|(b. June 1404, Amasya, Ottoman Empire [now in Turkey]--d. Feb. 3, 1451, Edirne), Ottoman sultan (1421-44 and 1446-51) who expanded and consolidated Ottoman rule in the Balkans and pursued a policy of restraint in Anatolia.|
Sultan Amurath the Second was a tall, pale, goodlooking man. He was very fluent and literate and is perhaps best known as the father of Mahomed or Mehmed the Conqueror.
Amurath was fond of living in peace but was capable of dynamic, warlike deeds when occasion demanded it. During his sultanate of 30 years he administered the country with great skill and energy. Everybody knew him as a just, religious and fair-minded Emperor.
His childhood passed in Amassia and he became Sultan at the age of 18. He was a poet and calligrapher but was also a good soldier. He wrote his poems under the pseudonym of "Mouradee". His best known poem runs:
"Let us praise Allah the Onmipotent for all time
For the world and mankind are only mortal."
Early in his reign, Murad had to overcome several claimants to the Ottoman throne who were supported by the Byzantine emperor Manuel II Palaeologus and by many of the Turkmen principalities in Anatolia. By 1425 Murad had eliminated his rivals, including Moustafa the Duzmedje. He had reestablished Ottoman rule over the Turkmen principalities of western Anatolia, and had once again forced Byzantium to pay tribute. Constantinople was besieged in 1422 and in 1423 Morea was recaptured. He then turned his attention to the Balkans. In 1430, after a five-year struggle, he captured Salonika (modern Thessaloníki), in northern Greece, which had been under Venetian control. At first the Ottoman armies were successful against a Hungarian-Serbian-Karaman alliance; but after 1441, when the alliance expanded to include German, Polish, and Albanian forces, the Ottomans lost Nis and Sofia (1443) and were soundly defeated at Jalowaz (1444). After signing a peace treaty at Edirne (June 12, 1444), Murad abdicated in favour of his 12-year-old son, Mehmed II. Venice was defeated at Guverdjinlik and in 1430 Salonica was taken once more. Bosnia came into the Empire in 1438 and a- year later Belgrade was besieged. The Crusaders were defeated at the Battle of Derbendi and the Segadin Agreement concluded with them in 1444. However, they did not keep their promises and when Amurath appointed his young son Mehmed II, they invaded Ottoman territories .
European powers, under the auspices of Pope Eugenius IV, soon broke the truce [with great hopes of victory since Mehmed the Sultan was only 12 years old]. To the surprise of the Crusaders Mehmed appointed his father commander-in-chief of the army and Murad, leading the Ottoman army, inflicted a severe defeat on the Christian forces at Varna in November 1444. Under pressure from court notables and faced with external threats, Murad reassumed control of the state in 1446. In 1448 he defeated the Hungarians at the second Battle of Kosovo (October 17), and in 1451 all prisoners of war were set free
Sultan Amurath Khan died at Edirne when he was 47 years old. He was buried next to the Mouradiye Mosque in Brusa, as he desired. In his will he asked for his grave not to be covered and for seats to be built around it for the reciters of Qur'an to read until the Friday, the day of the funeral ceremony. This was carried out.
During Murad's reign the office of grand vizier (chief minister) came to be dominated by the Çandarli family. The Janissary corps (elite forces) gained in prominence, and the hereditary Turkish frontier rulers in the Balkans often acted independently of the sultan.
A great many mosques, Schools of Theology, palaces and bridges were built during Amurath's reign. The Mosque with three sherefes (a gallery of a minaret from which the call to prayer is made) is one of these. Next to this mosque is a Moslem School of Theology. The Mouradiye Mosque at Edirne was built with superb tiles on the interior walls. The Ouzoun Koepru (Long Bridge) was erected on 170 legs or columns, over the River Ergene, during Amurath's reign.
The great Muslim personalities of Sultan Murad II Khan's reign were - Shaykh Ya`kub Al-Charkhi from the Naqshbandi Tariqa, Shaykh Amir Sultan, Haj Bayram Al-wali, Ibn Hajar Al-`asqalani, and Yaziji Zadeh Muhammad writer of the book "Muhammadiah".
Amurath had six sons whose names were Mehmed the Conqueror, Ahmed, Alauddin, Orkhan, Hassan and Ahmed II. His two daughters were called Shekh-zade and Fatima Hatoun.