An Ottoman miniature showing Suleiman the Magnificent with his son, Şehzade Bayezid
Constantinople, Ottoman Empire
|Died||25 September 1561 (aged 35–36)|
Qazvin, Safavid Empire
|Father||Suleiman the Magnificent|
Şehzade Bayezid (1525 – 25 September 1561) was an Ottoman prince as the son of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent and his legal wife Hürrem Sultan. After the death of three of Suleiman's sons, only Bayezid and Selim were alive. Bayezid had a good skill in military tactic. After the death of Sehzade Mustafa (who was the heir apparent to the Ottoman throne) Bayezid became the popular heir to the Ottoman throne among the army. Through the 1550s, when Suleiman was already in his 60s, a protracted competition for the throne between Bayezid and Selim was evident. Bayezid had fallen into disfavor with his father – who was angered by Bayezid's disobedience stemming from around the same years – as opposed to his brother Selim (who would eventually succeed as Selim II). After being defeated in a battle near Konya in 1559 by Selim and Sokullu Mehmet Pasha (with the help of the Sultan's army), he fled to the neighbouring Safavid Empire, where he was lavishly received by Tahmasp I. However, in 1561, on the continuous insistence of the Sultan throughout his son's exile, and after several large payments, Tahmasp allowed Bayezid to be executed by agents of his own father.
Bayezid born in 1525 in Constantinople (Istanbul) during the reign of his father, Suleiman the Magnificent. His mother was Hürrem, an Orthodox priest's daughter, who was sultan's concubine in that time. At the time of his birth, Bayezid had four elder full-brothers, Mehmed (born 1521), Abdullah (born 1522), Selim (born 1524), and Sehzade Cihangir. He also had one elder half-brother Mustafa (born 1515). In 1533 or 1534, breaking a two-century-old tradition, his father freed and legally wed his mother.
As a court rule, şehzades were appointed to govern a province in order to gain administrative experience. Bayezid became a governor of an Anatolian province (Turkish: sanjak). However, during his father's 12th campaign to Nakhchivan (part of modern Azerbaijan) in 1553, he was assigned to rule in Edirne (i.e. the Ottoman capital of Rumelia, which was the European territories of the Ottoman empire) in the absence of his father. During the campaign, Şehzade Mustafa, was executed upon Sultan's order. The news of execution caused unrest in all parts of the empire and an impostor claiming to be the executed Mustafa rebelled against Suleiman in Rumelia. Although the rebellion was subdued by a vizier, Suleiman suspected that his son Bayezid was deliberately slow to react.
Competition for the Throne
Suleiman had six sons. His second and third sons, Mehmed and Abdullah, had died earlier; the former in 1543 and the latter in 1526. After the execution of Mustafa (who was potential heir to the throne) in 1553 and Cihangir's (the youngest brother who suffered from poor health) death, only two princes were left to be the potential claimant to throne: Selim (the future Selim II) and Bayezid. Selim was the governor of Manisa and Bayezid was the governor of Kütahya, two cities at almost equal distance from Constantinople, the capital.
Suleiman was in his 60s, and the competition between the two brothers over the throne was evident. Suleiman scolded his sons and decided to change their places of duty. Selim was assigned to rule in Konya and Bayezid in Amasya, both provinces being this time further from the Constantinople but still equidistant. Selim was quick to obey and promptly moved to Konya. But to the dismay of his father, Bayezid obeyed only after much hesitation. Angered, Suleiman accused Bayezid of being a rebel and supported his elder son Selim against Bayezid. Selim, in collaboration with Sokollu Mehmet Pasha (the future grand vizier) and with additional help from his father's army, defeated his brother in a battle near Konya on 31 May 1559.
Refuge in the Safavid Empire
Bayezid returned to Amasya and escaped to the Safavid Empire with his sons and a small army. According to journalist and historian researcher Murat Bardakçı, Sokullu Mehmet Pasha sent an army after Bayezid, which was defeated by Bayezıd's forces. In the autumn of 1559, he reached the Safavid town of Yerevan, where he was received with great respect by its governor. Some time later, he reached Tabriz, where he was welcomed by Shah Tahmasp I. Although Tahmasp I initially wholeheartedly and lavishly welcomed Bayezid, including giving magnificent parties in his honour, he later jailed him on the request of Sultan Suleiman. Both Suleiman and Selim sent envoys to Persia to persuade the shah to execute Bayezid. For the coming one and half year in fact, embassies would continue to travel between Istanbul and Qazvin. On 16 July, what would be the last of the Ottoman embassies would arrive, whose formal task, like the previous embassies, was to try return Bayezid to Istanbul. As stated by Prof. Colin P. Mitchell, this included Khusrau Pasha (the governor of Van), Sinan Pasha, Ali Aqa Chavush Bashi, and a retinue of two hundred officials. In the letter that was given with the embassy, Suleiman also declared his readiness to reconfirm the Treaty of Amasya (1555) and to begin a new era of Ottoman–Safavid relations. Suleiman, throughout the embassies, also gave Tahmasp numerous gifts. He also agreed with Tahmasp's demand to pay him for handing Bayezid over (400,000 gold coins were given). Finally, on 25 September 1561, Bayezid and his five sons were handed over by Tahmasp and executed in the environs of the Safavid capital Qazvin by the Ottoman executioner, Ali Aqa Chavush Bashi, through the way of garrotting.
Bayezid had Six sons:
- Şehzade Orhan (c. 1543, Kütahya – 25 September 1561, Qazvin, buried in Melik-i Acem Mausoleum, Sivas), governor of Çorum, educated by Çandarlızade Halil Bey;
- Şehzade Osman (c. 1545, Kütahya – 25 September 1561, Qazvin, buried in Melik-i Acem Mausoleum, Sivas), governor of Sarikarahisar;
- Şehzade Abdullah (c. 1548, Kütahya – 25 September 1561, Qazvin, buried in Melik-i Acem Mausoleum, Sivas);
- Şehzade Mahmud (c. 1552, Kütahya – 25 September 1561, Qazvin), governor of Canik;
- Şehzade Muradhan (c. 1554, Kütahya – 25 September 1561, Qazvin), governor of Kütahya;
- Şehzade Mehmed  (c. 1559, Amasya – 3 October 1561), Bursa, buried in Muradiye Complex, Bursa)
Bayezid had four daughters:
- Mihrimah Sultan (c. 1547, Kütahya – 1594, Istanbul), married in 1562 to Damat Müzaffer Pasha;
- Hatice Sultan (c. 1550, Kütahya – ?);
- Ayşe Sultan (c. 1553, Kütahya – 1572, Tokat), married in 1562 to Damat Hoca Ali Pasha Eretnaoğlu;
- Hanzade Sultan (c. 1556, Kütahya – ?).
In popular culture
- "The Imperial House of Osman: Genealogy". Archived from the original on May 2, 2006.
- Kinross, Patrick (1979). The Ottoman centuries: The Rise and Fall of the Turkish Empire. New York: Morrow. ISBN 978-0-688-08093-8. p, 236.
- An essay on Süleyman's sons (in Turkish)
- Prof.Dr.Yaşar Yücel-Prof.Dr.Ali Sevim: Türkiye Tarihi II, AKDTYK yayınları, İstanbul,1990 p 299-300
- Habertürk newspaper Murat bardakçı's article (in Turkish)
- Faroqhi, Suraiya N.; Fleet, Kate (2012). The Cambridge History of Turkey: Volume 2, The Ottoman Empire as a World Power, 1453–1603. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-1316175545.
Tahmasp, thus presented with the opportunity to take revenge for the reverse flight of his own brother some years before, received Bayezid with great honour, as Suleyman had Alkas Mirza
- Clot, André (2012). Suleiman the Magnificent. Saqi. pp. 1–399. ISBN 978-0863568039.
"(...) In the autumn of 1559, the prince reached Yerevan, where the governor received him with the greatest respect. A little later, Shah Tahmasp, delighted to have such a hostage in his hands, went to Tabriz to welcome him. The shah held magnificent parties in his honour. Thirty heaped plates of gold, of silver, of pearls and precious stones, "were poured on the prince's head".
- Mitchell 2009, p. 126.
- Van Donzel, E.J. (1994). Islamic Desk Reference. BRILL. p. 438. ISBN 978-9004097384.
- Lamb, Harold (2013). Suleiman the Magnificent - Sultan of the East. Read Books Ltd. pp. 1–384. ISBN 978-1447488088.
Four hundred thousand gold coins were sent to Tahmasp by the hand of an executioner
- Joseph von Hammer: Osmanlı Tarihi Vol II (condensation: Abdülkadir Karahan), Milliyet yayınları, İstanbul. p 36-37
- Nahrawālī, Muḥammad ibn Aḥmad; Blackburn, Richard (2005). Journey to the Sublime Porte: the Arabic memoir of a Sharifian agent's diplomatic mission to the Ottoman Imperial Court in the era of Suleyman the Magnificent ; the relevant text from Quṭb al-Dīn al-Nahrawālī's al-Fawāʼid al-sanīyah fī al-riḥlah al-Madanīyah wa al-Rūmīyah. Orient-Institut. p. 151. ISBN 978-3-899-13441-4.
- Taş, Kenan Ziya. Osmanlılarda lalalık müessesesi. Kardelen Kitabevi. pp. 99–100, 130–1.
- Clot, André (2012). Suleiman the Magnificent. Saqi. pp. 1–399. ISBN 978-0863568039.
Then, since he had promised never to hand him over to Suleiman, he delivered Bayezid to Selim's envoy. The unlucky man was strangled with his four sons. A little later, his fifth son, 3 years old was also put to death in Bursa by a eunuch that Suleiman had sent with a janissary.
- Mitchell, Collin P. (2009). The Practice of Politics in Safavid Iran: Power, Religion and Rhetoric. I.B.Tauris. ISBN 978-0857715883.
- Tezcan, Baki (2010). The Second Ottoman Empire: Political and Social Transformation in the Early Modern World. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 42–43. ISBN 978-0521519496.