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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

How did Dundar Bey die?

     One of the most debated topics of early Ottoman History: Dundar Bey's death. Many great historians believe that Dundar Bey was not killed by his nephew, Osman I, while other notable sources claim he was. Some say he was killed by Osman's bow, while others argue he died of a natural cause. As a result, a question is frequently asked: how did Dundar Bey die in actual history?

    In order to come to a conclusion as to how Dundar died, we must look at his situation & the circumstances surrounding him. Dundar was among the 300 families to accompany Ertugrul Ghazi to the Byzantine border, despite the fact that roughly 1,000 families remained with Gundogdu & Sungurtekin. Though he had made several errors & mistakes, Dundar had remained loyal to his brother, Ertugrul Ghazi, and only dreamt of serving his nation. However, after the death of Ertugrul Ghazi, Dundar found a sense of ambition. He had been with Ertugrul Ghazi, ever since the beginning, yet, he was not deemed a worthy leader by his folk & people. An so instead, the young valiant son of Ertugrul Ghazi, Osman Ghazi, would be elected as the chief of the tribe. 

    The fact that Osman Ghazi was elected as bey of the tribe instead him, made Dundar Bey very irritated.  To make things worse, Dundar had very a different ideology than that of Osman & would express a great amount of resentment in the decisions made by him. In fact, when Osman had decided on conquering a nearby Greek island, Dundar Bey strongly disagreed. He argued that it would only increase their enemies & weaken their power. It is now that we get to the discussion of the treachery & death of Dundar Bey. 

     Some have argued that Osman had his uncle Dundar killed simply because of his displeasure in Dundar Bey's resentment in his decision. And that Dundar Bey had committed no actual treason, & had not cooperated with Osman's enemies. Furthermore, they even go so far as stating that the uncertainty regarding Dundar's death is due to Ottoman sources trying to hide the fact, that Osman killed his own uncle, and without proper reason. Though, this could not possibly be true, as during the establishment of the Ottoman Empire, Osman Ghazi took all measures to create a strong foundation to his state. Osman had set up courts with Qadis, who were qualified Islamic judges. If he were to kill Dundar Bey, he would have to present the court with a reasonable cause and evidence, such as treachery to the state. Not to mention, the early era of the Ottoman Empire is known as a black hole in history, and so, it is not only Dundar's death, that remains a mystery.

    After disagreeing with Osman, Dundar had enough of his quarreling with him. Dundar wished to have himself the leader of the tribe. This is when historians argue whether Dundar actually planned an assassination attempt with Osman's enemies, or only stayed silent, when he had known about it. Though, it would have been almost impossible for Dundar Bey to know about the trap without communicating with Osman's enemies. Anyhow, Osman would survive the trap & come to know about the treachery of his uncle Dundar. Sources disagree on whether Osman actually killed his uncle, or let him live. It is possible that Dundar was not executed by Osman, and instead, died a natural death. The fact that Dundar had reached such an old age at the time of his death, only makes it more believable that he could have very well died from a natural cause. 

    After Osman learned about his uncle's betrayal, he knew it was the last straw. Historians differ on exactly how Dundar Bey was executed. Some sources say that the royal blood was not spilled, and Osman strangled him with a bow. Other sources say that Osman had shot him with an arrow. Though, historians have even argued that Osman struck his uncle, Dundar, with his sword, giving him a fatal blow. 

    Although we do admit, that there are just too many different opinions on the death of Dundar Bey, we do know one thing for sure: Dundar Bey was the first traitor of the Ottoman Empire. "Was Dundar killed by Osman? Why was he killed by Osman? How was he killed by Osman?" Comment down in the comments section below. Which perspective do you take, which is your story of Dundar Bey? 



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