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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

Who was Bamsi Beyrek?

    The fierce & aggressive, double sworded warrior; famous & legendary Oghuz nobleman; hilarious & kind hearted, handsome & generous by nature: Bamsi Beyrek. Bamsi was a legendary hero, who's life was documented in "The Book of Dede Korkut", which is believed to have been over thousands of years old. Bamsi was said to have been the best friend of the main character in the book, Salur Kazan. However, what do we know about the life of the Oghuz legend, Bamsi Beyrek?



    Many thousands of years ago,  there was a grand gathering of all Oghuz Princes in the presence of Bayindir Khan (the Aq Qayunlu Sultan). Upon seeing that every other nobleman had a son beside him, one of the princes, Bay Bure, started to weep. One of the noblemen, Salur Kazan (who happened to be the son in law of Bayindir Khan) asked him, "why do you weep"? Bay Bure replied, telling them he did not have a son or brother to carry on his family. And so, all the Oghuz princes prayed that he would get a son. And luckily for Bay Bure, their prayers were accepted, and he soon got the children he wished to have. One of his children's names would be Bamsi. However, Bay Bure was overjoyed to have his wish come true, and so he summoned his merchants and ordered them to go on a journey to the lands of Rum, and bring back fine gifts before his son would reach the age of maturity. 

    Sixteen years later, Bamsi, the son of Bay Bure, who had become a gallant, young man, went out hunting. Whilst he was resting after the hunt, merchants came running to him. They explained that they had been away from the lands of the Oghuz for 16 years, and that they had returned with various goods from Rum. Though, just as they were about to enter Oghuz territory, they exclaimed: "we were ambushed & plundered by 500 infidels from Avnik Castle. Our brothers have been taken as prisoners, and our goods have all been stolen. Afflicted with this misfortune, we come to you for help." And so Bamsi, who had but 40 warriors with him, stood up and got ready for battle. 



    Whilst the enemies were busy dividing their spoils, Bamsi and his men pounced upon them, striking fear in the hearts of the enemies. And so, Bamsi and his 40 men had astonishingly defeated the army and saved the goods. The merchants were so pleased with the young prince, that they offered him to take whichever good he liked. Of all the fabulous luxuries they had brought; only the horse, bow, and arrows attracted Bamsi's attention. However, he noticed that the merchants showed discomfort in his wish. And so  he told them, "Oh merchants, did I ask too much?" The men replied, "It is not that. Our prince has a son, and we must take those 3 articles to him as gifts." Bamsi then asked, "who is the son of your prince?" The merchants replied, "he is Bamsi, the son of Bay Bure." And so the young prince told himself, "I'de rather have my father give such things to me, than beg them from these men." Bamsi then whipped his horse and rode back to his father's camp. 

        
    The father of Bamsi, Bay Bure rejoiced upon hearing of the merchants' return. And so, as the merchants entered his tent, they immediately kissed the hands of Bamsi, who happened to be sitting next to his father. Bay Pure shouted at them, "Do you kiss the son's hand first, while the father is beside him!" Stunned, the merchants replied, "My prince, do not be offended that we kissed his hand first. For had it not been for him, our goods would have went to Georgia and all of us would have been captives." Astonished by the feats accomplished by Bamsi, Bay Bure invited all the powerful Oghuz Princes as his guests, and it was then & there, that Dede Korkut himself would give him his full name: Bamsi Beyrek. 

    Soon after, Bamsi Beyrek would be engaged to the daughter of Bay Bichen, Banu Chichek. However, not long after, him and his 40 warriors would be ambushed and taken prisoners by the lord of Bayburt Castle and his 700 men. And so for 16 years, Bamsi would remain in a prison cell of the castle. However, he would eventually escape with the help of the daughter of the lord of the castle, who had fallen in love him. He would return to his people, and marry his betrothed, Banu Chichek.

    Many years later, a civil war broke out between the inner and outer Oghuz Tribes. Though Bamsi was from Inner Oghuz, his wife, Banu Chichek, was from the Outer Oghuz. However, Bamsi remained loyal to the ruler of the Oghuz Turks, Salur Kazan, who also happened to be a dear friend of his. Seeing that Bamsi refused to rebel against the ruler, Kazan, the chief of the Outer Oghuz rebels, Uruz Kuja, treacherously killed Beyrek, marking the end of the Oghuz legend, Bamsi Beyrek. His fame spread all throughout the world, and his legends were told for centuries. His grave is in the village of Erenli, in Bayburt, Turkey. He likely will never be forgotten.


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