The Ottoman Empire Episode 2 Urdu | And Turks entered Europe | عثمانی یورپ میں داخل ہوگئے
We had left the last episode where Sultan Orhan, the son Sultan Osman, had succeeded… to the throne of the Ottoman Empire. In the 14th century Anatolia was divided into many states that were pitted against each other. In order to survive every state was battling to enhance its power by occupying the surrounding states. Orhan also faced the same challenge and that too from two sides.
The first challenge was from the Turkish Muslims in the East where they … had established two strong states, Karasi and Karaman. Then the largest Muslim Sultanate of the Mamluks supported Karaman state. The Mamluk Sultanate shared borders with Israel, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt of the present day.
Besides these two Muslim states in the East and the South, Sultan Orhan faced the other potential… threat from the Roman Byzantine Empire in the West. The Roman Empire was very powerful… due to backing of the European states and the Christian community. In a way Sultan Orhan was practically in a state of war with both of them at that time. Then how the Ottoman Empire besieged the Romans from two sides when it itself was beset by the enemies?
I will show you all this in the series of ‘Dekho, Suno Jano’ on the Ottoman Empire. It was a time when the Byzantine Empire had lost rule over Anatolia to a large extent. Yet many small cities in the area of Bithynia in the North of Anatolia remained under the Romans’ control. Sultan Orhan wanted to conquer these cities in order to completely eliminate the Romans from Anatolia… and to strengthen defence of his Empire. So he started to encircle these cities of Bithynia.
The troops of Sultan Orhan surrounded the forts which the Romans held to protect their cities in Bithynia. The Byzantine Empire got alarmed when he heard that the Ottoman Turks are going to capture… his cities. He ordered the Roman Army to prepare to face the threat. In 1328 the Roman Emperor moved with an army of 4000 to defend his cities against the Ottomans. Byzantine Emperor himself led the Roman Army that became a big news and spread all around.
Because, it was the first time that any Roman Emperor was in the battlefield against the Ottomans. Sultan Orhan also heard this news so he decided to face the Roman emperor before he could reach Bithynia. So Orhan moved and reached Maltepe near Nicodemia, (Izmit today), and gained a strategic advantage. It was a high mountain from where Orhan’s troops could easily see the Roman army from far away. The Turkish horsemen who were also skilled archers hid themselves on the way of the Roman Emperor.
The hidden horsemen made a deadly attack on the Roman Army as it reached that point. The sudden attack badly confused the Roman Army. The situation became worse for the Romans after they heard a rumour about the killing of their emperor. It is still a mystery whether the rumour spread itself or it was spread under a plan. It was a false news but it dismayed the Romans so much that they ran back to the fort of Constantinople. The Roman Emperor hardly saving his life, also returned to Constantinople.
It was not a formal battle yet the defeat put serious psychological impact on the Romans Because the Roman Army and the people had never valued the Ottomans more than an ordinary tribal group. While the Roman army was acknowledged in the world as the best trained and organised. And the 1000-years of glorious history of the Roman Empire was witness to this fact. As such defeat by the Ottomans in the presence of their emperor proved nerves wrecking for the Romans.
The disappointed Romans even stopped military supplies to the cities where their own soldiers … were under siege of the Ottoman army. A besieged army with no hope of help from outside was unable to fight the enemy. The Ottoman Turks captured all known areas of Bithynia one by one The victory of the Ottomans not only demoralized the Romans but also served another purpose. It made the Roman General Kantakouzenos much impressed by the fighting spirit of the Ottoman army.
Like a shrewd person he decided to use the power of the Ottomans instead of fighting them. Kantakouzenos himself wanted to become the emperor. But he was neither son nor brother of the emperor Therefore he needed to revolt against the Empire to become the emperor. He already had support of the Roman Army in the Fort of Constantinople. But he needed outside help to avert attack from any other side when he was fighting inside. In his view the Ottomans could provide him the best help in this respect So he began secret contacts with Ottoman Sultan Orhan.
Interestingly the most important General of the most powerful enemy of the Turks… had now joined hand with Sultan Orhan. He promised many attractive benefits to Sultan Orhan in return of help. He also promised to marry his daughter to Sultan Orhan Sultan Orhan accepted this deal. But soon the time showed how much this alliance was strong. After the death of the Roman Emperor in 1341, his nine-year old son John Palaiologos was made the emperor.
General Kantakouzenos did not accept it and revolted against the Empire. He threatened to wage war with his own state if he would not be made the co-emperor. The nine-year old emperor was not mature enough yet his mother understood … on what basis Kantakouzenos had stood in revolt. Therefore she sought help from the Karasi Empire that was another powerful faction of the Turks. But the Karasids could not help her sufficiently.
Now a civil war took place in the Roman Empire wherein Ottoman Turks and General Kantakouzenos… stood on the one side while Roman Emperor, Serbia, Bulgaria and Karasids on the other. After 6-year of civil war, Kantakouzenos was made co-emperor of the Romans. Kantakouzenos had won but… the civil war divided the Byzantine Empire into further pieces. Serbia declared independence, Bulgaria captured vast area of Thrace and the Byzantine Empire… became limited to Constantinople and some coastal cities.
The civil war also resulted in increasing influence of the Ottomans to deep inside the Byzantine Empire. Now co-emperor of the Roman Empire, Kantakouzenos, had also become father in law of Sultan Orhan. This big success also gave the Ottomans dominance over the Karasids who were their second largest enemy. Karasi empire subdued before the Ottomans and it gradually became a part of the Ottoman Empire. It happened because the Karasids had left with no powerful ally to help them.
The occupation of the Karasi empire brought the Ottomans near that part of the Dardanelles sea… from where they could enter Europe. There were only two ways to enter Europe from Anatolia. One was provided by the Fort of Constantinople of the Romans but it was difficult to conquer it. The other way was Dardanelles. The Turks cherished the dream of entering Europe and conquering it. Their founder Ghazi Osman had seen this dream and now they were at the verge of its realization.
But a sea posed hurdle in between. It was a small sea of with moderate width., On the other side a strong European army stood alert to stop the Ottomans from crossing the Dardanelles. But it was the nature that made things possible for the Ottomans. Kantakouzenos faced a revolt in the mid of 14th century when wanted to appoint his son king in his place. Kantakouzenos once again sought help from Sultan Orhan. Now Kantakouazenos was also father-in-law of Sultan Orhan therefor he was hopeful of the Ottoman’s help.
But this time Sultan Orhan put another condition to provide help to Kantakouzenos. Sultan Orhan sought permission to cross Dardanelles sea and set up a military base at Gallipoli in Europe. Kantakouzenos accepted this condition since he badly needed military assistance of Sultan Orhan in Europe. Hence the Ottoman Turks entered Europe without shedding a drop of blood. They had entered Europe temporarily. Sultan Orhan sent his son Suleyman to Gallipoli with a large army.
Help from the Ottoman army strengthened position of Kantakouzenos but another problem came before him. It was Turks’ tradition of ‘Ghaza’ wherein they waged ‘Jihad’ to annex the Christian lands to their empire. Those who performed ‘Ghaza’ were called ‘Ghazi.’ Turkish rulers also used the word ‘Ghazi’ with their name. Osman Ghazi, Orhan Ghazi are the examples. After establishing military base, Suleyman Ghazi performing ‘Ghaza’, advanced to other areas of Europe.
He began to occupy the land of Thrace city in the West of Constantinople, the capital the Roman Empire. The Romans got alarmed by the occupation of their land. The occupation meant expansion of the Ottoman Turks to the West after Eastern part of the Roman Empire. Since this all was happening because of emperor, Kantakouzenos. Therefore the Romans criticized Kantakouzenos decisions and showed strong hatred towards him. In order to save his face he asked Sultan Orhan through a message that he should stop occupying…
the European territories and limit the Turks’ movements to the military base or they should leave. But Sultan Orhan refused to give back the ‘infidel territories’ which the Turk army had occupied. So Gallipoli and the occupied areas of Thrace became a permanent part of the Ottoman Empire … and they are still included in Turkey. As the root-cause of the whole problem was Kantakouzenos so the Romans threw him out of power. The Roman empire got a new emperor who was strongly hostile to Sultan Orhan.
After the end to the rule of Kantakouzenos, Sultan Orhan also died in 1362. But before his death Sultan Orhan had converted a small state into a big empire. This empire was double from what he had inherited from his father and went through Anatolia to Europe. Sultan Orhan had three sons and his empire had to go to one of them. Suleyman, Murad or Khalil had to get the empire or it was to be divided into three parts. Suleyman, who had set up first military base in Europe, had already died so he was no more in the race.
Of the rest two, Murad Ghazi killed Khalil Ghazi. Sultan Ghazi Murad (First) became the new ruler of the Ottoman Empire. Soon after succeeding to the throne, Ghazi Murad began to promote the Turk tradition of ‘Ghaza.’ Murad Ghazi also made a new addition to the army that was called ‘army of the elite slaves’ What was this Army of the elite slaves and why it became so popular in history? We will show you all this in the next episode of the Ottoman Empire. Second episode of the Ottoman Empire has finished.
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