Education of the Ottoman Empire

Timur divided the Ottoman state among the sons of Bayazid, internecine wars began. Sultan Murad II managed to restore state unity, and the power of the country was Sultan Mehmed II, nicknamed the “Conqueror”. His cherished dream was the seizure of Constantinople. The Sultan is credited with the following words: “There must be one world empire, with one faith and one rule. To restore this unity there is no better center than Constantinople.”

In April 1453, Mehmed II, with a huge army of several tens of thousands of soldiers, surrounded Constantinople. He was opposed by almost 7 thousand defenders of the city. The Byzantine capital was doomed. Emperor Constantine XI Palaeologus refused to surrender the city and 53 days the courageous defenders of the city repulsed the assault after storming.

At dawn on May 29, 1453 the Turks began the last assault. Twice they retreated, leaving the dead and the wounded. But Mehmed threw fresh forces into the battle.

In the most difficult moment for the defenders of Constantinople, the Genoese mercenaries left their positions, and the sultan threw janissaries into battle. The Constantinople flinched and retreated, and the Turks, bursting into Constantinople, began robbery. In the evening of May 29th all was quiet, and only in the cellars and houses there were still ruffled Gurks, looking for hidden treasures. Mehmed forbade looting and pogroms in Constantinople and on the same day proclaimed him his capital, calling it Istanbul. The Christian sanctuary of the temple of Hagia Sophia – by order of the Sultan was converted into a Muslim mosque. The green flag of the Prophet Muhammad rose above the Bosporus.

XVI century. Ottoman historian Saad-ed-Din about the capture of Constantinople

… Before the sultan began the siege, the emperor suggested that he take all the cities and their outskirts outside Istanbul, but leave him, the emperor, a city, for which the emperor will pay the sultan an annual tribute. The sultan, not listening to these proposals, replied that his saber and religion were inseparable and insisted

that the emperor surrender the city to him. Having received a refusal, the emperor installed artillery, soldiers armed with muskets and large reserves of resin on the towers and walls.

At the end of the first day before nightfall, the Sultan ordered the batteries to be installed in the right places, and once the guns were installed, he ordered the walls to be fired, not to mention the continuous hail of arrows and stones that threw throwing cars that, like rain, fell asleep in the city. The besieged in turn continuously fired from muskets and cannons, charged with stone cores, with which they inflicted great losses on the Muslims who irrigated the earth with their blood…

As a result of the defeat of Byzantium, a mighty Ottoman empire appeared with its center in Istanbul. It united “European” and “Asian” Turkey – Rumelia and Anatolia. Mehmed II received the title of “Sultan of two continents and khan of two seas”.

Despite the fall of Constantinople, certain peoples continued to fight the Turks. For several years, the obstinate resistance to the Ottomans was provided by the Serbs, supported by Janos Guniadi, voivode of the Hungarian king. The Serbs defeated the Turks several times, but they did not escape the bitter defeats. After the death from the plague of Janos Guni, the Turkish advantage became tangible, and they conquered Serbia. Subsequently, the Trebizond Empire was conquered, followed by Bosnia and Albania.

In 1475, the Turks conquered the Crimea. The Sultan turned the Crimean Khan into his vassal and so became the absolute master of the Black Sea. The main trading rivals of the Turks, the Venetians and the Genoese, were driven out. The main Genoese colony in the Crimea – Kafa – fell into a vassal dependence on the Turkish sultan. On the site of the colony of Genoa at the mouth of the Don, the Turks built the fortress of Azov. Three hundred years it was the base of the Turks for their advance on Russia and the Caucasus.

Under Mehmet II, an effective administrative system was created and the central government of the country – Radiant Porta. A set of basic laws was published – “Eve”. The Sultan had unlimited state and spiritual power over his subjects. The functions of the head of government were performed by the Great Vizier, the Muslim clergy was headed by the Chief Mufti.

Considerable attention was paid to the education of youth in the spirit of Islam. Mehmed was an educated person, he knew six languages, he knew philosophy, literature and promoted the spread of education in every possible way. By his order, eight schools were opened in Istanbul, where students studied grammar, law, logic, astronomy, Islamic dogma, and others.

Thanks to a strong army, the Ottoman Empire was established as an influential Muslim state not only in the East. Over the next centuries, she played a leading role in the international life of European countries.

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Education of the Ottoman Empire