Bayezid II

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Bayezid II
Basileus and autokrator[1]
Bayezid II by Paolo Veronese, c. 16th century
Sultan of the Ottoman Empire
Reign22 May 1481 – 24 April 1512
PredecessorMehmed II
SuccessorSelim I
Born3 December 1447
Dimetoka, Ottoman Sultanate
Died26 May 1512(1512-05-26) (aged 64)
Abalar, Havsa, Ottoman Empire
ConsortsŞirin Hatun
Hüsnüşah Hatun
Bülbül Hatun
Nigar Hatun
Gülruh Hatun
Gülbahar Hatun
Muhtereme Ferahşad Hatun
Among others
Aynışah Sultan
Ayşe Sultan
Şehzade Ahmed
Gevhermüluk Sultan
Şehzade Korkut
Selim I
Bayezid bin Mehmed
FatherMehmed II
MotherGülbahar Hatun[2][3]
ReligionSunni Islam
TughraBayezid II's signature

Bayezid II (Ottoman Turkish: بايزيد ثانى, romanized: Bāyezīd-i s̱ānī; Turkish: II. Bayezid; 3 December 1447 – 26 May 1512) was the sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1481 to 1512. During his reign, Bayezid consolidated the Ottoman Empire, thwarted a Safavid rebellion and finally abdicated his throne to his son, Selim I. Bayezid evacuated Sephardi Jews from Spain following the fall of the Nasrid Kingdom of Granada and the proclamation of the Alhambra Decree and resettled them throughout Ottoman lands, especially in Salonica.

Early life[edit]

Bayezid II was the son of Mehmed II (1432–1481) and Gülbahar Hatun, an Albanian concubine.[4][5][6]

There are sources that claim that Bayezid was the son of Sittişah Hatun, due to the two women's common middle name, Mükrime.[7] This would make Ayşe Hatun, one of Bayezid's consorts, a first cousin of Bayezid II. However, the marriage of Sittişah Hatun took place two years after Bayezid was born[8] and the whole arrangement was not to Mehmed's liking.[9]

Born in Demotika, Bayezid II was educated in Amasya and later served there as a bey for 27 years. In 1473, he fought in the Battle of Otlukbeli against the Aq Qoyunlu.

Fight for the throne[edit]

Bayezid II's younger brother Cem

Bayezid II's overriding concern was the quarrel with his brother Cem Sultan, who claimed the throne and sought military backing from the Mamluks in Egypt. Karamani Mehmed Pasha, latest grand vizier of Mehmed II, informed him of the death of the Sultan and invited Bayezid to ascend the throne.[10] 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 died in Naples.


Bayezid II ascended the Ottoman throne in 1481.[11] Like his father, Bayezid II was a patron of western and eastern culture. Unlike many other sultans, he 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. In 1497, he went to war with Poland and decisively defeated the 80,000 strong Polish army during the Moldavian campaign. 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 Iran, Ismail I, 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 vizier, Hadım Ali Pasha, was killed in battle against the Şahkulu rebellion. Hadım Ali Pasha's death prompted a power vacuum. As a result, many important statesmen secretly pledged allegiance to Kinsman Karabœcu Pasha (Turkish: "Karaböcü Kuzen Paşa") who made his reputation in conducting espionage operations during the Fall of Constantinople in his youth.[12]

Jewish and Muslim immigration[edit]

Crimean Khan Meñli I Giray (centre) with the eldest son, Mehmed I Giray (left) and Bayezid II (right)

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.[13] 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!"[14] 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.[14] 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 persecution.

Bayezid II fighting his son Selim I at Uğraşdere

The Muslims and Jews of al-Andalus contributed much to the rising power of the Ottoman Empire by introducing new ideas, methods and craftsmanship. The first printing press in Constantinople (now Istanbul) 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.[citation needed]


During Bayezid II's final years, on 14 September 1509, Constantinople was devastated by an earthquake,[15][16] and a succession battle developed between his sons Selim and Ahmet. Ahmet unexpectedly captured Karaman, 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, so he refused to allow his son to enter Constantinople.

Bayezid II's burial

Selim returned from Crimea and, with support from the Janissaries, he forced his father to abdicate the throne on 25 April 1512. Bayezid departed for retirement in his native Dimetoka, but he died on 26 May 1512 at Havsa, before reaching his destination and only a month after his abdication. He was buried next to the Bayezid Mosque in Istanbul.


Tomb of Bayezid II in Istanbul

Bayezid was praised in a ghazal of Abdürrezzak Bahşı, a scribe who came to Constantinople from Samarkand in the second half of the 15th century that worked at the courts of Mehmed II and Bayezid II, and wrote in Chagatai with the Old Uyghur alphabet:[17][18]

I had a pleasant time in your reign my Padishah.

I was without fear of all fears and dangers.

The fame of your justice and fairness reached to China and Hotan.

Thanks to God that there exist a merciful person like my Padishah.

Sultan Bayezid Khan ascended the throne.

This country had been his fate since past eternity.

Any enemy that denied the country of my master:

That enemy's neck had been in rope and gallows.

Your believing servants' faces smile like Bahşı's.

The place of those who walk unbelieving is hellfire.

Bayezid II ordered al-ʿAtufi, the librarian of Topkapı Palace, to prepare a register.[19] The library's diverse holdings reflect a cosmopolitanism that was encyclopaedic in scope.[20]



Bayezid had eight known consorts:[21][22]


Bayezid had at least eight sons:

  • Şehzade Abdullah (c. 1464 – November 6, 1483) – son of Şirin Hatun.[23] He was governor of Manisa, Trebizond and Konya. He had three children:
    • Şehzade Fülan(1481–1489)
    • Aynışah Sultan (1482–1540); married to Ahmed Bey.
    • Şahnisa Sultan (1484–fl. 1540); married firstly in 1502 her cousin Şehzade Mehmed (d. 1512) – son of her father's half brother Şehzade Şehinşah, married seconldy Mirza Mehmed Pasha (d. 1517), by whom she had a son Sultanzade Şemsi Ahmed Bey). She was lastly married to Nuri Bey.
  • Şehzade Ahmed (c. 1466 – March 24, 1513) – son of Bülbül Hatun. Bayezid's favorite son, he was executed by his half-brother Selim I, who became sultan. He had three known concubines, seven sons and four daughters.
  • Şehzade Korkut (Amasya, 1469 - Manisa, 10 March 1513) - son of Nigar Hatun.[23] Rival of Selim I for the throne, he was first exiled by him and then executed. He had two children who died as infants and two daughters.
  • Selim I (Amasya, 10 October 1470 – Çorlu, 22 September 1520) – son with Gülbahar Hatun, who succeeded as Sultan Selim Han I (Yavuz).
  • Şehzade Şehinşah (1465 – July 2, 1511) – son of Hüsnüşah Hatun.[21] He was governor of Manisa and Karaman. He had a son:
    • Şehzade Mehmed; who married his cousin Şahnisa Sultan, daughter of Şehzade Abdullah.[23]
  • Şehzade Mahmud (1475 – November 4, 1507) – son of Bülbül Hatun. He was governor of Kastamonu and Manisa. He had three sons and two daughters:
    • Şehzade Musa (1490–1512)
    • Şehzade Orhan (1494–1512)
    • Şehzade Emirhan (?–1512)
    • Ayşe Hundi Sultan (?–fl. 1556), married in 1508 to Ferruh Bey with whom she had a daughter
      • Mihrihan Hanımsultan)
    • Hançerli Hanzade Fatma Sultan (?–April 1533), married in 1508 to Mehmed Bey with whom she had two sons:
      • Kasim Bey (1511–1531)
      • Mahmud Bey.
  • Şehzade Alemşah (1477 – 1502) – son of Gülruh Hatun.[24] Governor of Mentese and Manisa. He had a son and two daughters:
    • Şehzade Osman-Şah (1492–1512)
    • Ayşe Sultan, married in 1521 to Mehmed Çelebi, son of Sofu Fatma Sultan
    • Fatma Sultan (1493–1522)[24]
  • Şehzade Mehmed (1474 – December 1504) – son of Ferahşad Hatun. Governor of Kefe. He married Ayşe Hatun, a princess of the Giray Khanate of Crimea. After his death, Ayşe married in 1511 his half-brother, Selim I.
    • Fatma Sultan (1500–1556)
    • Şehzade Mehmed (1505–1513, killed by Selim I). After his death, Ayşe married his half-brother, Selim I.


Bayezid had at seventeen daughters:

  • Aynışah Sultan (c. 1473 – c. 1514) – daughter of unknown concubine. Married firstly in 1489 to Göde Ahmed Bey (died 1497), married secondly in 1501 to Malkoçoğlu Yahya Pasha (died 1511). From there two marriages she had two daughters and three sons.[25]
  • Hatice Sultan (c. 1462 – Bursa; 1500) – daughter of Bülbül Hatun. She married firstly in 1479 to Muderis Kara Mustafa Pasha (ex. 1481). Hatice remarried in 1482 to Faik Pasha (died 1499). She had four children:
    • Mehmed Bey (with Mustafa Pasha) governor of Bursa. He built a mausoleum in memory of his mother. He married in 1501 a daughter of Bayezid II.
    • Ayşe Hanımsultan (with Mustafa Pasha)
    • Ahmed Çelebi (with Faik Pasha)
    • Hanzade Hanımsultan (with Faik Pasha)
  • Hundi Sultan (c. 1461 – 1511) – eldest daughter of Bülbül Hatun. In 1479 she married Hersekzade Ahmed Pasha and had two sons and four daughters:
    • Sultanzade Musa Bey
    • Sultanzade Mustafa Bey
    • Kamerşah Hanımsultan (died 1540s)
    • Hümaşah Hanımsultan[26] (died 1550s)
    • Aynışah Hanımsultan (died before 1523)
    • Mahdümzade Hanımsultan (died 1511)
  • Ayşe Sultan (c. 1465 – fl. 1515) – daughter of Nigar Hatun. She was married in 1480 to Güveyi Sinan Pasha (died 1504). From these marriage she had a son and five daughters.[25]
  • Hümaşah Sultan (c. 1466 – 1510) – mother unknown. She married firstly in 1482 to Bali Pasha (died 1495), governor of Antalya. She remarried Çoban Mustafa Pasha (died 1529) and had a son and four daughters:
    • Hüseyinşah Bey (d. 1566)
    • Hanî Hanımsultan
    • Hüma Hanımsultan
    • Ümmî Hanımsultan; burried in Gebze beside her father
    • Şahzeman Hanımsultan
  • İlaldı Sultan (c. 1469 – c. 1517) – might daughter of Gülbahar Hatun. She married Hain Ahmed Pasha (ex. 1524), governor of Rumelia, Egypt and Second Vizier. She sent a congratulatory letter to her brother Selim when he ascended the throne. She had two children:
    • Koçî Bey; who married his cousin Hanzade Hanımsultan, daughter of Selçuk Sultan, daughter of Bayezid II)
    • Aynışah Hanımsultan (? – fl. 1570); who married Abdüsselâm Çelebi.[27] They had two daughters:
      • Neslihan Hanım, married to Memişah Bey
      • Ümmîhan Hanım
  • Gevhermüluk Sultan (c. 1465 – 1550) – daughter of Bülbül Hatun. Married to Dukakinzade Mehmed Pasha (died 1557), son of Dukaginzade Ahmed Pasha. They had two children:
    • Sultanzade Ahmed Bey; governor of Ankara and divan poet, married in 1503 his cousin Ayşe Hanzade Hanımsultan, daughter of Ayşe Sultan
    • Neslişah Hanımsultan (died 1579); who married Iskender Pasha (d. 1582).
  • Sofu Fatma Sultan, (c. 1467 – c. 1518) – daughter of Nigar Hatun. She was married firstly in 1482 to Isfendiyaroglu Mirza Mehmed Pasha (son of Kızıl Ahmed Bey), secondly in 1489 to Mustafa Pasha (son of Koca Davud Pasha), thirdly in 1501 to Güzelce Hasan Bey. From her last marriage, she had:
    • Haci Ahmed Çelebi
    • Mehmed Çelebi; who in 1521 married his cousin Ayşe Sultan (daughter of Şehzade Alemşah)
    • Fülane Hanımsultan; who married her cousin Ahmed Bey, son Ali Bey and Fatma Hanımsultan (daughter of Ayşe Sultan). [28][29]
  • Selçukşah Sultan (c. 1463 – 1519) – daughter of Bülbül Hatun. She was married firstly in 1479 to Ferhad Bey (d. 1485) with whom she had a son and a daughter. Selçuk Sultan remarried Mehmed Bey in 1486 and had three daughters with him.
    • Gazi Husrev Bey (1480 – 18 June 1541)
    • Neslişah Hanımsultan (c. 1483 – c. 1550); married to Halil Pasha (executed 1540)
    • Hanzade Hanımsultan; youngest daughter of her mother. She married his cousin Koçî Bey, son of İlaldı Sultan.
      • Ahmed Çelebi
    • Hatice Hanımsultan (died 1546); who married a son of Halil Pasha in 1510
      • Hanzade Hanım
        • Fatma Hatunsultan; married to Temerrüd Ali Paşa
          • Neslihan Hatun
          • Mehmed Bey (died 1565); married to Ayşe Sultan, daughter of Şehzade Bayezid
    • Aslıhan Hanımsultan (c. 1487 – fl. 1529) who married Yunus Pasha in 1502 (ex. 1517). She was remarried in 1518 to Defterdar Mehmed Çelebi, who was governor of Egypt and later of Damascus.[30][31] From the second marriage, she had a daughter:
      • Selçuk Hanım
  • Fülane Sultan (c. 1463 – ?) – daughter of Hüsnüşah Hatun.[32]
  • Şah Sultan, (c. 1474 – 1554) – married Nasuh Bey in 1489 and had a daughter:
    • Ismihan Hanımsultan
  • Kamerşah Sultan (c. 1475 – January 23, 1520) – daughter of Gülruh Hatun. She was married in 1491 to Nişancı Kara Davud Pasha (d. 1505).[30] She had two children from this marriage:
    • Fülane Hanımsultan, married to Mesih Bey
    • Osman Bey, burried beside his mother
  • Fülane Sultan – she was married in 1489 to Koca Davud Pasha (died 1498) and had a son:
    • Mehmed Bey, who married his cousin Fatma Sultan, daughter of Şehzade Ahmed.
  • Fülane Sultan – she was married in 1498 to Gazi Yakub Pasha (d. 1502), remarried in 1504 to Mesih Bey.
  • Fülane Sultan – she was married in 1501 to Mehmed Bey, governor of Bursa and son of her half-sister Hatice Sultan.
  • Fülane Sultan – she was married in 1501 to Mamluk Sultan Qansuh al-Ghawri. This Sultana was accused of adultery and marriage was soon dissolved.
  • Fülane Sultan – she was married to Karlizade Mehmed Bey.

In popular culture[edit]

  • 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 subplot 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. However, Bayezid does not make an actual appearance.
  • Bayezid II, prior to becoming Sultan, is depicted by Akin Gazi in the Starz series Da Vinci's Demons. He seeks an audience with Pope Sixtus IV (having been manipulated into believing that peace between Rome and Constantinople is a possibility), only to be ridiculed and humiliated by Sixtus, actions which later serve as a pretext for the Ottoman invasion of Otranto. Sixtus assumes that Bayezid has been overlooked in favor of his brother Cem.
  • Bayezid II, prior to becoming Sultan, is depicted by Ediz Cagan Cakiroglu in the docuseries Rise of Empires: Ottoman. He appears on season 02 as a young prince who is motivated and inspired by his father Mehmed the Conqueror and wants to join him in battle despite being a child

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Gábor Ágoston (2023). The Last Muslim Conquest: The Ottoman Empire and Its Wars in Europe. p. 335.
  2. ^ Necdet Sakaoğlu [in Turkish] (2008). Bu mülkün kadın sultanları: Vâlide sultanlar, hâtunlar, hasekiler, kadınefendiler, sultanefendiler. Oğlak publications. pp. 110–112. ISBN 978-9-753-29623-6. (The name of the real biological mother of Bayezid II is given as Meliketû'l-Melikât Gül-Bahar Valide Hâtun).
  3. ^ Peirce, Leslie (1993). The Imperial Harem: Women and Sovereignty in the Ottoman Empire. Oxford University Press. p. 120. ISBN 0-19-508677-5.
  4. ^ Babinger 1992, p. 51.
  5. ^ Peirce, Leslie P. (1993). The Imperial Harem: Women and Sovereignty in the Ottoman Empire. Oxford University Press. p. 52. ISBN 9780195086775.
  6. ^ Th Dijkema, F. (1977). The Ottoman Historical Monumental Inscriptions in Edirne. BRILL. ISBN 9004050620.
  7. ^ Necdet Sakaoğlu [in Turkish] (2008). Bu mülkün kadın sultanları: Vâlide sultanlar, hâtunlar, hasekiler, kadınefendiler, sultanefendiler. Oğlak publications. pp. 113–117. ISBN 978-9-753-29623-6.
  8. ^ Wedding portrait,
  9. ^ Babinger 1992, p. 57–58.
  10. ^ GLHN (2022-11-27). "Bayezid II - Biyografi". Gülhan Sözlük (in Turkish). Retrieved 2023-01-27.
  11. ^ "Sultan Bajazid's (i.e., Beyazit's) Mosque, Constantinople, Turkey". World Digital Library. 1890–1900. Archived from the original on 2013-10-19. Retrieved 2013-10-18.
  12. ^ Titans, History (221). The Ottoman Empire: The History of the Turkish Empire that Lasted Over 600 Years. Creek Ridge Publishing.
  13. ^ Egger, Vernon O. (2008). A History of the Muslim World Since 1260: The Making of a Global Community. Prentice Hall. p. 82. ISBN 978-0-13-226969-8.
  14. ^ a b 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
  15. ^ The Encyclopædia Britannica, Vol.7, Edited by Hugh Chisholm, (1911), 3; Constantinople, the capital of the Turkish Empire...
  16. ^ 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.
  17. ^ Harry N. Abrams (2005). Turks: A Journey of a Thousand Years, 600-1600. p. 438.
  18. ^ Ayşe Gül Sertkaya (2002). Gyorgy Hazai (ed.). Archivum Ottomanicum 20 (2002). p. 113.
  19. ^ Gülru Necipoğlu, Cemal Kafadar, and Cornell H. Fleischer, eds. Treasures of Knowledge: an Inventory of the Ottoman Palace Library (1502/3–1503/4), 2 vols. Leiden: Brill, 2019.
  20. ^ Hirschler, Konrad. Review of Treasures of Knowledge: an Inventory of the Ottoman Palace Library (1502/3–1503/4), ed. by Gülru Necipoğlu, Cemal Kafadar, and Cornell H. Fleischer. Journal of the Ottoman and Turkish Studies Association 7, no. 1 (2020): 244-249.
  21. ^ a b Uluçay 2011, p. 44.
  22. ^ Bayezid II in The Structure of the Ottoman Dynasty, A.D. Alderson
  23. ^ a b c Uluçay 2011, p. 46.
  24. ^ a b Uluçay 2011, p. 45.
  25. ^ a b Uluçay 2011, p. 48.
  26. ^ Vrankić, Petar (5 October 2017). "Stjepan/Ahmedpaša Hercegović (1456.?-1517.) u svjetlu dubrovačkih, talijanskih i osmanskih izvora". Hercegovina: Časopis za kulturno i povijesno naslijeđe (in Croatian) (3): 33, 34, 35, 36. doi:10.47960/2712-1844.2017.3.9. ISSN 2566-3429. Retrieved 30 April 2023.
  27. ^ Gökbilgin, M. Tayyib (1952). XV-XVI. asırlarda Edirne ve Paşa Livası: vakıflar, mülkler, mukataalar. Üçler Basımevi. p. 380.
  28. ^ Uluçay 2011, p. 49.
  29. ^ Uluçay 2011, p. 50.
  30. ^ a b Uluçay 2011, p. 51.
  31. ^ Kiel, MacHiel (190). Studies on the Ottoman Architecture of the Balkans. Variorum Publishing Group. p. 492. ISBN 978-0-860-78276-6.
  32. ^ Uluçay 2011, p. 52.


External links[edit]

Bayezid II
Born: Dec 3, 1447 Died: May 26, 1512
Regnal titles
Preceded by Sultan of the Ottoman Empire
May 3, 1481 – April 25, 1512
Succeeded by