Mehmed II strengthened empire by centralizing power, expanding the role of the Sultan and redelegating key roles to his high-ranking officials. He made land and wealth more available to the slave class. This gave him a solid foundation for his rule and kept the power of the nobles in check. He did this by encouraging religious diversity and reducing dissent.
promoting religious diversity
In 1481, the Ottoman sultan Mehmed ii died and his eldest son, Bayezid, was nominated as his successor. A revolt swept through the Shi’a Muslim communities of the Ottoman Empire in favour of Bayezid’s brother Jem, but the janissaries suppressed the rebellion and played an important role in Ottoman politics. Sultan Selim, Mehmed, who was also Ottoman ruler over Anatolia, and beyond the Euphrates, continued to expand Ottoman control while establishing the Ottoman Empire around the world and encouraging religious diversity.
By promoting religious diversity, Ottoman sultan Mehmed ii helped strengthen the empire and end Byzantine rule. He converted Constantinople to Istanbul and encouraged other religions to worship. He made his empire more inclusive and religious diversity a key part of his success. Mehmed II is still a great conqueror and is highly regarded worldwide.
Mehmed II’s efforts in promoting religious diversity extended to his court. He invited Muslim artists and scientists to his court, and he even set up a university in Constantinople. Mehmed’s efforts led to a high level in mathematics, astronomy and theology among Ottomans. Mehmed II, who was a Greek Philhellene, also spared the Parthenon and other Athenian monuments. He even became a poet under the name “Avni” and left a vast collection of classical diwan poems.
The Europeans remained a threat to the Ottoman Empire, even though it grew from a disorganized collection of states to a modern, effective regime. The Europeans reacted by creating Christian nationalist movements and new states. The Ottomans recognized all religions and cultures as equal, but Christians continued to attack the empire. This clash lasted for about 50 years before the Ottomans ended their empire and secularized the entire region.
The Ottomans made efforts to encourage a diversity of religions among Muslims. Christians were vital in naval affairs, building the Ottoman Arsenal. Some of these men were slaves who converted to Christianity and started families together with local women. The Ottoman Empire became more open and prosperous. As the Ottoman Empire grew, religious pluralism became more important than ever.
Eliminating dissenting factions
As the Ottoman Empire expanded into Europe, Mehmed sought to counteract the threat of the White Sheep Turks. Mehmed used financial expedients to achieve this. He withdrew all older coins from circulation, issued new ones with larger base metal alloys, and sent armed bands throughout the empire to enforce the new issues. These armed bands took valuable coins without any compensation, leading to the debasement. Inflation was the result, and greatly disrupted trade and industry.
During Mehmed’s reign, rivals took advantage of his newfound power. The Despots of Morea, who were based in Southern Greece, began incursions into Ottoman territory. This caused a crisis among high-ranking Ottoman officials. Finally, Mehmed’s grand vizier, Halil Candarli convinced Murad that he would return to the throne.
Mehmed also suppressed Janissaries. Additionally, Jewish doctors worked at the court of the sultan. Among the most notable was Jacob Pasha, who served as the sultan’s physician during the Ottoman period. He was allowed tax exemptions for life and, despite his age converted to Islam. He was also named vizier shortly before his death in 1480s. Portuguese physicians also worked at the sultan’s court.
In the middle of the fifteenth century, the Ottoman Empire was a multinational, dynastic state governed by a sultan. The territory was indivisible and comprised of lands inherited from the sultan and conquests. All male heirs were entitled to inherit during this period. However, there was no law governing succession, and whichever sultan’s sons defeated his brothers would inherit the throne. Later, the succession was usually based on seniority, and seniority became the norm.
After Mehmed had conquered Constantinople he turned his attention towards Wallachia. There, he met the ruthless prince Vlad III. Vlad was well known for his brutal methods of execution, and massacred entire populations. As a result, Vlad received the nickname Vlad the Impaler. Ultimately, the Hungarians captured Vlad and put him in prison. He died on 3 May 1481 CE.
Purging dissenting factions
The Ottomans were trying to consolidate their empire, and were looking for a new ruler. The Ottomans attacked Belgrade and the Hunyadi (a Serbian prince) was incited by his talk about conquest of Jerusalem to rebel. Mehmed II was appalled by the intrigues, but his withdrawal from the province prompted the Hunyadi to attack. The Ottomans then proceeded to capture the Wallachian capital Targoviste and purge 6,000 Turks in the area. The Ottomans won the battle and defeated Vlad, the Impaler on 15 August 1461.
White Sheep Turkmen, who were in control of the East under Uzun Hasan and had close ties to Christian powers, shaped Mehmed’s East policy. Mehmed tried to legitimize his rule in the east by appointing religious leaders that shared his interests. Mehmed’s appointment of the Patriarch of Constantinople Gennadious Scolarious, as well as the Grand Vezir, weakened the power of the grand vizier. To balance the influence of nobles, Mehmed also redistributed wealth and land to the slaves.
Mehmed II personally led operations against the breach in the city wall. He had Candarli arrested and executed in Edirne, but was later replaced by Zaganos, Mehmed’s father-in-law. The sacking of the city of Istanbul was a complicated affair, and Mehmed II had to give his consent before the attack. The three-day siege was subsequently countermanded, and Mehmed entered the Hagia Sophia to convert it into a mosque.
Mehmed II’s reign was filled with conflict. Mehmed was only 12 years old when Mehmed’s father died. Mehmed II was able to consolidate the Ottoman dominance in Anatolia and the Balkans. The Conqueror’s conquest of Constantinople, which he did in 1444 CE, ended the Byzantine Empire and ushered in an era of Ottoman dominance in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Mehmed II made several incursions into Serbia, which proved to be a disaster. In 1455 CE, the Turks failed to take Belgrade. However, Mehmed II’s last attempt to subjugate Serbia was successful. Ottoman forces took Smederevo in 1459CE. The Despotate Serbia was dissolved and the rulers exiled. The Ottomans consolidated their grip on the frontier near the Hungarians.
One of the key changes Mehmed made to the Ottoman state was reallocating land. By devolving land ownership and other responsibilities to Grand Viziers, Mehmed strengthened the empire. He also moved to a more isolated position, which allowed him to complete his conquests while still maintaining a strong position. This reallocation was crucial to the success of the Ottomans, as he had no other choice but to rule.
Mehmed expanded his empire after the conquest and consolidated the Ottoman State. He also cultivated a cultural diversity by allowing churches and mosques next to mosques. This allowed all citizens to worship according to their faith, allowing Christianity to easily come under Ottoman rule. His efforts paid off and he expanded his empire, eventually ending the Byzantine Empire.
Mehmed expanded his Ottoman dominions in Europe and Asia, and eliminated vassal princes who were fighting to be legitimate. Mehmed extended his empire to the Euphrates and expanded Ottoman control in Anatolia. During this time, the papacy and Venice were unable to raise a new Crusade in Europe. Meanwhile, the Venetians and Byzantines were intensifying their attacks in Morea and the Balkans. In the meantime, Hungary invaded Serbia while Skanderbeg attacked Bosnia-Herzegovina. Each of these enemies were defeated by Mehmed.
Mehmed II – the Conqueror – was the seventh Ottoman sultan and the first to annex Constantinople. Mehmed’s conquest marked a new chapter in Ottoman history. He consolidated the Ottoman empire’s position as the most powerful ruler in the Muslim world. His legacy lives on today.
Mehmed II reallocated land to expand his palace and create a more civilized society. By creating a central city, Mehmed put the loci of power in the public sphere, where everyone was able to reach the Sultan. This may have been done to foster a sense of Ottoman locality. This reallocation helped Mehmed ii’s empire grow in power.