Bayezid II

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Bayezid II (December 3, 1447 – May 26, 1512) (Ottoman Turkish: بايزيد ثانى Bāyezīd-i sānī, Turkish:II.Bayezid or II.Beyazıt) was the oldest son and successor of Mehmed II, ruling as Sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1481 to 1512. During his reign, Bayezid II consolidated the Ottoman Empire and thwarted a Safavid rebellion soon before abdicating his throne to his son, Selim I.


Early life

Bayezid II was born in Dimetoka Palace (now Didymoteicho) in Thrace as the son of Mehmed II (1451–81) and Valide Sultan Mükrime Hatun, the daughter of Süleyman Bey, the sixth ruler of Dulkadir State, who died in 1492.[1][2] According to Turkish folk tales, she was a French princess kidnapped by Mehmed II. Bayezid II married Ayşe Hatun, a convert of Greek ethnicity, who was the mother of Selim I.

Fight for the throne

Bayezid II's overriding concern was the quarrel with his brother Cem, who claimed the throne and sought military backing from the Mamluks in Egypt. Having been defeated by his brother's armies, Cem sought protection from the Knights of St. John in Rhodes. Eventually, the Knights handed Cem over to Pope Innocent VIII (1484–1492). The Pope thought of using Cem as a tool to drive the Turks out of Europe, but, as the Papal Crusade failed to come to fruition, Cem was left to languish and die in a Neapolitan prison.


Bayezid II ascended the Ottoman throne in 1481. Like his father, Bayezid II was a patron of western and eastern culture and unlike many other Sultans, worked hard to ensure a smooth running of domestic politics, which earned him the epithet of "the Just". Throughout his reign, Bayezid II engaged in numerous campaigns to conquer the Venetian-held despotate of Morea, accurately defining this region as the key to future Ottoman naval power in the Eastern Mediterranean. The last of these wars ended in 1501 with Bayezid II in control of the main citadels of Mistra and Monemvasia. Bayezid is also responsible for certain self-inflicted intellectual wounds in Islamic civilization, such as the outlawing of all printing in Arabic and Turkic, a ban lasting in the Islamic world until 1729[3].

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