Mehmed II, commonly known as Mehmed the Conqueror, was an Ottoman sultan who ruled from August 1444 to September 1446, and then later from February 1451 to May 1481.
In Mehmed II’s first reign, he defeated the crusade led by John Hunyadi after the Hungarian incursions into his country broke the conditions of the truce Peace of Szeged. When Mehmed II ascended the throne again in 1451, he strengthened the Ottoman navy and made preparations to attack Constantinople. At the age of 21, he conquered Constantinople and brought an end to the Byzantine Empire. After the conquest, Mehmed claimed the title Caesar of the Roman Empire, based on the fact that Constantinople had been the seat and capital of the surviving Eastern Roman Empire since its consecration in 330 AD by Emperor Constantine I. The claim was only recognized by the Patriarchate of Constantinople. Nonetheless, Mehmed II viewed the Ottoman state as a continuation of the Roman Empire for the remainder of his life, seeing himself as “continuing” the Empire rather than “replacing” it.
Mehmed continued his conquests in Anatolia with its reunification and in Southeast Europe as far west as Bosnia. At home, he made many political and social reforms, encouraged the arts and sciences, and by the end of his reign, his rebuilding program had changed Constantinople into a thriving imperial capital. He is considered a hero in modern-day Turkey and parts of the wider Muslim world. Among other things, Istanbul’s Fatih district, Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge and Fatih Mosque are named after him.