Sultan Bayezid I (4th Sultan of the Ottoman Empire)

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Bayezid 1 was born in 761 AH, about 1360 AD. In 1389 AD, he fought against the Christians with his father in the first battle of Kosovo with valor. At the end of this battle, after the martyrdom of his father Sultan Murad 1, he became the 4th ruler of the Ottoman Empire. Bayezid 1 was very valor, generous, and passionate about the Islamic victories. That’s why he gave special attention to military affairs and succeeded in including the state of Karaman, Anatolia in his Empire and took over the Christian buildings in Anatolia. Even in this short duration of one year, all these buildings became part of the Ottoman Empire. Because of which, after the Seljuks, the political alliance was there in the Ottoman Empire.

In the reign of Bayezid 1, the only cities with strong protective support at the European boundaries remain safe from being invaded by the Ottoman Empire which were Athens and Constantinople. Bayezid 1 attacked the battlefields of Europe and Anatolia with such speed that he was given the title of Yildirim ( Sky lightening ). Bayezid 1 adopted the policy of friendly relations with Serbia, even the Serb’s were the main reason for the Balkan’s alliance against the Ottomans. Regarding this, the objective of Bayezid was to take advantage of the wealth of Serbia between Hungary and the Ottoman Empire. Bayezid 1 was in need of such an ally who can help him in his new military policies about the Islamic, Seljuk and Turkish Empires. Therefore Bayezid committed some agreements with the people of Serbia. Some Points were,

  1. Both the sons of Shah Lazar, who was killed in the battle of Kosovo, will rule the Serb’s.
  2. Keep friendly relations with the Ottoman Empire.
  3. Pay an annual
  4. Provide a specific number of military persons who will be available to the Sultan’s Army as a different unit.

The Sultan tried to strengthen the agreement by marrying the daughter of the Shah Lazar. In 797 AH, about 1393 AD, Bayezid moved very fastly towards Bulgaria and conquered it. The whole population of this state took a bow to the Sultan and their political independence finished. As it happened, there was a Lamentation in whole Europe. All the European powers were overruled by the majesty of Bayezid. In 1394 AD, the Sultan Bayezid 1 conquered the areas of Thessaloniki and Albania.

In the same year, the Christian armies with great anger decided to wipe off the name of the Ottomans from the Balkans. The Emir of Hungary Sigismund and the Pop 9th Boniface move forward to preach for the alliance of the crusaders, the Christian, and the Europeans. Germany, France, England, Scotland, Switzerland, Southern deeper areas and some states of Italy were included in this alliance. This was the biggest alliance of the 14th century against the Ottoman Empire. In this crusader’s attack, there were 1.2 million warriors.

In 800 AH, about 1396 AD, the crusader’s army move towards Hungary. But there produced a contradiction between the commanders and the Emir Sigismund before the war. Sigismund preferred that the crusader’s host should wait and attacked only when invaded by the Ottoman’s host, but other commanders were not in favor of this decision. Without waiting, they separated their armies and reached Nicopolis. Both the armies collapsed at Nicopolis in 1396 AD. There were 1 lac warriors with Bayezid which were much less in comparison with the crusader’s army. But they were ahead regarding the military system and the war tools. So most of the Christians ran out of the Warfield being defeated, several killed and many of their commanders were arrested. A lot of booty was gathered from this war.

The Emir of Hungary, Sigismund who was much proud and who was much confident of his army’s power, said, “ if the sky falls on to us we will lift it on our spears”. But he also ran out of the battlefield. The Emir of the horse riding group of Rhodus was also accompanying him. When these two bugs reached the bank of the Pacific ocean, they saw the Christian ship ready to cast anchor. They entered a boat by jumping into it and ran out while losing their senses.

After the Nicopolis battle, the dignity and greatness of Hungary was much lowered in the eyes of European society and the palace of their Hittite got down to the ground. Getting pleased with this victory, Bayezid built a magnificent mosque named Ulu Cami in the capital Bursa and there were waves of happiness everywhere in the European Islamic world. Bayezid got the title of “Emir of Rome” which was the proof that he is honest to the heredity of Muslim’s wealth and he has gotten the rule of Island Anatolia. Thousands of Muslims migrated towards Anatolia because they wanted to serve the Ottoman Empire.

In 1391 AD, Bayezid sieged the Constantinople, the capital of the Byzantines Empire, for the first time, which continued for 7 months. Before the Nicopolis war, he succeeded in compelling the government to select a Judge in order to increase his pressure on the Byzantines Empire and to solve the matters of the Muslims in Constantinople. In 1393 AD, Bayezid built Anazole Fort to restrict any type of help to the Byzantines from the oceanic way. In 1395 AD, Bayezid sieged the Constantinople for the second time. This time the Emir of the Byzantines Empire accepted these conditions from Bayezid,

  1. The formation of Islamic Jurisdiction Department.
  2. The construction of the mosques.
  3. Appropriate 700 houses for the Muslims in the city.
  4. He fixed half area of a well-populated tribe for the Ottoman’s security guards group which was consisted of 6000 ottoman’s soldiers.
  5. The annual tax on the Byzantines Empire was increased.
  6. And the allowance to call for prayer (Azaan) in the Constantinople.

After the great victory in the war of Nicopolis, the Ottomans firmed their feet in the Balkan because of which there spread fear in the people of Balkan. Bosnia also admitted following the Ottomans Empire. The Ottoman’s hosts kept on following the Christians warriors so that they couldn’t try to appear in any battlefield again. After conquering Moura Island, the Sultan Bayezid punished its rulers who brought military support to the crusader’s alliance. In order to punish the Byzantine’s Emir, Bayezid demanded that he had to hand over the rule of Constantinople to Bayezid. Shah Emanuel appealed for help from Europe against Sultan Bayezid but in vain. The fact is that conquering Constantinople was of much importance in  Bayezid 1st plan of wars. That’s why he moved forward with a great host in 1397 AD and sieged the Constantinople for the third time. The siege of Constantinople lasted till 1401 AD. During this period, a time came when the Emir of Byzantine’s Empire ran out while leaving the city, it was near that the Constantinople was in the hands of the Ottomans. Europe was waiting for this, as the Sultan Bayezid finished the siege of Constantinople and moved towards the eastern areas.

In 1400 AD, the warrior ruler of Middle Asia, Timur succeeded in forming a vast Empire by defeating the local governments. There were a lot of actions and reasons for an altercation between Timur and Sultan Bayezid. Out of these most important was that the Emirs of the areas of Iraq, which were conquered by Timur,  took refuge under the Bayezid Empire. Likewise, Emirs of Anatolia took refuge under the Timurid Empire. Both of these refugees kept on urging Bayezid and Timur for a war. Moreover, Christians misguided and urged Timur to attack Bayezid and killed him. From both sides, such letters were written which were insulting and worked as oil to the fire. And most important of all that both the Emirs wanted to spread their Empires and the boundaries of their states were coinciding. This proved as the main cause of the altercation between them. Timur moved forward while taking his host and conquered Sivas while defeating the safeguard host of the city. Sultan Bayezid reached Ankara while taking his host to compete Timur in 804 AH, about 1402 AD. On 20th July 1402 AD, Timur arrested  Emir Bayezid by defeating the Ottoman”s army in the war of Ankara. Sultan Bayezid was in much grief because of being defeated in the war of Ankara that he died during imprisonment just after one year in 1403 AD.

It is said that Timur treated very well with the Sultan Bayezid in the start but afterward when Bayezid tried to escape three times, he closed him in a cage while taking him everywhere. Nothing can be said about the truthfulness of this story. The reason behind the failure of the Sultan Bayezid against Timur was his passion for war and uncomfort level because of which he couldn’t have an idea of the true power of Timur. The place was not suitable for war in any regard where Sultan Bayezid stayed with his army. Many soldiers of Bayezid’s army died because of the unavailability of water. Because there were too much hot summer days. As both the hosts indulged in war, Tatari host of the Ottomans got frightened and ran out from Ankara. In the same way, hosts from the Aseevia states which formed by conquering them, couldn’t firm their feet. Sultan Bayezid and his remaining army fought with valor against Timur but in vain and Timur was successful. All the European states were much happy with the victory of Timur. The Emirs of England, France, Qashtala, and Constantinople sent the letters of greetings and congratulations to Timur. Now Europe believed that they are free from the Ottomans attack for always because of which they were much frightened. After defeating Sultan Bayezid, Timur conquered Azneeq, Bursa, and many other cities and forts. After that, he moved forward and knocked at the door of Izmir.  The Islamic world was cursing Timur because of swashing Islam by attacking the forward moving Ottoman’s army towards Europe. Timur returned the previous belongings to the rich people of Anatolia. In this way, those areas which were included in the Ottoman’s Empire by the Sultan Bayezid became independent again. Timur played another political trick with Bayezid sons. He made them fight for the throne by creating misunderstandings between them.

There were nine sons of the Sultan Bayezid which fought in every battle side by side with their father. One of them was named as Mustafa about which it is said that he was killed in a war. The second son named Musa was arrested along with his father. Other three sons succeeded in escaping from the field. The elder of these named Suleman reached Aderna and announced that he is the ruler of this city. Eesa reached Bursa and announced in front of the people that he is the successor of his father ( Bayezid). And the son named Muhammad, who was the youngest of all, went towards Amasia, north-east of Anatolia. Some soldiers were also accompanying him. There started a war between all these three brothers who were fighting on small parts of the Empire. The enemies were aware of this situation. Timur released Musa from imprisonment so that he would work as oil to fire. When wet and dry burned to ashes, Timur moved forward with his host while leaving behind the cities in such condition that they were like barren lands. Lawlessness and misery was the fate of these cities from the centuries. Wars continued till 10 years from 1403 AD to 1413 AD. In spite of their personal differences, the Ottomans stood for the calamity which came to Ankara, even in 1413 AD, Muhammad 1 ( Mehmad 1) was called as the next Sultan of the Ottoman Empire without the involvement of others. Till the Ottoman’s Empire was in the hands of the Sultan Bayezid, the area of this Empire was 500000 square kilometer ( 5 lac sq.km in 1389 AD). Before Ankara war, the area of the Empire reached 942000 square kilometers in 1401 AD, in which 442000 sq.km of Europe ( Balkans) and 500000 sq.km of Anatolia were included. Sultan Bayezid 1st was buried in Bursa.

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