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Grown resentful ofhis influence and jealous of Süleyman's affection for him, Roxalena set out to orchestrate his death. She took advantage of every bit of gossip and information to inflame Süleyman's mind against his friend. One night, when Ibrahim was in the Seraglio as a privileged friend of the sultan, the deaf-mute guards strangled him in his sleep. Roxalena may have been responsible for Ibrahim's assassination, and there are many who have accused her of it, but there is no conclusive evidence.

Some time after this, Süleyman declared to Roxalena that he wanted to build her a new palace. She feared that putting her out of sight might mean putting her out of mind and, eventually, out offavor. To distract Süleyman, she came up with a more challenging project: a mosque to be built by the greatest architect of the time, Sinan, and to be named after the sultan himsel the Süleymaniye, the Mosque of Süleyman the Magnifıcent. Once again she triumphed. The year was l 549.

As Roxalena's sons grew older, Prince Mustafa loomed as a greater and greater obstacle. He was an able and intelligent prince, much admired by the people and the army. He was also Süleyman's favorite son. How to cause his fall from grace?
A forged letter supposedly written by Mustafa to the shah of Persia, declaring that he wanted to dethrone his father and asking for the shah's assistance, turned father against son and provoked battle on the plains of Ereğli. It is said that several times both Süleyman and Mustafa tumed back as they rode to the fıeld, but fate urged them forward: history had already been written by kismet.
Mustafa ran to his father , alone, unarmed, to redeem himself. He reached the sultan's tent, going through four partitions. When he came to the fıfth, his cries echoed through the plains. It is said that Süleyman shed tears for the son he had ki11ed, and for the father who could kill such a son.

Of Roxalena 's four sons, Mehmed died young of natural causes; Cihan- gir , possessed of a brilliant mind, was deformed and epileptic; Beyazit was able but cruel. Selim was her choice as heir, because she was convinced that his soft nature would not allow him to murder his brothers. She also knew that Selim drank to dull his prophetic awareness of impending death. Risk- ing Süleyman's wrath, she was not reluctant to supply the wine to ease her son's pain. He became known as Selim the Sot.

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