The Ottoman Empire

The Ottoman Empire (Part II)

Overview- The Ottoman Empire

In the 1st part of the “Ottoman Empire”, we came to know about the origin of Ottoman tribe. Moreover, it was founded that Chenghez Khan was much angry with Seljuk’s behavior. Khan attacked Muslim states from China border towards the “Seljuk empire”. He concurred many areas of Seljuk states including the major area of Anatolia. Only a small Seljuk state remained which was formally known as “Seljuk Rum”. However, this was a combination of small states that were under the control of Alp-Arsalan’s Sons.

Resurrection and Rehabilitation of the Ottoman tribe

While the attack of Mongols on Muslim states has generated a disaster. The Ottoman tribe (Kayi tribe) was also affected by war results. However, they started their survival fight under the flag of Suleiman Shah. In the lateral stages, this fight was continued by his son “Ertugrul Ghazi”. His major aim was to establish a new Muslim state where Muslims can live freely. At that time Ottoman Turks were living in tribes and the head was known as “Bey”. Ertugrul Ghazi Bey fought exceptionally well against Mongols but couldn’t announce a separate state in his livelihood. However, his son “Ottoman Bey” after holding the leadership completed his father’s dream of a separate Islamic state. This state was known as the “Ottoman Empire”. Ottoman was brave, intelligent, and a man of virtue. He started to gather all the Turk tribes under his flag of freedom against Mongols. The data regarding Ottoman’s childhood, education and living is quite difficult to find in history. Even it is not rest assured that either his name was Ottoman, Ataman or Atman. However, the historian called him Ottoman and his state as the “Ottoman Empire”.

Ottoman’s Army- The Ottoman Empire

History indicates, the soldiers under Ottoman’s flag were good fighters, and horse riders. They were also well trained in using swords and archers. They were quite competent is archery. Moreover, they were brilliant in arrow throwing without holding the horses rope. Their aiming at prey was well executed. Ottoman was friendly with his soldiers, and they also respect him with zeal and zest. In short, with his love Ottoman gathered a large army of Turk horsemen. He gathered all the nearby Turk tribes and attain their Bey’s intentions. Moreover, this army was competent enough that they can beat small groups of the Mongol army. Ottoman was keen to attack on Byzantine empire to extend his territory and ensure their protection. However, the river Sakarya was a natural hurdle in the way of his ambition. This river was situated between the Ottoman tribe and the Byzantine empire.

Ottoman tribe and Byzantine empire

As discussed above the river Sakarya was located between Ottoman and Byzantine empire. On the other bank of the river, Roman archers were not allowing the ottoman’s army to cross it. In the year 1300 or 1302, natural disasters in the river basin destroyed roman check posts. This allowed the ambitious Ottoman to cross over the river and attacked on Byzantine’s areas. However, the Byzantine emperor prepared a large force to fight against Ottoman. During this fight, the Turk army used intellectual strategy that they learned from Mongols. He sent a small group of soldiers to fight against the Romans. During the fight, the group goes backward and let the roman army was lured in a trap. In this trap Ottoman attacked on roman force with full power. Roman faced a crushing defeat from this fight. Later Ottoman concurred many forts and cities of the Byzantine empire. He also concurred the important city “Yenisehir”. Moreover, he made this city the capital of the “Ottoman Empire”.

Ottoman as a Turk hero

The brilliant victories and fighting capabilities made Ottoman as a hero among the Turk tribes in the region. Additionally, the Turk tribes began to gather under the Ottoman’s flag around the Anatolia. Ottoman was getting powerful day by day. As, his army was growing, yet he was not enough to match Romans power. However, with this small army, he was attacking continuously in roman areas. This result in an increase in his enemies. His uncle tried to stop him from these military campaigns. Ottoman got annoyed with his uncle’s disturbance and killed his uncle with an arrow. Ottoman did not allow anyone to challenge his decisions and authority. Ottoman was a keen follower of a Muslim scholar Sheikh Edebali. Many times he asked instructions about important issues from Sheikh.

Ottoman and Sheikh Edebali

Ottoman regarded Sheikh Edebali as his spiritual guide. He also wants to marry the daughter (Bala Khatun) of Sheikh. However, Sheikh Edebali was not in favor of the Ottoman’s marriage with her daughter. Later on, Ottoman saw a dream, which indicated a moon was shifting from Sheikh’s body to his body. Then a tree germinated from Ottoman’s body that covered the whole world including mountains from east to west. Four rivers originate from the roots of this plant. Suddenly, a strong wind blew which carried the leaves of tree to a majestic city. According to the dream, this city was located where two oceans and two continents meet. This city was like a ring and Ottoman was trying to wear it. But, Ottoman woke up at this stage. Ottoman discussed this dream with Sheikh Edebali. Sheikh told him “God will bless you with a big empire, and you will marry my daughter”. History witnessed this dream came true quickly. It begins with the marriage of the Ottoman with the daughter of Sheikh Edebali. With this dream and Ottoman’s army power encouraged him to attack on Byzantine empire.

Ottoman attack on Byzantine empire

To complete his ambition for the “Ottoman empire” he attacked Brusa (Bursa) city in 1317. This city was located near the Roman capital Constantinople. The battle lasts for 10 years and Turks were emerged as victorious. In 1326, the governor of Brusa surrendered before Ottoman’s army. At this time Ottoman was highly ill and near to death. His son Orhan Ghazi gave him the news of victory. Ottoman got happy and appointed as Orhan as his Caliph and bury him in Brusa. Ottoman died after some days and buried in Brusa according to his wish. His tomb is still located in Brusa city. Orhan Ghazi made Brusa as capital and 1st time he used the word of sultan instead of Bey.

This new empire was under huge threat from nearby states including Romans. Moreover, another newly established Turk state “Kerasid empire” was also a threat to the Ottoman empire. How did the Orhan Ghazi deal with this problem? How the newly established empire? And how it become the world superpower? All these questions will answer in the upcoming part III. Comment us with your suggestions and feedback. 

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