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Bayezid 2

Sultan Bayezid 2

Sultan Bayezid 2.

(1447-1512) Ottoman sultan 1481-1512.
Bayezid represents one of the first sultans who turned the cultural clock, and from his time the Ottoman empire becomes more xenophobic towards European administration, technology and culture. Where earlier sultans would have selected the apparent best solution whether it be European or Middle Eastern, sultans now started focusing mainly on culture and religion.
For Bayezid, this involved strengthening the waqfs, other Muslim institutions, and removing many European elements from the court.
Bayezid was described by the Venetian ambassador as "very melancholic, superstitious and stubborn." He was pious and put much emphasis on building Muslim structures, mosques, colleges, hospitals and bridges. But he was also a friend of general sciences and arts, supporting jurists, scholars and poets.
In military terms, Bayezid's regime was one in which the Ottoman territory was consolidated in the European lands, but also one in which the borders towards the Asian neighbours (especially the Mamlukes and the arising Safavids) were just as unresolved as before. The empire had to wait for later sultans to bring conquest and stability here.

1447 December: Born in Demotika in the Ottoman province of Thrace, as the oldest son of sultan Mehmed 2.
1481: On the deathbed of his father, Bayezid is appointed new sultan. This is contested by Bayezid's brother, Cem.
1483: Hercegovina is brought under Ottoman control.
1484: Ottoman control over Crimea (where the khan had been a vassal under the Ottoman sultan since 1475) is strengthened when fortresses on the river mouths of the Danube and the Dniester are conquered.
1499: War against Venetian strongholds in the Levant and the Balkans starts.
1503: The war against Venice ends with Ottoman conquests in today's Greece.
1511: The Kizilbash people, living inside the Ottoman Empire, were adherents of Shah Isma'il 1 of the Safavids, and rise in rebellion against the sultan.
— A dispute over the succession breaks out between Bayezid's sons, Selim and Ahmed. In order to strengthen their positions, they make allies with enemies of the empire.
1512 April: Bayezid faces disruption of the empire due to the dispute between his sons, and decides to abdicate in favour of one of his sons, Selim 1.
May 26: Dies in Demotika.

By Tore Kjeilen