Gazi Husrev-beg

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Gazi Husrev-beg's mosque in Sarajevo
Türbe of Gazi Husrev-beg in Sarajevo

Gazi Husrev-beg (Ottoman Turkish: غازى خسرو بیگ Ghāzī Khuṣrow Beg; Modern Turkish: Gazi Hüsrev Bey; 1480–1541) was the Ottoman sanjak-bey (governor) of the Ottoman Sanjak of Bosnia in 1521—1525, 1526—1534, and 1536—1541. He was an effective military strategist, and the greatest donor and builder of Sarajevo, the capital of modern Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Life[edit]

Origin[edit]

He was born in Serres, Greece, to a Bosnian Muslim father (a convert from the Trebinje region)[1] and a Turkish mother, who was the daughter of the Sultan.[citation needed] Thus, Gazi Husrev-Beg was Sultan Beyazid II's grandson. His name is composed of the Ottoman honorific epithet, Gazi, and the royal first name, Husrev.

Career[edit]

In less than three years, he conquered the fortresses of Knin, Skradin and Ostrovica. He was appointed sanjak-bey (governor) of the Sanjak of Bosnia on 15 September 1521, becoming one of Sultan Suleiman I's most trusted men.

A relentless campaign of conquest soon followed. The fortified towns of Greben, Sokol, Jezero, Vinac, Vrbaški Grad, Livač, Kamatin, Bočac, Udbina, Vrana, Modruč, and Požega all fell at his hands.

He founded the Vakuf[clarification needed], which was active until the 20th century.[1]

Gazi Husrev-beg played a crucial role to overcome the Crusaders at the Battle of Mohács. His 10,000 special Akınji soldiers and his irregular cavalry of Turks, Bosniaks and Crimean Tatars served as reserve soldiers in that battle. According to the Turkish military strategy, the Akinji soldiers circled the European knights while the Turkish infantry were making a counterfeit retreat after the first assault. The Turkish army was composed of Ottoman Turks, Crimean Turks and Bosniaks, while the Crusaders were composed of other Europeans.

Gazi Husrev-beg and his forces struggled against a power vacuum in Montenegro after the death of his ally Skanderbeg Crnojević in 1528. In 1541 during an uprising of Montenegro nobility, he set out to protect the Crnojevićs and the local populace. After fighting many battles to maintain order in the region, although ultimately victorious, he was killed fighting renegade Christians in Mokro, a small village in Drobnjaci[a] (present-day Montenegro). Legend states that he was a big man, so his warriors could not carry him, but took apart his intestines, and buried them on small hill called Hodžina glavica (Imam's Peak). However, its real connection to Gazi Husrev-beg's place of rest is unclear. His corpse was returned to Sarajevo, where it remains in a tomb in the courtyard of his mosque. Above it, the following quote is written, "May the mercy and generosity of God fall upon him every day".[citation needed]

Annotations[edit]

  1. ^

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Malcolm, Noel (1996). Bosnia: a Short History. London: Papermac. pp. 67–68. ISBN 0-333-66215-6. 
Preceded by
Gazi Bali-beg Jahjapašić
Sanjak-bey of Bosnia
15 September 1521 — 1525
Succeeded by
Gazi Hasan-beg
Preceded by
Gazi Hasan-beg
Sanjak-bey of Bosnia
1526—1534
Succeeded by
Ulama-paša
Preceded by
Ulama-paša
Sanjak-bey of Bosnia
1536 — 18 June 1541
Succeeded by
Ulama-paša