By YENA SEO, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL (Expository)
The Court of Suleyman the Great has faced major crisis updates, both domestic and foreign, from around the Ottoman Empire. The Court, which has been assembled by the sultan himself, has been forced to make important political and military decisions to not only assert Ottoman dominance and control, but to engage in an increasingly connected world.
Unfortunately for the Court of Suleyman the Great, Shehzade Mustafa, an Ottoman Prince, was found to be assassinated in his own palace. Mustafa was believed to be killed elite infantry units with special forces training and high-technology military equipment. A directive was presented by members of the Court to investigate Mustafa’s assassination and seek revenge.
The directive “Avenge Mustafa,” proposed by Chief Admiral of the Navy Barbados Hayreddin Pasha, launched an investigation into the death of Shehzade Mustafa. The directive advocated for the use of janissaries, units that form the sultan’s bodyguards and troops, to conduct the investigation and avenge Mustafa’s death.
Former Chief Consort, Mahidevran Sultan, expressed enthusiastic support for the directive, noting that the Court of Suleyman the Great had a direct responsibility to investigate Mustafa’s death and that an Ottoman prince’s assassination cannot go unpunished. Mahidevran Sultan also noted that the threat could come from within the Court, rather than a foreign entity.
“Charles V is not the only one trying to assassinate Mustafa; all of our lives are in danger and all of us could be the next target,” Mahidevran Sultan said. “If they betrayed the Ottoman Empire once, they can do it again.”
Other Court members disagreed with the directive, noting that it was not specific enough and that the lack of details would not provide any conclusive evidence.
“How can we just send some janissaries to catch elite forces, and don’t you think we need a more detailed operation?” the Governor of Erzurum Province, Iskender Pasha, said. “We need to make this directive more detailed and specific before we have more dead janissaries, which we can’t afford.”
Ultimately, the Court of Suleyman the Great passed the directive, with 11 votes in favor and 4 against. Before the committee could celebrate the action for long, however, they received another crisis update, in which a Turkish cult member was brought before the Court to be interrogated. The Court of Suleyman the Great has struggled to deal with radicalized Muslims across the Ottoman Empire, who have started to rise up against the government.
Court Intellectual Matraket Nasuh Efendi accused the Seikh ul-Islam, Grand Mufti Ebussuud Efendi, of being responsible for radicalizing people against the Court, noting that the committee must investigate his actions. The Seikh ul-Islam, in response, noted that he had only given strength to people to resist the Cult of Anne, which is founded on Orthodox Christianity.
Additionally, several delegates accused the Habsburg Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, Ogier de Busbecq, of being behind the radicalization of citizens and uprisings. The directive “CHOICE” supported putting Busbecq on trial, which was met with extreme disgareement by Busbecq herself.
“I have done nothing but be honest with you this whole time, as I am a diplomat and not a military strategist,” Busbecaq said. “I would be inexplicably saddened if my stay with this Court was cut short.”
The Court of Suleyman the Great must now take military and political action to assert its control over the Ottoman Empire. Without specific, actionable directives that can address growing Habsburg influence and Islamic radicalization, the sultan’s dominance in the region is at risk.
The Court of Suleyman the Great votes to send janissaries to investigate the assassination of Shehzade Mustafa.