|The elderly Suleiman, haggard with the cares of office.|
The body was embalmed secretly, packed into a chest and trundled back to Istanbul, whilst a body double, seated in his imperial carriage behind a curtain, preserved the illusion that he still lived - until the time was right to proclaim his successor and only surviving son - Selim. All the others had died or been executed for fear of insurrection.
His heart, though, was apparently buried at Szigetvar, which was totally destroyed in the final collapse of a heroic defence. And now a team of Hungarian researchers are looking for it.
The Ottomans are big in the modern Turkish imagination. A fantastically popular TV costume drama has ignited interest in the greatest sultan as Turkey seems to be propelling itself forward in a new era of Ottoman-inspired influence. They'd love the heart to be found. And the Hungarians would love to find it - fantastic for the tourist trade! Read the BBC story here.
I'm off to Istanbul on Wednesday to take part in a cruise round the Black Sea. Maybe I'll find time to tip my turban at the great man's tomb - even if he is lacking a heart, so to speak.