On this day, 3 February 1451 CE, the 7th Ottoman ruler Mehmed the Conqueror ascended the Ottoman throne for the 2nd time at the age of 19. Previously, the 12-year-old Sultan ruled from 1444 to 1446 after his father Murad II had abdicated in favor of his son, retiring to Manisa and leaving him under the tutelage of Çandarlı Halil Pasha.
At the time of his accession to the throne for the 2nd time, Mehmed was now 19-year-old, confirming all his father’s ministers in their posts, including Çandarlı Halil as grand vizier.
Determined to take the city, 21-year-old Sultan Mehmed II besieged Constantinople in 1453. After a 53-day-long siege, the city of Constantinople finally fell to the Ottomans on May 29, 1453.
Known as the Conqueror, Sultan Mehmed II made huge conquests during his second 30-year-long reign. He also conquered the Empire of Trebizond in 1461 and annexed Negroponte in 1470. The first Ottoman-Venetian War (1463–1479) also ended with the victory of the Ottomans under Sultan Mehmed II.
In Anatolia, Mehmed went on to control most of the remaining Muslim dynasties, employing a combination of strategies that included forced annexation and dynastic marriages. These dynasties were themselves largely of Turkoman origins, such as the Isfendiyarid in northern Anatolia, with its valuable Black Sea port of Sinop and its copper mines in the vicinity of Kastamonu.
Karaman, long a thorn in the Ottomans’ side, was neutralized in 1468 and re-annexed in 1474; the eastern Anatolian Turkoman confederacy of the Akkoyunlu (or “White Sheep” Turkomans), led by Uzun Hasan, proved more difficult to subdue, but the confederacy was much diminished by Mehmed’s 1473 victory over Uzun Hasan in the Battle of Tercan (Otluk-beli).
Mehmed II died on May 3, 1481, while encamped with his army on the first stages of a campaign in Anatolia, possibly directed against Rhodes or the Mamluk Empire.
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