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INTRODUCTION TO OTTOMAN HISTORY PART 4

 


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Since the Ilkhanids could not penetrate into Western and Southwestern Anatolia, the Turkmen lords there established small states. 
 
When the Seljuk state came to an end, these principalities began to make efforts to expand further. 
 
However, Emir Çobanoğlu Demirtaş (Timurtaş) Bey, the most famous of the Anatolian general governors of the Ilkhanate, tried to bring Anatolia completely under the rule of the Mongols. 
 
Although he wanted to eliminate the Anatolian principalities that had cut or loosened their loyalty to the Ilkhanate, he could not succeed in his aim. The death of Demirtaş Brain gave the Anatolian principalities a breath of fresh air.
 
When the Ilkhanid ruler Ebu Said Bahadır Khan died in 1335 without leaving any children, the Ilkhanid state began to live its last days.
 
Alaeddin Eretna Bey of Turkish origin, who was the Anatolian governor of the Ilkhanids at that time, took advantage of the battles for the reign of the Ilkhans and founded a state with the center of Sivas (1343).
 
Thus, while the Ilkhanid influence and administration, which included the eastern and central parts of Anatolia, came to an end, a freer period of struggle against each other was opened for the principalities in Anatolia.
 
In the first half of the fourteenth century, the principalities in Anatolia were: 
 
Karaman, Germiyan, Menteşe, Hamit, Karesi, Aydın, Saruhan, Eşref, Candar and Osmanoğulları. Apart from the sons of Eretna, who owned a part of Central Anatolia, separate principalities and governments were formed in Eastern Anatolia. 
 
There were clashes between these principalities because of the special interests of the principality and the issue of establishing the Anatolian unity. Finally, the establishment of Anatolian unity was granted to the Osmanoğulları.
 
Karamanoğulları
 
The first established and long-lived among the Anatolian principalities is Karamanoğulları.
 
Even when their principality was newly established, having larger lands than other principalities contributed to their rapid development, and when they got stronger, they considered themselves the heirs of the Seljuks in terms of capturing Konya, the center of the Seljuks.
 
It is not certain when the Karamanlis, who were from the Salur or Afşar tribes of the Oghuzes, came to Anatolia.
 
While there are works stating that they came to Anatolia with Tugrul Bey and stayed here after Tugrul Bey's return, there are also sources that record that they came to escape from the Mongol invasion.
 
The exact date of the settlement of the Karamanids in Anatolia coincides with the time of the First Alaeddin Keykubat. Alaeddin Keykubat had settled the Karamanlides in the Ermenak region in 1228.
 
The first important historical figure of the Karamanlis is Kerimüddin Karaman. Karamanlides attacked Konya even when Kerimüddin Karaman was at their head (1261).
 
His son Mehmet Bey strengthened the Karamanlides more, took advantage of the troubles the Seljuks were suffering from, and even had political relations with the Egyptian sultan Beybars.
 
Mehmet Bey attacked Konya and captured the city, and he declared a person named Siyavuş, who was mentioned as Miser in Seljuk histories, as the ruler of Seljuk (1277), but he was later defeated and killed by the Mongols.
 
His sons, who came after Mehmet Bey, continued to struggle with the Mongols. 
 
Even Emir Çoban and his son Demirtaş Bey, the most powerful of the Anatolian governors of the Ilkhanate, did not bow down, but they also went through very difficult times during their governorship.
 
After Emir Çobanoğlu Demirtaş Bey escaped to Egypt, the Karamanoğulları took a sigh of relief and started to expand their country more easily. Their absolute ownership of Konya is after Demirtaş Bey moved away from Anatolia.
 
The first contact between the Ottomans and the Karamanids coincides with the time of Orhan Bey.
 
Karaman ruler Alaeddin Ali Bey married Nefise Sultan, the daughter of Ottoman ruler Murad I, and ties of kinship were established between the two states.
 
It is the people of Karaman who try to benefit the most from the ties of kinship. Despite this bond, Alaeddin Ali Bey did not hold back from encroaching on Ottoman lands.
 
Alaeddin Ali Bey, who raped his father-in-law, also fought twice with his brother-in-law, Yıldırım Bayezit.
 
When Yıldırım was defeated by Bayezid in the famous Battle of Akçay, he fled to Konya and closed himself in the city, but Konya was captured by the Ottomans and he was killed (1398).
 
After Konya, Yıldırım Bayezit also captured the town of Lârende (Karaman), which was the former center of the Karamanids, and sent Alâeddin Ali Bey's two sons to Bursa and took them under protection.
 
Thus, the Ottomans took possession of the land of Karaman until the end of the 1402 Battle of Ankara.
 

When Timur returned their former lands to the Anatolian lords, Karamanoğulları also owned their country. When the Ottomans recovered, they found the Karamanoğulları as the most important enemy in Anatolia.
 
The struggle between the Ottomans and the Karamanoğulları continued until the reign of Fatih Sultan Mehmet.
 
Germiyanoğulları
 
is one of the strongest Anatolian principalities. Germiyan was a Turkmen tribe name and later became both a family name and a state name.

The Germiyan tribe, who founded the principality, first settled around Malatya for a while, then came to the Kütahya and Denizli regions. 

It is not known exactly when they settled in Kütahya. It is seen that the Germiyans have had strong influences in Kütahya since 1283.
 

Ali-şir Bey, one of the first chiefs of the Germiyans, and his son Yakup Bey were among the Emirs of the Seljuks. 

Yakup Bey is the founder of the principality. Yakup Bey, who took the title of « Germiyan Sultan », greatly strengthened his principality, and the force he sent under the command of Aydınoğlu Mehmet Bey to fight the Byzantines descended to the Aegean coasts and captured Ayasluğ and Birgi.
 

Mehmet Bey, who succeeded Yakup Bey after his death, captured the surroundings of Simav lake from the Byzantines. When Mehmet Bey passed away, the Aydınoğulları principality, which was subject to the Germiyans, was separated. 

The Germiyan ruler, the son of Mehmet Bey and known as Süleyman Şah or Şah Çelebi, wanted to make an agreement with his neighbor Ottomans, since he was subjected to pressure from the Karamanoğulları.

For this purpose, he gave his daughter Devlet Hatun to Yıldırım Bayezid, the son of Murad I, and established a kinship bond. As her daughter's dowry, she left Tavsanli, Simav, Emed with the centers of Kütahya to the Ottomans and she withdrew to the town of Kula.


When Sultan Murat was martyred in the First Battle of Kosovo, Karamanoğulları and Germiyans, who ruled that the Ottomans would be shaken, tried to encroach on the Ottoman lands. 

Meanwhile, the second Germiyan ruler, Yakup Bey, started to take back the lands that were previously abandoned as a dowry, but Bayezid Yakup Bey, who grew up in Anatolia like Yıldırım, was captured and imprisoned in the İpsala castle in Rumelia and captured the entire Germiyan country (1390).


Yakup Bey, who stayed in Ipsala for nine years, was able to find a way to escape in 1399. He first went to Syria and then to Timur by sea.
 

After the Battle of Ankara, Yakup Bey, like other Anatolian beys, acquired his land, which had passed into the hands of the Ottomans, with the order and permission of Timur.

He recognized Timur's high dominance, had money cut in his name, got on well with the second Yakup Bey, his nephew Çelebi Mehmet and later Murat the Second. 

Since he has no sons, he bequeathed his hometown to the Ottomans. Thus, with his death in 1428, the Germiyan principality came to an end and its lands were transferred to the Ottomans.

Karesi Principality was

one of the principalities established in Western Anatolia and its center was Balıkesir. Karesi Bey and his father Kalem Bey were the founders of the principality. 
 
Kalem Bey is one of the grandchildren of Melik Danishmend Gazi. When the Anatolian Seljuks finally gave way to the Danishmends, the members of this family entered the service of the Seljuks and took command of the border in the border areas. 
 
When the Seljuks were about to collapse, Karesi Bey, one of the extreme commanders, founded the principality called by his name.
 
Karesi principality had lands extending to Edremit and Çanakkale together with Balıkesir and its surroundings. 
 
They also had a navy. Although the date of death of Karesi Bey, a contemporary of Osman Gazi, is not certain, it is certain that he died between 1325 and 1330. 
 
It is understood that with his death, the Karesi principality was divided between his two sons. Demirhan Bey ruled Balıkesir and its environs, and Yahşi Bey ruled over Bergama and its environs. 
 
Yahşi Bey sent soldiers to Gallipoli with the navy twice in 1341 and 1342, but was unsuccessful and eventually had to make an agreement with the emperor Kantakouzenos.
 
It is understood that some of the lands of Demirhan Bey, who was neighbor to the Ottomans, passed to the Ottomans and that Süleyman Bey, who is likely to be Demirhan's son, held on for a while around Çanakkale.
 
Ottoman chronicles describe the transfer of the lands of the principality to the Ottomans with the sons of Karesi Bey in a different way. 
 
According to Ottoman sources; Karesi Bey's son, Aclân Bey, got on well with Aclân Bey, Osman and Orhan Veterans, and sent his son Dursun Bey to Orhan Bey. When Aclân Bey died in 1335 or 1337, his eldest son succeeded him.
 
Since Demirhan Bey, the eldest son of Aclân Bey, was an incompetent and bad-tempered man, the people wanted the reign of Dursun Bey through a famous figure, Hacı İl Bey. 
 
Thereupon, Dursun Bey applied to Orhan Gazi and demanded help and promised that all places except the center Balikesir would be left to the Ottomans in return for the help.
 
Demirhan Bey fled to Bergama when Orhan Bey took Dursun Bey and marched on Balıkesir.
 
Orhan Gazi sent Dursun Bey to Bergama together with Hacı II Bey. However, in front of Bergama, Dursun Bey died with an arrow shot from the castle, and Demirhan Bey was captured and brought to Bursa. 
 
Thus, the Karesi Principality was finally found. Although there are few dates for the end of the principality, the last Karesi lands must have joined the Ottomans between 1345 and 1354.
 
 

 

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