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Yavuz Sultân Selim Khan (1470 – 1520), also known as Selim I, Hâdim-ül Haramain-ish Sharifain, Selim the Steadfast and Selim the Grim, was the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1512 until his death in 1520.

He was the third and youngest son of Sultan Bayezid II, the younger brother of Ahmet and Korkut, and the father of Suleiman I.


Early life

"Selim understands our plight. The Byzantines, the Mamluks, the Safavid. Only he has the courage to face these threats."
―A Janissary's opinion of Selim.[src]

As he was last in line for the throne, Selim decided to secretly gain the support of the Janissaries, the protectors of the Sultanate. The Janissaries held him in high regard, and frowned upon Bayezid's decision to have Ahmet as his successor, saying that he had "chosen a cat over a lion."[1]

Selim was a fierce and determined man, hungry for war, and loyal to the Ottoman Empire. He was eager to see his father's Empire expand into all of the known world.[2]

Rise to the Sultanate

Ahmet: "Soldiers! Selim is not your master! You serve the Sultan! You carry out his command alone! Where is he? Where is our Sultan?"
Selim: "He stands before you, brother. Father made his choice."
―Selim to Ahmet.[src]

For the "glory of the Empire", Selim rallied an army against his father in order to gain the throne. Despite suffering heavy losses, in 1512, Selim dethroned his father as Sultan, and took the title for himself.

As he led his forces back to Constantinople, Selim found his brother Ahmet facing off against the Assassin Ezio Auditore da Firenze and Sofia Sartor.

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Selim killing Ahmet

Selim revealed that his father had ultimately chosen him as his successor, and began to strangle Ahmet; knowing of Ahmet's betrayal of the Ottomans, and his alliance with the Byzantine Templars. During this struggle, Selim eventually pushed his brother off a nearby cliff, killing him.

Selim then turned to Ezio, who had watched the scene unfold, and told the Assassin that his son Suleiman spoke quite highly of him. He mentioned that it was only due to his son's respect for the Assassins that he would spare Ezio's life, though he told the Assassin to leave Constantinople and to never return. Ezio responded by advancing towards Selim with his sword drawn, though he was stopped by Sofia. Selim then continued his march towards Constantinople, laughing as he left.

Selim's reign was the first in the history of the Ottoman Empire where the succeeding Sultan was chosen by the Janissaries, and not by the current Sultan.[1]


  • Selim is a Turkish variant of the Arabic name Salim, derived from the word سلم (salima), "to be safe."