The Ottoman Empire Season 2 Episode 9 (1) Urdu | And the Empire was doubled | ترکوں نے عباسی خلافت کیسے ختم کی؟
A bridge at Bosphorus Strait in Istanbul connnects the Asian and the Europe parts of Turkey. It is a 1.5 miles long and 192 feet wide suspension bridge. Called Selim Yavuz Bridge, it has been named after Turk Sultan I, Sultan Selim. It was Selim I, who converted Ottoman Sultunate into Caliphate and became the first Caliph of the Muslims. How this impossible became possible?The Ottoman Empire series of ‘Dekho, Suno, Jano’ I am going to show you all this. The Ottoman Empire was the super power of the world when Sultan Mehmed Fatih II, died in 1481.
But his son and successor, Bayezid II, proved a weak ruler. Bayezid II failed to arrest his brother Prince Cen when he revolted against him. Prince Cen fled from the Ottoman Empire after suffering a defeat. First he took refuge in Egypt then in the Rhodes Island of the Crusade Knights. Rhodes, an Island of Mediterranean sea, was the stronghold of the Crusade Knights. Sultan Mehmed Fatih had also moved his troops to capute this Island but they failed to get it. Bayezid II was quite weak to avenge his father’s defeat or get back his brother from Rhodes and kill him.
Contrary to that he became a pawn in the hand of the Crusaders. He annually paid 45000 Ducats to the Crusaders only for retaining his brother within their Island. And do not help him militarily in carrying out insurgency against the Ottoman Empire. Anyway Bayezid II later on, acted cleverly to get his brother killed for 0.3 million Ducats bribe. Hence he got rid of the blackmailing by the Crusade Knights. Not only Prince Cen but a powerful Safavid Sultanate of Iran was also a big threat to the Bayezid rule.
Those in the Ottomans who had religious affinity with Iran also wanted the Safavids to capture Turk Sultanate. With the secret help from Iran such elements attempted many insurgencies to weaken the Ottoman Empire. Such a rebellion was also carried out by one Shah Kulu. He called himself Caliph of the Iranian Emperor Shah Ismail. Shah Kulu took control over a number of areas of the Ottoman Empire. Bayezid II who by then was quite old and ill, showed lazziness in crushing Kulu’s rebellion.
When the situation went out of hand, a Turkish Minister took out army of 8000 Janissaries to face Shah Kulu. The Turkish might be defeated in this battle but at the nick of the hour an arrow struck Shah Kulu. Shah Kulu died and with it insurgecy also faded away. Such events gave the Janissaries realization of installing a strong man in rule if rebellions had to be checked. So the Janissaries revolted as they reached Istanbul. Bayezid II’s own son, Selim Yavuz was backing this revolt. The Janissaries deposed Bayezid II and installed Selim Yavuz to the throne. By the name of Selim I, he became the new ruler of the Ottoman Empire in 1512.
The sick Bayezid II did not survive long and died on June 10, 1512. Before death, he had passed a decree that academically pushed back the Ottoman Empire by centuries. That during his tenure, Europe had invented the printing press. Europe was printing books in bulk that fast spread new thoughts and scientific ideas among the common man. But Bayezid II in light of a fatwa (dictum) by the religious scholars, banned use of the printing press. He dubbed printing press an invention of the infidels. He even went to the extent of fixing death for printing books through press.
By this step the Ottoman Empire went back by centuries from Europe in arts and learning. Selim Yavuz had to do two things of urgent nature immediately after assuming the power. One was to deal with the rival successors to his throne, meaning killing them with the ‘thread of silk.’ He killed his two brothers and five nephews. Secondly, he also put to death 40,000 people who were supporters of Iran and detained their family members. Subduing Iran was also necessary to permanently check the threats of insurgencies by the supporters of Iran. So he successfully surmounted this problem.
In 1514, Sultan Selim entered Iran leading an army of 150,000 and 300 guns. In Chaldiran, he defeated the army of Shah Ismail causing him the loss of 25000 lives. The Iranian seat of power, Tabriz was also captured. Despite sustaining injuries, Shah Ismail escaped capture at the hand of the Turks. He had a narrow escape. Sultan Selim needed to complete the conquest of Iran or at least arrest Ismail or firm up hold on Tabriz. The Sultan’s army lost spirit to move ahead after it had exhausted energy in fighting for Tabriz.
Rather his army wanted to go back. The Sultan also feared rebellion in the army if he would press his troops anymore. So he evacuated Tabriz and went back to his Sultanate. Here Sultan Selim and his army stayed in Amasya to plan for the future. He wanted to attack Iran again but he had learned from the Chaldiran battle how dry and barren was its land. It was not easy to conquer a big country without food and water hundreds of miles away crossing hilly tracks. That was why, Sultan’s army was reluctant to move back to Iran.
Rather the Janisarries stood to revolt on learning the Sultan was preparing to attack Iran again. The Prime Minister Ahmed Pasha was responsible for keeping the Janissaries under control. The strict person like Sultan Selim Yavuz could not tolerate the revolt after it had occurred. In the first instance he killed a number of rebellious chiefs hence suppressed the revolt. Later he also killed his prime minister Ahmed Pasha as punishment. After this harsh action, the Janissaries never dared raise their head in revolt.
However after nipping the insurgency Sultan Selim was not necessarily going to attack Iran. He had sensed consternation and anger in the army over the killing of the Chiefs and suppression of the revolt. So in order to comfort the army, an easy target was needed to be given to his soldiers. Where the Turk army could win the battle without much difficulties. He was just consideration this option, when he received certain letters from Egypt to his great pleasure. These letters brought the biggest news of success to the Ottoman Sultunate.
These letters were sent by some Egyptian chiefs when the Mamluk Sultan Kansuh al Ghori ruled Egypt. The Mamluk Sultanate covered the land of Africa, Syria and the present day holy land, Hijaz. The sacred places of the Muslims Mecca and Madina fell in the realm of the Mamluk Sultanate. But the Mamluk Sultanate was losing its power. Insurgencies were taking place in the Mamluk Sultanate. The secret letters received by Sultan Selim were written by some chiefs of Syria, a domain of Egypt. The chief offered to help the Sultan against the Mamluks if he would give them high positions and money.
Among them the Governor of the Syrian city, Aleppo, Hayir Bey was also included. Sultan Selim had already fixed his eyes on the Caliphate. After these letters he changed his mind and shunned conquering Iran through a difficult battle. Now he decided to take on the Mamluks. But a major religious problem stood in the way about waging war with the Egyptian Sultanate. That the Turks did not legitimize wars with the Muslim brothers. Of course this was not the case about Iran as the Turks had serious differences of faith with the Iranians.
But here no religious differences between the Turks and the Mamluks stood in the way. The both followed the same sect. So Sultan Selim needed a dictum (fatwa) from the religious scholars to justify war with the Mamluks. So Selim I urged the religious scholars to pass a decree on entering war with the Mamluks. The dictum was given on the ground the Mumluks were oppressing their Muslim subjects… and they have also entered war agreements with the Safavids of Iran. Therefore war with them was justified.
A chief Raees Afandi Muhammad Pasha spoke passionately to the gathering of the religious scholars. He declared no other than the Ottoman Sultan had the right to safeguard Macca and Madina. Therefore the Sultan had obligation to take away this right for the Mamluks through force. Selim was much pleased with the words of Muhammad Pasha so he appointed him the Prime Minister. The game of power is quite intriguing. A power lusty in it stands ready to serve for a dead man on the order of one who had killed that person. Now the Sultan got ready an army and moved to the Mamluk Sultanate.
Kansuh al Ghori had already reached Syria to check advancement of the Turks to Egypt. Syria at that time was a part of the Mamluk Sultanate. Sultan Selim was ready to fight but before that he sent some representatives to the Mamluk Sultan. They conveyed message of the Sultan that if Mamluk Sultan surrendered he would be given protection. But Kansuh al Ghazi arrested the representatives. When this new reached Selim I, he ordered his army to get ready. After some time, Sultan Kansuh set the representatives free but the die had been cast. Now the clash was unavoidable.
The Ottomans had two major advantages in that clash. One was underhand dealing with the chiefs of Syria. And the second was cannons and rifles with the Ottoman army. On the other hand, the Mamluks repulsed the use of firearms to the extent of a sin. For them the cowards use guns and the rifles. They regarded fighting with sword as per Sunnah and preferable. It goes that once a Mauritius expert had also offered to train the Mamluks on the use of firearms. But the Mamluks refused the offer on which the expert had warned them of repenting it one day.
And your Sultanate would be demolished through the power of guns. It was the about time to the fulfillment of this prediction. On August 24, 1516 both the forces had a fierce encounter at Marj-daviq, 50 kms off Aleppo city of Syria. This area is called Dabiq today. The governor of Haleb Hayir Bey and a military officer were also taking part for Egyptian in this war. They all had joined hands with Sultan Selim under the table. So they both drew back from the battlefield with their respective soldiers as the war started.
This left Kansuh al Ghori with a bunch of his loyalists alone in the battlefield. They also did not have guns and rifles. With the old weapons, Kansuh al Ghori fought the modern army of the Ottomans to his best. But he lost his heart. It was not the onset from the Ottomans but the heart attack that took his life in the battlefield. The remaining Egyptian army fled the field after the death of Kansuh and the Ottomans won the battle. After conquest of Syria, Selim entered Aleppo where Hayir Bey symbolically presented him keys of the city.
Carrying the name of Sultan Selim, a sermon was delivered in the Jamia (principal) Mosque. Before the Sultan could take over Mecca and Madina he was addressed Khadimul Harmain al Sharifain… (the custodian and servant of the two holy places) in the sermon. The Sultan already desired the same and the intelligent people took no time to understand it. The Sultan was so pleased after he was titled Khadimul Harmain al Sharifain in the sermon even without… his demand, he put his royal robe on the Khateeb (speaker) of the mosque.
After Aleppo, the Governor of Damascus also surrendered to the Sultan without fight. Now the Turks had completely captured Syria. But the formidable challenge in the war had yet to come. This challenge was Tuman Bey. After defeat in the Marj-daviq battle, the Mamluk army had come back to Cairo, the Capital of Egypt. The Mamluk throne was also without ruler after the death of Kansuh al Ghori. So 24 elites of the Sultanate with consensus, appointed Tuman Bey new Egyptian ruler on October 11, 1516.
Tuman Bey took to reorganizing the army and uniting the differing factions to counter the Ottomans. But he could not achieve the desired success. Because after defeat in Syria, no one was ready to run the risk of siding with him. In 1517, Sultan Selim entered Egypt (Africa) with his army. But the whole Egypt was empty with no army anywhere that however was not without a reason. That Tuman Bey had set up defence positions near his capital, Cairo. He did not want to face Sultan Selim in the open field. Near Cairo, the Mamluks had formed a strong defence with trenches and bunkers.
The defence was strong enough to inflict a heavy loss on the Ottomans in case of a direct attack on them. Sultan Selim as a dexterous warrior changed his war strategy. He did not make a direct attack on the Egyptian bunkers. Rather he took a long route with his army and reached behind the Mamluk army. Here the Ottoman army assaulted the Mamluk forces. In the back to back attack by the Ottomans, about 25000 Mamluk soldiers lost their lives. The leftover Mamluk army retreated and took refuge in the city. They took to guerilla fight from behind the houses and the rooftops.
The Ottomans faced a rain of arrows and spears as they entered the city. An intense guerilla fight by the Mamluk soldiers made advancement of the Ottomans very hard. The Mamluk soldiers took protection behind the houses and roof walls after attacking the Ottomans. So the Ottomans resorted to what a powerful army used to do in such like situations. That was ruthless bombardment. Heavy bombardment was carried out on the buildings and houses in the city. But this bombardment failed to achieve the purpose although it destroyed a good part of the city.
The Mamluk soldiers were not ready to surrender at any cost. The Mamluk had bet their lives against unabated heavy bombardment by the Ottomans. The historic city of Cairo appeared being razed to the ground but the Mamluk were steadfast on fighting. A merciless encouter between the explosives and steel, and the human lives continued for three days. The city appeared not falling to the Ottomans.. The Mamluks’ resistance was very stiff that led the Ottomans to renew its strategy. And Sultan Selim did the same. He offered the Mamluk safety of life if they would lay down the arms.
Whether it was timing of the offer, or Sultan Tuman Bey wanted to avert more casualties or it was… because of the rejected offer by the Mamluks in Syria, he accepted the Ottomans offer and surrendered. But Ottoman Sultan Selim I backed out of his promise. Including Tuman Bey, he killed one by one all the Mamluk soldiers who had laid down the arms. He did not end here and also ordered for killing the citizens of Egypt. As many as 50000 citizens of Egypt were killed on the Sultan’s command. The skies of Cairo were black with smoke and the land red with blood on that day.
The city had been conquered in 1517 and the Mamluk sultanate had come to an end after 250 years of rule. Sultan Selim I held the Court. The last Abbasid Caliph Al-mutawakkil III, was also brought arrested before him. Making no bones, Mutawakil handed over keys of the Kaaba, and other relics to the Sultan. With it the Abbasid Caliphate also came to an end after 750 years of rule at the hands of the Ottomans. Caliph Mutawakkil III, was arrested in Cairo and taken to Istanbul. Sultan Selim I was now not merely Sultan but Caliph Selim Yavuz.
The Caliphate was got shifted from the Abbasids to the Ottomans. From Selim I to till the end of the Ottoman Caliphate, every Turk ruler assumed the title of Caliph. But they retained Istanbul or Constantinople as the capital of the Caliphate. This all was taking place in Egypt but it was yet to be seen which side Mecca and Madina were on? The rulers of Hijaz, called Shareefs, were custodians of Mecca and Madina under the patronage of the Mamluks. After defeating the Mamluk, Salim I also intended to move army to Mecca and Madina.
But the rulers of these cities surrendered to him without any armed conflict. Thus the holy land of Hijaz also became part of the Ottoman Caliphate after Syria and Egypt. The Ottoman Empire had become double in area after seizure of the Mamluk Sultanate. Here is an interesting fact and that is about Selim I’s connection with India. It was Selim I who had sent 2 gunners, Ali and Mustafa, to help Mughal emperor, Zaheeruddin Babar in India These gunners had enabled Babar to fortify his artillery and defeat Ibrahim Lodhi in the battle of Panipat.
The Muslims in India also had such love for the Ottoman Caliphate that they moved for its safety after the WW I. Selim Yavuz lived only for three years after conquest of Egypt. He died in 1520. The Ottoman Caliphate touched the peak during the period of Caliph Suleiman, the son of Selim I. But the downfall also came simultaneously. It begun with another battle wherein a nation trounced the Ottomans and became the super power. How the Ottomans lost the status of a super power and who were those 7000 against the 700,000… and whether they became winners or were crushed?
How the Ottoman rulers ended the tradition of… killing the brothers? This all will be shown to you in the next episode of the History Ottoman Empire. Please write your answer in the comments, whether the Ottomans’ attack on the Mamluks was a right decision? Please don’t forget to Like and Share this video. The biographies of great people are the best stories.
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