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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 Saltuk Alp?

     During the early era of the Ottoman Empire, there were a few heroic warriors who contributed significantly to the establishment of the state. These heroes were the closest confidants of Ertugrul and Osman Ghazi, and would later serve as the great military commanders, local governors, and administrators of the Ottoman Beylic. And even later on, their sons and grandsons would reach preeminence in the Ottoman administration and army.  Among these early Ottoman Ghazis was a warrior named Saltuk Alp. 

Saltuk Alp

    Saltuk Alp was one of Ertugrul Ghazi's greatest comrades. It is known that Osman Ghazi especially trusted him during his reign. In fact, in Asikpasaoglu's works, he writes that Osman Ghazi sent Saltuk Alp as a companion in Orhan ghazi's first expeditions. 

   When Osman went on an expedition to the Sakarya Valley, he assigned Kose Mihal and Saltuk Alp to assist his son Orhan Ghazi in ensuring the security of the region. The Cavdarlu Tatars, who really wanted to take advantage of the opportunity, came and plundered the Karacahisar Market. Meanwhile, Orhan Ghazi, who was in Eskisehir, came and quickly caught the looters in a place called Playashisari. Together with Mihal Ghazi and Saltuk Alp, they dispersed the bandits in a short amount of time. They returned to Karacahisar, having captured many of the looters, including their chief. 

    It s notable to say that Saltuk Alp was with Osman during the Conquest of Bursa, and even in his last breathes. However, he was no longer found in sources after this. His grave could be found among the other graves of the early Ottoman heroes in Sogut, Turkey. I have personally visited it. However, it is likely that it is an honorary grave and not his actual resting place.




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