Fatih Sultan Mehmet İngilizce Hayatı

Fatih Sultan Mehmet İngilizce Hayatı

Fatih Sultan Mehmet (1432-1481) Murad II. died in 1451 and was succeeded by his son Mehmed II, known as Fatih (“the Conqueror”), a ruler who was to prove one of the truly great figures of the Renaissance and the architect of a political edifice that until its final disappearance in the 20th century bore the indelible mark of his genius.

It was the taking of Constantinople (istanbul) in 1453 that earned him his sobriquet. Even though that hitherto impregnable city had by this time been worn to exhaustion by the attrition of a century of Turkish hostility, its capture was nonetheless an achievement that astounded the contemporary world, just as the blow to Christendom, which its capture symbolized, brought Europe to despair. But despite a reign of almost constant military activity, it was not Mehmed’s ambition to enlarge the territories of the empire, but rather to consolidate and secure what was already held and to invest it with a central idea, a purpose, and an organization. What Christianity had been to Byzantium he made of islam for the Ottoman Empire: not the wild, emotional doctrines of the dervishes, which until then had prevailed among these Turks, but the developed creed that had evolved over the centuries and had bred its own characteristic civilization and culture. To achieve a centralized state he had to break the power of the Turkish military nobility. This he did by building up the strength of the Janissary corps and by appointing men loyal to the dynasty as the semifeudal provincial administrators. In the Palace School, which he founded shortly after transferring the capital to istanbul, he provided for the training of Christian slave children, collected periodically from among the subject peoples and forcibly converted to islam. These provided the state with a fund of devoted servants who could be trusted to administer the empire on behalf of their masters and benefactors. Likewise, the products of the theological colleges that he founded and encouraged were made virtually civil servants, whose aistribution as judges throughout the provinces introduced a unified system of Islamic law as the basis of the social order. Realizing that the empire could not aspire to commercial power, he nevertheless sought to control the trade passing through it by dominating the surrounding waters and obliging it to make its contribution to the economic life of the state. The subject minorities were permitted to retain a great measure of religious and social autonomy within their communities. Although agriculture was heavily taxed to finance these innovations, the levies made upon it were at least systematic and no longer subject to the caprice or the greed of local despots. It was the tragedy of the Ottoman Empire that the very period when it was at its most constructive should ave coincided with the general decline of the Mediterranean economy, brought about by the navigational discoveries in the late 15th century of new routes to the East. She was doomed to share the area’s poverty before she had ever enjoyed its prosperity.

The military preoccupations of Mehmed serve to show how tenuous and makeshift all previous Ottoman conquests had been and how little they differed from mere raids. Serbia was among the earliest places requiring attention, and it was only reduced to the status of a province in 1459 after four campaigns, during one of which (1456) Belgrade was unsuccessfully besieged. Albania was in a constant state of insurrection, and even after the death in 1468 of its inspiring leader, Scanderbeg, Venetian intrigues contrived to keep its resistance active. Between 1458 and 1459 most of the Morea fell under Ottoman control, and having taken many of the strategic islands of the Aegean and fortified the Dardanelles, Mehmed was now in a position to cut one of the most important commercial life-lines of the Venetian Republic. A war that was to last 16 years broke out between them in 1463, but as it was mainly confined to the sea and the cities of the littoral, it did not greatly distract Mehmed from the problems presented by his other territories. Walachia had accepted tributary status in 1462, and in the following year Bosnia was annexed and Hercegovina brought to a condition of subjection, which led ultimately to its formal incorporation in 1480. In 1461 Ottoman control of the Southern shores of the Black Sea was assured when Mehmed wrested the last surviving Byzantine stronghold of Trabzon from the feeble grasp of its Comnenid ruler, drove the Genoese from their colony in Amasra, and brought the semi-independent dynasty of the İsfendiyaroğlu, centered around Sinop, to an end. Dynastic troubles within the Karamanoğlu realm began in 1464, affording an opportunity of dealing finally with this stubborn rival, and within two years it too was to become a vilayet of the empire.

The campaign in 1472-1473 against the powerful ruler of Azerbaijan, Uzun Hasan, showed conclusively which side was the mightier. There was to be no further serious threat from this quarter until the rise of the Safavid dynasty at the beginning of the following century. Control over the Black Sea was tightened in 1475 by the capture of the Genoese colonies on its western shores and by reducing the Mongol rulers of the Crimea to vassalage; when next year Moldavia was conquered these waters became virtually an Ottoman lake. The Dalmatian coast also passed into Turkish control when Albania was finally pacified in 1478, and Venice was forced to come to terms with the changed political realities of the area by concluding a peace whereby, in addition to territorial concessions, she committed herself to an annual tribute in return for certain trading privileges in the lands of the empire. The extent to which Ottoman sea power had now grown may be seen in the fact that in 1480 Rhodes was besieged and
Otraııto in the heel of Italy occupied for a while. But whatever ambitions for further conquests in Europe these ventures may have been the prelude to were not be to realized, for in 1481 Mehmed died and with his death the youthful state entered upon a period of quiescence.


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