|byname YILDIRIM (The Thunderbolt) (b. c. 1360--d. March 1403, Aksehir, Ottoman Empire), Ottoman sultan in 1389-1402 who founded the first centralized Ottoman state based on traditional Turkish and Muslim institutions and who stressed the need to extend Ottoman dominion in Anatolia.|
Bayezid's father was Amurath the First, his mother Gulchuchek Khatoun. He was born in 1360 and died on March 8th, 1403. He ruled over the Empire for 13 years, from 1389 until 1403.
Bayezid's appearance was round faced, pale with light brown hair, grayish-blue eyes, a thick beard and broad shoulders. He was given the surname Yilderim (lightning) because of his bravery and success on the battlefield. When he was only fourteen he was ruling the Ottoman Empire in the absence of his father who was fighting a war in Serbia.
During his sultanate a great army of Crusaders was gathered together to rout the Turks, reconquer Byzantium end seize Jerusalem. They were besieging Nighbolou fortress near the Danube and Bayezid arrived to lift the siege. One night he battled, alone, through the enemy troops and reached the castle walls. Leaning casually against the wall he shouted up at the ramparts. Hearing his voice Doghan Bey, the Commander of the Castle, hurriedly asked what was the matter. "I have come with my army to relieve you," Bayezid replied. "Do not surrender!" He then sped back to his headquarters and continued the fight.
In the early years of Bayezid's reign, Ottoman forces conducted campaigns that succeeded in controlling vast Balkan territories. Later, Venetian advances in Greece, Albania, and Byzantium and the extension of Hungarian influence in Walachia and Danubian Bulgaria compelled Bayezid to blockade Constantinople (1391-98), to occupy Tirnova, in what is now Bulgaria (July 1393), and to conquer Salonika (April 1394). His invasion of Hungary in 1395 resulted in a Hungarian-Venetian crusade against the Ottomans. Bayezid inflicted a crushing defeat on the crusaders at Nicopolis (Sept. 25, 1396).
When he was first made Sultan he easily subdued rebellions in Anatolia, conquered the territories of Germian, Aydm, Menteshe and Saroukhan and in 1391 gained Shile from the Byzantine Emperor. He besieged Constantinople for seven months and crossed the Danube, and subjected Romania to the Ottoman Empire.
In 1396 the Frankish Crusaders were, once more, put to flight at Nighbolou and thousands of prisoners taken. In 1397 the Bishop of Salona invited him to save his people from tyranny and so he captured Silivri, Morea and Attica from the Byzantines. This was how the Turks came to conquer Greece. The Principality of Caramania was conquered in 1397 and Constantinople besieged once more. A third siege of Constantinople began in 1400 and in 1402.
To build a strong Islamic and Turkish base for his domain, Bayezid began to widen Ottoman suzerainty over the Turkish-Muslim rulers in Anatolia. He annexed various Turkmen emirates in Anatolia and defeated the Karaman emirate at Akçay (1397). These conquests brought Bayezid into conflict with the Central Asian conqueror Timur (Tamerlane), who claimed suzerainty over the Anatolian Turkmen rulers and offered refuge to those expelled by Bayezid. Without the permission of the Mufti on a point of Islamic law, he waged war on Tamerlane or Timour but was totally defeated at the Battle of Angora in Çubukovasi near Ankara (July 1402).
Sultan Bayezid was taken prisoner but died of grief after seven months imprisonment. He was just 43 years old. His corpse was brought to Bursa and interred in his mausoleum.
One of his most important triumphs was the Battle of Nighbolou, when, alone against the Christian European countries the Turks had emerged victorious. The whole of Europe, as far north as the Atlantic, had to recognise a new Moslem Turkish Empire in Asia Minor. Central Europe was opened up for Ottoman attacks. The Byzantines abandoned assaults on Europe, concentrating on defence instead.
Also as a consequence of the victory, Eastern Moslem countries learned of the existence of the Ottoman Empire and of its superiority.
Some of the eminent people of the reign were Hadje Bahaoud-din Attar, Kemal-ud-din Hodjendee (the writer of Commentary of Purposes) and Cadi Ibn-ee Khaldoun.
Bayezid had six sons, called Mousa Chelebi, Solyman Chelebi, Isa Chelebi, Mehemed Chelebi, Ertoughroul Chelebi, Kasim Chelebi. His one daughter was Sultana Fatima.