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Empire has a fundamental similarity with family. Empires, like families, provide a common identity. The success of the empire is to make people of different religions, castes, and castes accept this identity. The more people accept the identity, the bigger the empire grows. The more easily people accept this identity, the stronger the foundation of the empire.
When Osman Ghazi established his little sultanate at the end of the thirteenth century, it was easy to get along with him. Go to Osman Ghazi, take the oath of allegiance, eat salt at lunch with him, fight shoulder to shoulder with him in battle, and you will become one of the Ottomans.
This common identity was not limited to Muslims. Many Christians, fed up with the rule of the Byzantine tekfurs (landlords), joined this identity. The main credit behind this is Usman Ghazi’s charismatic leadership. He was as good at making wars as he was at making treaties. It didn’t take long for him to make people his friends instantly. Being a fan of Maulana Rumi, he did not take time to mingle with Christians.
It was clear to all that he looked after his own interests as well as the interests of his allies, and there was no need to be fooled by Uthman’s side. Thus under Uthman, many common Byzantine subjects to many Byzantine commanders joined the Ghazid forces. One of them was Kose Mihal. Mihal was a Christian by birth but contact with Usman would change many people from the inside out.
Mihal also changed within a few days, after becoming a Muslim after martyrdom in Kalimay, Mihal’s name was Abdullah Mihal Gazi. The Byzantine emperor was getting frustrated with the rise of the Turks day by day. He attacked himself, to no avail, even called the Mongols, to no avail. Finally he wanted to make peace with Usman. Uthman did not turn down the offer of kinship with the Byzantine family.
His eldest son Orhan married the Byzantine princess Asposha with fanfare. The Byzantine Emperor might have been thinking, let’s go. This time, maybe the Turks were saved from the origin. But the geopolitics of Anatolia had moved to such a state that it was no longer possible to stop this fight. To survive in Asia, the Byzantines needed to control the trade routes from Bursa to Nicaea and Bursa to Nicomedia.
And the survival of the Ottomans depended on the fall of the Byzantines. They knew that, today or tomorrow, the Byzantines would return. A few years after the marriage, Orhan, who was made the son-in-law of the Byzantines to stop the war, besieged Busa. Arvurul Bey was still alive when Orhan was born. Taking his first grandson in his arms, he named him Orhan and Orhan means great leader.
Orhan had not only the blood of the Qayids, but also the blood of the Seljuks. Grandmother Halima Sultan was a daughter of the Seljuk royal family, Orhan’s maternal grandmother was also a daughter of the Seljuk family. Orhan’s grandfather Umar Bey was a minister in the Seljuk government.” As he grew up, the tall, broad-shouldered Orhan became a warrior like his father and grandfather. Orhan had all the traits of his nomadic ancestors. He did not like to stay in one place for long. He was never seen staying in the same fort for more than a month.*
After every Friday prayer, he and his companions organized a huge feast, to which all kinds of people had access. As a young man, Orhan became his father’s expedition companion. As Usman grew older, arthritis overtook him. Gurhan, a young man with a golden beard, took up the leadership of the jihad against the Byzantines as Ghazi. After attacking Bursa, he found that he did not have the equipment needed to capture such a high walled city. Orhan, therefore, proceeded with a different strategy.
He first moved his forces some distance from the city, from where the Ottoman arrows penetrated the city but the Byzantine arrows in the city did not reach his camp. Then he blocked the entrances to the city from all directions one by one. For seven years the Ottomans besieged Bursa, the best Byzantine city in Asia.
Many Bursa residents were forced to flee due to a lack of food. In the early spring of 1326, when the army garrison in the city ran out of food, they were forced to surrender without a fight.” The conquest of Busa was a turning point for the Ottomans. Through this, the Ottomans emerged as a power on par with the Byzantines in Anatolia. Orhan hurried to Yeniseher with the news of the victory of Bursa. He was told that his father was not well.
Arriving at Yeniseher, Orhan gave the good news of victory to his dying father. Usman Ghazi was nearing the end of his life, before his death he felt that something should be passed on to his children. Osman called his two sons Orhan and Alauddin and gave them advice for the last time in his life.
“Dear child, first of all take care of religion.
Religious discipline builds a strong state and society, which cannot be achieved in any other way. In no way shall any incompetent, weak, unbelieving, inconsiderate, and indifferent person be entrusted with religious matters. Similarly, such a person will never be entrusted with any administrative work. State management
Time will rely only on Allah. Remember, he who fears the Lord never fears the creation. So never give any sinner the responsibility of state work. Faithfulness cannot be expected from those who engage in sinful activities.
The greatest achievement of the state is the wise man, the virtuous man, the artist and the educated people. They are the core strength of the state structure. Will handle them with dignity and humility. Whenever you find a virtuous person, bring him to you, bestow honor and wealth and establish good relations with him. Religious and administrative matters will always be observed with discipline.
Learn from my example. I came here as a weak leader. Allah has given me a status that I did not deserve. In any situation, the ideal of Rasulullah (s.a.w.), Deen-e-Muhammad will protect him. And will protect the believers and your followers. Always be aware of the rights of Allah and His servants. Do not forget to give your sons the same advice that I am giving you.
Rule your people with equity and justice. Never treat them unfairly. Be kind to them and protect them from the attacks and cruelty of enemies. Never be rude to anyone. Be grateful to the people, and protect their interests. If they are good, you will be good. Usman Ghazi died.
During his lifetime he could not build a huge empire or a huge army, he had no wealth. Most of what he won through war, he shared with his comrades throughout his life. Many Western historians try to portray Uthman Ghazi as a marauder whose main objective was to plunder the Byzantines.
However, his personal possessions at the time of his death were a pair of boots, an arrow box, a quiver, several bows, a sword, some wooden spoons, a jar of salt, a caftan, a robe, about a dozen horses and three flocks of sheep. Osman Ghazi’s last words were the guiding principles of the Ottoman Sultanate in the following centuries, guiding them to become a empire that spanned three continents.
Orhan’s first act after becoming Sultan was to move the capital from Yeniseh to Bursa. There he reburied Uthman. In just a few years, Orhan built Bursa into a prosperous new city.
Ibn Battuta describes Bursa as a beautiful city with beautiful buildings, beautiful gardens and wide streets. After only two years, Orhan besieged Nicaea (Ingenik), one of the most important cities of the Byzantine Empire in Anatolia. Just like Bursa’s method. This time the Byzantine emperor Andronicus came forward with four thousand warriors. But Orhan surrounded him with double warriors. The Ottomans were the first to face a Byzantine Kaiser in the Pelican Desert.
In the first round of fighting, the arrows of the Turks stuck in the ramparts of the heavily armored Byzantine infantry. Orhan failed to break the well-ordered ranks of the Greeks, despite striking with all his might several times. The Greeks advanced in a mobile wall formation towards Orhan’s main force. A hundred warriors in such shackle-like formations often equaled five hundred.
The second round of fighting began. Ya Allah, Bismillah, Allahu Akbar, Orhan raised a fierce cavalry charge. But the traditional Greek walls of two thousand years did not break. On the other hand, several Ghazis were martyred by the spears of the Greeks.
In this situation, Orhan quickly pretended to retreat with his forces. Seeing their thoughts, the Byzantines fled in fear of the double ghazis. Pursuing the Ghazis, they came to a narrow valley, and here Orhan turned around.
The precision of the famous tumulama (Parthian shot) archery killed countless Greek warriors in the attack of the Turks. The Kaiser was forced to withdraw his forces to a hill. In the evening it was decided that they would escape from here before dawn the next day. But Orhan did not give them that chance. Late at night, the Byzantine camp shook with the sound of ‘Haidir Allah’.
Over a thousand Byzantine soldiers were killed in the fierce attack. The Kaiser himself was injured, and his uncle Katakujin was injured. They were forced to leave behind a lot of wealth and fled to Constantinople. The Battle of Pelican was the farewell bell for the Byzantines in Asia Minor. The Byzantines never returned to Asia. The Battle of Baphius, the conquest of Bursa, and the Battle of Pelikan, these three events signaled the birth of a new regional superpower. A hundred years ago, those who came to Anatolia after losing everything after being chased by the Mongols, in the course of time, became the rulers of Anatolia.