England was the minor player in the politics of Europe in the mid-1500s AD. The two major powers were the Holy Roman Empire under its Hapsburg ruler Charles V and France under Francis I. However, the struggles for power in Europe were not confined to its western regions. Hapsburg territories in eastern Europe were under constant pressure from the might of the Turkish Ottoman Empire which Charles tried to counter by negotiating an alliance with the Safavid shah of Persia, Tahmasp I. In 1536, Francis forged an alliance with the Ottoman emperor Suleiman the Magnificent against their common enemy.
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