In 1534 an Ottoman delegation was in Paris to discuss a plan to unite France and Turkey against their shared enemy, the Habsburg empire. But as Noel Malcolm explains in Useful Enemies, the alliance was only the most overt of the accommodations that Europeans made after the Ottomans first exploded into the Balkans in 1362. Photograph: AlamyFar from being divided neatly between the Christian and Muslim worlds, southern and central Europe seethed with opportunism and expediency. Suleyman’s northward thrust was facilitated by the Reformation, religious authority leaching from the pope and any possibility of concerted European action foreclosed. It became common to draw attention to positive aspects of Ottoman rule in order to highlight deficiencies at home.
Source: The Guardian May 22, 2019 09:00 UTC