History

Who Was Sultan Muhammad Fateh?

Who Was Sultan Muhammad Fateh?

Mehmed II, commonly known as Mehmed the Conqueror, was twice the sultan of the Ottoman Empire from August 1444 to September 1446 and then later from February 1451 to May 1481. In Mehmed II’s first reign, he defeated the crusade led by John Hunyadi after the Hungarian incursions into his country broke the conditions of the truce per the Treaties of Edirne and Szeged.

When Mehmed II ascended the throne again in 1451, he strengthened the Ottoman Navy and made preparations to attack Constantinople. At the age of 21, he conquered Constantinople and brought an end to the Byzantine Empire. After the conquest, Mehmed claimed the title caesar of Rome, based on the fact that Constantinople had been the seat and capital of the surviving Eastern Roman Empire since its consecration in 330 AD by Emperor Constantine I.

The claim was soon recognized by the Patriarchate of Constantinople, albeit not by most European monarchs. Mehmed II viewed the Ottoman state as a continuation of the Roman Empire for the remainder of his life, seeing himself as “continuing” the Empire rather than “replacing” it.

History Of Sultan Muhammed Fateh:

Mehmed continued his conquests in Anatolia with its reunification and in Southeast Europe as far west as Bosnia. At home, he made many political and social reforms. He encouraged the arts and sciences, and by the end of his reign, his rebuilding program had changed Constantinople into a thriving imperial capital. He is considered a hero in modern-day Turkey and parts of the wider Muslim world. Among other things, Istanbul’s Fatih district, Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge and Fatih Mosque are named after him.

When Mehmed II was eleven years old he was sent to Amasya with his two lalas (advisors) to govern and thus gain experience, per the custom of Ottoman rulers before his time. Sultan Murad II also sent a number of teachers for him to study under. This Islamic education had a great impact in molding Mehmed’s mindset and reinforcing his Muslim beliefs.

He was influenced in his practice of Islamic epistemology by practitioners of science, particularly by his mentor, Molla Gürani, and he followed their approach. The influence of Akshamsaddin in Mehmed’s life became predominant from a young age, especially in the imperative of fulfilling his Islamic duty to overthrow the Byzantine Empire by conquering Constantinople.

During Mehmed II’s first reign, he defeated the crusade led by John Hunyadi after the Hungarian incursions into his country broke the conditions of the truce per the Treaties of Edirne and Szeged in September 1444. Cardinal Julian Cesarini, the representative of the Pope, had convinced the king of Hungary that breaking the truce with Muslims was not a betrayal. At this time Mehmed II asked his father Murad II to reclaim the throne, but Murad II refused.

According to the 17th-century chronicles, Mehmed II wrote, “If you are the sultan, come and lead your armies. If I am the sultan I hereby order you to come and lead my armies.” Then, Murad II led the Ottoman army and won the Battle of Varna on 10 November 1444. Halil Inalcik states that Mehmed II did not ask for his father. Instead, it was Çandarlı Halil Pasha’s effort to bring Murad II back to the throne.

Conquest of Constantinople:

When Mehmed II ascended the throne again in 1451, he devoted himself to strengthening the Ottoman navy and made preparations for an attack on Constantinople. In the narrow Bosphorus Straits, the fortress Anadoluhisarı had been built by his great-grandfather Bayezid I on the Asian side; Mehmed erected an even stronger fortress called Rumelihisarı on the European side, and thus gained complete control of the strait. Having completed his fortresses, Mehmed proceeded to levy a toll on ships passing within reach of their cannon.

A Venetian vessel ignoring signals to stop was sunk with a single shot and all the surviving sailors beheaded, except for the captain, who was impaled and mounted as a human scarecrow as a warning to further sailors on the strait. In 1453, Mehmed commenced the siege of Constantinople with an army between 80,000 and 200,000 troops, an artillery train of over seventy large field pieces, and a navy of 320 vessels, the bulk of them transports and storeships.

The city was surrounded by sea and land; the fleet at the entrance of the Bosphorus stretched from shore to shore in the form of a crescent, to intercept or repel any assistance for Constantinople from the sea. In early April, the Siege of Constantinople began. At first, the city’s walls held off the Turks, even though Mehmed’s army used the new bombard designed by Orban, a giant cannon similar to the Dardanelles Gun. The harbor of the Golden Horn was blocked by a boom chain and defended by twenty-eight warships.

Conquest of Bosnia (1463):

The despot of Serbia, Lazar Branković, died in 1458, and a civil war broke out among his heirs that resulted in the Ottoman conquest of Serbia in 1459/1460. Stephen Tomašević, son of the king of Bosnia, tried to bring Serbia under his control, but Ottoman expeditions forced him to give up his plan and Stephen fled to Bosnia, seeking refuge at the court of his father. After some battles, Bosnia became tributary kingdom to the Ottomans.

On 10 July 1461, Stephen Thomas died, and Stephen Tomašević succeeded him as King of Bosnia. In 1461, Stephen Tomašević made an alliance with the Hungarians and asked Pope Pius II for help in the face of an impending Ottoman invasion. In 1463, after a dispute over the tribute paid annually by the Bosnian Kingdom to the Ottomans, he sent for help from the Venetians.

However, none ever reached Bosnia. In 1463, Sultan Mehmed II led an army into the country. The royal city of Bobovac soon fell, leaving Stephen Tomašević to retreat to Jajce and later to Ključ. Mehmed invaded Bosnia and conquered it very quickly, executing Stephen Tomašević and his uncle Radivoj. Bosnia officially fell in 1463 and became the westernmost province of the Ottoman Empire.

Death & Buriel Place:

In 1481 Mehmed marched with the Ottoman army, but upon reaching Maltepe, Istanbul he became ill. He was just beginning new campaigns to capture Rhodes and southern Italy, however according to some historians his next voyage was planned to overthrow the Mamluk Sultanate of Egypt and to capture Egypt and claim the caliphate. But after some days he died, on 3 May 1481, at the age of forty-nine, and was buried in his türbe near the Fatih Mosque complex. According to the historian Colin Heywood, “there is substantial circumstantial evidence that Mehmed was poisoned, possibly at the behest of his eldest son and successor, Bayezid.

The news of Mehmed’s death caused great rejoicing in Europe; church bells were rung, and celebrations held. The news was proclaimed in Venice thus: “La Grande Aquila è morta!” (‘The Great Eagle is dead!’). Mehmed II is recognized as the first sultan to codify criminal and constitutional law, long before Suleiman the Magnificent; he thus established the classical image of the autocratic Ottoman sultan. Mehmed’s thirty-year rule and numerous wars expanded the Ottoman Empire to include Constantinople.

The Turkish kingdoms and territories of Asia Minor, Bosnia, Serbia, and Albania. Mehmed left behind an imposing reputation in both the Islamic and Christian worlds. According to historian Franz Babinger, Mehmed was regarded as a bloodthirsty tyrant by the Christian world and by a part of his subjects. Istanbul’s Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge (completed 1988), which crosses the Bosporus Straits, is named after him, and his name and picture appeared on the Turkish 1000 lira note from 1986 to 1992.

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