"Later in the day, when the chaos had died down and some semblance of order had been restored, Mehmet made his own triumphant entry into Constantinople. He passed through the Gate of Charisius - that was to become in Turkish, the Edirne gate - on horseback, accompanied on foot by his viziers, beylerbeys, the ulema and commander and by his crack troops, his bodyguards and foot soldiers, in a show of pageantry that has been amplified by legend. The green banners of Islam and the red banners of the sultan were unfurled as the cavalcade jingled through the archway. After portraits of Kemal Ataturk, it is probably the single most famous image in Turkish history, endlessly memorialized in poems and pictures. In nineteenth-century prints the bearded Mehmet sits upright on is proudly stepping horse, his face turned to one side. He is flanked by sturdy moustachioed Janissaries carrying matchlocks, spears and battle axes, imams whose white beards symbolize the wisdom of Islam, and behind the waving banners and a thicket of clustered spears stretch deep to the horizon. To the left a black warrior, muscled like a body builder, stands proudly erect as a representative of all the other nations of the Faith welcoming the gazi warriors into the inheritance promised by the Prophet. His scimitar points to a heap of fallen Christians at the sultan’s feet, whose shields are surmounted with crosses - a memory the crusades and a symbol of the triumph of Islam over Christianity. According to legend, Mehmet stopped and gave thanks to God. Then he turned to congratulate his ‘seventy or eighty thousand Muslims heroes, crying out: “Halt not Conquerors! God be praised! You are the Conquerors of Constantinople!”’ It is the iconic moment at which he assumes the name by which he has always been known in Turkish - Fatih, the Conqueror - and the instant at which the Ottoman Empire comes fully into its own. He was twenty-one years old.”
~ Roger Crowley, "Constantinople: The Last Great Siege, 1453"