"Ottoman Empire & European Theatre V“ Culture of Politics or Cultural Politics: Ambassadors as Cultural Actors in the Ottoman-European Relations.
Culture of Politics or Cultural Politics – Act Two : Representation, Theatricality and Cultural Transfer in the Ottoman - European Diplomatic Relations edition:Ottoman Empire and European Theatre – Part VI location:Vienna date:5-6 June 2014
I, Sultan Mahomet Turkish emperor, informs by this writing, how I presently fare, fearing that in a short time to come, your currently so powerful and florissant empire will also undergo great changes. My dearly beloved Louis, I complain to you about my suffering and my heartaches, as being my friend and ally, and shall besides that also, like a prophet, foretell your downfall and ruin.
This fragment of a pamphlet was published in Brussels by Symon van Bloemendaal in 1688. In the pamphlet, supposedly written by the sultan, the latter protests to his friend, the French king Louis XIV (1638-1715) about the recent defeats of the Ottomans by the Habsburgs and asks him for help. At the same time he also warns the French king against the Habsburg power and predicts a similar doom for the French armies. In the Spanish Habsburg Netherlands, the French-Ottoman relations often became the subject of mockery and outrage in printings like this and other pamphlets, plays, etc.
From the sixteenth century on, there was a firm alliance between the French ‘Rois Très-Chrétien (‘Most Christian kings’)’ and the Sultans of the Ottoman Empire. Embassies were exchanged and agreements for mutual support against the Habsburgs were set up. In the sixteenth century, the French king Francis I (1494-1547; r. 1515-1547) became allies with the Ottoman sultan Suleiman the Magnificent (1494-1566; r. 1520-1566). In 1535 the French king cemented the alliance with the Ottomans. These diplomatic relations forged between France and the Ottoman Empire in this period would survive the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. In the seventeenth century an alliance existed between king Louis XIV and sultan Mehmed IV (1642-1693, r. 1648-1687). The Ottoman – French relations helped the French king in his struggle for territorial expansion, like in the brief war of Réunions (1683-1684). Despite a brief neutrality of the French king during the siege of Vienna, Habsburg territories like the Spanish Netherlands were invaded and partly conquered by the French armies from the end of 1683. These and other actions were reflected in printings in the Habsburg Netherlands.