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What happened when a Muslim Sultan attacked the city?

And were its inhabitants forced to convert to Islam?

Istanbul is a cosmopolitan metropolis at nexus of Europe and Asia.

700 years ago, Istanbul was called Constantinople – a Christian city-state in the middle of a Muslim empire.  Its surrounding walls had kept the city safe from invaders for a thousand years.

And then, on April 6th,1453, a young Muslim Sultan named Mehmet arrived with an army to lay siege.

Constantinople’s rule, Emperor Constantine the Eleventh, warned his Christian subjects that if the Muslims conquered the city, they would brutalize survivors and force them to convert to Islam, assuring their eternal damnation.

Sultan Mehmet had 80,000 soldiers, the largest cannons the world had ever seen, and an innate tactical ability that was second to none.

Constantine’s militia was skilled and motivated, and the city’s impenetrable walls had many ingenious features designed to repel invaders.

The siege pitted an irresistible force against an immovable object.

What tactics and technology turned the tide?  Who would be victorious?  And were Christians forced to convert to Islam?

All is revealed in Museum Secrets: Inside Topkapi.

Further Questions

How many would-be conquerors tried and failed to scale Constantinople’s walls?  Wikipedia has the answer on this page:  List of Sieges of Constantinople.

What religions are practiced in Istanbul today?  Find out on this page.


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