During a period of European peace, Spain sought to establish control of the Mediterranean. Yet a disastrous attempt to oust the Ottomans from North Africa threatened to accelerate the westward advance of Islam.
Over the last 30 years, western ideas about the Ottoman Empire have been transformed, just as Turkish attitudes towards the West have become increasingly negative, writes Erik Zurcher.
Lansing Collins describes how, in honour of a previous gift sent in the other direction, Elizabeth I presented Sultan Mohammed III with an elaborate clock, surmounted by singing birds that shook their wings.
Anthony Bryer takes a visit to Nicaea; The seat of early Church Councils and, for a while, of the Byzantine Emperors, it has a history stretching from the reign of Alexander the Great to the present day.
Sarah Searight describes how the Levant Company, which had received its first charter from Elizabeth I, did not surrender its monopolistic hold over trade with the Middle East until the reign of George IV.