The Ottoman dynasty can be divided into the following five stages:
1. Rise 1299-1453
Osman I, Orhan, Murad I, BayezidI, Mehmed I, Murad II
2. Growth 1453-1606
Mehmed II, Bayezid II, Selim I, Suleyman I, Selim II, Murad III, Mehmed III
3. Stagnation 1606-1699
Ahmed I, Mustafa I, Osman II, Murad IV, Ibrahim, Mehmed IV, Suleyman II, Ahmed II
4. Decline 1699-1808
Mustafa II, Ahmed III, Mahmud I, Osman III, Mustafa III, Abdulhamid I, Selim III, Mustafa IV
5. Death 1808-1922
Mahmud II, Abdulmecid I, Abdulaziz, Murad V, Abdulhamid II, Mehmed V, Mehmed VI
However, this is only a suggestion and not all historians agree to this division. This part would like to introduce the first stage with its first six rulers until Sultan Mehmed’s opening of Constantinople in 1453.
Ertugrul Gazi, father of Osman I, was the leader of the Kayı tribe of Oghuz Turks, who fled from Central Asia to Anatolia to escape the Mongol conquests. Because of his assistance to the Seljuks against the Byzantines, Ertuğrul was granted lands in Karaca Dağ and the village of Söğüt.
Söğüt was the birthplace of Sultan Osman I. who was the founder of the Ottoman dynasty (first known as the Ottoman Beylik or Emirate).
Osman became chief, or bey, upon his father’s death in 1280/81. He controlled the region around the town of Söğüt and from there launched raids against the neighbouring Byzantine Empire.
He gave his name to the rising empire!
He prepared the empire for his son Orhan who managed to open the city of Bursa and to make it the first Ottoman capital of the Ottoman Empire!
Orhan started opening Byzantine lands in northwest Anatolia. First, in 1321, he opened the port of Bursa, Mudanya and then the city itself. In 1346, The Byzantine Emperor John VI Cantacuzene wanted to attach the Ottoman forces permanently to his interests, and gave his second daughter, Theodora, in marriage to their ruler, despite differences of creed and the disparity of age.
Murad I expanded the Ottoman realm in Southeast Europe by bringing most of the Balkans under Ottoman rule. Murad fought against the powerful Beylik of Karaman in Anatolia and against the Serbs, Albanians, Bulgarians and Hungarians in Europe. In 1389, Murad’s army defeated the Serbian Army at the Battle of Kosovo, but was assassinated on the field.
Bayezid I, his son, was the next sultan, who defeated the Crusaders at Nicopolis (Bulgaria) in 1396, but was himself defeated and captured by Timur at the Battle of Ankara in 1402 and died in captivity in March 1403, triggering
the Ottoman Interregnum (1402-13).
Mehmed I, also known as Mehmed Çelebi, was the fourth son of Sultan Bayezid I, who fought with his brothers over control of the Ottoman dynasty in this Interregnum (1402–1413). He managed to bring first Anatolia and then the European territories (Rumelia) under his control, reuniting the Ottoman state by 1413, and ruling it until his death in 1421.
Murad II came to power twice: 1421 to 1444, allowed his son Mehmed II to reign until 1446 and returned to help out his son against the revolt of the Janissaries (1446 to 1451).
After his death, Mehmed II was ready to take the throne again and to open the magnificent city of Constantinople in 1453!
Do you want to understand how these rulers accomplished such amazing achievements?
Then, come and have a deeper and more beneficial look at these Sultans on our online course, Rise:
Thank you for reading.
I hope to see you again in our next blog: Ottoman Civil War and Revival!
Leave a comment about which Sultan you find interesting!