Monday, January 7, 2008


Father : Osman Gazi

Mother : Mal Sultana

Date of Birth : 1281

Date of Death : 1360

Reign : 1326 - 1359

Territories : 95.000 km2

Orhan Gazi was born in 1281. His father was Osman Gazi and his mother was Mal Sultana, the daughter of Omer, who was a respected person in the Kayi Clan. Orhan Gazi was tall, had a blonde beard and blue eyes. He was a benign, forgiving, religious and fair ruler. He admired the theologians. He had strong and patient character. He spent most of his time with his people or by visiting them. He had won the admire of his people in a short time.

Orhan Gazi became the leader of Kayi Clan after the death of Osman Gazi, in 1326. He had married to Teodora, the daughter of the Byzantine Emperor Yoannis Kontakuzinas XI, in 1346. His second wife was Holofira the daughter of the Byzantine Prince of Yarhisar. Holofira eloped with Orhan by leaving her marriage ceremony with the Prince of Bilecik. After she was married to Orhan Gazi she was converted to Islam and her name was changed as Nilufer Hatun. She gave birth to Murad, who had been the third sultan of the Ottomans.

His sons : SuleymanPasha, Murad, Ibrahim, Halil, Kasim.
His daughters : Fatma Hatun.



Orhan Gazi was a very brilliant soldier. His most important achievement was the invasion of Bursa on 6th April 1326. Orhan Gazi appointed Alaeddin Ali Bey as vizier whom captured the Province of Orhaneli, came to Bursa and besieged the city. Bursa was taken under control without an important skirmish. Afterwards, the centre of the state was transfered to Bursa from Bilecik.

On the other hand the famous commanders like Akcakoca, Karamursel and Abdurrahman Gazi took the castles of Kandra, Aydos, and Semendre. Thus, the territories of the Ottoman state were extended through Bosphorus and the Black Sea. Orhan Gazi spent his life in battle fields and won many victories, he organised a new troop called �Yaya�(infantry), in 1328.

The Ottomans captured the castles in Kocaeli Peninsula and came to the Bosphorus. Byzantine Emperor Andronikos III organised an army to take back the castles and to protect Iznik that was under siege. Orhan Gazi left some of his forces in Iznik and advanced through the Byzantine Army. Two armies came across in Palekonon (Maltepe) the region that named this battle. The Ottoman Army had defeated the Byzantine army (1329).

After this important victory Orhan Gazi returned to Iznik to continue to blocade the city. The commander of Iznik had lost his hope from the Byzantine Empire and claimed that he would have conditionally surrendered. Orhan Gazi had accepted the Commander�s conditions and commanded his soldiers to be kind to the people of Iznik. Thus, one of the most important cities of the Christian World was annexed to the Turkish sovereignty (1330).

Orhan Gazi continued his campaigns and he invaded Tarakli in 1331, Goynuk, Mudurnu, and Gemlik in 1333. Orhan Gazi conquered the important trading centre Izmit and its province (Koyunhisar, Hereke, Yalova, Armutlu ) in 1337. He gave the administration of the region to his son Suleyman Pasha.

In 1342 the castles of Kirmasti, Mihalic and Ulubat (Balıkesir province) were conquered. With these conquests, the Ottomans had been neighbours with the Principality of Karesiogulları. Orhan Gazi conquered the Karesiogulları by benefiting from their throne struggles (1345). Famous commanders as Haci Ilbey and Evrenus Gazi from Karesiogulları joined the Ottoman Army moreover the navy of the principality was captured as well. The Marmara Islands, Uskudar and Kadikoy (Istanbul province) were conquered (1352). In 1354, the principality of Gerede was invaded and Ankara was conquered for the first time.



Orhan Gazi inherited 16.000 km2 land and he left his son Murad I 95.000 km2 land. Orhan Gazi was conscious about the necessity of an administrative system and he appointed Candar Kara Halil Pasha and Alaeddin Pasha to regulate the administrative laws. Orhan Gazi put emphasis on three main points in the state administration; first money, second army and the third clothing. He appointed kadis (Muslim judges) for justice, and Subasıs (police superintendents) for military issues for the lands he conquered. The first Ottoman coin was minted in 1326.



Orhan Gazi put emphasis on landscape and city planning. Following the conquest of Iznik, the Ayasofia Church in Iznik was converted to a mosque in 1331. In 1333 the first Ottoman mosque, Haci Ozbek was built. The other monuments built in Orhan Gazi's period are, Iznik Ha Hamza Mosque and Dome, Iznik Green Mosque, Bilecik Orhan Mosque, Bilecik Orhan Gazi Imaret (Hospice), Gebze Orhan Mosque, Bursa Orhan Mosque, Iznik Sultan Imaret (Hospice). Beside these, he established a school, in Bursa.

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