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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

Sulayman Shah or Gunduz Alp: Who was the Father of Ertugrul Ghazi?

    Sulayman Shah: the name that is famous all throughout the world, known to have been the name of the father of Ertugrul. Meanwhile, the name Gunduz Alp is known to have been the name of Ertugrul's eldest son. Though, in reality, there is a lot more to these two names than that which most people know of. 


    According to the Ottoman legend, which was made hundreds of years after the establishment of the empire, Sulayman Shah, the son of Kaya Alp, was the father of Ertugrul. But in reality, most historians (Ahmedi, Karani Mehmed Pasha, Enveri, and Ruhi, who are among the sources of the early Ottoman period) agree that it was actually Gunduz Alp, the son of Gok Alp, who was the father of Ertugrul. The reason being, in the coins minted by Osman during his reign were found "Osman bin Ertugrul bin Gunduz Alp." This alone is an evidence too great to dismiss. On top of that, it was a common tradition to name one's son after their father. Thus, it makes perfect sense that Ertugrul would name his eldest son Gunduz as well. 

    Now that we can agree that Gunduz Alp was the father of Ertugrul, there remains the great question: "who on Earth was Sulayman Shah?" The answer to that is a little more complicated. The historian Erhan Afyoncu states that in a work titled "Oguzname," which was written during the 15th century at the command of Sultan Murad II, by Yazici Zade Ali, the grandfather of Osman Ghazi was named Gunduz Alp. But a "Suleyman Alp" among the great grandfathers of Osman Ghazi was also listed. Thus, it is possible that Suleyman Shah may have well been an ancestor of Osman.

    On the other hand, there is considerable evidence that the Sulayman Shah in the tomb many believe to have been the tomb of Ertugrul's father is actually the tomb of a Seljuk Turkmen. Presumably, the fact this his title is "Shah," a persianized Seljuk title, is evidence of his nearness to the Seljuk Turks. 

    According to some historians, Sulayman Shah, after drawing in the Euphrates River, was replaced by his wife Hayme Ana, and upon the Seljuk Sultan Ala'eddin's suggestion, they settled in Karacadag, then Domanic and then Sogut. But according to other historians, the person that actually drowned was Kilic Arslan I, the son of Suleyman Bin Qutlamish, the Seljuk ruler of Anatolia. Kilic Arslan died after battle due to falling off his horse and drowning  because of his heavy armor. Moreover, even if the drowned person was not Sulayman Shah, it is still not possible in chronological timing for him to be the father of Ertugrul, as there would be a near exact 100 years difference between him and Ertugrul Ghazi, who is believed to have been born in 1181. This situation does not make a father-son relationship possible. 

    Historians Necib Asim and Mehmed Arif give Suleyman Shah's date of death, who is mentioned as Kaya Alp's son in Ottoman history as 1228. This aligns with historical chronology and brings to light the possibility of another Suleyman Shah, who died in the early 13th century. Therefore, the belief that Suleyman Shah is Ertugrul's father may be related to another Suleyman Shah. It cannot be said that there is no historical background and character regarding him. As in his book, the historian Afyoncu states that it has not been determined exactly which Sulayman Shah lies in the tomb, but there is a very strong possibility that he is one of the ancestors of Osman Ghazi.



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