Menteşe (beylik)

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The Beylik of Mentes (blue) in 1300

The Anatolian beylik of Menteş (1260–1424), with its capital city at Milas in southwest Anatolia and headquartered in Beçin castle near that city, was one of the frontier principalities established by the Oghuz Turks after the decline of the Seljuk Sultanate of Rum. The beylik (domain of a "bey" or tribal chieftain) had come into existence by 1290 and was named for its founder, Menteş Bey.[1]

The heartland of the beylik corresponded roughly to ancient Caria or to the early modern Muğla Province in Turkey, including the province's three protruding peninsulas. Among the important centers within the beylik were the cities of Beçin, Milas, Balat, Elmali, Finike, Kaş, Mağrı (Fethiye after 1911), Muğla, Çameli, Acıpayam, Tavas, Bozdoğan, and Çine. The city of Aydın (formerly Tralles) was controlled by this beylik for a time, during which it was called "Güzelhisar"; it later was transferred to the Aydinids in the North, who renamed the city for the founder of their dynasty.

The beys of Menteş were serious regional naval powers in their time.[2] They also left important works of architecture, such as the Firuz Bey Mosque in Milas and İlyas Bey Mosque in Balat.

Menteş first submitted to Ottoman rule in 1390, during the reign of Bayezid I, "the Thunderbolt".[3] After 1402, Tamerlane restored the beylik to Menteşoğlu İlyas Bey, who recognized Ottoman overlordship in 1414. A dozen years later, in 1426, Menteş was definitively incorporated into the Ottoman realm.[4]

The present-day Muğla Province of Turkey was named the sub-province (sanjak) of Menteşe until the early years of the Republic of Turkey, although the provincial seat had been moved from Milas to Muğla with the establishment of Ottoman rule in the 15th century.

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  1. ^ Claude Cahen, Pre-Ottoman Turkey: A General Survey of the Material and Spiritual Culture and History, c. 1071-1330, 1968 (New York: ACLS Humanities, 2014), p. 308
  2. ^ Hans Theunissen. Chapter V of Ottoman-Venetian diplomatics, the Ahd-Names "Venice and the Turkoman Begliks of Menteşe and Aydın" Check |url= value (help) (PDF). Leiden University. 
  3. ^ Stanford Shaw, History of the Ottoman Empire and Modern Turkey (Cambridge: University Press, 1976), vol. 1 p. 30
  4. ^ Shaw, History of the Ottoman Empire, p. 44

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