The Ottoman Empire Episode 8 Urdu | Sultan for Searching the Four | سلطان محمد فاتح کے چار دشمنوں کا کیا ہوا؟
It is a global concept that the Doomsday will bring about large scale destruction and annihilation. That will be followed by a new world and era. The Christians and the people in Anatolia also had the similar belief in the 15th century. They believed that the day the Constantinople was taken away from them, it would be the Doomsday. Or that day would be the beginning of the Doomsday. Therefore on May 29,1453 the Christians of Constantinople thought it was the Doomsday. The City of Constantinople was being virtually ruined.
While Sultan Mehmed outside the City was waiting for the end to this destruction to start an era of peace. The Sultan was visualizing the Constantinople again rising on the globe as a grand City to be named Istanbul, I will show you all this in the last episode of the Ottoman Empire series, Season I. A tradition was followed in the old age to allow three days of plundering to the army which conquered a city. Constantinople was also conquered and the Sultan was also bound to allow his army 3 days to ransack the City. Therefore plundering begin soon after the City was conquered by the Ottomans.
But a man by nature does not lose hope even in despondency. The Romans were still waiting for a miracle to happen though they knew the Ottomans had conquered the City. Hundreds of Constantinople Christians ran towards Hagia Sophia. It was the same Hagia Sophia church they had boycotted on the occasion of Easter few weeks back. Now thousands were rushing to the same church of Hagia Sophia for refuge. The Romans waited for an old prophesy come true that when the conqueror of Constantinople would reach… the Pillar of Constantine some 1.5miles away from Hagia Sophia,
an angel would appear. The angel would be holding a sword that would renew spirit of the people to fight and turn the conquerors out. So thousands of priests, men and women thronged Hagia Sophia since the angel was to appear nearby it. They lit candles and prayed for a miracle to happen. The tomb of this church had thrice collapsed in the past due to earthquake. The coronation of the Roman every emperor had been taking place in the same church but today there… was no joys of coronation but mourning and crying to save the City. Befor the miracle could happen, something else came about.
It was not a miracle but a horrible sound at the Church gate that was specific for the passage of the emperor. A section of Christians might have thought it was descend of the angel for their help. But the bang had actually announced arrival of the Janissaries to the Church. The Janissaries had chopped down the Church gate with axes and entered. They enslaved priests, men women and children present in the Church. Later they looted the Church to their satisfaction. They took away the Crosses made of gold, silver and diamond and pulled out costly frames on the pictures.
Everything including furniture and the Emperor’s chair, was looted. However, the Janissaries had yet to do one important thing. They had yet to discover the treasures in the Church basement about which they had been hearing for a long. It was their desire to get that treasures which had provoked them to take every risk in fighting. The soldiers searched nook and corner of the Churh basement but found only a grave. It was the grave of a politician from Venice. The soldiers opened the grave and surprisingly found only a skeleton inside.
The Janissaries became very upset when their hard work and sacrifices had yielded only a skeleton. They took out the skeleton and threw it down the road. This is the narration of the Western writers while Muslims have nowhere subscribed to it. Dr Uzair writes, excited by the victory the Turks killed the citizens and when they… faced no resistance from the Christians, they took to gather the booty. Muslims and the non-Muslims historians have the same view that the Sultan did not want destruction of the City. After attack on Hagia Sophia, another tale got currency among the superstitious Christians.
After the Janissaries attacked, the priests took the Cross and the Holy Relics and came near a Church wall. The wall opened like a door and the priests went inside. And the wall closed down again. The Greeks still believe these priests are alive inside the wall. The day the Christians conquer Constantinople and make Hagia Sophia church, the wall will open… and the priests come out of it to the real world again. Contrary to Hagia Sophia, the situation in other parts of the City was not peaceful. In that parts people were being massacred.
In some areas the Romans were confronting the Turk soldiers by throwing bricks and Greek fires on them. In some other parts, the Ottoman soldiers got divided into factions and they were having intra fighting. The Ottomans were fighting on the issue of getting maids and slaves from among the subjugated people. Every soldier wanted young, healthy and beautiful males and females to earn heavy amount from their sale. So it became a bone of contention and led the soldiers to intra fight. So a new wave of bloodshed was unleashed wherein many Ottomans lost their lives fighting with each other.
The commanders intervened to make the soldiers peaceful. After that the senior and junior soldiers reached a formula through negotiations. That a soldier would raise a flag outside the house he was present in to plunder. It would indicate only the person who affixed the flag had the right to loot that house and no-one else. On the third day the bloodshed and plunder and pillage came to an end. Most of the men, women and children of Constantinople were handcuffed and confined in the camps. Interestingly not only the Muslims but the Christians in the Ottoman army were also engaged in looting.
They also plundered and enslaved the people but a question mark remained against conquest of the City? Surprisingly the City had as yet not been conquered completely. At some parts of the City, Christian warriors were determined to fight till the last. They were not in a position to win the battle as such they were destined to die sooner or later. In this scenario, Sultan Mehmed promised them protection in return of surrender. So they laid down the arms and the Sultan also proved his words. The Romans soldiers came to no harm while going back after the surrender.
They left the City for Europe through the Italian ships. At the City coast 15 ships were anchored that did not have any sailor. These ships were filled with passengers to over the capacity. The Ottoman army took these ships into possession and enslaved the passengers. The history however, disputes the matter about making the passengers slave. To-date no solid evidence is available for and against it. A Western historian Stanford Shaw writes that most of the people had left the City scared of the Ottomans. That meant they were not made slaves.
Now the Ottomans had conquered the City in real sense as they faced no resistance anywhere. The Ottomans had full control over the City, but the Sultan was preoccupied with the search of four persons. The first was Emperor Constantine XI, the second was his Sultan’s uncle, Orhan Celebi, the third was… Pope’s representative Cardinal Isodore and the fourth was head of City guards, Guistiniani. Amid the search for these four, a human head was brought before the Sultan. Some prisoners confirmed it was the head of Constantinople Emperor, Constantine XI.
The head was put on a spear and fixed at the pillar of the Red Apple to make death of the Roman Emperor public. But no-one in the Western world believes that Constantine was beheaded or his body was found out. Historically, the grave of Constantine is still anonymous and untraceable. Although mystery shrouded the head of the Emperor, yet the Sultan was satisfied that Constantine was no more. Even the Muslim historians write Constantine died while fighting the Janissaries when they entered the City.
The second was Orhan Celibi who could be a threat to the Sultan’s rule and trigger civil war if remained alive. Celibi might have escaped but the Turks soldiers spotted him running on the City wall near the Sea of Marmara. Orhan Celibi jumped down the wall when the soldiers surrounded him and he found no way-out. The soldiers found Orhan dead. They chopped off his head and took it to the Sultan. The third most wanted for the Sultan was Cardinal Isodore. He was so scared that he changed his costly robes with the worn out dress of a corpse to conceal his identity… and moved towards the coast.
On the way Isodore was intercepted by the Turk soldiers who did not know him by the face. The soldiers were only told about an old man who should not leave the City. So the Soldiers took him for a poor old man who had no market value or even able to serve them. They might have killed him but Isodore saved his life by offering them some money. Thus Cardinal Isodore also reached an Italian ship outside the City and fled. So the third adversary of the Sultan escaped saving his life. The fourth enemy of the Sultan, Guistiniani had been the biggest hope of the City guards after the Emperor.
He had fought very valiantly and the Ottomans also acknowledged it. After Guistiniani had sustained serious injuries in the last battle, his companions took him to… the same ship he had reached Constantinople from Geneva. Guistiniani was present in the same ship when the Ottomans had entered the City. His companions had been killed fighting the Ottomans. However, some of the soldiers at once reached that ship and took Guistiniani away from the coast. The Ottomans could not capture Guistiniani alive but he succumbed to the injuries and died on June 1, 1453.
His body was taken to Greece where it was buried in Chios Island. Hence three of the four most wanted persons of the Sultan died and only one escaped alive. Now Sultan Fatih Mehmed had only one internal enemy and he also wanted to get rid of him. It was Prime Minister Khalil Pasha who had termed the Sultan’s ambition to conquer Constantinople as ‘folly’. Khalil Pasha was beheaded two days after the conquest of Constantinople. Sultan Mehmed was now master of the most beloved City he had conquered while his rivals were also no more.
After 700 years the City had been conquered about which a prophesy was made by the Holy Prophet (PBUH). The 21-year old Sultan Mehmed Fatih entered the City in the morning. He reached before the Hagia Sophia church and picked up a handful of earth and poured it over his turban. It was his expression of humility before God. He entered the Church where Azaan was called. The Sultan announced to convert the church into a mosque. The Sultan renamed Hagia Sophia as Aya Sofya. The Sultan stopped a soldier who was breaking the floor and said, the City and its buildings belonged to him.
The Sultan did not transform another important church in the City, the Church of Holy Apostles, into a mosque. On June 1, the Sultan proclaimed peace in the City and asked those to come back who had earlier fled. They would be given protection. He also freed Orthodox priest George Gennadios and appointed him Patriarch of the Christians. The Sultan supervised the Orthodox Church while Galata, a colony of Geneva, also surrendered to him. Therefore, this entire area had become a part of the Ottoman Sultanate.
The loss of Constantinople was a big blow to the old beliefs and faith of the European Christians. It was an unbelievable loss which they could not tolerate. But they had no help except mourning which they observed publicly. However the spiritual leader of the Christians made last two ditch efforts to retrieve Constantinople. Pope Nicholas V announced the Crusades against the Ottomans but received a cold response from Europe. Secondly he invited the Turk Muslims to Christianity. But this attempt also remained unsuccessful. The Sultan declared Constantinople new capital of the Ottoman Sultanate.
He offered Friday prayers at the Aya Sofya mosque on June 2, and gave a new name of ‘Islambol’ to the City. Islambol meant the ‘City of Islam.’ But the new name failed to become popular so the people continued to use the old name ‘Istanbul.’ History Philip Mansel says, the Greek term ‘eis teen teen polin’ had been in use for the City. And the Turkish language distorted this term into ‘Istanbul.’ The Anatolian Turks used to call the City by the name of Istanbul even before the conquest of Constantinople. Some people believe Istanbul a distorted form of ‘Islambol’ but this claim does not carry weight.
Because the dominant opinion goes that Muslims can not distort the name ‘Islam.’ Moreover, Muslims all over the world pronounce the word ‘Islam’ similarly. Therefore there is a little chance that ‘Istanbul’ is a distortion of the word, ‘Islambol.’ After the conquest, not only the rule but also complexion and the population of Constantinople got changed. Because the Sultan wanted to revive it as a lively, vibrant and grand City of the world. So on his order, artisans and craftsmen from all over the world were settled in that City.
Including Christians, they were the people of every faith. The Sultan gave them religious freedom. Nobody was forced to conversion or stopped from practicing his faith The First Season of the Ottoman Empire series has ended. In it we showed in detail how a small and anonymous Turk tribe of the Ottomans became a world super power. Season II of the Ottoman Empire will begin in the next 15 days. In that Season you will see how came the downfall of the Ottomans and Turkey became a modern state. Meantime, do give your comments about the Season I of the Ottoman Empire series .
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