Ottomania: A hit TV show on Turkey’s imperial past

The New Yorker examines Magnificent Century, a hit TV show that reimagines Turkey’s imperial past

On the way to the Sultan’s harem, I saw two beautiful slave girls walking across a parking lot clutching their tiaras and squinting unhappily into the sun. It was a hot August day in Istanbul, with an intermittent gusting wind. An attendant ushered me into a warren of royal chambers. I crossed the marble flagstones of a capacious Turkish bath, and proceeded down the passageway known as the Golden Road, through which a lucky concubine, having received the purple handkerchief indicative of the Sultan’s favor, approaches the privy chamber. On a gilt desk lay an imperial seal and two sticks of wax. An adjacent bedroom, lavishly appointed, had been occupied by the Sultan’s mother, until her death, toward the end of Season 2.

Magnificent Century Main Characters

Magnificent Century Main Characters

“Magnificent Century,” a soap opera set in the court of Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent, has been breaking Turkish television records since its première, in 2011. Every Wednesday, more than a third of prime-time viewers tune in to watch the latest ninety-minute episode. Süleyman, who reigned from 1520 to 1566, is known in Turkey as the Lawmaker, renowned for his innovative legal code, for the opulence of his court, and for expanding the Ottoman Empire from Transylvania to the Persian Gulf. It was Süleyman’s Army that defeated the Hungarian forces at the Battle of Mohács and launched the first Ottoman siege of Vienna, though the plot of “Magnificent Century” focusses more on the life of the harem, and the intrigues among Süleyman’s wife, concubines, mother, sisters, children, and viziers.

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Hugh Jackman: My grandfather was an Ottoman

Independent Balkan News Agency

Hugh Jackman an Ottoman

Hugh Jackman an Ottoman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In an interview with the newspaper Hurriyet, Hugh Jackman said that his grandfather was an Ottoman and that “I could call myself a Turk”, since his grandfather immigrated to Australia not from Greece, but from the Ottoman lands.

“My father and uncle went to the place where my grandfather immigrated from, and from what they say, that region which is in Greece today belonged to the Ottoman Empire at that time,” Jackman said.

“So I am the descendant of an Ottoman grandfather. Do not think that I’m saying this because I’m coming to Turkey, but I am a Turk. Yes, I think I may say that I’m a Turk.”

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