Mihaloğlu Ali Bey

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Alauddin Mihaloğlu

Native name
Alauddin Mihaloğlu
Pleven (present-day Bulgaria)[1]
Allegiance Ottoman Empire
Battles/warsBattle of Breadfield

Mihaloğlu Ali Bey or Gazı Alauddin Mihaloğlu Ali Bey, (1425—1507)[2] was an Ottoman military commander in 15th century and the first sanjakbey of the Sanjak of Smederevo. He was one of the descendants of Köse Mihal, a Byzantine governor of Chirmenkia and battle companion of Osman Gazi.


In 1459 he raided Transylvania, province of Hungary but was beaten by the Transylvanian voivode, uncle of King Matthias and former Regent of Hungary Michael Szilágyi at Futak, and thus was forced to retreat.[3]

In 1460 he was able to capture the small advancing army of Szilágyi at Pojejena. He transferred the prisoner to Constantinople to have him decapitated by the orders of the Sultan.[3]

In 1460 Ali Bey became the subasi of the Güvercinlik (Golubac, today in Serbia). During one of his expeditions to Banat in 1460 he captured Michael Szilágyi.[4] Later that year sultan awarded him for this success and appointed him as the sanjakbey of the Sanjak of Vidin.[5][6] He was appointed as sanjakbey of the Sanjak of Smederevo in 1462/1463.[5]

In 1462, as the bey of Smederevo, he constantly harassed the Torontál County of Hungary but withdrew southwards after the reinforcements of Micheal of Szokoly and Peter of Szokoly arrived into the area.[7]

In 1463 he assisted Mehmet II in his attack on Bosnia with a distraction attack on King Matthias in Syrmia, but was pushed back by Andrew Pongrácz, the high cup-bearer of Hungary. He suddenly made a flanking move into the heart of Hungary and reached Temesvár, where he ran into John Pongrácz, Voivode of Transylvania and was defeated in a close battle.[7]

On 7 February 1474, Ali Bey Mihaloğlu unexpectedly attacked the town of Várad. Ahead of his 7,000 horsemen, he broke through its wooden fences and pillaged the town, burned the houses and took the population as prisoners. Their goal was to rob the treasury of the episcopate, but were resisted by the refugees and clergy in the bishop's castle (at the time the bishop's rank was absent, and no records mention the identity of a possible Hungarian captain). The town fell but the castle stood, forcing the Ottomans to give up the fight after one day of siege. While retreating, they devastated the surrounding areas.[8]

In 1476 Ali was joined by his brother Skender Pasha as he departed from Smederevo and crossed the Danube ahead of 5,000 spahis making a second attempt to reach Temesvár. He was confronted by the Hungarian nobility at Pančevo. He suffered an utter defeat and barely escaped in a small boat. The Hungarians chased him into the valley on the opposite bank of the Nadela where they liberated all the previously captured Hungarian prisoners and also took 250 Ottoman captives.[9]

In 1478 he joined Ömer Bey Turahanoğlu when he attacked Venetian possessions.[10]

In 1479 Ali Bey launched his biggest attack on the Kingdom of Hungary. He led his army over the Szászsebes region, pillaged Gyulafehérvár, but was stopped by Pál Kinizsi in the Battle of Breadfield.[11]

The Transylvanian campaign of Ali Bey Mihaloglu in 1493

By the end of 1492 Wallachian voivode Vlad Călugărul had already warned the Hungarians of a possible Ottoman offensive from Transylvania. In an attempt to dispose the pro-Hungarian voivode, Bayezid II marched through Wallachia to enter into Hungary. They passed through the Rotenturm Pass and turned towards inner Transylvania along the Olt River. At the time the region lacked a legitimate voivode, but the vice-voivode Stephen Telegdi took up arms and blocked the passage to face the unaware Ottomans on their way back. They managed to retake the plunder and captives and caused the Ottoman forces heavy losses (a couple of thousand casualties). However, after the death of his father Vlad, pro-Ottoman Radu IV the Great replaced him in 1495.[12]


Some historians believed that the epic figure of Alija Đerđelez was inspired by Ali Bey Mihaloglu.[13]

Mihaloğlu's katib Prizrenli Suzi Çelebi that accompanied him in his battles wrote Gazavatnam Mihaloğlu, a 15,000 line epic poem from which 2,000 survived.[14] Although the poem was intended to be an epic military chronicle, Çelebi infused it with florid language in order to make it as attractive as a lyric one.[15]


  1. ^ Srpski književni glasnik. p. 337. Retrieved 6 September 2013.
  2. ^ Popović, Tanya (1988). Prince Marko: the hero of South Slavic epics. Retrieved 22 June 2011. ... Ali Beg Mihal Oglu (1425–1507)
  3. ^ a b Gerő Lajos (1897). "Szilágyi". Pallas Nagylexikon [Grand Lexicon of Pallas] (in Hungarian). Budapest, Hungary: Pallas Irodalmi és Nyomdai Rt. Retrieved 27 June 2011.
  4. ^ Suvajdžić, Boško (2004). "Three good heroes" (PDF). Prilozi za književnost, jezik, istoriju i folklor. 70: 32. Archived from the original (PDF) on 13 October 2013. Retrieved 9 September 2013.
  5. ^ a b Gradeva, Rositsa (2004). Rumeli under the Ottomans, 15th–18th centuries: institutions and communities. Isis Press. p. 26. ISBN 978-975-428-271-9. Retrieved 24 June 2011. In 1460, Ali Bey Mihaloglu was the subasi of the district residing in Giivercinlik [Golubac, Serbia]. Later during the same year he became the sancakbey of Vidin for the first time. In 1462–63, he became sancakbey of Semendire
  6. ^ Prilozi proučavanju narodne poezije. 1935. p. 123. 1460 у боју код данашњег Базијаша по- тукао је Мађаре и заробио њиховог вођу Михаила Силађија (Свило- јевић у нар. песмама), те је од султана као награду добио Видински санџак.
  7. ^ a b Samu Borovszky; János Sziklay; Dezső Csánki (1898). "A mohácsi vésztől napjainkig" [from the Battle of Mohács to present day]. Magyarország vármegyéi és városai [Countries and towns of Hungary] (in Hungarian). Budapest, Hungary: Országos Monográfia Társaság,. ISBN 963-9374-91-1. Retrieved 27 June 2011.
  8. ^ Bunyitay Vincze,. A váradi püspökség története (Epistolario di Pier Paolo Vergerio) [History of the episcopate of Várad] (in Hungarian). Nagyvárad, Hungary: Episcopate of Várad. Retrieved 20 October 2010.
  9. ^ Franz Babinger (1978). "IX.". Mehmed the Conqueror and His Time. New Jersey, USA: Princeton University Press. p. 349. ISBN 0-691-09900-6. Retrieved 28 June 2011.
  10. ^ Markus Köhbach; Gisela Procházka-Eisl; Claudia Römer, eds. (1999). Acta Viennensia Ottomanica. Selbstverlag des Instituts für Orientalistik. p. 287. ISBN 978-3-900345-05-1. Retrieved 24 June 2011. In November 1477 Ömer bey Turahanoglu crossed the Venetian border and he repeated his attack the following year together with Ali bey Mihaloglu,
  11. ^ László Makkai (2001). "The Hunyadi Family". History of Transylvania Volume I. From the Beginnings to 1606. New York City: Columbia University Press. ISBN 0-88033-479-7. Retrieved 27 June 2011.
  12. ^ József Bánlaky (1929). "A törökök 1493. évi erdélyi betörése." [Turkish invasion in 1493 into Transylvania]. A magyar nemzet hadtörténelme [Military history of the Hungarian nation] (in Hungarian). Budapest, Hungary: Grill Károly Könyvkiadó vállalata. ISBN 963-86118-7-1. Retrieved 16 June 2011.
  13. ^ Škrijelj, Redžep (2005). Alamanah 31–32 (PDF) (in Serbian). Podgorica. p. 156. Retrieved 22 June 2011. Istoričari Stojan Novaković i Milenko Vukićević su postavili hipotezu da je Đerzelez Alija u stvari Ali-beg, prvi sandžak-beg Smedereva (Semendere) i Srbije po padu Despotovine (1459).
  14. ^ Dragan Ćukić (1971), Kosova: Monumentet dhe bukuritë [Kosovo: Monuments and attractions] (in Albanian), Lidhja turistike e Kosovës, pp. 157–158, OCLC 51465527
  15. ^ Robert Elsie (2004), Historical Dictionary of Kosova, Historical Dictionaries of Europe (44) (1 ed.), Scarecrow Press, p. 176, ISBN 0-8108-5309-4


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