansing" at the beginning of his reign, Mehmed generally treated his non-Islamic subjects well, granting them permission to practice their religion freely, as well as a great deal of local autonomy.) The Byzantine administration was largely preserved intact and was given the task of running the Ottoman Empire.
Upon consolidating his control over Constantinople, Mehmed finished off the last remnants of the Byzantine Empire by conquering some small states in Greece and in 1461 he conquered the tiny Empire of Trebizond on the Black Sea. He then tried to extend his empire into Europe, but in 1462 he was defeated by Prince Vlad III (the real Count Dracula) of Wallachia, and at the Battle of Vaslui in 1475 he suffered a major loss to the Moldavian Prince Stefan. These defeats put an end to that campaign. However, Mehmed still had ambition - and plenty of it.
Believing that his conquest of Rome made him the legitimate ruler of the late Roman Empire, at the end of his life Mehmed embarked on an ambitious but foolhardy campaign to reunite his divided empire. The campaign began well; the Ottomans invaded Italy, and in 1480 the city of Otranto was easily captured. However, a rebellion in Albania the same year threatened the Ottoman supply lines, forcing the Ottomans to divide their forces. The following year a large Christian army led by the pope pushed the Ottomans from Italy. Mehmed died in 1481, putting an end forever to his dream of recapturing the ancient glory of Rome.
In large, history has judged Mehmed kindly. He is recognized for his military success and his strong rule, and later Ottoman sultans would seek to follow his example. Mehmed's conquest of Constantinople was one of the most important events in Western history, signifying the end of the medieval period. His attack upon Italy may have been foolish, but it ultimately did little to harm the young Ottoman Empire that was his legacy.
The background depicts Dolmabahçe Palace, which did not exist in Mehmed's time.