Bayezid I was the fourth Ottoman Sultan reigning from 1389 to 1402. He was famous for setting up one of the largest armies in the world of his time. He acquired the title of Sultan-i Rûm, which is an old Islamic name for the Roman Empire.
He had established the first centralized Ottoman state based on Turkish and Muslim traditions and stressed on the importance to expand Ottoman rule in Anatolia. He got the title of “Yildirim” meaning Thunderbolt in Turkish, it was infact a nickname he embraced for the speed of mobilizing his troops and attacking the enemy.
Sultan Bayezid I was the son of sultan Murad I and his first wife Gülçiçek Hatun who ethnically had a Greek descent. The wives of Sultan Bayezid I are Sultan Hatun, Devlet Hatun and Despina Hatun. He also had eight sons and four daughters out of which Mehmed I had become the next sultan of the ottoman empire. He was the son of Devlet Hatun.
The sultan Bayezid I was born in 1360 AD and 761 according to the Islamic calendar. He was a very well educated and organized person from his childhood. He was very aggressive, warlike and fierce commander and his skills as a soldier were very commendable. He used to go on wars along with his father and on one such occasion he lost his father in Kosovo against the Crusades when a Serbian soldier killed his father.
Although the ottomans defeated the Serbians and Serbai become a vassal state of the ottomans but in the process he lost hia father and become the fourth sultan of the ottoman empire. During his 13 years of reign, Bayezid suffered only one defeat and that one defeat eventually turned out to be fatal for him. He was a religious man and usually spend hours in his personal mosque for prayers in Bursa.
Bayezid as the Sultan:
During the early years of Bayezid’s reign as the sultan, Ottoman forces carried out missions that become successful in controlling vast Balkan territories. Afterwards, Venetian advances in Greece, Albania, Byzantium and the expansion of Hungarian influence in Walachia and Danubian Bulgaria forced the Bayezid to blockade Constantinople and in the year 1394 he blocked the Constantinople.
Anadoluhisarı fortress was also built at that time as part of preparations for the Second Ottoman blockade of Constantinople, which later took place in 1395. On the persuasion of the Byzantine emperor Manuel II Palaeologus another crusade was prepared to defeat the sultan but proved unsuccessful.
In 1396 the Christian allies under the command of the King of Hungary and future Holy Roman Emperor Sigismund, were crushed in the Battle of Nicopolis. Sultan Bayezid I constructed the magnificent Ulu Cami or the great mosque in Bursa, to celebrate this magnificent victory. The siege of Constantinople as result continued for some years lasting until 1402. The tormented Byzantines had their breathing space when Bayezid fought the Timurid Empire in the East.
Clash with Timur:
To build a powerful Islamic and Turkish base for his domain, Bayezid began to widen Ottoman suzerainty over the Turkish Muslim rulers in peninsula. He annexed numerous Turkmen emirates in peninsula and defeated the Karaman emirate at Akçay in 1397.
These conquests brought Bayezid into conflict with the Central Asian conqueror Timur (Tamerlane), who claimed suzerainty over the Anatolian Turkmen rulers and offered refuge to those expelled by Bayezid. In 1400, Timur Lenk succeeded in rousing the native Turkic beyliks who had been vassals of the Ottomans to affix him in his attack on Bayezid, United Nations agency was additionally thought about one among the foremost powerful rulers within the Muslim world throughout that amount. within the fateful Battle of national capital , on twenty July 1402, the Ottoman army was defeated. Bayazid tried to flee, however was captured and brought to Timur Lenk.
Bayezid Captivity and death:
Bayazid’s insult in captivity was very popular particularly in Europe. He was purportedly bound and compelled to look at the way his beloved wife Olivera, served Timur Lenk at dinner. Timur Lenk took Bayezid with himself everywhere in a very barred palankeen or cage, undignified him in numerous ways that used Bayezid as a support below his legs and at dinner had him placed below the table where bones were thrown at him.
There are different versions on Bayezid’s death existed. One of them mentioned the suicide of Bayezid that Bayezid allegedly committed suicide by hitting his head with the bars of a cell or taking poison. This version was promoted by Ottoman historians.
There was probably anothet version where Bayezid was purportedly poisoned by Timur’s order. This is very much unlikely to happen because of the proof that the Timur entrusted the care of Bayezid to his personal doctors. He died in the year 1403 a year after he become humiliated with captivity.