Battle of Ankara

The Battle of Ankara fought in 1402, took place northeast of Ankara at the field of Çubuk between the forces of the Ottoman sultan Bayezid I – the Thunderbolt- and the Turko-Mongol forces of Timur -the Lame- (Tamerlane), ruler of the Timurid Empire.

Timur had conquered Georgia and Azerbaijan in 1390, expanding his empire to the borders of the Ottoman Empire. The two powers soon came into direct conflict. On his march to invade Syria in 1398 Timur was met by a deputation of exiled Anatolian emirs, along with ambassadors from Constantinople, Genoa, Venice, and even Charles VI of France, who urged him to attack the Ottoman Empire.[7] Beyazid demanded tribute from one of the Turkish emirates who had pledged loyalty to Timur and threatened to invade. Timur interpreted this action as an insult to himself and in 1400 sacked the Ottoman city of Sebaste (modern Sivas). Beyazid was stung into furious action and when Timur invaded Anatolia from the east, Beyazid summoned his forces and confronted Timur’s forces near Ankara. The conflict, overall, was the culmination of years of insulting letters exchanged between Timur and Beyazid.

In those letters, it said that Beyazid insulted Timur and his soldiers as being tatar, unbelievers and evil. In replies Timur said to Beyazid that they were as muslim as ottomans used to be, but the whole ottoman state had been captured by european non-believers and spies.

When those letters made an annoying impact on Beyazid, he could not have known himself and obviously underestimated the forces of Timur.

It is also said that in the battlefield Beyazid refrain to first attack on Timur’s tired army because he wanted to figth at equal powers. So that the first attack came from Timur and despite the fact that they both has at equal powers, Timur’s forces were almost entirely mounted with a few Indian war elephants.

It’s remarkable that in that battle, some of Turkish soldiers had changed sides and supported Timur’s forces. It’s a strong evident of that Anatolian people has not a sympathy for Ottoman Empire, Beyazid The First, in that battle.

in July 1402 at the end of the Ankara Battle, Ottomans defeated by Timurlane and collapsed for the first time in its history.

Published in: on October 21, 2008 at 10:07 am  Comments (5)  
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An Empire Established After a Dream

Turkish Akinci horsemen

It is said that the first Ottomans are actually a late coming Turkish clan which had moved from middle-Asia to Anatolia in the leadership of Ertugrul Gazi.

As tradition has it, on crossing the Central Anatolian Plateau, Ertughrul one day spied a cloud of dust on the horizon. It had risen from the battle near Eskisehir – formerly Dorylaion – which a Seljuk detachment was fighting against Mongol invaders. Ertughrul took an historic decision, although probably
unaware of what its consequences would be. He resolved to intervene in the battle,
thus enabling the apparently losing side to win. That day the Ottomans saved the
Empire of Rum.

To show his gratitude, the Seljuk Sultan Kaihusrev II (Kaikosrau) gave Ertughrul a strip of land encircling the battlefield. The land extended from Eskisehir along the Sakarya (in antiquity: Sangarios) Valley. It corresponded roughly with the Roman province of Bithynia which the Seljuks had taken from the
Byzantines about a century previously.

One night while Osman Gazi (the son of Ertugrul Gazi) was staying over at Seyh Edebali’s dergah whom was his mentor, he had seen a dream. A light coming from Seyh Edebali’s chest was going into his own chest and a tree was raising from his there.The tree’s branches was covering the whole world, people was walking under them, rivers were running. In the morning he asked the seyh about this dream. And the seyh told him that he’s going to be a Bey (Lord) and there will be lots of sultans from his sons, that they will gather a lot of countries between the same borders.

That was the dream which was settled in Osman Gazi’s mind for years. In a short time later he became a Bey after retiring of his father (Ertugrul Gazi) and founded his own feudal state in 1299 in a small town called “Sogut”.

Osman I founded a small empire there, which he called “Memalik Osmanya”, or “The Principality of Osman”. He made Bursa its capital in 1305, captured Gemlik in 1326 and thus laid the foundations of what was to become the Ottoman Empire.

Published in: on October 21, 2008 at 8:20 am  Comments (4)