“Locking up the Strait in the fifteenth century’s Ottoman Mediterranean”: The Bosporus’ sea forts of Mehmet II (1452)

In the fifteenth century, the Mediterranean world was in turmoil. A new sultan, Mehmet II, had just inherited a vast empire stretching over two continents in the centre of which the ruins of the Byzantine Empire survived through the city of Constantinople. In order to seal his accession, he therefore undertook important preparations to conquer the “City guarded by God”. Mehmet then ordered the construction, within 4 months, of an imposing fortress nicknamed Boǧazkesen (the throat cutter).