Istanbul, 16th–17th Centuries
Sultan Mehmed II envisioned Constantinople as the capital of a powerful, highly cultured Ottoman Islamic world-state representing the divinely ordained order for all humankind on earth (a view similar to the traditional one of the Orthodox Christians regarding Byzantium). In many respects, Istanbul was to continue Constantinopolitan traditions as the political and cultural fountainhead for an essentially theocratic society. Formerly, that society had been Christian Byzantium. Now it was to be the Islamic Ottoman Empire.