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Who was Köse Mihal? | The Real History of Mikhael Kosses | The First Byzantine to join the Ottomans

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    During the early era of the Ottoman Empire, there were many Byzantine lords and commanders that joined the ranks of the Ottomans, even converting to Islam. The first (significant one) among them being  Köse Mihal, also known as Mikhael Kosses. In this video we will go over his life, achievements, exploits, and the legacy he left behind.           Mikhael Kosses, an ethnic Greek, is believed to have been from the famous Palaiologos Dynasty, which ruled the Byzantine Empire from the years 1259 until its downfall in 1453CE, the longest a dynasty ever ruled the empire. Köse Mihal was the Byzantine governor of the Harmankaya Castle. The Harmankaya Castle was in the Uludag mountains in the foothills of Bilecik, Turkey. After taking part in a battle against Osman Ghazi, alongside the Byzantine governor of Eskisehir, he was captured and taken prisoner. However, he was forgiven by Osman for his valor and heroism.       In the following years, a trap would be set up for Osman by the neighbor

The Real History of Savci Bey

      Known for being the most mysterious of Ertugrul Ghazi's sons, who was Savci Bey? Savci Bey was the grandson of Sulyaman Shah, second son of Ertugrul Ghazi, & older brother of Osman Ghazi; the founder of the Ottoman Empire. During his lifetime, Savci was said to have been the most noteworthy advisor of Osman, playing a crucial role in the establishment of the Ottoman State. His life & legacy truly put him among the Ottoman Empire's most fascinating, early statesmen. And so, after seeing his name among the graceful children of Ertugrul Ghazi, many could not help but ask: "what do we know about the life of Savci Bey?"

Savci Bey

    Raised in the very household of Ertugrul Ghazi, Savci Bey was destined to come to greatness. From a young age, Savci was interested in the arts of science & knowledge. And so, he would grow up staying firm on the belief that great states were built through knowledge & reasoning, as oppose to swords & battles. Savci was a very commendable thinker & advisor with great intellect. So much so, that his father, Ertugrul, would appoint him as the diplomat & administrator of the Kayi Tribe. Savci Bey would continue this role even during the reign of his brother, Osman Ghazi.  

Savci becomes the Administrator of the Tribe

    Later on, Savci Bey would marry Avna Hatun, a very generous & kind hearted woman who was known for her loving personality. In fact, as a result of her extreme love & compassion towards children, Avna Hatun would even be nicknamed "Ana Sultan," meaning mother Sultan. Also, because of her kind personality, she was nicknamed "Kutlu Melik," which literally meant blessed angel. Such were the virtues of the spouse of Savci Bey, Avna Sultan. With her, Savci would have two warrior-like sons, whom would carry on the noble legacy of their forefathers. 

Savci's warrior son, Bayhoca

    Beyhoca: the young, fierce warrior who had no greater dream than accompanying his uncle Osman in battle, had a heart full of courage & valor. He was the eldest & most valiant son of Savci Bey. After him was Suleyman Bey, who would live a longer life, staying loyal to his uncle Osman & fighting for the well-being of their new state. Though, Savci Bey's family was astoundingly courageous, as they would not die peacefully, in the comfort of their deathbeds. Savci's spouse, Avna Sultan, would die battling courageously against the enemies; becoming one of the Ottoman Empires' very first martyrs, in the earliest of battles fought in Ottoman history. Furthermore, their son, Bayhoca, too, would be martyred at an extremely young age, fighting fearlessly in Inegol, during the Battle of Mount Armenia, in the year 1284 BC. In spite of having no interest in wars, martyrdom was Savci Bey's pre-destined fortune, too. He would be martyred in the first ever real Ottoman War: the fierce Battle of Ekizce, in 1287 CE, during the attack of the Byzantine Commander, Kalanoz. And so in the end, Savci Bey, too, would join both his wife, & his son in the utmost honorable triumph of martyrdom. 

    To this very day, Savci Bey's legacy has been greatly esteemed & glorified. Not only have countless poems have been written in honor of him; but also, more than 700 years after his martyrdom, during August, an annual celebration is held in memory of him at Karakoy, Istanbul. Today, he is buried at the village of Ekizce, in Domanice. Though, an honorary grave is at Sogut, along with all the other famous early Ottoman heroes. Not a day goes by in Turkey without his legacy being acknowledged.

Savci Bey's Grave in Ekizce

    The early era of Ottoman History is quiet disputed by historians; so much so, that it is considered a "black hole" in history. One of the topics that lacks authentication is Savci Bey's name. The reason being, some historians claim that Ertugrul Ghazi had four sons, while others say he had but three. The opinion that is deemed more accurate by historians is the latter. However, in the graveyard of Ertugrul Ghazi, there are two graves resembling the same son of Ertugrul Ghazi: Saru Batu | Savci Bey. Some claim that the name "Savci" was but a title that meant administrator, and Saru Batu was his actual name. Other sources have stated that they were two separate sons of Ertugrul Ghazi... Though, in Ottoman Tradition, there is no such reference to this at all, creating a near unsolvable mystery. Anyhow, what we do know about Savci Bey is that he was a valiant hero who died fighting for the salvation of his people, the creation of a great state: the Ottoman Empire.


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  1. I have just watched Etrugal Resurrection. The movie/ series very well done. Realistic, captivating n informative.I have gone on to read the historical information from different real characters in history. The actors in this movie are A1, that Etrugal really owned his role. I also have a different appreciation of Muslims, I realize this is fictional, but based on historical facts. Thank you hoyt002@comcast.net

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