|An oil painting of Bayezid II|
|Royal house||House of Osman|
Bayezid II or Sultân Bayezid-î Velî (December 3, 1447 – May 26, 1512) (Ottoman Turkish: بايزيد ثانى Bāyezīd-i sānī, Turkish:II. Bayezid or II. Beyazıt) was the eldest 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. He is most notable for evacuating Jews from Spain after the proclamation of the Alhambra Decree and resettling them throughout the Ottoman Empire.
Bayezid II was born in Dimetoka Palace (now Didymoteicho) in Thrace as the son of Mehmed II (1432–81) and Valide Sultan Gülbahar Hatun, who died in 1492. Bayezid II married Ayşe Hatun, who was the mother of his eldest son Şehzade Ahmet, as well as Bayezid II's heir and successor, 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 possessions in 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 whole Peloponnese. Rebellions in the east, such as that of the Qizilbash, plagued much of Bayezid II's reign and were often backed by the Shah of Persia, Ismail, who was eager to promote Shi'ism to undermine the authority of the Ottoman state. Ottoman authority in Anatolia was indeed seriously threatened during this period, and at one point Bayezid II's grand vizier, Ali Pasha, was killed in battle against rebels.
Jewish and Muslim emigration
In July 1492, the new state of Spain expelled its Jewish and Muslim populations as part of the Spanish Inquisition. Bayezid II sent out the Ottoman Navy under the command of Admiral Kemal Reis to Spain in 1492 in order to evacuate them safely to Ottoman lands. He sent out proclamations throughout the empire that the refugees were to be welcomed. He granted the refugees the permission to settle in the Ottoman Empire and become Ottoman citizens. He ridiculed the conduct of Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile in expelling a class of people so useful to their subjects. "You venture to call Ferdinand a wise ruler," he said to his courtiers — "he who has impoverished his own country and enriched mine!" Bayezid addressed a firman to all the governors of his European provinces, ordering them not only to refrain from repelling the Spanish refugees, but to give them a friendly and welcome reception. He threatened with death all those who treated the Jews harshly or refused them admission into the empire. Moses Capsali, who probably helped to arouse the sultan's friendship for the Jews, was most energetic in his assistance to the exiles. He made a tour of the communities, and was instrumental in imposing a tax upon the rich, to ransom the Jewish victims of the persecutions then prevalent.
The Muslims and Jews of al-Andalus (Iberia) contributed much to the rising power of the Ottoman Empire by introducing new ideas, methods and craftsmanship. The first printing press in Constantinople was established by the Sephardic Jews in 1493. It is reported that under Bayezid's reign, Jews enjoyed a period of cultural flourishing, with the presence of such scholars as the Talmudist and scientist Mordecai Comtino; astronomer and poet Solomon ben Elijah Sharbiṭ ha-Zahab; Shabbethai ben Malkiel Cohen, and the liturgical poet Menahem Tamar.
On September 14, 1509, Constantinople was devastated by an earthquake. Bayezid II's final years saw a succession battle between his sons Selim I and Ahmet. Ahmet unexpectedly captured Karaman, an Ottoman city, and began marching to Constantinople to exploit his triumph. Fearing for his safety, Selim staged a revolt in Thrace but was defeated by Bayezid and forced to flee back to the Crimean Peninsula. Bayezid II developed fears that Ahmet might in turn kill him to gain the throne and refused to allow his son to enter Constantinople.
Selim returned from Crimea and, with support from the Janissaries, forced his father to abdicate the throne on April 25, 1512. Beyazid departed for retirement in his native Demotika, but he died on May 26, 1512 at Büyükçekmece before reaching his destination, and only a month after his abdication. He was buried next to the Bayezid Mosque in Istanbul.
In popular culture
- Bayezid II is depicted in his childhood by Yiğitcan Elmalı in the 2012 Turkish film Fetih 1453.
- Sultan Bayezid II's statesmanship, tolerance, and intellectual abilities are depicted in the historical novel The Sultan's Helmsman, which takes place in the middle years of his reign.
- Sultan Bayezid II and his struggle with his son Selim is a prominent motive in the video game Assassin's Creed: Revelations. In the game, due to Bayezid's absence from Constantinople, the Byzantines had the opportunity to sneak back into the city, hoping to revive their fallen empire. Near the end of the game, Bayezid surrendered the throne to his son Selim.
- Cem is depicted during his time with Pope Innocent VIII and later Pope Alexander VI in the Showtime series "Borgia".
- Nigar Hâtûn, mother of Şehzade Korkut and Fâtıma Sultan
- Şirin Hâtûn, mother of Şehzade Abdullah and Aynışâh Sultan
- Bülbül Hâtûn, mother of Şehzade Ahmet and Hundi Sultan
- Ayşe Hâtûn (m.1469), daughter of Alaüddevle Bozkurt Bey, the eleventh ruler of the Dulkadirids
- Gülruh Hâtûn, mother of Şehzade Alemşah and Kamerşâh Sultan
- Hüsnüşah Hâtûn, mother of Şehzade Şehinşah and Sultanzade Sultan
- Gülbahar Hâtûn (m.1469), mother of Selim I
- Ferahşâd Hâtûn, mother of Şehzade Mehmed
- Edmonds, Anna. Turkey's religious sites. Damko. p. 1997. ISBN 975-8227-00-9.
- Babinger, Franz (1992). Mehmed the Conqueror and His Time. Princeton University Press. p. 51. ISBN 0-691-01078-1.
- "Sultan Bajazid's (i.e., Beyazit's) Mosque, Constantinople, Turkey". World Digital Library. 1890–1900. Retrieved 2013-10-18.
- Egger, Vernon O. (2008). A History of the Muslim World Since 1260: The Making of a Global Community. Prentice Hall. p. 82. ISBN 0-13-226969-4.
- The Jewish Encyclopedia: a descriptive record of the history, religion, literature, and customs of the Jewish people from the earliest times to the present day, Vol.2 Isidore Singer, Cyrus Adler, Funk and Wagnalls, 1912 p.460
- The Encyclopædia Britannica, Vol.7, Edited by Hugh Chisholm, (1911), 3; Constantinople, the capital of the Turkish Empire...
- Britannica, Istanbul:When the Republic of Turkey was founded in 1923, the capital was moved to Ankara, and Constantinople was officially renamed Istanbul in 1930.
- Sidney Nettleton Fisher. "The foreign relations of Turkey (1481-1512)" (PDF). Utrecht University.
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: "Bajazet II". Jewish Encyclopedia. 1901–1906.
Media related to Bayezid II at Wikimedia Commons
Bayezid IIBorn: Dec 3, 1447 Died: May 26, 1512
|Sultan of the Ottoman Empire
May 3, 1481 – April 25, 1512
|Titles in pretence|
|Byzantine Emperor||Claim merged into Sultanate|
|Caliph of Islam||Succeeded by