The Confident Era of Orhan Ghazi: Wars and Politics-1

Era of Orhan Ghazi

The Confident Era of Orhan Ghazi: Wars and Politics-1
(Orhan Ghazi’s portrait by Levni)

Orhan Ghazi was born in 1281 at the Söğüt. After the death of his father, Orhan Ghazi became the Padishah in 1326. Ulama and dynasty members chose him as Padishah cause of his military success. At first, Orhan Ghazi wanted his brother Alaeddin Bey to become Padishah but Alaeddin Bey didn’t accept this offer.

The first few years in his reign Orhan Ghazi was busy with raids and conquests in Anatolia. Ottomans were still under the domination of Ilkhanate like all the other governors in the Anatolia. They were paying taxes to Ilkhanate.

The Confident Era of Orhan Ghazi: Wars and Politics-1
(Ottoman Raids)

Ottomans became more powerful by raids and conquests against Byzantine. In the year 1321 Ottomans reached the sea of Marmara by conquering Mudanya. After the 18 years of siege, in 1326 Orhan Ghazi conquered Bursa. Bursa became the capital of the Ottoman.

In the 1329 May III. Andronikos the Byzantine Emperor and his advisor Ioannes Kantakouzenos advanced against Kocaeli with 2000 mercenary. Orhan Ghazi who was busy with İzmit siege, quickly came across Darıca. Byzantine and Ottoman forces fought on 11 June 1329. This war called as Palekanon War and ended with the victory of Ottomans.

In 1337 Byzantine Emperor gone to the expedition against rebels in Albania. Orhan Ghazi took this opportunity and captured İzmit. After conquering İzmit Orhan Ghazi reorganized country. He assigned his oldest son Süleyman to İzmit, second son Murat to Bursa. Dividing country among sons was a tradition in the Anatolia seignories.

The Confident Era of Orhan Ghazi: Wars and Politics-1
(Siege of Bursa)

Süleyman Pasha took Taraklı, Göynük and Mudurnu under the control of Ottomans. These places on the Silk Road were important. According to scripts, Süleyman Pasha was a fair person. Lots of people chose to be Muslim by seeing this Turkish tribe.

For half-century living with Turks made Kantakouzenos warm towards Turks. This situation gave him thought of using Turks to defend East-Rome against Europe. Kantakouzenos was used to think Turks as mercenaries. In this era, lots of Turks were joined Kantakouzenos and Latin countries as mercenaries and became Christian. These Turks were forming a fighting force under the name of Turkopouloi. It was one of the major forces in these countries. Under the conditions of the era, Kantakouzenos’s Ottoman alliance was reasonable.

In 1346 Orhan Ghazi married Kantakouzenos’s daughter. Marriage was performed according to Byzantine traditions. After one year of alliance with Ottomans, Kantakouzenos blockaded palace in Istanbul with his 1000 men and became the partner of Emperor in the ruling.

In 1352 Kantakouzenos and his partner Emporer Palaigolos turn out to be bad at terms with each other. Palaigolos attacked Edirne with the help of Serbs and take control of the city. As a response, Kantakouzenos called help from his groom Orhan Ghazi. Orhan Ghazi sent Süleyman Pasha with a huge troop as support. Byzantine army with the backup of Ottomans rescued the city.

The Confident Era of Orhan Ghazi: Wars and Politics-1
(Era of Orhan Ghazi, Political Map)

The transition of Ottomans to Europe occurred with the Ottomans settling in a strategical place in a Gelibolu peninsula as the result of Bolayır conquest. In the year of 1361, Orhan Ghazi’s son Murad and Murad’s tutor captured Edirne.  In 1365 Edirne became the capital of the Ottoman. In 1362 Orhan Ghazi passes away cause of the plague.


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