Who Was Ertugrul || Ottoman Empire

Who Was Ertugrul || Ottoman Empire
Who Was Ertugrul || Ottoman Empire

Ottoman Empire:

Who Was Ertugrul?This article was originally published in April 2020 and is being reproduced for readers today.According to Ottoman traditions, Ertugrul was the father of Osman I, the founder of the Ottoman Empire. Apart from this, factual information about them is negligible.

The beginnings of this dynasty and empire that ruled over a large part of the world for many centuries have been lost in the mists of history. In addition to Ottoman traditions, history books contain two concrete signs of this period (a coin and a writing by a historian of the Byzantine Empire) and a dream of Osman, which we will mention later.

What is certain is that Osman belonged to a Turkic nomadic tribe living in what is now Anatolia in Turkey, and his government was one of the smaller Anatolian governments that did not vary much in power.

The question arises, what did Uthman or his father do so that the rule of only this family from becoming a small state from a tribe and then a large empire of Anatolia spread to three principalities and then changed into a caliphate.

The Ottoman Empire was founded in the early 14th century and ended in the 20th century. Meanwhile, 37 sultans belonging to the same family sat on his throne.According to a historian, it is nothing less than a miracle for a family to rule continuously for so long

Historian Caroline Finkel writes in her book ‘Otman’s Dream: The Story of the Ottoman Empire’ that ‘whatever the reasons for the Ottomans’ success, their success in Anatolia (the region that roughly corresponds to the borders of present-day Turkey)’ The struggle with its neighbors over two centuries was fierce.

Ottoman tradition about Ertugrul

Historian Stanford Jay Shaw mentions the same tradition in his book “History of the Ottoman Empire and Modern Turkey” and writes that “The origin of the Ottoman Empire has always been an important question for students of history, but the lack of sources of this period and It is difficult to say anything with absolute certainty because of the contradictions in the traditions written in later periods.

Ottoman tradition about Ertugrul
Ottoman tradition about Ertugrul

According to tradition, this tribe, like many other Turkic tribes, migrated to new territories to escape slavery and destruction in the face of Mongol invasions, and according to Jayshaw, it is believed that Salman Shah drowned in the Euphrates River while entering Syria. went and after that his two sons went back.

While Ertugrul continued his journey towards the west and entered the Anatolian region where the Seljuk rulers gave him land in the western region of Anatolia in return for his help.

According to this tradition recorded in Jay Shah’s book, Ertugrul died in 1280 and the leadership of the tribe was given to his son Osman.

Finkel writes that according to Ottoman traditions, a tribal chieftain named Ertugrul came to northwestern Anatolia and settled in the area between the Seljuk and Byzantine empires, and according to this tradition, the Seljuk Sultan granted Ertugrul some territory in Sugata. But what was Ertugrul’s relationship with Usman?

A coin of unknown date

Finkel writes that the only coin from the Ottoman period, if genuine, proves that Ertuğrul was indeed a historical figure. This coin is inscribed ‘Issued for Usman son of Ertugrul.

Finkel further writes that Osman’s issuance of coinage in his own name proves that he was not just a tribal chief at this time, but had begun to consider himself an independent emir in Anatolia, outside the shadow of the Seljuk Mongol Empire.

Who Was Ertugrul || Ottoman Empire
Who Was Ertugrul || Ottoman Empire

First mention of Ottomans in history

Finkel writes that the Ottomans are first mentioned around the year 1300.

A Byzantine historian of the time wrote that in the year 1301, the Byzantine army encountered the army of a man named Osman. This battle, called the Battle of Baphius, was fought near Constantinople (Istanbul) and the Byzantine army was badly defeated.

But the Ottomans still had a long time to match the Byzantine Empire. And when it did, so did many stories about how a family suddenly rose from obscurity to come so far.

Historians say that the Ottomans were fortunate in that their territory was close to Constantinople, which ensured a large reward in case of ever-successful victory.

Usman’s Dream

Historian Leslie P. Pierce writes in her book The Imperial Harem: Women and Sovereignty in the Ottoman Empire that according to the most commonly heard account of the beginnings of the Ottoman Empire, Osman had a dream after his initial successes.

In this dream, he saw that the moon appeared from the chest of a dervish Sheikh Adibali and entered his own chest. Along with this, a huge tree emerges from this stomach, whose shadow covers the entire world.

Springs flow under the branches of this tree from which people drink water and fields are irrigated. When Uthman asked Sheikh Adibali for an interpretation, he said that God has chosen Uthman and his descendants to rule the world and he said that the moon coming out of his chest and entering Uthman’s chest is his. There is a daughter who became Usman’s wife after this dream.

Finkel writes that the early Ottoman sultans were more interested in proving their right to rule over others than in knowing the date of their beginning, and that their empire began with a dream that Osman had in the house of an elderly dervish. I saw during my stay.

She further writes that the documentary evidence in favor of this dream story is also found in history and that is that the land documents of the early period of the Ottoman Empire suggest that there was a nobleman named Adibali during the time of Osman and that There is also some testimony that his daughter was one of Usman’s two wives.

Ertugrul’s Anatolia

Ertugrul’s Anatolia was the Anatolia of the 13th century.Caroline Finkel writes that Anatolia, where these Turkic tribes arrived, had long been inhabited by people of many races and religions, including Jews, Armenians, Kurds, Greeks, and Arabs.

To the west of the region was the much weaker Byzantine Empire (which in the good old days stretched from Anatolia to Syria) and to the east the Seljuks, who called themselves the Roman Seljuks.

Defeat by the Mongols in the mid-13th century weakened the Seljuks and forced them to pay tribute to the Mongols. The authority of the two powerful governments of the past was negligible in this area of ‘uncertainty’ located between their borders.But it was not only the abode of warriors. Besides the adventurers, there were also those who had nowhere else to go.

Ertugrul's Anatolia
Ertugrul’s Anatolia

Finkel takes a picture of this area of the ‘Frontier’, where the Ottoman Empire was founded, and says that ‘… In this area, nomads, semi-nomads, looters, military campaigners, slaves of various backgrounds, dervishes, monks and priests visiting scattered populations, displaced peasants seeking refuge, townspeople, peace and The corridors were lined with restless souls in search of holy places, Muslim teachers seeking patronage and traders fearing no danger.’

Finkel writes that the hallmark of this mismanaged region was the presence of Muslim dervishes. Like Christian monks, they were always traveling or staying among their followers and their lives became part of traditions.

“The dervishes’ openings were a sign of an image of Islam in the region that was common to the Sunni Islam of the Seljuk Empire in Anatolia.”

Stanford Jay Shaw writes in his book that ‘When the Turks (nomads) came to Anatolia, the Sufi saints also came with them, which the powerful Seljuk rulers had no objection to because of the popularity of these Sufis among their people. They were happy to leave the areas.’

Jaysha further writes that ‘in this process, some Christians were killed and forced to leave their area, but most of them remained in their place. Some also accepted Islam. Some Turkish Sufi lineages also entered Christian religious sites where Christians and Muslims were seen worshiping together in the same place.

Tomb of Ertugrul

In the Sugat region (which Ertugrul is said to have received from the Seljuk Sultan) there is a small mosque named after Ertugrul and a shrine said to have been built for him by Ertugrul’s son. And then to which Uthman’s son Arhan added.

Tomb of Ertugrul
Tomb of Ertugrul

Caroline Finkel writes that the mosque and mausoleum has been worked on so many times that no trace of its original construction survives, so no building can be said to date with absolute certainty to the Uthman era.

He further wrote that in the late 19th century, Sultan Abd al-Hamid II tried to capitalize on the fame of his ancestors to improve the reputation of the weakening empire by rebuilding the Ertugrul Mausoleum in Sogat and “Ottoman Martyrs”. A cemetery was built.

Why a TV drama on Ertugrul’s life?

Josh Carney, an anthropologist at the American University of Beirut, raised the question in an article published in the Middle Eastern Review that ‘Why did the Turkish government choose Ertuğrul after leaving many famous characters?

Josh Carney says that Sultan Suleiman (1566-1520) and Abdul Hamid II (1909-1876) are more famous than Ertuğrul in the Ottoman Empire, but it is not without reason that Ertuğrul was made into a TV series.

Turkish TV channel TRT’s worldwide hit series ‘Derelis Ertuğrul’ follows the progress of his Qa’i tribe in Anatolia against various enemies.

“As a result, while very few people know about the historical character Ertuğrul, the character of TRT is popular and loved in Turkey and outside Turkey.”

In an article written in 2018, Carney states that several aspects of this series were evident in the ads for Turkey’s constitutional referendum, which “leaves no doubt that history and popular culture have been brought together for political gain.

Carney says that in making a TV series about a character that people don’t know, “the convenience is that it can be cast in any color.” (While) people are aware of the merits and demerits of popular personalities.

Carney says that this is why earlier series about Sultan Sulaiman have not been as successful. “Making a series about Ertuğrul was like filling a blank slate with colors.

What do you think?

Written by isthkampak

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