|Also known as||The Magnificent Century|
|Country of origin||Turkey|
|No. of seasons||4|
|No. of episodes||139 (list of episodes)|
|Running time||90-150 min.|
|Production company(s)||Tims Productions|
|Original release||January 5, 2011– June 11, 2014|
|Followed by||Muhteşem Yüzyıl: Kösem|
Muhteşem Yüzyıl (Turkish pronunciation: [muhteˈʃɛm ˈjyzjɯl], English: The Magnificent Century) is a Turkish historical fiction television series. Written by Meral Okay and Yılmaz Şahin, it is based on the life of Ottoman Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent, the longest reigning Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, and his wife Hürrem Sultan, a slave girl who became Sultan. It was originally broadcast on Show TV and then transferred to Star TV.
Succeeding his father, Sultan Selim I, at the age of 26, Sultan Süleyman I became the tenth sultan of the Ottoman Empire. This series captures the essence of being a sultan, prince, and governor, yet also introduces life as a sultana, concubine, or even political refugee. The series also focuses on Süleyman's legal wife and throne-sweetheart, Hürrem Sultan, and her constant, messy battle to keep concubines out of the Sultan's chambers.
As the harem heats up, so do the cannons against infidels. While women poison, and men stab, the beautiful entanglements between slaves and princes, sultans and sultanas, and even soldiers with city-girls, bring light to the darkest corners of the palace. Including Süleyman's best friend, İbrahim Paşa, having feelings for Süleyman's sister Hatice Sultan, but his confused emotions for another could land him on the chopping block, literally.
The eldest son's constant pushing to earn his father's approval, but will it land him to ruins? Will the youngest hump-backed brother, depressed by pain, fall into drugs, and will his destruction lead to Hürrem going hay-wire?
It also permits view to Süleyman's son's and only daughter's struggle to pick sides, determining which prince will succeed his father. Süleyman's daughter, Mihrimah Sultan, and her unfortunate heart-break after announcing her wedding. Prince Selim, and Prince Bayezid's eternal loathe for each other. As princes die out, only two remain, who will they be?
The show also includes Süleyman's prince-hood love, Mahidevran and her endless suffering, while trying to remain in this dangerous game, possessed by jealousy, what is she capable of doing to get revenge? She grips to the hope of endless power, using her eldest as a life-raft, but will his folly lead to hers?
So, friend or foe? The Sultan's mixed emotions about his consorts may just land him digging their own tomb. The infidels, concubines, and Süleyman are ready.
It is Manisa, 1520, while hunting through the woods, young 26 year old Prince Süleyman discovers his father the Sultan Selim has died, and that he must part to Constantinople to take the throne. Meanwhile, a Ukrainian girl named Alexandra gets kidnapped in a Tartar slave raid. Her mother, father, and sister are killed.
Süleyman arrives at Constantinople with his best friend, Pargalı Ibrahim Paşa. Alexandra is taken on a ship through the Black Sea, where she is mistreated and beat badly, for she is very rebellious and claims she'd rather die than be in the Ottoman's possession.
The Ottoman pirates sell Alexandra to the Palace at Crimea, and from there she is sold to the Topkapı Palace (the palace where Süleyman is). Once Alexandra arrives at the palace she is inspected, and accepted in the Sultan's harem.
Mahidevran Sultan, a senior hatun and mother of the sultan's only son Mustafa, gets worried when she notices Süleyman is not spending time with her.
Nigar (another one of the main Harem leaders) side-bars with Alexandra and explains to her that all of them arrived as slaves, but if she behaves herself and does as she is told, she will be called out to see the Sultan, and if she wins his heart, and has a son, she will rule the world as a Sultana.
Hatice, (Suleyman's sister), hears Ibrahim begin to play his violin at night from his terrace, and falls in love with him.
That night, there is a big party to welcome Süleyman, and many slave girls, including Alexandra, are chosen to dance for him. Süleyman watches Alexandra dance, and falls madly in love with her. Alexandra is then invited to spend a night in the sultan's room. She is sent once, but sent back due to a mishap with Mahidevran.
The next day as Alexandra gets ready to properly meet the sultan, she talks with the leader of the harem, Nigar hatun. Nigar tells Alexandra that Thursday is a sacred day to them, and that the sultan only sees his favorite hatun that day (it is Wednesday). Alexandra is discontent upon knowing this, but spends a wonderful night with him.
Mahidevran is getting ready to see the sultan since it is Thursday and it is the custom, but then she gets news that Alexandra will spend that night with the sultan as well. This devastates Mahidevran. The sultan changes Alexandra's name to Hürrem, which is what brings joy to ones face. One night, at a party, Mahidevran intimidates Hürrem, making her dance. Mahidevran called Hürrem Alexandra and Hürrem corrected her, which was considered an offense, and the Valide Sultan sent Hürrem to be punished.
Mahidevran later visits Hurrem in the dungeon, and remarks that if she wishes to be freed all she must do is kiss her dress fold, and excuse herself. Hurrem refuses though, claiming she has nothing to apologize for. Mahidevran then leaves her in the dungeon.
Days afterwards, Süleyman demands to see Hürrem and removes her from her punishment. When the Valide Sultan finds out about this, Hürrem falls further from the Valide's grace. Hurrem is in horrible conditions, and is ill for several day.
Süleyman gives a ring to Hürrem as a gift. When Mahidevran sees the ring she tries to pry it from Hürrem's hand, but Hürrem manages to escape with the ring.
Mahidevran, screaming and crying, faints. Mahidevran is pregnant. One morning, Mahidevran beats Hürrem severely, blaming Hürrem for her resent miscarriage. When the sultan finds out, he tells Mahidevran he does not love her anymore.
Süleyman parts on his first campaign. In order to get rid of Hürrem in Süleyman's absence, the Valide Sultan plans to marry Hürrem with Casim Paşa's son, Hürrem refuses to leave and lies to the Valide Sultan, telling her she can't leave because she is pregnant. The Valide Sultan believes the lie and lets Hürrem stay, but she tells Daye Hatun, to take Hürrem to the doctor in secret. Hürrem asks Maria (her best friend in the harem, who was kidnapped with her in her village), to help her run away. Maria refuses, and when Daye and Nigar hatun come to take Hürrem to the medic, Hürrem breaks a vase and threatens to commit suicide if they come any closer. Nigar convinces Hürrem to put the glass down. They take her to the medic and Hürrem discovers she is actually pregnant.
Süleyman receives news that Hürrem is pregnant and is very happy. Weeks later, Süleyman returns from his campaign. Later Hurrem gives birth to another daughter named Mihrimah.
Before Sadıka was able to kill Süleyman, he manages to disarm her and she is sentenced to prison. Later she is killed by Matrakçı who is found guilty for helping her to post messages and killing Sadıka is his punishment. Hürrem gives birth to another boy, Şehzade Bayezid.
Spanish Princess Isabella and her servant are kidnapped by Turkish pirates and sold to Süleyman. They live in isolation in forest in a hunting lodge. Süleyman wants to use them as an advantage when he bargain with European sovereigns. Isabella wants to escape and when she fails several times. Hürrem is jealous and threatens Isabella. Eventually she helps her to escape but the princess is stopped by İbrahim. Isabella falls in love with Süleyman, she moves into the harem and becomes Süleyman's favorite. Hürrem with the help of Gül, Nigar and Nilüfer succeed in sending her into Vienna, where she had resorting to the monastery.
Meanwhile, Balı Bey falls in love with a Jewish girl called Armin. The relationship is against the will of Armin's father and he makes her leave the city. When she returns, she is gravely ill. Balı Bey eventually marries her with the blessing of her father and next day she dies.
Hatice gives birth to a boy but she accidentally kills him. She leaves her palace and goes to Edirne in order to recover. Meanwhile, İbrahim once sleeps with Nigar and then he sends her to Topkapı Palace. After some time, İbrahim leaves for war and Hatice calls Nigar back to her palace. Nigar is in love with İbrahim. When İbrahim comes back, Nigar tries to commit suicide but İbrahim saves her.
Hatice becomes pregnant with twins. Mahidevran gives the Valide Sultan Leo's diary about Hürrem, which Gülşah picked up after Hürrem threw it out of window in a desperate attempt to get rid of it. The Valide calls Hürrem to her chambers, but then the Valide faints. Hürrem calls for help and then she attempts to take the diary. Daye notices it and takes it before Hürrem can. She later gives it to the Valide Sultan and she uses it to make Hürrem Sultan leave. To save herself, Hürrem offers an estate to Daye which she eventually accepts and in exchange Daye gives the diary to Hürrem. When the Valide comes to Hürrem's chambers, Hürrem throws the diary into fire, destroying the only evidence of her and Leo's possible affair.
Hürrem tells Süleyman that she cannot make charity because she is a slave. Süleyman frees her and when he goes to her room for a night, she tells him that she cannot share a bed with him because she is a free woman and her religion forbids her from sharing a bed with a man if she is not married, Süleyman thinks that she did the drama of the charity because she wants to marry him. She is sent to another palace under the orders of the Sultan and the Valide Sultan sets a trap for her, she puts some attackers to kill Hürrem but Balı Bey saves her. She is back to Topkapı Palace and the Sultan decides to marry her.
After marrying Hürrem Sultan, Sultan Süleyman comes to give the Valide Sultan the news of his action, but when Hürrem Sultan tries to kiss her hand she stands up and shows displeasure with his deed which she considers unacceptable. The Valide faints in the Sultan's arms and they take her to her chambers to rest.
İbrahim is shot during the ceremony with an arrow and it turns out that it was poisoned. Hürrem is afraid that they would blame her for this because she did send an archer to kill İbrahim, but she called off the attack at the last minute when she saw Hatice was upset. İbrahim's attacker was another archer sent by one of the viziers to kill him. The arrow is poisoned and İbrahim becomes seriously ill. Nigar, Matrakçı and Sümbül travel to heal İbrahim in one of the hot springs. Hatice is worried because she thinks that İbrahim will die.
Furious, Mahidevran comes to Süleyman's door and asks his guardian to announce her, but Süleyman refuses to receive her arguing that he is busy. She requests her freedom to spend her life as a free woman which Süleyman denies. She then asks him to send her to exile with her son as happens when princes become of age, but he tells her she can leave, but his son stays with him. Mustafa convinces his father to send them both to Edirne Palace.
At the Valide Sultan's initiative, her niece Aybige comes to Topkapı palace from Crimea, to be protected from the succession infighting between the Valide's brothers upon the death of their father, the Crimean ruler. They tell Aybige to stay away from Hürrem because she could be a bad influence on her, but she is stubborn and Hürrem is known all the way to her homeland so she decides to be friends with her. She falls in love with Balı Bey during this season as he is the one in charge of security of the entire royal family.
İbrahim falls in love with Nigar because she took care of him during his illness. Nigar Hatun is married to Matrakçı Nasuh Efendi on initiative of Hatice and the Valide Sultan. Nigar is not pleased by her wedding because she is in love with İbrahim, the Grand Vizier. On her first night in her new house, she is surprised to see İbrahim entering and he tells her that he and Matrakçı had a deal and that he is the one she will be with from now on. Nigar is happy at this turn of events.
Meanwhile, Hatice gives birth to twins, one boy and one girl (Osman and Huricihan) and İbrahim is happy to see her holding both babies in her hands and also surprised. Nigar is not pleased by this.
Time passed and at the age of 17, Mustafa comes back to Topkapı to be with his father until he is sent into exile.
While the Sultan is away at war, the Valide Sultan and Mahidevran conspire against Hürrem. The Valide Sultan places a spy and pretends to let Hürrem lead the harem for a while. During the rebellion provoked by the Valide's spy, Fatma, one of the slaves is accused of stealing gold and the innocent girl burns herself. The slaves take torches and march towards Hürrem's chambers and try to burn her, but Daye and the guardians save her. Daye gets fired for this.
When Sultan comes back and finds out what happened, he gives the Valide Sultan a lecture about how she is not capable of leading the harem and he is tired of all the fights. He is also angry with İbrahim because he didn't give him Hürrem's letter while they were in the war, but İbrahim says that he didn't want to worry him and that he has given orders to Daye and Nigar to protect Hürrem ever since Sultan made him responsible for her life. Sultan gives Daye back her post.
Hürrem and Mahidevran fight after Gülşah gets Daye's position and Mahidevran tries to slap her. Süleyman arrives and makes her apologize after which she goes crying to her chambers. Mustafa barges into Hürrem's chambers to talk to his father and they have a huge discussion about the way Hürrem manipulates him after which Süleyman tries to invite Mustafa to his chambers which he refuses. Mustafa almost loses his father's support when he doesn't want to come to Hagia Sofia with him, but İbrahim manages to make him see reason.
Hürrem gets into a fight with Mustafa, and Süleyman gives Mustafa his place. Hürrem is displeased so they have an argument.
Mustafa falls in love with a concubine named Nora (later Efsun) and she gets pregnant. Mustafa doesn't know that Efsun works for Hürrem Sultan and has orders to poison him. She puts poison in his food, but at the last moment she regrets and trips over the food. Mustafa gets sick, and Mahidevran concludes that it was all Hürrem's doing even though Mustafa didn't drink the poison, he gave it to ahmad the courageous only for him to kill himself for the prince and the country
Fatma Hatun blames Efsun for working for Hürrem so Mahidevran asks her to tell her a secret about Hurrem. Efsun asks Hurrem if she has another plan, Hürrem asks Efsun to tell Mahidevran about Aybige and Balı Bey's affair so that Mustafa and Mahidevran get hurt. When Aybige leaves to go back to her homeland with Balı Bey, Hurrem sends another message using Efsun that both of them are running away and they shall never come back. Mahidevran tell Süleyman about them who sends ships after them to bring them back.
Cihangir, Hürrem's youngest son gets sick, and she doesn't tell Süleyman which infiuriates him, but after seeing his son so sick, he and Hürrem unite and he calls a doctor. Cihangir is developing a hump and they try to fix it by physiotherapy while he is still a baby. Cigangir gets better even though he can't recover fully and Süleyman has a heart attack. Mahidevran is conscious that when Süleyman dies, her son would be the Sultan so she tries to convince Mustafa that he needs to take precautions with his brothers which he refuses. She then talks with İbrahim, the Valide Sultan hears this and sends Hürrem and her children to Hatice's saray to protect them. When Süleyman wakes up Mahidevran falls even more from grace.
Meanwhile, Balı Bey and Aybige are brought back from the sea and Balı Bey tells the truth to Süleyman in front of Mustafa and İbrahim. Süleyman asks Mustafa to decide Balı Bey's fate. First Mustafa announces Balı's death but on the day of punishment he forgives him. Balı Bey resigns and returns to his homeland. Aybige also returns to Crimean, her homeland.
Mahidevran finds out that Efsun is pregnant and wants to make her abort, but Mustafa stops her and sends Efsun to his chambers. Hürrem tells the Valide about Efsun's pregnancy and the Valide sends Daye to get rid of the baby. Mustafa doesn't manage to save her this time, and baby and Efsun die. But before her death she warns Mustafa to stay away from Hürrem as Hürrem tried to make her poison him. Mahidevran tell this to Süleyman who offers poison to her. As Hürrem shows no reluctance in drinking the poison, Süleyman believes that she is innocent. She survives as Süleyman was just testing her with a medicine.
Nigar gets pregnant with İbrahim's baby. Gülşah intrigued against Daye which caused Daye to kill a healer by accident so they fired her and threw her out of harem. Mahidevran is happy because she thinks Gülşah will get the post again, but is surprised to hear the Valide giving the post to Nigar. Then Valide finds out about İbrahim's affair with Nigar Hatun, because Adrees Ağa followed İbrahim Pasha and told all the relation between İbrahim and Nigar to the Valide Sultan that's why she wants to fire her. She comes to Süleyman's chambers to inform him, but suffers a stroke before saying anything. She eventually dies and Mahidevran rules the harem which she immediately uses in her favor to get the Valide's chambers which Süleyman doesn't allow. She also buys many unnecessary things and exceeds the budget and she has to take a loan from a Jewish loan shark. Gülfem is given Daye's former post.
Hürrem wants to get rid of Mahidevran and Mustafa. Mustafa is set on leave to the province of Manisa but İbrahim convinces Süleyman to let Mahidevran stay in the harem. Hürrem with Gül's help makes a plan that would convict Mahidevran of trying to murder the Valide. However Nigar witnesses Gül's action and tells İbrahim. Gül is fired for it and leaves the saray.
Gülşah tries to get rid of Mahidevran's maid Fatma but it all turns against her. She is fired and Mahidevran wants her to marry. Desperate, Gülşah wants to be Hürrem's servant but Hürrem sends her away and tells her that she would have no profit from Gülşah being her maid. Gülşah later overhears a conversation between İbrahim and Nigar about Nigar's pregnancy. She accidentally breaks a vase and İbrahim and Nigar realize that someone heard them. Gülşah wants to tell Hürrem what she found out but Hürrem isn't in her chamber and Gülşah is driven out of the saray before Hürrem's return. Nigar later realizes that it was Gülşah who overheard her and she tells İbrahim. İbrahim orders Gülşah to be killed and she is stabbed several times and left in the wilderness to die. However, she survives and tells Hürrem about Nigar's pregnancy and eventually becomes Hürrem's maid.
After the Valide's death, Daye leaves the saray. She gives all her property to charity and works as a servant of a wealthy woman. Hürrem wants to help her but Daye refuses. Eventually Daye commits suicide.
Nigar is supposed to leave the saray and go to İbrahim's brother. Hürrem kidnaps her during the journey and hides her. Gülşah takes care of Nigar. Hürrem sends a message to Hatice that İbrahim is unfaithful and reveals the whereabouts of Nigar. Nigar successfully escapes but Hatice arrives and stops her. She arrests her but Nigar says that the father of her baby is Matrakçı. Matrakçı confirms it. Hatice confronts Hürrem who sends for Gülsah who witnessed Nigar and İbrahim. Hatice later confronts İbrahim who admits cheating and being the father of Nigar's baby. Hürrem intrigues against Mahidevran making her look like someone who wanted to strangle Gülfem. Süleyman gives Hürrem the leadership of the harem and the season ends with everybody bowing to her and Mahidevran looking at her angrily.
Once Hatice discovers Ibrahim's adultery, she immediately sentences Nigar to prison. She then confronts Ibrahim, and assures him she knows Nigar is pregnant with his child, because Nasuh confessed everything after Hatice confronted him. Hatice tells Ibrahim she will divorce from him and expulses Ibrahim from their palace.
The next morning Hatice arrives at Topkapi and accuses Hurrem of trying to ruin her life, but Hurrem states she had nothing to do with it, and that she did not know anything before Gulsah told her.
Hatice then meets with Suleyman and notifies him of Ibrahim's affair with Nigar. Suleyman then bestows Hatice the authority to make the decisions referring to that, and disowns Ibrahim himself.
Gulfem talks with Hatice and convinces her not to divorce from Ibrahim, only because it would please Hurrem.
Hurrem is furious once she is informed Hatice and Ibrahim will not divorce, and quickly begins to devise another plan.
Ibrahim goes to war with Persia and Hatice secludes herself in depression.
Nigar gives birth to a girl, but Hatice hid it from Nigar, leaving her to think Hatice killed it.
Years go by, and Ibrahim returns from his campaign, to find that though Hatice did not divorce from him, she is still shunning his affection. He tries to rescue his relation to her, but she refuses to hear him.
Hurrem is upset about Ibrahim's return, but is happy after being told that Hatice will not speak with him.
Although, one night, he finally managed to rescue his relationship with her, and they reconcile.
Hatice and Ibrahim both plot against Hurrem.
Hisir Reis finds a girl amongst a ship wreck, and she is sold to Topkapi.
Hatice suffers a stroke in the Topkapi after seeing Hurrem mock her from the terrace. The girl heals her. Gulfem witnesses this and asks the girl's name. Her name is Firuze.
Once Hatice recovers, she thanks Firuze for saving her life. Then Suleyman arrives, and Firuze has a strange vision of him.
The rumor of Firuze's healing talent spreads through the harem.
Mihrimah Sultan is in love with Yahya, Şehzade Mustafa's closest friend. Mustafa sets out to Manisa where he serves as a Sancak Beyi.
Süleyman want to go on a hunting trip but his daughter doesn't want to come because Firuze is coming and not her mother, Hürrem. Hürrem threatens to kill Firuze.
Few years later Hürrem discovers Qadar, the secret daughter of Nigar and İbrahim. Hürrem notifies İbrahim. Hürrem gives the child to İbrahim.
Fatma Hatun gives birth to a boy. Süleyman goes to Manisa to see Mustafa's son and names the boy Süleyman as his name. Hürrem, Şehzade Mehmed and Mihrimah also go with Süleyman. Seeing Süleyman's closeness to Mehmed, Mustafa starts feeling threatened by Mehmed. On a secret meeting with İbrahim, the Grand Vizier manages to persuade the prince to send Helena away.
While trying to kill Firuze on Hürrem's command, Rüstem finds out that the tattoo on her neck is connected to the Safavid dynasty . He notifies Hürrem, who informs Süleyman and the Sultan decides to send her away.
Hürrem and İbrahim continue struggling against each other. Süleyman is getting suspicious about İbrahim.
Süleyman executes İbrahim and then sends the corpse to İbrahim's palace. Hatice becomes very sad about the death of her beloved and disowns her brother Süleyman. Together Hatice and Mahidevran plan on killing Hürrem by sending Diana, Mahidevran's servant, to murder Hürrem as a revenge, since they see Hürrem responsible for the execution of İbrahim. Şah Sultan decides to stand against Hürrem for her self-interests. Nasuh sends Esma, İbrahim's later daughter, to İbrahim's family as Nigar, her mother, is now married to Rüstem.
Diana didn't succeed in killing Hürrem and now Diana is serving Hürrem loyally. Şah makes Hürrem think that Mustafa is coming to usurp the throne from his father while Süleyman is on a campaign and that Süleyman and her sons are wounded and trapped. Hürrem decided to take her sons, Bayezid and Cihangir (whom stay in the Palace) away from Mustafa. But, Şah took Hürrem's sons to an old farm. Hürrem discovers this and get there personally to save her sons. But Şah was waiting for her there and told Hürrem that all of this was only a game. Hürrem decided to finish with Şah. Mihrimah is warned by her mother not to trust anyone except her.
Hatice wants to finish with Hürrem because she's seeing Şah doing nothing. Hatice sends someone to tell Hürrem that her daughter Mihrimah was in the Marble Palace but in reality, Mihrimah is still in the Palace. When Hürrem gets there, Hatice ordered a woman, who practiced black magic to put a hanker chief with witch craft in Hürrem's mouth. Hürrem is found unconscious by Sümbül, her most loyal servant, and she is taken back to the. After sometimes, Hürrem discovers that she's being witched and she warned Hatice of not playing with her. Şah gets angry of Hatice of doing things behind her back. Şah has another plan to get rid of Hürrem. Hürrem speaks with a priest and she recites the Quran to feel well. Süleyman gets another time to a campaign and Bayezid stays in the Palace. Angry, Bayezid escaped the Palace and goes in the campaign without anyone to know. But, Selim saw him and Bayezid returned to the Palace. Hürrem decided to rent money from Rakilah, a girl who rents money but, the money has been stolen by Şah. So, Hürrem was obliged to rent money from another one before the Harem's girls make problems. Rakilah took orders from Şah to say to Hürrem that Portia Hatun can perhaps help Hürrem. Portia is a Venetian woman and the Sultan was at war with Venice at that time. Hürrem took the money from Portia and then gives back the gold. The Sultan returned from the campaign and sets in Edirne. Şah took the papers of Hürrem and Portia's trait and gets to Edirne to explain everything to Süleyman. But, Hürrem sends guards to attack the cars of Şah. Şah gives them the fake papers and gives the real ones to Süleyman. Süleyman decides to exile Hürrem in Edirne and then he returns to Topkapı Palace. Şah orders Rüstem Pasha to kill Hürrem Sultan while she's in Edirne. But, he refused and decided to stay loyal to Hürrem. Rüstem decides that in marrying Mihrimah Sultan, his relation with Süleyman can get closer and he is going to enter the Diwan. Hürrem accepted but Mihrimah refused when she saw her mother in Edirne.
A Black Death epidemic breaks out and Ayas Mehmed Pasha and Mustafa Pasha die from the epidemic. Then, Lütfi Pasha becomes Grand Vizier and Şah is now more powerful. A doctor saves Hürrem by telling the Sultan that the illness comes to Edirne. Hürrem returns in Topkapı. Süleyman decided to marry Hatice to Hüsrev Pasha. She is obliged to accept but she continues living in her old Palace. When Süleyman gets to know this, he sends Hatice to the palace of Hüsrev. Mihrimah accepts to marry Rüstem. Mustafa falls in disgrace from his father because he's doing things without telling his father. Hürrem tells Mihirmah her decision of marrying Mihirmah with Rüstem and Mihirmah becomes upset. Hatice, Lütfi and Şah have a plan to get rid of Rüstem so he can not marry Mihrimah. Mahidevran suggests not to kill Rüstem but creating rumors that Rustem is very sick. Süleyman is sending a doctor to confirm Rüstems sickness. The doctor finds a louse on Rüstem's head and takes it to Istanbul as a sign that Rüstem is healthy. Rüstem is coming back to Istanbul to marry Mihrimah.
Mihrimah gives birth to a girl named Humaşah. Şah sends Mihrimah a girl to give milk to Humaşah. Lütfi proposes to Süleyman to send Mehmed, Selim and Beyazid as according to the traditions.
Nigar returns to Istanbul. She meets Şah and she wants to take revenge. Hatice and Şah accept. They help Nigar entering in the Palace of Rüstem and Mihrimah. At night Nigar should kill Rüstem and Hürrem . But, when she sees Mihrimah's daughter, she thinks about her own daughter and takes the child of Rüstem and Mihrimah away. Nigar passes baby back to Rüstem while a soldier aims to kill her on the order of Şah Sultan but she commits suicide and the soldier was not able to kill her.
Lütfi Pasha continues his crusade against prostitution. When one of the convicts makes fun of him he gets angry and punishes her without the permission of the judge. Şah discovers this and shouts at Lütfi. Lütfi beats and slaps Şah. Şah divorces from him, and he loses his position and is sent far away.
Mustafa meets the Austrian ambassador. This leads to a conflict between Süleyman and Mustafa. Süleyman punishes Mustafa by not allowing him to participate in the upcoming campaign. And after the campaign, Mustafa will not return to Manisa but to Amasya. This led to discussions between Mehmed and Mustafa.
A fake letter tells Hürrem that her son Selim is very sick. Hürrem is now going to Konya to see her son. But in reality, he is pretty well and now Hürrem is captured in a secret place. Mihrimah is accusing Şah, Hatice and Mahidevran for this. Süleyman gets very upset. Hatice commits suicide fearing from the sultan's decision after knowing that she was responsible for Hürrem's disparition. She died knowing that she took vengeance on her husband's death.
Süleyman decides to go for war against Charles V, and he achieves a victory, while on the other hands:
- Malkoçoğlu Balı Bey finds a lead on Ali Ağa (who was Hatice's servant and is responsible for abducting Hürrem) and he went to follow this lead without informing Sultan Süleyman.
- Mihrimah discovers that her aunt Şah is having a spy in the Harem (her daughter's care taker) and confront her with the fact and threats her to inform her father (Süleyman) if she doesn't leave the city and gives away her money to Hürrem's charity institute.
- Süleyman's son, Mehmed, gets murdered by his closest Şahinbey (Ilyas who works for Mahidevran) by wounding him and transferring a contiguous disease to him. The news reaches Süleyman who falls in deep sorrows and feels that everything is falling apart.
Rustem immediately reports that Hurrem Sultan has been found and is being transported to the Topkapi. Balibey searched for Hurrem and finally discovered her, but he disappeared without giving Suleyman a chance to thank him.
Hurrem and Suleiman reunite and bond over the death of Mehmed.
Hurrem invites a soothsayer to the palace to foretell who will succeed Suleiman, and the witch explains that one of her children shall reign, but that by then, the rest of her children would be dead. This infuriates Hurrem, and she orders the expulsion of the witch.
Suleyman must choose who will be the new ruler of Manisa, so the princes are called to the capital from their provinces. The first on arriving is Selim, who greets his mother, Mihrimah, and Cihangir upon arriving.
While on his way, Mustafa is intercepted by a horde of janissaries who insist in accompanying him to the capital, to which Mustafa agrees, though conscious of his father's opinion.
Mustafa arrives, and much to his dismay, Suleiman does not approve of having janissaries follow him to the capital.
Bayezid shows love to his family as giving a horse to Mihrimah and a jewel for Hürrem. Mustafa is worried about his fathers opinions because he was accompanied to the palace by Janissaries. Mahidevran comes to the palace and argues with Hürrem while they're watching Cihangir's accolade ceremonial. He is quite shy and scared. Hürrem and Rüstem are com plotting against Mustafa while Mustafa earns the love of public, soldiers and Pashas because of his bravery and his intelligence. A slave girl named Cecilia comes to the palace. She is the daughter of a Venetian nobleman but now she can't stand serving and taking a shower herself. Then, while trying to kill herself, Selim saves her and she falls in love with him. She wants to become a great Sultana by going with him at his Sanjak. She asks Hürrem but she refuses. Süleyman announces his decision. Selim is chosen for Manisa Sanjak. Everyone is surprised. Mahidevran and Mustafa are worried. Everyone thinks throne is the right of Mustafa. Also, Mustafa's concubine who is pregnant is worried about him. Beyazid is also angry on the decision and thinks that his father does not love him.
Hürrem is searching for a good maid for Selim as Cecilia comes and asks Hürrem again about going with Selim. She tells her that she saw in the stars her destiny by Hürrem's hand. Hürrem accepts and now Cecilia is Convert to Islam and is renamed Nurbanu. Hayreddin Pasha tells Mustafa that if he is chased from his father's paradise, he shall build his own. Hürrem send men to kill Mustafa on his way back to Amasya. His concubine dies with her child from the attack but Mustafa survives. He is secretly protected by someone (Atmaca).
Süleyman often talks with Ebussuud Efendi about the state. Beyazid and Selim are always fighting as in Matrak, Horse-race, and always arguing to become the favourite of their father. Hürrem Sultan is sick. It is shown that she can't have children anymore. She is keeping it secret. Fatma Sultan, Sultan Süleyman's sister comes to the Palace with a special guest, Hatice Sultan's daughter, Huricihan Sultan. Fatma Sultan conspires against Hürrem because Mustafa sent her for this. She sent a new concubine for Süleyman. Süleyman is angry over Rüstem for his in-effective management and public is complaining about his performance. Nurbanu is trying every possible way to become favorite of Selim. Rüstem kidnaps Hayrredin Pasha's daughter and asks him to tell the Sultan that Rüstem was wrongly accused for fighting with Ali Ağa and Janisariens. Huricihan Sultan and Bayezid fall in love. Their relationship is discovered by Süleyman and Huricihan is sent to live with Beyhan Sultan.
Mustafa secretly marries Hayrredin Pasha's Daughter "Mihrünnisa". Cecilia is renamed Nurbanu and becomes sultana and gives birth to a prince which the sultan names "Murad". Valeria, who was Cecilia's servant is now named Nazenin and is Süleyman's concubine. She gives birth to a girl named Raziye Sultan. Valeria and Süleyman go to Manisa to visit Selim and name his child. Süleyman saw Selim while Selim is drunk. Süleyman gets very angry and he pushes him away. Nurbanu is given an order by Hürrem to kill Nazenin. Nurbanu Sultan succeeds in her mission and Nazenin is now dead. Bayezid decides to marry Huricihan secretly.
Piri Ries, who is the manager of people who seek to protect Mustafa at all costs, plans to assassinate Hürrem but she survives and Afife Hatun dies. On Afife's death bed, she tells Hürrem that the sultan is extremely ill. The sultan comes back from the raid and he is extremely ill and faints several times. He is so ill and everyone says he is going to die and Mustafa will rise to the throne but, Süleyman is still alive.
Süleyman wanders the name of his oldest son Mustafa. Hürrem tells Rüstem "This may be his last wish.". Hürrem has no choice. She concedes the power of Mustafa and tells Rüstem that Süleyman wants Mustafa to come. Rüstem calls him but also he plans an assassination to kill Mustafa. But Mustafa guessed it and got through it. In the meantime, Rüstem convinces Selim to calm Janisseries in order to make sure Bayezid will be the next Sultan. He knows Selim can't survive through that. Nurbanu learns that and tells it to Hürrem. Then Mustafa arrives to the palace. Hürrem requests Mustafa to save Selim because she knows only Mustafa can stop and command soldiers except for Süleyman. Mustafa saves Selim and returns to the palace with Selim. But Hürrem fears the power and prestige of Mustafa and she wants him to be executed.
Hürrem, with help of Rüstem and Mihirmah, sends a fake letter to the Iranian Shah Tahmasp. In the letter she mentions about ruling the empire and getting on throne while disposing off Süleyman. Süleyman believes that Mustafa has betrayed him when he sees Mustafa's seal on the letter.
In year 1553, In Konya Sultan Süleyman orders Mustafa's execution. As soon as Mustafa enters sultan's tent executioners come and grab him, many people attempts to kill him and Mustafa finally dies. Mustafa's only son Mehmet is also killed on the order of the Sultan. The janissaries mourn over Mustafa's body and vow to avenge his death by taking Rustem's life. The Sultan fires Rüstam of his post because he is suspicious about Rüstam and the janissaries finally are at peace.
Süleyman mourns at the lost of his son Mustafa, and begins to question his decision of killing. Cihangir dies of heartbreak after his brother's death. Mahidevran and Mihrünnisa arrive at Topkapı shortly. Soon after, Mustafa's wife Mihrünnisa tells Hürrem that my winter is over but yours has just started and then commits suicide by sliting her throat in front of everyone in the harem. Mahidevran along with Nergisşah Sultan and Fidan travel to Bursa where Mahidevran spends all her allowance to build Mustafa's tomb.
Fatma Sultan's husband Kara Ahmed Pasha becomes the next grand vizier but soon after he is executed by the Sultan for intriguing against Bayezid by sending money to the group of rebels supporting the fake Mustafa. Fatma plans to kill Hürrem but the Sultan saves her at the right time and Fatma gets kicked out of Topkapı Palace forever.
Huricihan and Nurbanu have a fight and Nurbanu kills Huricihan. Hürrem finds out but Nurbanu black mails her and gets away with it; however Nurbanu declare open war against Hürrem after this. Hürrem tries to kill Nurbanu but did not succeed. Bayezid and Selim return to their sanjaks and a strange girl named Defne enters Bayezid's harem and catches his attention becoming his favorite hatun. Defne, on the order of Nurbanu, tries to poison Bayezid but she is caught by Atmaca and it is revealed that she is pregnant and she did all this on the order of Nurbanu as she has Defne's sister as a captive. Bayezid gets angry and in the rage of anger he writes a letter to the Sultan explaining him Selim's actions and tells him that he is going to attack Selim's palace. But the letter does not reach Süleyman. Meanwhile, Hürrem is travelling to Manisa and on her way she feels sick and it is revealed that she has an illness which has no cure and that her death is near. Beyazid and Selim declare open war against each other. Bayezid with many janissary soldiers sets out for Manisa to take Selim into the account for all what he has done. Beyazid reaches Manisa and they both just start to fight that Hurrem arrives and stops them. Hürrem says that she would prefer Beyazid to be the next sultan, with Mihrimah and Rüstem's support, but later decides she cannot choose between her sons.
Hürrem visited Mahidevran in Bursa. They forgive each other. Then with help of Sümbül, she found grave of İbrahim. She thanked him for everything. Hürrem dies in arms of her beloved husband. After her death Süleyman falls into deep depression. Mihrimah and Rüstem begin to work on Beyazid's succession. Selim blackmails Rüstem because Rüstem had an affair with another woman Gracia Mendez, and Rüstem switches sides. Mihrimah falls in love with a man named Pedro. Beyazid and Selim have a huge war and Süleyman provides Selim with 5000 Janissary soldiers and supports him. Beyazid and his children are killed. Rüstem is killed by Atmaca with the support of Mihrimah Sultan and Bayezid, but the reason of his death was kept secret and Mihrimah clarified that Rüstem died in his sleep since he was sick. The next Grand Vizier is Semiz Ali Pasha. Defne commits suicide and kills her son so Nurbanu cannot have the satisfaction of killing her. Süleyman goes to war and wins the battle. Meanwhile, Selim is growing older and more depressed with guilt. Mihrimah hates him and calls him a brother murderer. Mihrimah secretly plots to have Selim's son succeed him, and builds him up. Back at the camp, Süleyman, after winning the war, knows he is going to die. He thinks of Pargalı İbrahim and dies. Selim becomes the next sultan.
Spinoff: Magnificent Century: Kösem
The show begins 37 years after the death of Suleiman the Magnificent. It recounts the life of Mahpeyker Kösem Sultan, a female ruler of the Ottoman Empire through her sons and grandson.
|Season||Timeslot||Season premiere||Season finale||No. of episodes||Section range||Season's years||TV Channel|
|1||Wednesday 20:00||January 5, 2011||June 22, 2011||24||1 - 24||2011||Show TV|
|2||Wednesday 20:00||September 14, 2011||June 6, 2012||39||25 - 63||2011 - 2012||Show TV, Star TV|
|3||Wednesday 20:00||September 12, 2012||June 19, 2013||40||64 - 103||2012 - 2013||Star TV|
|4||Wednesday 20:00||September 18, 2013||June 11, 2014||36||104 - 139||2013 - 2014||Star TV|
|Actor name||Role name||Explanation||Seasons|
|Halit Ergenç||Sultan Süleyman I||The 10th Sultan of the Ottoman Empire||1–4|
|Meryem Uzerli||Hürrem Sultan||Haseki Sultan and legal wife of Sultan Süleyman, mother of the Sultan's five younger children||1–3|
|Nur Fettahoğlu||Mahidevran Sultan||Sultan Süleyman's consort and the mother of Şehzade Mustafa||1–4|
|Okan Yalabık||Pargalı İbrahim Pasha||Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire, Sultan Süleyman's best friend||1–3
4 (voice only)
|Nebahat Çehre||Ayşe Hafsa Sultan||Valide Sultan and mother of Sultan Süleyman, Sultan Selim I's widow||1–2|
|Selma Ergeç||Hatice Sultan||Sultan Süleyman's sister, İbrahim Pasha's wife, mother of Osman and Huricihan||1–3|
|Mehmet Günsür||Şehzade Mustafa||Sultan Süleyman's eldest and Mahidevran Sultan's only child, first heir to the throne||2–4|
|Berrak Tüzünataç||Mihrünnisa Sultan||Şehzade Mustafa's wife and mother of his son, Barbaros Hayreddin Pasha's daughter||4|
|Gürbey İleri||Şehzade Mehmed||Sultan Süleyman and Hürrem Sultan's first child||3|
|Pelin Karahan||Mihrimah Sultan||Sultan Süleyman and Hürrem Sultan's only daughter, Rüstem Pasha's wife||3–4|
|Ozan Güven||Rüstem Pasha||Mihrimah Sultan's husband and Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire||3–4|
|Engin Öztürk||Şehzade Selim||Sultan Süleyman and Hürrem Sultan's third child and later the 11th Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, father of Murad III||4|
|Merve Boluğur||Nurbanu Sultan||Legal wife of Şehzade Selim, later Valide Sultan of Sultan Murad III||4|
|Aras Bulut İynemli||Şehzade Bayezid||Sultan Süleyman and Hürrem Sultan's fourth child||4|
|Tolga Sarıtaş||Şehzade Cihangir||Sultan Süleyman's and Hürrem Sultan fifth and last child||4|
|Deniz Çakır||Şah Sultan||Sultan Süleyman's sister, Lütfi Pasha's wife, Esmehan Sultan's mother||3|
|Meltem Cumbul||Fatma Sultan||Sultan Süleyman's sister, Kara Ahmed Pasha's wife||4|
|Burak Özçivit||Malkoçoğlu Balı Bey||Ottoman soldier, in love with Aybige Hatun, Mihrimah's love interest||2–3|
|Burcu Özberk||Huricihan Sultan||Hatice Sultan and Ibrahim Pasha's daughter, in love with Bayezid||4|
|Tuncel Kurtiz||Ebussuud Efendi||Kadı of Istanbul, later Şeyhülislam efendi||3–4|
|Filiz Ahmet||Nigar Kalfa||Servant and apprentice in the harem, İbrahim's lover and confidant and mother of his daughter Esmanur||1–3|
|Serkan Altunorak||Taşlıcalı Yahya Bey||One of the famous poets of the era, Friend and supporter of Şehzade Mustafa||3–4|
|Sarp Akkaya||Atmaca||Friend and supporter of Şehzade Mustafa and then Şehzade Bayezid||4|
|Selim Bayraktar||Sümbül Ağa||Chief eunuch of the harem and Hürrem Sultan's closest confidant.||1–4|
|Actor name||Role name||Explanation||Seasons|
|Selen Öztürk||Gülfem Hatun||Sultan Süleyman's first wife, Hatice Sultan's confidant||1–4|
|Serdar Orçin||Sinan Pasha||An admiral of the Ottoman Empire as a Commander in Chief of the Navy, Rüstem Pasha's brother||4|
|Tolga Tekin||Barbaros Hayreddin Pasha||An admiral of the Ottoman Empire as a Commander in Chief of the Navy and the first captain pasha, Mustafa's supporter, Mihrünissa's father||3–4|
|Mehmet Özgür||Lütfi Pasha||Şah Sultan's husband and later Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire after the death of Ayas Pasha, Esmehan's father||3|
|Yetkin Dikinciler||Kara Ahmed Pasha||Fatma Sultan's husband and later Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire||4|
|Pınar Çağlar Gençtürk||Beyhan Sultan||Sultan Süleyman's sister, Ferhad Pasha's wife||1–3|
|Sabina Toziya||Afife Hatun||Chief treasurer and leading servant of the harem, Yahya Efendi's mother||3–4|
|Fehmi Karaarslan||Ayas Pasha||The vizier for the council, later the Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire after the execution of Ibrahim Pasha||1–3|
|Arif Erkin Güzelbeyoğlu||Piri Mehmed Pasha||Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire before Pargalı Ibrahim Pasha||1–2|
|Murat Şahan||Mustafa Pasha||Chief Commander of the Navy before Barbaros, later the vizier of the council||1–3|
|Yasemin Allen||Defne Sultan||Şehzade Bayezid's wife and mother of his last son||4|
|Ecem Çalık||Esmehan Sultan||Şah Sultan and Lütfi Pasha's daughter||3|
|Fatih Al||Matrakçı Nasuh||Mathematician, historian, geographer, miniaturist, and inventor, Ibrahim's confidant||1–4|
|Almeda Abazi||Nazenin Hatun (Valeria)||Sultan Süleyman's concubine, Raziye Sultan's mother, Nurbanu Sultan's former servant||4|
|Elif Atakan||Rümeysa Sultan||Şehzade Mustafa's wife||3|
|Serenay Aktaş||Ayşe Sultan||Şehzade Mustafa's concubine and mother of his daughter Nergisşah Sultan||3|
|Cansu Dere||Firuze Hatun (Hümeyra)||A Persian princess in the Ottoman harem, in love with Süleyman||3|
|Melike İpek Yalova||Isabella Fortuna||Princess of Castille, in love with Süleyman||2|
|Efe Mehmet Güneş||Sultanzade Osman||Hatice Sultan's and İbrahim Pasha's son||3|
|Hasan Küçükçetin||İskender Çelebi||Ottoman finance minister renowned for his wealth, an enemy of İbrahim Pasha||2–3|
|Gökhan Çelebi||Ferhad Pasha||Beyhan Sultan's husband||1|
|Ezgi Eyüboğlu||Aybige Hatun||Valide Sultan's niece, Crimean Princess, in love with Balı Bey||2|
|Alp Öyken||Pope Clement VII||Pope of the Roman Catholic Church during that time||1–2|
|Sema Keçik||Daye Hatun||Valide Sultan's maid||1–2|
|Nihan Büyükağaç||Gülşah Hatun||Mahidevran Sultan's maid, later Hürrem Sultan's maid||1–3|
|Burcü Güner||Fahriye Kalfa (Diana)||Mahidevran Sultan's maid, later Hürrem Sultan's maid||3–4|
|Saadet Aksoy||Victoria (Sadıka Hatun)||A Hungarian countess. An enemy of Sultan Süleyman||1–2|
|Saygın Soysal||Mercan Ağa||Şah Sultan's confidant||3|
|Engin Günaydın||Gül Ağa||Hürrem Sultan's confidant||2|
|Yüksel Ünal||Şeker Ağa||Main chef of the palace kitchen||1–3|
|Gürkan Uygun||Mimar Sinan||Chief architect of Sultan Süleyman||3–4|
|Yıldırım Fikret Urağ||Sokollu Mehmed Pasha||Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire after Semiz Ali Pasha||4|
|Dolunay Soysert||Gracia Mendes Nasi||A wealthy Jewish woman who became a prominent figure in the politics of the Ottoman Empire||4|
|Burcu Tuna||Gülnihal Hatun (Maria)||Hürrem Sultan's childhood friend||1|
|Melisa Sozen||Efsun Hatun (Nora)||Hürrem Sultan's servant, in love with Şehzade Mustafa||2|
|Seçkin Özdemir||Leo||Hürrem Sultan's former fiancé||1|
|Gamze Dar||Fidan Hatun||Hürrem Sultan's servant, later Mahidevran Sultan's maid||2–4|
|Müjde Uzman||Armin Hatun||Balı Bey's first love, Joşua Effendi's daughter||2|
|Bergüzar Korel||Monica Teresa||Senior Gritti's sister||1|
|Country||Local title||Network||Premiere date||Timeslot|
|Turkey||Muhteşem Yüzyıl||Show TV (Season 1–2)
Star TV (Season 2–4)
|January 1, 2011||20:00|
|Arab League||حريم السلطان
|OSN Ya Hala(Pay-per-view)||December 13, 2011|
|Albania||Sulltani - Shekulli Madhështor||Albanian Screen||December 2011||20:00|
|Azerbaijan||Möhtəşəm Yüz İl||Lider TV||December 2011||20:10|
|Deepto TV||November 18, 2015||19:30, 22:00|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||Sulejman Veličanstveni||Televizija OBN||August 22, 2012||20:00|
|September 7, 2012
August 29, 2015
|Chile||El Sultán||Canal 13||December 14, 2014||23:00|
|Croatia||Sulejman veličanstveni||RTL Televizija||August 22, 2012||19:00|
|Czech Republic||Velkolepé století||TV Barrandov||December 17, 2011||20:00|
|Egypt||Al Hayat TV||November 2011|
|Estonia||Sajandi armastus||Kanal 2||September 1, 2013||19:35 or 20:35|
|France||France 2||September 2012||20:00|
|Greece||Σουλεϊμάν ο Μεγαλοπρεπής
Souleiman o Megaloprepis
|ANT1||August 28, 2012 (Season 1, 2 3a)
Οctober 21, 2013 (Season 3b)
June 10, 2014 (Season 4)
|21:30 (Season 1,2,3)
22:15 (Season 4)
|Georgia||დიდებული საუკუნე||Maestro TV||September 2013||21:45|
|Hungary||Szulejmán||RTL Klub||January 4, 2013||21:30|
|Indonesia||Abad Kejayaan/King Suleiman||antv||December 22, 2014||22:00|
|GEM TV||September 2012||22:00|
|Israel Plus||December 2013||19:00|
|Italy||Il secolo Magnifico||Babel TV||June 2013|
|Kazakhstan||Сүлеймен сұлтан||Хабар||March 15, 2012|
|Kyrgyzstan||Даңазалуу доор||KTRK||March 15, 2012|
|Lithuania||Didingas amžius||LNK||September 7, 2013||15:00|
|Macedonia||Величествениот султан||Kanal 5||December 12, 2011||21:00|
|Morocco||'||Medi 1 TV||December 2011|
|Montenegro||Sulejman Veličanstveni||Prva TV
October 11, 2013
|Pakistan||میرا سلطان Mera Sultan||Geo Kahani||May 10, 2013- Jan 27 2015||21:00|
|Panama||El Sultán||TVN||November 9, 2015||20:00|
|Perú||El Sultán||ATV||February 15, 2016||21:00|
|Poland||Wspaniałe stulecie||TVP1||October 6, 2014||15.45|
|Romania||Süleyman Magnificul||Kanal D Romania||September 5, 2012||20:00|
|Russia||Великолепный век||Domashny||January 9, 2012||21:00|
|February 9, 2012
September 1, 2013
December 17, 2013
September 19, 2014
|Slovakia||Sultán||TV Doma||December 15, 2011||20:30|
|Slovenia||Sulejman Veličastni||Planet TV||March 5, 2013||12:50|
|Spain||El siglo magnífico||1+1||July 7, 2014||21:32|
|Nessma TV||April 2013||20:45|
|Ukraine||Величне століття. Роксолана||1+1||October 3, 2012||17:15|
|India||Suleman Ka Kahani||Zee TV||June 1, 2016||20:00|
|USA||Suleimán - El Gran sultán||MundoFox||July 1, 2014||20:00|
|Vietnam||Thời đại hoàng kim - The Golden Age||HTV7||February 4, 2015||11:00|
The show generated controversy and complaints from some viewers, for what they referred to as a "disrespectful", "indecent" and "hedonistic" portrayal of the historical sultan. Turkey's Radio and Television Supreme Council, known as RTÜK, claimed they had received over 70,000 complaints about the show and warned Show TV to publicly apologise for wrongly exposing "the privacy of a historical person". The Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan condemned the show as "an effort to show our history in a negative light to the younger generations." An MP for the governing Justice and Development Party, Oktay Saral, went further, threatening to outlaw the “misrepresentation of historical figures” in shows such as Muhteşem Yüzyıl. Small groups of Islamists and Nationalists protested the studio but the show remains successful with consistently high ratings.
"On the surface, 'Magnificent Century' looks like a quintessential product of the Erdoğan years. Thanks to Erdoğan's economic policies, Turkey has a thriving television industry, capable of staging elaborate period dramas, and a prosperous family-oriented middle class of observant Muslims eager to watch their own values reflected in a historical imperial setting. And, much as Erdoğan's foreign policy has promoted relations with former Ottoman lands, the show has conquered large audiences in Balkan, Caucasian, and Arab countries not known for their fond memory of Ottoman rule. Broadcast to more than two hundred million viewers in fifty-two countries, "Magnificent Century" has accomplished one of Erdoğan's main goals: Making a powerful, non-secularist, globally involved version of Turkey both plausible and appealing.... And yet Erdoğan is not a fan. In late 2012, at the opening of a provincial airport he took a moment to condemn the show's depiction of Süleyman, as well as its directors and broadcasters, hinting at severe judicial repercussions."
Muhteşem Yüzyıl is reported to have an international audience of 400 million viewers.
A Nielsen Media Research market study found out that it is the most watched TV show in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2013 and the fourth most successful show in Serbia. The show is part of an ongoing revival of Turkish culture in the Balkans through imported TV shows from Turkey, such as Öyle Bir Geçer Zaman Ki ("As time goes by", number one TV show in Macedonia), or Fatmagül'ün Suçu Ne? ("What is Fatmagül's fault"), which was top ranked TV show in Kosovo 2012. Serbian sociologist Ratko Bozovic explains the popularity by pointing at the traditional, patriarchal values of the Turkish shows, and the many cultural and linguistic similarities between Turkey and the Balkan countries: “The mentality depicted in those shows has to do with a traditional understanding of morality that people in Serbia remember at some level" According to him all Balkan countries have seen dramatic changes in terms of family life, and the Turkish shows help them recall value systems that now seem lost.
In Greece, the series has become quite popular. It has become so popular that Bishop Anthimos of Thessaloniki and the Golden Dawn party condemned the show and urged Greeks not to watch it. "No one should watch Muhteşem Yüzyıl, The Magnificent Century," Anthimos said. He added, "By watching the Turkish series we are telling them we have surrendered."
In Republic of Macedonia, Turkish series have become so popular, that the Macedonian parliament has moved to ban Turkish soaps to reduce the Turkish impact on Macedonian society. Turkish series will gradually be removed and replaced by national programs, according to a 2012 bill.
In Chile where the series is called El Sultán (The Sultan) it is aired since December 14 in Canal 13 on prime time. The Spanish voice of Süleyman is the same as the one of Onur in the Turkish soap opera Las mil y una noches. The series is part of a wave of Turkish soap operas that have become popular in Chilean TV. The series debuted right after the penultimate chapter of Los 80, a popular historical family drama produced by Canal 13. Pablo Illanes, former screenwriter of Canal 13, criticized El Sultán as "not even camp". 
In Pakistan, the show is called Mera Sultan (meaning "My Emperor") and it aired on channel Geo Kahani. Geo Kahani claims that it is the channel's most popular show  and continues to receive highest ratings, along with other Turkish series like Aşk-ı Memnu and Fatmagül'ün Suçu Ne?, both of which aired before this Series.
In Bangladesh, the show was renamed as Sultan Suleiman and it aired on the new comer channel Deepto TV which was launched in November 2015 and started its broadcasting activity by telecasting first and second episode of this serial as the channels first opening program. It was the first Turkish drama series aired in Bangladeshi television. Through this program, the channel as well as the show acquired 2nd highest TRP by the first week of January and marvelously got the 1st place in the TRP ratings of viewers by the second week among all the Bangladeshi TV channels.
- "Turkish scriptwriter, actress Meral Okay passes away". Zaman (newspaper). 2012-04-09. Retrieved 2012-04-15.
- Fowler, Suzanne (2011-03-20). "Magnificent Century divides Turkish TV viewers over the life of Süleyman". The Observer. Retrieved 2011-03-20.
- "দীপ্ত টিভিতে তুরস্কের 'সুলতান সুলেমান'". Banglamail24.com. 11 November 2015. Retrieved 14 November 2015.
- "Muhtesem Yuzyil "Magnificent Century" takes Turkey by storm". Istanbul View. Retrieved 2011-03-20.
- Moore, Robbie. "Soap Opera Diplomacy: Turkish TV in Greece". The International. Retrieved 13 February 2013.
- Batuman, Elif (Feb. 17 & 24). "Ottomania: A Hit TV Show Reimagines Turkey's Imperial Past". The New Yorker. Retrieved 24 February 2014. Check date values in:
- Rohde, David. "In Turkey, Erdogan disrespects dissent". Reuters. Retrieved 24 February 2014.
- "Turks bewitch the Balkans with their addictive soaps". Balkan Insights. Retrieved 2013-05-03.
- Greeks tune in to Turkish soap opera, despite critics views, Southeast European Times (SETimes.com), Andy Dabilis and Erisa Dautaj, 10/10/2012
- Soap Opera Diplomacy: Turkish TV in Greece, The International, 12.02.2013
- Greek metropolitan bishop warns against Turkish series, Hürriyet Daily News, 18.09.2012
- Macedonia bans Turkish soap operas, Hürriyet Daily News, 14.11.2012
- La nueva oleada turca: Cinco teleseries se sumarán a la pantalla local, La Tercera.
- Ex guionista de Canal 13 barre con “El Sultán”, la gran apuesta de la estación
- "Deepto TV on top". Dhaka Tribune. 21 January 2016. Retrieved 23 January 2016.