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

    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 Akcakoca?

    Akcakoca: the fierce warrior that conquered various lands during the early era of the Ottoman Empire. He was a beloved companion of Ertugrul, Osman, and even Orhan. However, what did he do to contribute so much to the establishment of the Ottoman Empire and why do we still remember his name?

    The name Akca, which is pure Turkish, bears traces of the Kayi tradition. Akcakoca is believed to have been the chief of a Turkmen tribe that had settled near the Byzantine border during the Anatolian Seljuk's period. He later became one of Ertugrul and Osman's closest comrade. He was also an early Ottoman Akinci Bey, meaning he was the head of the mobile, Ottoman advance guard that would raid the frontiers. From the year 1300-1310, Akcakoca made conquests in the coastal region stretching from Karasu to the shore of the Black Sea. Meanwhile, Orhan Bey, who was then a young prince, was gaining experience alongside him. In 1320, he was commissioned by Osman Ghazi to raid the Sakarya and Izmit regions with famous notables such as Konur Alp, Abdurrahman Ghazi, and Lose Mihal under the command of Orhan Ghazi. He conquered castles in those regions and raided Izmit by making a fortress on the west side of Sapanca Lake his headquarters. In 1326, he captured Kandira and its surroundings. He also helped take Aydos Castle and Samandira fortress in the north with Konur Alp and Abdurrahman Ghazi. The Samandara region was then given to him as property. From then on, he would be remembered as "the Conqueror of Kandira" in history. In 1328, Akcakoca Bay passed away at the age of 94 while going on an expedition to Izmit. he was buried in the place where his tent was, in accordance with the Turkish customs. 

    When Akcakoca Bey passed away, a messenger was sent to Orhan Ghazi to deliver the news. The messenger and Orhan then spoke: "From our Akcakoca to you, my sultan!" "What do you say?" "Even if my feet were broken I would have not brought this message to you my sultan, but there is a will I carry." "What will?" "A will of Akcakoca." "Say it loudly." "We could not conquer Izmit, May Allah Almighty grant it to our Bey Orhan Ghazi. If he takes this castle, our rights will be halal for him." "He said this and surrendered his soul, my sultan. 

    Orhan Ghazi then immediately began preparations for the expedition and besieged the city in 1331. Though the Byzantine Emperor came to the castle's aid and made a deal with Orhan Ghazi, after which he lifted the siege. However, six years later, Orhan Ghazi besieged Izmit again and this time he fulfilled Akcakoca's will, conquering the castle. 

    All Turkish successes between Izmit and Uskudar were achieved thanks to the activities of Akcakoca and Abdurrahman Ghazi. In honor of Akcakoca, the province of Izmit was named Kocaeli. And during the period of the republic, Akca city was named after Akcakoca.

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