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Sultan Murad II at Archery Practice

Sultan Murad II at Archery Practice


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Sultan II. Mustafa Life

The new sultan III. Ahmed Khan, after the Edirne Era, returned to Istanbul with the help of the palace cadres and the state, Sultan II. Mustafa and the princes were brought to Istanbul and the Topkapı Palace was closed to the cage Kasrı.

After Hal, Sultan II, who could live only for forty days. Mustafa Han immigrated to the castle in the palace of Istanbul on 29 December 1703.

Sultan II. Mustafa’s nervous breakdown after the Edirne Cause and after the state had been overly distorted. He fell ill due to the separation of the tac and the throne.

Mehmet Aga, a Hazelnut, took care of his equipments and repairs and fulfilled his last duties against him. If the funeral prayer was performed by Sheikh Mustafa Efendi, the preacher of the Haghia Sophia. Sultan Mustafa, Valide Turhan Sultan tomb near Yenicami ‘, was buried in the foot of his father. Eight years nine months and seventeen days on the throne Sultan II. Mustafa had been immigrated to the afterlife since he was forty-one.

Sultan II. Mustafa, IV. Mehmed Han ‘ın is the son. Annesi is the concubine Rabia Gülnuş Sultan (1642-1715) from the Venetian Verzizi family who settled in Rethymno in Crete . Emetullah Rabia Gülnuş Valide Sultan is known as the Valide-i Cedid and is known as the mother of two sultans and benevolent valide sultan.

IV. The great prince of Mehmed II. Mustafa opened his eyes to the world when he was in Edirne on 2 June 1664. The childhood of the prince Mustafa who was festivals for seven days and seven nights was born in Edirne. It is the second of the sultans sitting on the throne in Edirne after the conquest of Istanbul. As the capital city, this city will be the last of the sultans who prefer to Istanbul.

Mustafa was five years old when he was found in his father Mora Yenişehir. While here, he took the first lesson from Vaniî Mehmed Efendi with a bed-i feeding ceremony and read the Rabbi yessir . The writer was Hafız Osman , the famous calligrapher . When he arrived in 1670, he began to take lessons from Sayyid Feyzullah Efendi.

When the date showed June 6, 1675, a magnificent circumcision wedding was held in Edirne for Prince Mustafa and his brother Ahmed. This spectacular circumcision wedding lasted for 15 days with nocturnal day.

Prince Mustafa, lectures from the great scholars of the devrin. His predecessors were Vani Mehmed Efendi and Seyyid Feyzullah Efendi. He was throwing arrows and using swords was awful. IV. Mehmed Khan had also taken Mustafa, his son, to the hunting parties he had organized and organized. As a matter of fact, he was accompanied by Prince Mustafa in the first Polish expedition which emerged in 1672. Thus the young prince began to gradually recognize the Ottoman Europe.

The years of Vienna’s demise were years of sadness for the palace and the dynasty. The disturbance that developed between the society and the soldier was until his father was sent down from the throne. IV. When Mehmed Han realized that he would be sentenced to the throne, there was a warning to his son Mustafa, who had grown up very well, to be reigned. But this warning was not taken into consideration. In the Ottoman Empire, the eldest member of the dynasty dynasty had begun to appear.

As a matter of fact, IV. Mehmed Han’s brother II. Süleyman was seated on the throne by the leaders of the state, deserving the sultanate. The Ottoman throne II. Solomon was moved to Edirne with his harem (1689). In Mustafa’s case, his father and his younger brother (III.) Were transported to the Edirne Palace with Ahmed ‘s closed cars. Prince Mustafa, spent a few days in the Topkapi Palace Şimşirlik Kasrı’da eye under the eye. Later, he was referred to Edirne, where he lived a free life.

II. After Sultan Süleyman Han reigns Sultan II. In the period of Ahmed Khan (1691-1695), the Prince Mustafa was still living in Edirne. But Sultan Ahmed, too, was caught in a fatal disease and could not sit on the throne for a long time.

In the reign of 1695-1703 Sultan II. Mustafa was red and sparse bearded, short necked, medium-sized and imposing. There is also a miniature made by the famous artist Levni.

Sultan II. Mustafa was intelligent, soft, natural, just and well-informed. It is stated that he is more robust, mature and rarely measured than the previous sultans in character. At the same time, it is also known that it shows this moderate behavior in the collection and distribution of state money, and it is not miserable or extravagant. After 1779, the curiosity of the sultan, who began to be interested in avatars like his father, was archery.

The sultan who is close to nine years Sultan II. Mustafa is a powerful, diligent, patriotic, hardworking and valuable sultan. It is the last Ottoman sultan to go to the palace at the beginning of the Ordular. The rewards of scholars and teachers were so great that this would have been caused by the raising of the throne.

He believed that in the first years of his reign, the Ottoman Empire would turn his luck and activity and war luck into favor. Although he seemed determined in his early times, after the battle of Zenta, his hope was broken and his time passed in Edirne. II. Mustafa, the last Ottoman sultan who came to the table, is the only sultan who was sent down from the throne in Edirne.

Sultan II. Mustafa has been interested in reform activities from one side and development works from another side. During the reign period, the Saraçhane Bridge was restored in Edirne. In İnebahtı II. He rebuilt the Beyazit Mosque.

In the meantime, the “mosque-i sherif and ma’bed-i lâtif” built upon the request of Sultan Valide for the vacant land of the church in Galata Castle, which had been burned before , was carefully laid and opened with the name of Galata Yeni Mosque in February 1697 .

In the period of his reign, Hacerullesved’s habitation, the pillars holding the Kaaba ceiling and the staircase descending to the surface, the old wall and minaret of the Masjid al-Kuba were renovated, a dome with four posts on the Mebresch-naka, ablution places have been built, deep water wells have been dug.

Statesmen and scholars have built precious scientific and social institutions. His teacher Feyzullah Efendi, a madrasa in Fatih and a library of valuable books sadrâzam Amcazade Hüseyin Pasha, a madrasah, a library and a fountain in Saraçhane sadrâmam Rami Mehmed Pasha, school with a fountain in Ayyub Damad Ali Pasha made a library. The two-storey community was built in the Shipyard by Çorlulu Ali Pasha, the Sultan of the Sultan.


In the Medieval era, Constantinople had the greatest defense and was close to impenetrable. It owed it safety from outside threats to the Theodosian walls built by Emperor Theodosius II.

The city had resisted all conquests for 800 years, after which it was captured by the knights of the Fourth Crusade. However, even then it was not the defensive walls that had failed but the carelessness of the personnel that left a door open. The walls extended across the peninsula from the shores of the Sea of Marmara to the Golden Horn, stretching to almost 6.5 kilometers, expanding the enclosed area of the city by 5 square kilometers.

Sultan Mehmet planned to attack these walls to weaken the city’s defense by artillery and hired a Hungarian gunsmith Urban to build massive cannons for this purpose. By March 1453, 69 of these cannons had been built and transported outside the Byzantine capital.


The Sultans of the Ottoman Empire: 1300 to 1924

In the late 13th century a series of small principalities emerged in Anatolia, sandwiched between the Byzantine and Mongol Empires. These regions were dominated by ghazis—warriors dedicated to fighting for Islam—and ruled by princes, or "beys." One such bey was Osman I, leader of Turkmen nomads, who gave his name to the Ottoman principality, a region which grew vastly during its first few centuries, rising to become a massive world power. The resulting Ottoman Empire, which ruled large tracts of Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and the Mediterranean, survived until 1924 when the remaining regions transformed into Turkey.

A Sultan was originally a person of religious authority later, the term was used for regional rules. The Ottoman rulers used the term sultan for almost their entire dynasty. In 1517, Ottoman Sultan Selim I captured the Caliph in Cairo and adopted the term Caliph is a disputed title that commonly means the leader of the Muslim world. The Ottoman use of the term ended in 1924 when the empire was replaced by the Republic of Turkey. The descendants of the royal house have continued to trace their line to the present day.


Ahmed I (1603-1617)

Image:pixabay.com
Source: Original

Sultan Ahmed I took the throne when he was 13 and became famous as a traditional disrupter. During his inauguration, he did not wait for the tradition to take the throne, and he took his rightful place. Ahmed also girded himself with the sword of Sultan Osman I, instead of waiting for the cleric to do so.

The young ruler showed that he is an "Ahmed Sultan" who will not allow himself to command. So his first steps in power were to remove the influence first of his grandmother and then of his mother.

Ahmed's reign included heavy wars with Austria, Persia, and the rebellion in Asia. Military luck was not on the empire's side, but the Sultan, using diplomacy, managed to emerge from conflicts with minimal casualties.

Ahmed's presence in Istanbul has created one of the main landmarks: the Blue Mosque. Ahmed died aged 27, leaving behind 12 sons and 9 daughters.

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See also

"Sovereign of The Sublime House of Osman, Sultan es Selatin (Sultan of Sultans), Khakhan (Khakan of the Khans), Commander of the faithful and Successor of the Prophet of the lord of the Universe, Custodian of the Holy Cities of Mecca, Medina and Kouds (Jerusalem), Padishah of The Three Cities of Istanbul (Constantinople), Edirne (Adrianople) and Bursa, and of the Cities of Châm (Damascus) and Cairo (Egypt), of all Azerbaijan, of the Magreb, of Barkah, of Kairouan, of Alep, of the Arab and Persian Iraq, of Basra, of El Hasa strip, of Raka, of Mosul, of Parthia, of Diyâr-ı Bekr, of Cilicia, of the provinces of Erzurum, of Sivas, of Adana, of Karaman, of Van, of Barbaria, of Habech (Abyssinia), of Tunisia, of Tripoli, of Châm (Syria), of Cyprus, of Rhodes, of Crete, of the province of Morea (Peloponnese), of Bahr-i Sefid (Mediterranean Sea), of Bahr-i Siyah (Black Sea), of Anatolia, of Rumelia (the European part of the Empire), of Bagdad, of Kurdistan, of Greece, of Turkestan, of Tartary, of Circassia, of the two regions of Kabarda, of Gorjestan (Georgia), of the steppe of Kipchaks, of the whole country of the Tatars, of Kefa (Feodosiya) and of all the neighbouring regions, of Bosnia, of the City and Fort of Belgrade, of the province of Sirbistan (Serbia), with all the castles and cities, of all Arnaut, of all Eflak (Wallachia) and Bogdania (Moldavia), as well as all the dependencies and borders, and many others countries and cities"


Sultan Murad II at Archery Practice - History

Turkish Traditional Archery

Part 1: History, Disciplines, Institutions, Mystic Aspects
Murat Özveri, DDS, PhD

Turkish traditional archery’s roots go back to the first millenium B.C. to Scythian, Hun and other early Asian archery tradition. The horseback archers of Central Asian steppes have used very similar archery tackle and fighting strategies throughout entire history and the nomadic life style avoids making a clear, distinctive categorisation of the tribes and nations. These nations have lived on the same geography, shared many values and influenced each other’s religion, language, tradition and undoubtly genetic code. In the complex ethnic genetic pool of Central Asia the historians try to find their ways in chasing different linguistic tracks which however is not a reliable argument neither. There is a common culture consisting of social life, religious beliefs, accomodation, art as well as hunting and fighting techniques. Numerous civilizations appeared and disappeared from the history scene throughout centuries and left this common culture and archery school.

No need to tell about the fact that history has been used (or misused) by various political foci and the truth was sometimes distorted by historians. Although the ethnic continuity is questionnable, the Asian archery tradition passed to Avars, Magyars, Mongols, Seljuk and Ottoman Turks with a gradual development in the tackle.

Compromising with the official histiography, the word “Turk” was first used in Chinese sources in early 6th century for a Turkish nation called “Blue Turk Empire” (Kökturks). Recently a new term, “Turkic” appeared to describe Turk-related tribes or pieces of the Central Asian culture. Although it’s not easy to follow the specific tracks back to Blue Turks, Ottoman archery is very well documented. The high level it reached, especially in flight shooting is the reason that western world knows and admires the Turkish archery.

Turkish traditional archery can be examined in three time intervals:

1- Archery of pre-Islamic Turkish and Turkic tribes

2- Archery of Turks of Early Islamic era

3- Turkish Archery in the Islamic time frame

Archery of pre-Islamic Turkish and Turkic tribes

Although the pre-Islamic Turkish archery has not been very well documented, the archaeological excavations made by the former USSR scientists illuminated many dark spots.

Additional information sources are old pictures, reliefs and sculptures.

According to Gumilöv [1] the sculptures in the collection of Ermitaj Museum describes the typical Turkish mounted archers. The tails of the horses are knotted -a tradition that reachs to Ottomans- the styles of the clothing and saddles indicate the use of bow and arrow on horseback.

For the early-Islamic phase of Turkish archery, there are 9th century Arabic texts in which the archery skills of partially Islamized Turks are well described [2] . The skills of horseback archers, especially their ability to hit moving targets from on horseback are explained in detail.

The most important source available that includes many details about this stage is “The Book of Dede Korkut” [3] . This book that is sometimes called as “The Turkish Ilyada” contains epic stories, probably written in 12th century but has its roots in hundreds of years before. Other than the linguistic character of the text, social life and beliefs exhibited in the stories indicate a “passing phase” rather than an established Islamic life. Many authors agree that the Islamic motifs have been put later into the stories.

In The Book of Dede Korkut it’s possible to find indicators about how important bow and arrow have been in the nomadic life of Turks. As an example of shamanist-ceremonial use of bow and arrow it is remarkable that the groome was releasing an arrow and building his first night’s yurt to the spot where the arrow landed.

You’ll even come across to indicators of recreational aspects of archery! In a wedding scene the groome and his friends were competing in hitting a small target with bow and arrow, the target being a ring of the groome.

Another point which should be noted is the importance of women as warriors in the pre-Islamic nomadic life as it’s also told in Marco Polo’s travel reports [4] . In the Book of Dede Korkut this truth is expressed in one of the stories: A character named Bamsi Beyrek lists the requirements he was looking for at the girl he’d be married. Besides many other martial skills, he expected her to be capable of drawing two bows at once. There are often referrals to the “heavy bows” of the heros in order to appreciate their physical strength and to honour them.

Adopting Islam has been a result of the 300 years of commercial, social, religious and cultural interactions between the Islamic armies and the north-neighbouring Turks in the region called “Maveraünnehir”. This interacton ended up with a change of religion and alphabet of Turks [5] . Turks must have noticed and admired that their new religion gives importance to archery, a martial art that already had great importance in their lifestyle. Additional to a verse in Quran there are fourty Hadis in which people are encouraged to practise archery [6] .

Seljuks have opened the doors of Anatolia to Turks. It was the skill of Seljuk mounted archers that brought them to their destiny. The historians of that era described them as an highly effective, moving force with the long-ranged weaponry. They were hesitating to “impact” the enemy and to get into close quarter fighting. What they preferred was a lightning-fast “attack and retreat” strategy based on horseback archery skills. Their shorter recurved bows were easier to handle on horseback and gave the warriors great flexibility.

Picture 1: Another document from Seljuks is a coin produced during Sultan Rukneddin’s (Kılıçarslan IV) reign. Please note the Turkish and Islamic name of the Sultan: another sign for the “passing phase”. Here you see a short recurve and two more arrows in the string hand, the latter indicates the use of thumb release by Seljuk archers.

It’s documented that each warrior was carrying about 100 arrows in the quiver, in the bowcase and even in the boots. The consequences was reported in a battle against I. Crusade army: The knights had to stand a 3 hours of uninterrupted arrow attack [7] .

The best documented stage of Turkish archery however is the Ottoman Archery. This empire that was supposedly founded in 1299 by an unsignificant tribal leader, Osman Bey, has ended the Roman Empire and ruled on three continents.

In Ottomans, archery was practised with its various disciplines at an institutional level. The prevails of this institutionalization were the “Okmeidan” (literally means “Place of Arrow”) and the “tekke” [8] where archery as a sport has been taught and practised since the beginning of 15th century. This is supposed to be the first sportive archery in the history and started a hundred year before the foundation of “The Guild of Saint George” with the order of Henry VIII.

The first Okmeidan was established in Edirne, the second capital city of the empire prior to Istanbul. It’s followed by numerous others and the most famous one was the Istanbul Okmeidan, founded by Sultan Mehmed II, just after he conquered the city. The property was bought by the Sultan himself from the owners in a price that was twice of its cost. The Sultan gifted this place to archers, made them build the “tekye-i rumât” (lit. “tekke of shooters”) on it. The expanses of this archery resort was being reimbursed by foundations. The tekke was respected as a holy place and protected by law.

It’s worth to note that systematic para-martial archery training was being given long before the firearms gained prominance on the battle field. Flight shooting, the less war-related discipline, has always been popular although its popularity increased after the development of firearms in 17th century.

Among the archery disciplines the two major ones were target shooting and flight shooting. The target archery can also be subclassified into three categories: puta shooting, darb (piercing) and horseback shooting.

Puta shooting was shooting arrows to specific leather targets called “puta”, from 165 to 250 m distance. Puta was a pear-shaped, flat leather pillow filled with cotton seed and sawdust. There were colored signs serving as a bull’s eye on the face and little bells were attached on the skirt to provide a sound signal of the hitting arrow.A sample in the collection of Military Museum in Istanbul reveals the puta’s size: 107 cm X 77 cm.

That distance is supposed to be the optimal distance in which the archers made aimed shots at the enemy. Sometimes large baskets were used for the same purpose and were called “puta basket”. Smaller stationary and “hand-held putas” were used as well but shot from closer distances.

Picture 2:Sultan Selim I (1512-1520) pratising on a hand-held puta or “ayna” (Hünernâme, 16th cent. Library of Topkapı Palace Museum).

Another variation of target archery practice was called “darb” and was based on piercing hard objects. It was a war-related practice for acquiring the skill to pierce the armour of the enemy. The armour piercing capability of the composite bow has always been discussed, especially if it comes to the plate armours of late medieval and early modern times. Euro-centric historiography has always had the tendency of highlighting the military success of English Longbow in Hundred Years Wars. The military success of the step civilizations with the composite bow has somehow been ignored while their defeats were exaggerated.

However the claim that the armour piercing capability of the composite bow is weak, is only a myth. This truth was noticed first by Romans and Sassanids. When Huns invaded these two empires in the 5th century, both the Persian and the Roman armies had heavy cavalry with plate armor (clibanarius and cataphractos). Romans’ infantry had even two layered chain mail and heavy oak shields as personal protection. Both states realised that the Huns have had no problem in piercing their armours. This has been achieved by the siyah-tipped Hun’s bows [9] . And the effect of Turkish bow, the ultimate Asian composite bow, has been perhaps most fully witnessed by the Habsburgs. Field Marshal Monteccucoli in his memoirs along with Graf Marsigli whom’s detailed report about the Otoman army in 1682, advised to the Habsburg army to be careful about the Otoman archery because the Turkish arrows were able to easily pierce Austrian Curiassiers’ plate armor [10] .


Picture 3a, 3b: A typical leather puta with the bull’s eye and little bells (left). A smaller, stationary target with a beautifully carved, decorated wooden base and metal bull’s eye (right) (Military Museum, İstanbul).


Picture 4a, 4b: Samples of darb targets are on exhibition the Military Museum in İstanbul (Photograph: Z. Metin Ataş).

Shooting targets from on horseback was another target discipline and mounted archery has been very popular between 14th and 17th century. The most popular application of horseback archery was the so-called “qabak game”.There were even special fields for this game.

Although “qabak” is a vegetable, many other objects like cups, balls etc. were used as target. The target was put on the top of a tall column that the archer was approaching with full speed to. He was passing the column, turning back and shooting the target. Qabak game was not only a war-related practice but also an occasion for demonstrating skill and for entertainment.

Picture 5: In this miniature Murad II is shown playing Qabak game in front of foreign envoys (Hünernâme, 16th cent., Library of Topkapı Palace Museum).

The other main discipline of Ottoman archery, flight shooting, has been the reason of the interest of western world in Turkish archery. Flight shooting is very far away of being a war-related discipline and is a pure sport in any means. In my opinion there have been three milestones at which the attention of western world was attracted.

In 1795, a Turkish consulate in England named Mahmud Efendi have shot three flight arrows when he was hosted by the members of Toxophilite Society. The distances were carefully measured and the longest one was surprisingly found to be around 440 m which was ca. 100 m further than the maximum range ever reached with an English longbow. Besides, Mahmud Efendi told that he was not in good condition, neither was his bow and after all he was just an amateur [11] . He really meant it as it will be seen later in this article.

Secondly, the book Telhis-i Resail-ü’r Rumât written by Mustafa Kani Efendi in 19th century has been translated to German by Joachim Hein and published. Dr. Paul E. Klopsteg wrote his famous book “Turkish Archery and the Composite Bow” in 1930’s that was based on this translation

Telhis-i Resail-ü’r Rumât was written by Mustafa Kani bin Mehmed with the order of Sultan Mahmud II who was also an excellent archer. The book was introduced to the sultan as a handwritten text and published a few years later, in 1847 in İstanbul. This book consists of detailed information and even illustrations about archery, bowyery and arrow making.

If we’d have a look at some specifications of Turkish archery which differ it from other styles and traditions, we would see a “Top 7 list:

1-The first sportive and recreational archery known in the history. Many Okmeidan were founded in the early 15th century.

The first Okmeidans were founded in the early 15th century in Edirne and Bursa. The Okmeidan of Istanbul was a foundation of Sultan (Fatih) Mehmed II in 1453 just after the city was conquered.

Picture 6: Carl Gustav Löwenhilm was on duty in İstanbul as an envoy in early 1820’s. This is an illustration he made.

2- The institutions called “tekke” served as a place where systematic archery education has been provided. The acceptence and graduation of the student was being conducted by rules under a ceremonial format.

“Tekke” litarally means the institution where dervishes live and are educated according to sufist (Islam mysticism) knowledge. Another meaning is the place/institution where sports like wrestling or archery are being taught and trained. They were very similar to today’s sportsclubs.

Picture 7: This picture represents the tekke as it was illustrated by Halim Baki Kunter in 1938 according to the descriptions in the old scripts (Eski Türk Sporları Üzerine Araştırmalar, 1938). Kunter was one of the most important archery researchers of republic era. The archaelogical excavation started last year resulted in finding the base of all these buildings except that of the toilettes. It confirms the results of Kunter’s work.

The beginning and end of the basic archery education used to be celebrated and declared with ceremonies. The acceptence of the student was formalized with the “Little Qabza Taking Ceremony” and then graduation was formalized with the “Big Qabza Taking Ceremony” [12] .

The declaration of the student’s proficiency was possible only when he could shoot a pishrev arrow [13] to 900 gez (594 m) or an azmayish arrow [14] to 800 gez (528 m). This particular shot must have been witnessed by a minimum of 4 persons, two being at the shooting spot and two at the spot the arrow landed. After then the archer was recorded to the Tekke’s Registration Book and accepted to be proficient. One of these books remains until today.

In the Big Qabza Taking Ceremony, the “master” was dropping a bow(-grip) into the hands of the brand-new kemankeş [15](pronounced cam-un-cash), symbolising the transfer of archery knowledge and tradition from one generation to the next one.

3- There were moral and mystic aspects of the education.

Okmeidan and tekke were accepted to be holy places and were highly respected. The Islamic personal cleaning ritual called “abdest” which is a must prior to daily praying was performed before entering the Okmeidan as if this place was a temple. Although there was obvious discrimination among the social layers of Ottoman Empire, in Okmeidan all archers were accepted to be equilant like in any temple. Even vezeers and sultans were competing under the same circumstances and rules.

Another example for the mystic aspects of the education and application was the “Ya Hakk!” shouting of flight shooters which means “Hey God!”. This seems to be similar to the so-called “kiai” in Japanese martial arts and it makes sense to believe that they both have the same purpose.

The interesting symbolism in bow morphology is another point in the archery-related mysticism. The upper limb was symbolising the “good” or “holy” while the lower limb stands for “evil”. The grip –qabza– was accepted to bind these two polar tendencies of the universe and of the man himself. The middle of the grip where a small piece of ivory or bone plate (chelik) is inserted was the symbol of the so-called “vahdet-i vücûd”, a sufist term meaning the common identity of all universe and creatures a projection of God.

The symbolic importance of qabza makes the bow a ceremony object whereupon in the “Big Qabza Taking Ceremony” it was also symbolising the transfer of the knowledge to the next generation. The graduation of the student was declared and celebrated by giving a bow to the hands of the new kemankeş. Because of this symbolic relation all the archers used to start and finish their daily practice with the ceremonial kissing of their bowgrips.

4- Turks developed the “ultimate bow” of Central Asian school.

Otoman bows are reflex and recurved composite bows like the other bows of Central Asian origin. Made of wood (mainly of acer species), sinew, horn and glue this bow is the shortest one among its relatives and is measured only 41 to 44 inches. With this length it can only be compared with the Korean bow. Its efficiency is high with both heavy and light arrows [16] which gives the Otoman flight bow the greatest cast ever known. Making such a bow requires high skill and patience. Because of the long time required for the organic materials to dry it took 1 to 3 years to make a bow.

Picture 8: The profile and the cross-sections of the Turkish bow (Courtesy of Dr. Mustafa Kaçar).

5- Pure sportive disciplines like flight shooting did exist and was performed long before the firearms gained prominance and made bow and arrow become sports tackle.

The archery-related civil institutions like Okmeidan and tekke were established in the beginning of 15th century. Other than the training facilities tekke used to offer many social opportunities like dormitory, food court, library and meeting room. With these opportunities it had an identity similar to that of a modern sportsclub. Flight archery which is the less war-related discipline has always been very popular while bow and arrow were stil in use on battlefields.

“Kemankeş” or graduated archers used to train hard and regularly like the elite professional athletes of modern times. It’s known that the best ones have been reimbursed or sponsored by the Palace.

6- Distances of over 800 m have been reached in flight archery.

The flight records are very well-documented. According to Islamic rules the record was only valid when the shot had been wittnessed by a minimum of four persons. Each shooting range or “menzil” was indicated by two stones, one “foot stone” erected at the spot where the archer stands and a “main stone” for indicating the direction of the shot. In any attempt these witnesses who were employees of the Okmeidan had to be present. The distances achieved were not only recorded to Tekke’s Registration Book but monumental stones were also erected for the remembrance and declaration of them.


Sultan Murad II at Archery Practice - History

Mehmed II was an Ottoman Sultan who ruled first for a short time from August 1444 to September 1446, and later from February 1451 to May 1481. At the age of 21, he conquered Constantinople and brought an end to the Byzantine Empire. Take a look below for 30 more awesome and interesting facts about Mehmed the Conqueror.

1. Mehmed continued his conquests in Anatolia with its reunification and in Southeast Europe as far west as Bosnia.

2. He is considered a hero in modern-day Turkey and parts of the wider Muslim world.

3. Among other things, Istanbul’s Fatih district, Fatih Sultan Mehmed Bridge and Fatih Mosque are named after him.

4. Mehmed II was born on March 30, 1432, in Edirne, then the capital city of the Ottoman state.

5. His father was Sultan Murad II and his mother was Human Valide Hatun, born in the town of Devrekani, Kastamonu.

6. When Mehmed II was eleven years old, he was sent to Amasya to govern and thus gain experience, as per the custom of Ottoman rulers before his time.

7. 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 belief.

8. He was influenced in his practice of Islamic epistemology by practitioners of science, particularly by his mentor, Molla Gurani, and he followed their approach.

9. 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.

10. In Mehmed’s first reign, he defeated the crusade led by Janos Hunyadi after the Hungarian incursions into his country broke the conditions of the truce of Peace of Szeged.

11. Mehmed’s first campaigns after Constantinople were in the direction of Serbia, which had been an Ottoman vassal state since the Battle of Kosovo in 1389.

12. Mehmed II introduced the word “politics” into Arabic from a book he published and claimed to be the collection of political doctrines of the Byzantine Caesars before him.

13. He gathered Italian artists, humanists and Greek scholars at his court, allowed the Byzantine Church to continue functioning, ordered the patriarch Gennadius to translate Christian doctrine into Turkish, and called Gentile Bellini from Venice to paint his portrait as well as Venetian frescoes that are varnished today.

14. He collected a vast amount of books, which included works in Greek, Persian and Latin.

15. Mehmed invited Muslim scientists and astronomers, such as Ali Qushji, and artists to his court in Constantinople, started a university, built mosques, waterways, and Istanbul’s Topkapi Palace and the Tiled Kiosk.

16. Around the grand mosque that he constructed, he erected eight madrasas, which, for nearly a century, kept their rank as the highest teaching institutions of the Islamic sciences in the empire.

17. Mehmed II allowed his subjects a considerable degree of religious freedom, provided they were obedient to his rule.

18. After his conquest of Bosnia in 1463, he issues the Ahdname of Milodraz to the Bosnian Franciscans, granting them freedom to move freely within the Empire, offer worship in their churches and monasteries, and to practice their religion free from official and unofficial persecution, insult or disturbance.

19. His standing army was recruited from the Devshirme, a group that took first born Christian subjects at a young age and destined them for the sultan’s court.

20. Within Constantinople, Mehmed established a millet, or an autonomous religious community, and appointed the former Patriarch Gennadius Scholarius as a religious leader for the Orthodox Christians of the city.

21. Mehmed II consolidated power by building his imperial court, the divan, with officials who would be solely loyal to him and allow him greater autonomy and authority.

22. He transitioned the empire away from the Ghazi mentality that emphasized ancient traditions and ceremonies in governance and moved the empire towards a centralized bureaucracy largely made of officials of devsirme background.

23. Mehmed II took the step of converting the religious scholars who were part of the Ottoman madrasas into salaried employees of the Ottoman bureaucracy who were loyal to him.

24. Once Mehmed II had created an Ottoman bureaucracy and transformed the empire from a frontier society to a centralized government, he took care to appoint officials who would help him implement his agenda.

25. His first grand vizier was Zaganos Pasha, who was of devsirme background as opposed to an aristocrat.

26. Mehmed was the first sultan who was able to codify and implement kanunname solely based on his own independent authority.

27. He was able to later implement kanunname that went against previous tradition or precedent. This was monumental in an empire that was so steeped in tradition and could be slow to change or adapt.

28. He delegated significant powers and functions of government to his viziers as part of his new policy of imperial seclusions.

29. A wall was built around the palace as an element of the more closed era, and unlike previous sultans, Mehmed was no longer accessible to the public or even lower officials.

30. Mehmed’s viziers directed the military and met foreign ambassadors, which are two essential parts of governing especially with his numerous military campaigns.


Books About the Ottoman Empire

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The Ottoman Empire

Popular History

The Ottoman Centuries: The Rise and Fall of the Turkish Empire by Lord Kinross. An account of one of the greatest imperial powers in history.

Lords of the Horizons: A History of the Ottoman Empire by Jason Goodwin. For 600 years, the Ottoman Empire swelled and declined. This book explores how the Ottomans rose and how, against all odds, they lingered on.

Osman's Dream: The History of the Ottoman Empire by Caroline Finkel. At its height, the Ottoman realm extended from Hungary to the Persian Gulf, from North Africa to the Caucasus. This book recounts the story of the empire from its origins in the 13th century through its destruction in World War I.

Other Books

The Ottoman Empire, 1700-1922 by Donald Qataert. An introduction supported by maps, illustrations, and a chronology. The book pays attention to gender issues and the treatment of minorities.

The Crisis of Kingship in Late Medieval Islam: Persian Emigres and the Making of Ottoman Sovereignty by Christopher Markiewicz. Ottoman survival was, in part, predicated on a new mode of kingship, enabling its transformation to global empire.

History of the Ottoman Empire and Modern Turkey: Volume 1, Empire of the Gazis by Stanford J. Shaw. Explains how the Ottoman Turks, a small band of nomadic soldiers, expanded from a small principality in on the borders of the Byzantine Empire into one of the great empires of Europe and Asia.

History of the Ottoman Empire and Modern Turkey: Volume 2, Reform, Revolution, and Republic by Stanford J. Shaw and Ezel Kural Shaw. The modernization of the empire during the 19th and early 20th centuries, the spread of nationalism, the empire's demise, and the rise of the Republic of Turkey.

The Ottoman Empire and the World Around It by Suraiya Faroqhi. Demonstrates that there was no iron curtain between the Ottoman, the empires of Asia, and the modern states of Europe, but rather a network of connections.

Approaching Ottoman History: An Introduction to the Sources by Suraiya Faroqhi. Explores the documentary sources and explains how to interpret them.

The Second Ottoman Empire: Political and Social Transformation in the Early Modern World by Baki Tezcan. Covers the period roughly from 1580 to 1826 when the empire's medieval, dynastic institution transformed into a limited monarchy.

Ottoman Sultans

The Sultan and His Subjects by Richard Davey. First published in 1897, during the reign of Abdulhamid II, this book describes the Ottoman sultan's court and harem, and his subjects' way of life.

The Sultans: The Rise and Fall of the Ottoman Rulers and Their World, a 600-Year History by Jem Duducu. The epic story of a dynasty that started as a small group of cavalry mercenaries and became absolute rulers of a great empire.

Mighty Guests of the Throne: The Ottoman Sultans by Salih Gulen. The 36 Ottoman sultans included great commanders, statesmen, musicians, and poets.

Private and Royal Life in the Ottoman Palace by Ilber Ortayli. Topkapi Palace was the primary residence of the Ottoman sultans for almost four centuries. This illustrated guide explores Ottoman history as it relates to specific sections of the palace.

Inside the Seraglio: Private Lives of the Sultans in Istanbul by John Freely. Explores the decadent world within the palace walls and exposes most of the later sultans as weak, some as insane. Describes the imperial harem, eunuch guards, and the others who served the sultans -- and sometimes imprisoned and murdered them. Illustrated.

Lords of the Golden Horn: From Suleiman the Magnificent to Kamal Ataturk by Noel Barber. Tells the story of the sultans, their harems, and the fall of the Ottoman Empire. Includes illustrations and maps. Published in 1973.

On the Origins of the Ottoman Emperors by Theodore Spandounes, translated by Donald M. Nicol. This account of the origins of the Turkish rulers and their rise to power was written by a Byzantine refugee who settled in Venice after the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople in 1453.

Murad II

The Holy Wars of King Wladislas and Sultan Murad: The Ottoman-Christian Conflict From 1438-1444 by John Jefferson. About the conflict between Wladyslaw III of Poland (Wladyslaw I of Hungary) and Sultan Murad II of the Ottoman Empire.

The Sultan and the Queen: The Untold Story of Elizabeth and Islam by Jerry Brotton. After Queen Elizabeth I was excommunicated in 1570, she entered into an unprecedented alliance with the powerful Ottoman sultan Murad III. This marked the beginning of an alignment with Muslim powers not again experienced until the modern age. (Published in the UK as This Orient Isle .)

Mehmed II and Bayezid II

Mehmed the Conqueror and His Time by Franz Babinger, translated by Ralph Manheim. Biography of the 15th century sultan Mehmed II. One of the most important figures in Ottoman history, Mehmed was the architect of victories that inspired fear throughout Europe.

The Grand Turk: Sultan Mehmet II, Conqueror of Constantinople and Master of an Empire by John Freely. Biography. Mehmet was barely 21 when he conquered Byzantine Constantinople. Three popes called for crusades against him. Revered by the Turks and seen as a tyrant by the West, Mehmet was a brilliant military leader and a renaissance prince.

Great Eagle: Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror by Aytac Ozkan. Biography of the Ottoman sultan that emphasizes his organizational and administrative abilities.

Sultan of Vezirs by Theoharis Stavrides. The life and times of the Mahmud Pasha Angelovic (1453-1474), who served as grand vezir during the reign of Mehmed II.

Struggle for Domination in the Middle East: The Ottoman-Mamluk War, 1485-91 by Shai Har-El. Based largely on Ottoman, Mamluk, and Italian primary sources, this book explains the second and final war between the Ottomans and Mamluks, which resulted in the firm establishment of Ottoman power in the Middle East.

Jem Sultan: The Adventures of a Captive Turkish Prince in Renaissance Europe by John Freely. A son of Mehmet II, Jem was held prisoner in France and the Vatican, and probably poisoned by Pope Alexander VI.

Gentile Bellini's Portrait of Sultan Mehmed II: Lives and Afterlives of an Iconic Image by Elizabeth Rodini. This biography of a picture explores its history and the various meanings imposed on it.

Selim I

God's Shadow: Sultan Selim, His Ottoman Empire, and the Making of the Modern World by Alan Mikhail. Biography. Born to a concubine, Sultan Selim I (1470-1520) was never meant to inherit the throne, but he claimed power and tripled Ottoman territory.

Sultan Selim I: The Conqueror of the East by Fatih Akce. Focuses on the life of Selim I, including his struggle for power, his first and second campaigns to the East, and the period of caliphate.

Suleiman the Magnificent

Mehmed IV

Honored by the Glory of Islam: Conversion and Conquest in Ottoman Europe by Marc David Baer. Focuses on the reign of 17th century sultan Mehmed IV.

The Sultan's Procession: The Swedish Embassy to Sultan Mehmed IV in 1657-1658 and the Ralamb Paintings edited by Karin Adahl. Over 150 color illustrations provide revealing insight into the 17th century court of Sultan Mehmed IV in Ottoman Turkey.

Ottoman Women Builders: The Architectural Patronage of Hadice Turhan Sultan by Lucienne Thys-Senocak. Captured in Russia at the age of twelve, Hadice Turhan Sultan became the mother of Sultan Mehmed IV. After she came to power as queen mother in 1648, she expressed her authority and piety through architecture.

Constantinople (Istanbul)

1453: The Holy War for Constantinople and the Clash of Islam and the West by Roger Crowley. Tells the stories of two ambitious battling leaders: Mehmed II, sultan of the Ottoman Empire, and Constantine XI, the 57th emperor of Byzantium, a vivid, intense tale of courage and cruelty, technological ingenuity, endurance and luck.

The Fall of Constantinople, 1453 by Steven Runciman explains how the Turks conquered Constantinople (now Istanbul).

Constantinople: City of the World's Desire 1453-1924 by Philip Mansel. Tells the story of the city, and of the impact upon it of the Ottoman sultans and their dynasty.

Istanbul: The Imperial City by John Freely. In more than 26 centuries of existence the city has survived countless catastrophes, conquests, dynastic upheavals, changes in religion, language, political status, and name.

Istanbul: City of Majesty at the Crossroads of the World by Thomas F. Madden. From its ancient past to the present, meet the city through its citizens -- and the rulers who built it up and then destroyed it.

Constantinople: Capital of Byzantium by Jonathan Harris. Offers insight into the spiritual and mythic dimensions of Constantinople.

Constantinople and Istanbul Old and New by H. G. Dwight. Written in 1915 and illustrated with rare period photographs. The author describes everyday life in the city and the traces of Byzantium.

Ottoman Architecture

A History of Ottoman Architecture by Godfrey Goodwin. Treats the subject chronologically and within its historical perspective. Buildings are described with a minimum of technical terminology. A glossary of Turkish words is provided, and there is a table of Ottoman rulers and historical events.

Female Architectural Patronage in the Early Modern Ottoman Empire: Hatice Turhan Sultan by Lucienne Thys-Senocak. Hatice Turhan Sultan was wife of 17th century Ottoman ruler Sultan Ibrahim and mother of Sultan Mehmet IV.

The Sultan's Fountain: An Imperial Story of Cairo, Istanbul, and Amsterdam by Agnieszka Dobrowolska and Jaroslaw Dobrowolski. Why did 18th century Ottoman sultan Mustafa III build a sabil-kuttab (public water dispensary with a Quranic school) in Cairo decorated with tiles depicting the Dutch countryside? This illustrated history of the building also describes recent efforts to preserve it.

Rise of the Ottoman Empire

The Ottoman Empire: The Classical Age 1300-1600 by Halil Inalcik. Vividly portrays 300 years of history as the empire grew from a military principality to the world's most powerful Islamic state.

The Origins of the Ottoman Empire by M. Fuad Koprulu, translated by Gary Leiser. The first comprehensive account of the Turkish history of Anatolia in the 13th and 14th centuries. Outlines factors that led to the rise of the Ottomans.

Ottoman Empire 1353-1699 by Stephen Turnbull. Covers the rise of the Ottomans and their early years of fighting for a foothold across the Bosphorous.

Between Two Worlds: The Construction of the Ottoman State by Cemal Kafadar. This subtle and complex interpretation of the early Ottoman period demonstrates how ethnic, tribal, linguistic, religious, and political affiliations were all at play in the struggle for power in Anatolia and the Balkans during the late Middle Ages.

The Ottoman Empire, 1300-1650: The Structure of Power by Colin Imber. Shows how the complex Ottoman state worked in practice. Includes chapters on the Ottoman dynasty, the army, the provinces, and the palace.

The Nature of the Early Ottoman State by Heath W. Lowry. Argues that the empire grew because of the desire for booty and slaves, and the society was open to anyone (Muslim or Christian) who could contribute to this goal.

Ottoman Women and Harems

Ottoman Society

The Ottoman Turks: An Introductory History to 1923 by Justin McCarthy. A history of the empire that concentrates on social life and customs.

Daily Life in the Ottoman Empire by Mehrdad Kia. Includes chapters on the sultan and the palace, governing an empire, popular culture, courtship, and more.

Ottoman Empire and Islamic Tradition by Norman Itzkowitz. Presents the full sweep of Ottoman history from its beginnings in about 1300, through its development as an empire, to its late 18th century confronation with a rapidly modernizing Europe.

Miscellaneous

The Sons of Bayezid by Dimitris J. Kastritsis. After Timur defeated the Ottomans at the Battle of Ankara, the sons of Bayezid the Thunderbolt fought bloody battles for his throne.

The Album of the World Emperor: Cross-Cultural Collecting and the Art of Album-Making in Seventeenth-Century Istanbul by Emine Fetvaci. This illustrated book examines an album of paintings, drawings, calligraphy, and European prints compiled for the Ottoman sultan Ahmed I.

Portraits and Caftans of the Ottoman Sultans by Nurhan Atasoy. Portraits and lavishly decorated caftans display the magnificence of the Ottoman Empire's sultans. If you're feeling rich, there's also a deluxe edition.

Ottoman Economy, Trade, & Money

An Economic and Social History of the Ottoman Empire, 1300-1914 by Halil Inalcik, Suraiya Faroqhi, Bruce McGowan, Donald Quataert, Sevket Pamuk. A two-volume set.

A Monetary History of the Ottoman Empire by Sevket Pamuk. Covers all regions of the empire from the Balkans through Anatolia, Syria, Egypt and the Gulf to the Maghrib.

The Ottoman Empire and the World-Economy edited by Huri Islamogu-Inan. Collection of essays.

Gold for the Sultan: Western Bankers and Ottoman Finance, 1856-1881 by Christopher S. Clay. The financial collapse of the Ottoman government in 1875 was a pivotal event in the history of the Middle East. This economic history of Ottoman finances explains the reasons for the bankruptcy.

The Ottoman Empire and Europe

The Last Muslim Conquest: The Ottoman Empire and Its Wars in Europe by Gábor Ágoston. Examines Ottoman wars of conquest, dynastic marriages, and more, arguing that the empire was in many ways European.

Southeastern Europe Under Ottoman Rule, 1354-1804 by Peter F. Sugar. An overview of the Ottoman period. The appendixes include lists of dynasties and rulers with whom the Ottamans dealt, and more.

Crisis and Rebellion in the Ottoman Empire: The Downfall of a Sultan in the Age of Revolution by Aysel Yildiz. Evaluates the 1907 overthrow of Sultan Selim III in a wider European context.

The Ottoman Empire and Early Modern Europe by Daniel Goffman. An introduction to the Ottoman Empire and its role in European history.

The Sultan's Court by Alain Grosrichard, translated by Liz Heron. A survey of Western accounts of "Oriental despotism" in the 17th and 18th centuries, focusing on the Ottoman court.

Ottomans, Hungarians, and Habsburgs in Central Europe: The Military Confines in the Era of Ottoman Conquest edited by Pal Fodor and Geza David. Examines Hungarian and Habsburg defense systems, and the Ottoman military establishment in Hungary.

The Singing Turk by Larry Wolff. Ottoman power and operatic emotions on the European stage from the Siege of Vienna to the age of Napoleon.

Ottoman Wars & Military

Ottoman Warfare 1500-1700 by Rhoads Murphey. Focuses on the evolution of the Ottoman military and its impact on Ottoman society, and evokes the physical and psychological realities of war as experienced by Ottoman soldiers.

Armies of the Ottoman Turks, 1300-1774 by David Nicolle. Short, illustrated guide from the "Men at Arms" series.

The Janissaries by David Nicolle, illustrated by Christa Hook. Describes and analyzes the history, uniforms, weaponry, and military practices of the elite military force and Sultanate guard of the Ottoman Empire from the 14th to 19th centuries.

The Janissaries by Godfrey Goodwin. The Janissaries set up semi-independent states along the North African coast and even fought at sea. Their political power was such that even sultans trembled. Who were they? Why did they decline?

Innovation and Empire in Turkey: Sultan Selim III and the Modernisation of the Ottoman Navy by Tuncay Zorlu. Argues that although the Ottoman Empire was a major power, some technological dependence on Europe remained.

Arming the Sultan: German Arms Trade and Diplomacy in the Ottoman Empire Before World War I by Naci Yorulmaz. Concentrates on the personal relationships which shaped the development of the arms trade, including the private relationships between Kaiser Wilhelm I, Otto von Bismarck and the Sultan.

Defeat in Detail by Edward J. Erickson. Ottoman army operations in the Balkan Wars, 1912-1913.

Ordered to Die: A History of the Ottoman Army in the First World War by Edward J. Erickson and Huseyin Kivrikoglu. Based on Turkish archival and official sources. Outnumbered and outgunned, the Ottoman army performed astonishingly well and kept fighting long after many other armies had quit the field.

The End of the Ottoman Empire

On the Sultan's Service: Halid Ziya Usakligil's Memoir of the Ottoman Palace, 1909-1912 translated and edited by Douglas Scott Brookes. Written by Sultan Mehmed V's secretary, this memoir provides first-hand insight into the personalities and intrigues of the Ottoman palace in its final decades.

The Ottoman Peoples and the End of Empire by Justin McCarthy. By the 19th century, the Ottoman empire had become known as the "sick man of Europe." This book considers the validity of this nickname, and examines what successor states owe to the empire.

The Fall of the Dynasties: The Collapse of the Old Order, 1905-1922 by Edmond Taylor. About the fall of the Habsburg, Hohenzollern, Ottoman, and Romanov dynasties.

Shadow of the Sultan's Realm by Daniel Allen Butler. The destruction of the Ottoman empire and the creation of the modern Middle East.

The Fall of the Ottomans: The Great War in the Middle East by Eugene Rogan. This book brings to life the often-ignored story of the Middle East's crucial role in the First World War, and its immediate aftermath.

To Kill a Sultan: A Transnational History of the Attempt on Abdülhamid II edited by Houssine Alloul, Edhem Eldem, and Henk de Smaele. In 1905, a car bomb in Istanbul left 26 dead but its target, Ottoman sultan Abdulhamid II, was unscathed. The arrest of a Belgian anarchist for participating in the plot sparked international reaction.

Neslishah, The Last Ottoman Princess: A Life of Palaces and Exile From Istanbul to Cairo by Murat Bardakçi, translated by Meyzi Baran. Biography of Fatma Neslisah Sultan, a granddaughter of the last Ottoman sultan, Mehmed VI. Her husband was regent for the last Egyptian king, Fuad II.

A Peace to End All Peace by David Fromkin is about the fall of the Ottoman Empire and the creation of the modern Middle East, 1914-1922.

Istanbul Under Allied Occupation, 1918-1923 by Bilge Criss. The socio-political, intellectual, and institutional dynamics of underground resistance to the Allied occupation in Istanbul.

From the Sultan to Ataturk: Turkey: The Peace Conferences of 1919-23 and Their Aftermath by Andrew Mango. Defeat in WWI saw the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire and marked the beginning of a prolonged and bloody transition to an independent Turkey.

The Republic of Turkey

Turkey, From Empire to Revolutionary Republic by Sina Aksin. The emergence of the Turkish nation from 1789 to present.

Novels About the Ottoman Empire

The Sultan's Seal: A Novel by Jenny White. The body of an English governess from the sultan's harem washes up in 19th century Istanbul. Was it a political murder involving the palace, or a crime of personal passion?

A Gift for the Sultan by Geoffrey Fox. In 1402, the Christian city of Constantinople is under attack by a Muslim army. The spoils are to be the key to the city and a 14-year-old princess.

The Oracle of Stamboul: A Novel by Michael David Lukas. In 19th century Turkey, a girl named Eleanora Cohen becomes an advisor to Ottoman sultan Abdulhamid II.

Regards From the Dead Princess by Kenize Mourad. Epic novel based on the life of the author's mother, an Ottoman princess named Selma who was the granddaughter of Sultan Murad V. After an arranged marriage to an Indian rajah, Selma died in German-occupied Paris soon after the birth of her daughter. (Also sometimes called Memories of an Ottoman Princess, Death of a Princess , or Farewell, Princess .)

Children's Books About Turkey

The Ottoman Empire by Lucile Davis. For children age 9 to 12.


Dracula Spent Much of His Imprisonment Torturing and Impaling Rodents that He Caught in His Quarters

Dracula succeeded in reaching Transylvania, where he appealed to Hungarian Emperor Matthias Corvinius, the son of his former benefactor Janos Hunyadi, for help. But old loyalties counted for little. Dracula, an overthrown prince with no supporters and no money, was of little use to Corvinius. Instead, the Hungarian emperor recognized Radu as the rightful ruler of Wallachia and imprisoned Dracula. In order to justify his actions, Corvinius claimed to have uncovered documents that showed Dracula had entered into a secret truce with the sultan. These documents were clever forgeries created by Germans merchants as revenge for Vlad’s atrocities in Transylvania. Once their contents were revealed, Dracula’s popular support melted away.

Vlad’s legendary cruelty mat have given rise to the Dracula legends. His piercing eyes and long nose give him at least a passing resemblance to the vampire of popular legend.

Dracula remained a prisoner of the Hungarian emperor for 12 years, whiling away his time torturing and impaling rodents that he caught in his quarters. However, all was not lost for the outcast prince. The emperor resisted pressure from the Germans to execute Dracula. He even allowed Dracula to marry one of his cousins, with whom he fathered two children. Radu ruled Wallachia until 1473, when he was ousted by Basarab Liota, a member of the rival Danesti clan. Once in power, Liota began making peace overtures to the Turks. This unsettled Corvinius and prompted him to release Dracula from prison. After accompanying the emperor on a crusade into Bosnia, Dracula invaded Wallachia for the third time in 1476. He defeated Liota in a bloody battle and once again claimed his father’s throne. But his final reign was short-lived. Two months after recapturing his throne, Dracula’s bloody and headless body was found lying in a field.

No one knows exactly how Dracula died. He had a long list of enemies, including the German merchants, Orthodox priests upset over his late-life conversion to Catholicism, Wallachian boyars weary of his incessant bloodletting, rival claimants to the Wallachian throne, the Turkish sultan, and many others. Whoever was responsible for killing Dracula, they couldn’t kill the legends and myths that surrounded him. Thanks to the German propaganda, Dracula’s infamous deeds lived on for centuries after his death. As stories of his brutality spread, his association with vampirism grew. However, it wasn’t until the intervention of English novelist Bram Stoker in 1897 that Dracula’s name became forever linked with the undead. Although Stoker never traveled to Transylvania, he did extensive research on Romanian history and the life of Vlad the Impaler. Stoker’s novel cemented the image of Dracula as a blood-drinking creature of the night. The occult perception was furthered in the 1930s when Romanian archaeologists excavated Dracula’s grave at the Snagov monastery. To their surprise, they found the tomb empty.

Dracula’s image underwent a significant overhaul in the latter half of the 20th century. Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, looking to foster Romanian nationalism, ordered a new investigation into Dracula’s life. The result was a slew of propaganda depicting Dracula as a national hero. Statues of Dracula were erected throughout Romania, and his image even appeared on Romanian postage stamps. At the same time, all mention of his atrocities was omitted from public records. Stoker’s novel, and the slew of Dracula films and books that followed, were condemned as anti-Romanian propaganda. Ceausescu styled himself a modern-day Dracula, and his reign resembled Dracula’s in many ways. Like Vlad, he used a brutal secret police force to intimidate, oppress and murder his own people. Some Romanians quietly referred to him as the “second Dracula.” In the end, Ceausescu died a violent death just like his idol, gunned down by rebellious countrymen alongside his equally evil wife.

Despite his overwhelming brutality, many Romanians still regard Vlad the Impaler as a national hero. Dracula’s victories against the Turks, although ultimately Pyrrhic, made him a standout figure in Romanian history. Dracula has also become popular for a far different reason—tourism. In modern Romania, Dracula is big business. A steady stream of vampire junkies and Gothic horror fans flock to Romania every year to see the place where the legend began. There are even plans to build a Dracula Land theme park. The bold but murderous tyrant has been known variously as hero, villain, and undead fiend. Now he has become the inspiration for a cottage industry of kitschy t-shirts, theme parks, and vampire tours—an unlikely end for one of history’s most infamous monsters.


Watch the video: Hüseyin Pasha Sets Up The Bow No One Could. Magnificent Century: Kosem (October 2022).

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