Who was Aya Nikola | Real History of Aya Nikola in Kurulus Osman Season 2
Kurulus Osman, which aims to shed light on historical events in the form of a drama series, shows a villain, who is a Byzantine commander named Aya Nikola. His life and death are frequently investigated by viewers. They also want to know the significance of Aya Nikola in the history of the Ottoman Empire. In this article, I will tell you about Aya Nikola’s complete history with references. We can get Aya Nikola’s history from various historical sources but all of them are Muslims. But the confusion is here is that various historical claims have been made about Aya Nikola.
Different Historical Perspectives
Some historians claim that Aya Nikola was the Tekfur of Inegol, But some sources claim that he was a Christian saint. That is why many churches and cities in Turkey are named after him, and his many miracles are mentioned in Christian books. There is a brief introduction of Aya Nikola in the history written by famous Byzantine historian of the time George Pachymeres, that he was the Tekfur of lnegol. Only Muslim historians have mentioned him in detail in their works. Its biggest reason is that historians call the era of Osman Ghazi “A historical black hole”. And this is because the earliest history of the rise of Osman Ghazi and the Ottoman Empire was written a hundred years after Osman. The question remains as to who Aya Nikola was and what he had to do with Osman Ghazi? We can find this answer in Asikpasazade’s book Tevarih-i-Al-i Osman, which acknowledges an authentic reference for the history of the Ottoman Empire. In his book, Asikpasazade mentioned a plan called “Cakir Pinari”.
In history, this plan was made to assassinate Osman and the mastermind of this plan was Inegol Tekfur Aya Nikola. Let us now understand the history of Aya Nikola by knowing the events in order. This is 1280 CE when Kayi Tribe lived in Domanic in summer and in Sogut in winter under the protection of Ertugrul Ghazi. In 1281 CE, when Osman Ghazi became the leader of the Kayi Tribe, Ertugrul Ghazi has established good relations with Bilecik Tekfur. Tekfur maintained his good intentions during the period of Osman Ghazi who became the leader of the Kayis after the death of Ertugrul Ghazi. At that time Osman also had cordial relations with its Byzantine neighbors. In fact, while the Kayi Tribe migrated between Domanic and Sogut they did not worry about losing the life of their belongings because of Bilecik Tekfur.
In contrast, lnegol Tekfur would cut the road and damage Turk people’s belongings and animals. He would also meet with other Tekfurs, invite them against Osman Ghazi with his ill will and hostility, and make a plan to capture Domanic and Sogut. lengol Tekfur united with other Byzantine Tekfurs and founded the “United Byzantine Army”. Osman Bey’s principality was located at an extremely strategic and dangerous point, at that time, the castles of Bilecik, Yenişehir, and lznik in the north, Harmankaya and Karacahisar landlords in the east, and lnegol, Kestel, Bursa in the west. Osman confronted Aya Nikola in 1284 CE when Osman fought with Aya Nikola and united Byzantine Army and so Osman Began his raids in 1284 CE. There were only 70 warriors with Osman in this battle and it is a fact that the Byzantine Army was much larger than them. In this battle, Osman was defeated and his nephew, Savci Bey’s son, Behoca who was part of Osman Ghazi’s army, was martyred. This battle is called Ermeni-Beli.
This history, I am going to narrate here is taken from Sami bin Abdullah al Maghlouth’s Atlas. They avenged this defeat in 1285 CE when Osman Ghazi marched with 300 alps to Kulacahisar, which was 12 kilometers away from lengol . Osman Ghazi attacked the castle at night and conquered it. Aya Nikola was incensed at this victory and couldn’t bear to see the Turk Muslims occupy this Roman castle. Aya Nikola allied himself with the Tekfur of Karacahisar and the two vowed to take back their land from Muslims and massacre them.
But when the battle began, Osman defeated the Byzantine with his small army and conquered Karacahisar. This is called the Battle of Karacahisar and here Osman faced Aya Nikola for the second time. Aya Nikola then hatched a conspiracy to assassinate Osman, which I mentioned earlier. But Harmankaya’s Tekfur Kose Mihal, who embraced secretly and was a friend of Osman, leaked his plan. In this scenario, Tekfur of Yarhisar and Bilecik invited Osman in their children’s wedding. Their intention was that when Osman came to the wedding here, he would be arrested and killed. As soon Osman heard this, he devised a plan. He sent his forty alps in women’s clothing to Castle . When these fighter arrived, they captured all the people and conquered the castle. It is worth mentioning that among them was the daughter of Tekfur or Yarhisar castle who’s name was Hola Fira. This girl’s name was changed by Osman to Nilufer Hatun. She was chosen by Osman for his own orhan’s wife. And after marrying Orhan, they had a son named Murad I.
Osman also tried to overthrow the tekfur of lnegol after conquering both Karacahisar and Kulucahisar, who has already fought against the Ottoman in alliance with the previous Tekfur of Karacahisar. This is called the Battle of Domanic, fought in 1286 CE, in which Osman Bey’s brother Savci Bey was martyred. Osman sent an army under the command of Turgut Alp to strike the Byzantine final defeat. He then later joined the army and conquered the city. It is said that Osman gave this city to Turgut and this city was named after Turgut as its first Muslim governor. History does not mention how Aya Nikola died, so we cannot say anything surely about it. History teacher, Researcher and writer Hassan Efe complaint about the Battle of Domanic in an interview to Domanic Gazetesi that “Many first sources such as Kemalpashazade, Asikpasazade, Muneccim bey and Idris l Bitlis mention this war in Ottoman sources”.