Bayezid II: Son Of Mehmed II

Introduction

This article is meant to briefly introduce you to the life of Sultan Bayezid II. We will cover Sultan Bayezid’s early life, his reign as sultan, the Spanish Inquisition, his death, and coinage.

Bayezid II’s Early Life

Sultan Bayezid II was born on December 3, 1447 CE, in Demotika, Turkey. He was the eldest son of Sultan Mehmed II and Gulbahar Hatun. During his childhood, Bayezid received a comprehensive education in various fields, such as Islamic sciences, poetry, calligraphy, and history. He also showed interest in Islamic mysticism and followed Sufi beliefs. His early life was defined by his father’s conquests and the establishment of the Ottoman Empire as a dominant force in the region.

Bayezid II became Sultan following the death of his father, Mehmed II, in 1481 CE. Bayezid was alerted about his father’s death before his older brother Cem and ascended to the throne 19 days after his father’s death, which led to him and his elder brother Cem fighting in a civil war. After being defeated, Cem escaped to Europe, where he spent his time advising various powers that were in conflict with the Ottoman Empire.

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Sultan Bayezid II

Bayezid II was known for his fair and impartial administration throughout his reign. He had a strong interest in culture and the arts and was a patron of the great Ottoman architect Mimar Sinan. Bayezid was also known for his benevolent rule, and he took measures to improve the welfare of his people. He was also known as an accomplished warrior but often preferred peace and trade.

Bayezid II often toured the Ottoman Empire, often checking on the various groups within his empire. He was known to check with each minority group to ensure they were being treated fairly. Despite his accomplishments, Bayezid faced a number of challenges during his reign, including attempts by his own sons to overthrow him. In his later years, he struggled with various health problems.

Sultan Bayezid II early life and death
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Jewish Expulsion of 1492

One of Bayezid II’s most significant actions during his reign was his decision to provide refuge to the Jews who were expelled from Spain and southern Italy in 1492 CE. He did so by dispatching Ottoman ships to rescue those fleeing the persecution of the Spanish Inquisition and proceeded to welcome them into his empire. While there were issues and violent attacks on Jews in the Ottoman Empire, compared to their Christian European counterparts, they lived a much higher quality of life.

Within the Empire, Jews practiced Judaism freely with little to no concern of forced conversion. Most of the Jews who had settled in the empire were required to pay the annual Jizya tax. Regardless, Jews were considered good citizens within the Ottoman Empire. One of the first printing presses in the Ottoman Capital was brought there by Sephardic Jews who had settled within the Ottoman Empire.

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Bayezid II’s Death

Shortly before his death, two of his Sons started a civil war. His surviving son Selim made Bayezid II Abdicate his throne. Sultan Bayezid II’s death occurred on May 26, 1512 CE, while on the way to his hometown of Demotika after abdicating the throne to his son, but he died before reaching his destination and retirement. Sultan Bayezid II left an enduring legacy despite his death and remains a celebrated leader in Ottoman history.

His legacy as a just and generous ruler lives on in the Ottoman history books and in the stories originally told by those who lived during his time. During his reign, Bayezid II oversaw the production of several types of Ottoman coins, which are still prized by coin collectors today.

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Ottoman Coins

Gold and silver Ottoman coins hold significant numismatic value in the world of coin collecting. Coins minted during the reign of Sultan Bayezid II are especially sought after by collectors due to his reputation, administration, and patronage of the arts. The intricate designs and calligraphy found on Ottoman coins add to their aesthetic appeal for collectors, making gold and silver Ottoman coins a valuable addition to any numismatic collection.

Silver Akce minted during the reign of Sultan Bayezid II 1481.
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Published by Invest in History Co.

We specialize in high-quality gold and silver coins. Focusing on Middle East, Eastern European, and Ancient coins. We carry Roman, Greek, Parthian, Phoenician, Celtic, Byzantine, Russian, Jewish, Islamic, and many other culture's coins.

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