Who was Sultan Bayezid II (8th Sultan of the Ottoman Empire)

Who was Sultan Bayezid II (8th Sultan of the Ottoman Empire)

Sultan Bayezid II was born on 3rd December 1447 CE in Didymotricho, Thrace, Greece. He was the eldest of his brothers and the son of Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror and Emine Gulbahar Hatun, a Greek Orthodox from the Village of Douvera, Trabzon who died in 1492 CE. It is also said that Bayezid II was the son of Mukrime Hatun but it doesn’t make sense because she was married to Sultan Mehmed 2 years after the birth of Bayezid II. He was the successor of Sultan Mohammad I reigning the Ottoman Empire from 1481 CE to 1512 CE. Sultan Bayezid II married to Ayse Hatun, who was converted from Greek ethnicity and the mother of Selim I.

Reign and Fight for the Throne

When Sultan Mohammed Fateh (Mehmed the Conqueror) died on 2nd May 1481 CE, two of his sons were alive named Prince Bayezid and Prince Jamshed. Prince Bayezid was the governor of Amasya and Prince Jamshed who was the younger one and was famous with the name of Jim, was the governor of Karamania. Because Sultan Mohammed didn’t appoint anyone as his successor so there started a campaign to elect next sultan with their own will within the palace. Senior vizier Pargli Ibrahim Pasha was on the side of Jamshed, therefore he didn’t inform Prince Bayezid about the death of his father. But during this period there started quarrels in the city and as they came to know about these tricks, Janissaries killed Ibrahim Pasha. Prince Bayezid reached Constantinople and took the throne. Sultan Bayezid II was the 8th Sultan of the Ottoman Empire. Janissaries supported Bayezid but they also demanded to increase their monthly salary. Sultan Bayezid II had to fulfil this demand. After this for the next 300 years until the end of Janissary, it was the rule that whenever a new Sultan came to the throne, Janissaries were awarded big amounts. This ritual was not favourable for the Royal Treasury only but was also a shameful act for the Sultans.

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expansion of ottoman empire

On the other side, Prince Jamshed was in Bursa. He with his companions demanded resignation from Bayezid. Sultan Bayezid II refused to do so. Then Prince Jamshed sent his messenger with the message that the Ottoman Empire should be divided into two parts. He will be Sultan of the Asian part of the Ottoman Empire while Bayezid II will be of European part. But Sultan Bayezid refused to divide this Great Empire for whose unity, his ancestors fought and worked hard. He gathered a host and attacked Jamshed in Bursa. Prince Jamshed was defeated and he ran to Egypt. Next year, he again tried to take over the throne while accompanying some emirs from Asia Minor. But again he was defeated and ran to Rhodes. The king of Rhodes, D’Abusson was very clever and betrayer. On one side, he agreed to help Prince Jamshed and on the other side he kept on receiving a huge amount for keeping Jamshed in his custody. Except this, he was also taking money from the family of Jamshed. In this way, Prince Jamshed who was prince just by name now, was living in hands and mouth. After this, Prince Jamshed was sold to Pop Innocent VIII. Pop Innocent VIII and his successor Pop Alexander were also receiving a huge amount from Sultan Bayezid. After some period, Prince Jamshed who was suffering the calamities of prison from 13 years, got killed. Sultan Bayezid brought his dead body from Europe and buried him in Bursa with Royal Honor. Most of the time in the reign of Bayezid II was spent in overcoming the revolt of Prince Jamshed.

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800px Bayezid Selim
Fight between Bayezid II and his son Selim I

Otranto, a famous city of Italy, which was conquered by Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror, lost the attention of Bayezid II because of the revolt of Prince Jamshed. So, Ottoman’s lost their control over this city. After this event, Ottoman’s never succeeded in entering Italy. Herzegovina was an annual taxpayer state yet. Sultan Bayezid II included this state in the Ottoman Empire permanently. A series of battles with Hungary continued for several years but it resulted in no gain. At last, they signed a treaty. Egyptians started indulging in the matters of Asia Minor because of which there started a war between the Ottoman Empire and the Mamluk Sultans of Egypt. In this war, Ottomans were defeated. As a result of this defeat, Karamania started a revolt against the Ottoman Empire. Ottoman’s Armies succeeded in overcoming this revolt but they had to flee back against Egyptians. At last, after five years, the series of wars finished and Sultan Bayezid II signed a treaty by handing over his three fortresses to Mamluk Sultans of Egypt and Syria. Then he conquered three fortresses of Venice in Moria because of which the power of Venice vanished from Greece.

In 1499 CE, a famous Turkish Emir-ul-Behr Kamal Raees defeated a great host of Venice and took over the Nipanto port. Next year, Venice, Austria, Spain and Pop’s naval host attacked Turkish naval host. Nevertheless, Ottoman’s host consisted of fewer ships as compared to their mutual host, Kamal Raees fought with valour. Afterwards, on the request of Muslims of Gharnata who were overwhelmed by the cruelties of the Christians, he attacked the seashores of Spain and saved the lives of thousands of Muslims and Jews.

 SuccessionSultan Bayezid II tomb March 2008

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The reign of Bayezid finished indulging inner wars just like its start. Bayezid had three sons named Karkud, Ahmed and Selim and they were seeing Ahmed as the next Sultan. The youngest son Selim was bestowed of military qualities and was also famous in Janissaries. After seeing the preference of Sultan Bayezid about Prince Ahmed, he moved towards Constantinople from Trabzon and accompanying Janissaries reached Aderna. Sultan Bayezid II ordered him to go back to Trabzon but Prince Selim insisted and got ready for a war. Sultan Bayezid was compelled to compete him. Prince Selim was defeated and he ran towards Crimea. The governor of Crimea who was his father-in-law helped Prince Selim. After some days, he moved back to Constantinople. This time, all the Janissaries were on the side of Prince Selim. After seeing this, Sultan Bayezid II resigned in the favour of his son Prince Selim on 25th April 1512 CE. With the desire to spend remaining days of his life in Asia Minor, he set on a journey but not succeeded to reach there and died after 3 days at the age of 65. He was buried in Bayezid Mosque, Istanbul.

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