He is the Ottoman Sultan who is reputed for bravery and titled Yildirim (Thunderbolt) because of his unique speed in wars He was born in Bursa in 1360 He acceded to the throne in the battlefield where Kosovo victory was won, because of his father Murat Hudavendigar’s falling martyr He besieged Istanbul and constructed Anatolian fort He lost the war against Timur in the vicinity of Ankara and was taken captive He died of his grief on 4 March 1403 in Akşehir His tomb is in Bursa
He was called Yildirim because of his unique speed in battlefields even when he was a prince There was no other sultans in Ottoman dynasty who rode horses faster than he did He grew up with Murat Hudavendigar, a great conqueror, and was very useful in wars he took part together with him As a matter of fact, his great heroism and superior administrative power commanding his units in Kosovo Pitched Battle played an important role in the victory His father Murat Hudavendigar was killed with a dagger by an injured Serb in the battlefield, and thus he became sultan there
Yildirim Beyazit is the first ruler to start brother murdering in Ottoman dynasty by choking his brother Yakup Çelebi, who was loved by people and soldiers very much and who did not know his father’s death, to his tent Some say he did it because of his father’s will and some that on encouragement of his environment
Yildirim, after consolidating Turkish dominance over Balkan peninsula with Kosovo victory, turned his eyes to Istanbul After conquering Anatolian side of Black Sea Strait, he established Anatolian Turkish unity He constructed the first Turkish castle on the strait, that is, the Anatolian fort Then he besieged Istanbul The siege lasted for eight months Christian world, seeing that Byzantium was about to fall, stood for another crusade Crusaders, advancing along Danube with a strong army, surrounded an important border fortress of Turks, Nigbolu
Yildirim Beyazit, being informed that Nigbolu was besieged by a very crowded enemy army, lifted Istanbul siege and ran with a great speed to Nigbolu The Nigbolu castle was resisting under command of Dogan Bey Yildirim Beyazit, who was known for his bravery, wore Hungarian Spahi clothes and passed the enemy lines by himself and came before the gate of the castle:
– Bre Dogan, bre Dogan! Dogan Bey first thought that this was an enemy trick, but then knew that that was the sultan’s voice When he ran to the bastion with excitement, he saw that unique horse despite the darkness of the night Yildirim asked:
– How are you, bre Dogan?
– The enemy presses from land and river, but the bastions are strong, and provisions are abundant And now that our sultan came, it is not possible that Nigbolu falls Yıldırım said:
– We are here, resist for one or two days
The crusaders seeing the white horse and the stranger with Hungarian spahi clothes, tried to attack that stranger But they could not catch Yildirim’s horse
On 25 September 1396, Yildirim Beyazit started a merciless attack on the very crowded Crusader army surrounding Nigbolu The bloody war did not last for too long Yildirim destroyed that great army with his famous claw plan famous in history
Fearless Jean, leading Crusader army said after being taken captive by Turks that:
– I swear I will never hold my weapon against Turks again Yildirim, having heard that, called him: I pardon you for your oath Go Go get all of the powers of Christendom to save your honor Thus give me new opportunities to raise my grandeur and glory, and released him A big storm broke out in the East in 1402
After Tamerlane eliminated Altınordu state with his great army, invaded Iran and entered Arab provinces The only state against Tamerlane remained was Ottomans Both were Muslim Turk states However, these conqueror Turkish rulers could not agree They insulted each other because of Ahmet Celayir and Kara Yusuf The enmity between Yildirim and Tamerlane resulted in Anakar War
The two Turkish armies started a bloody war in Çubuk plain on a hot day of July First, Yildirim’s spahis rocked Timur armies However, when Timur rode elephants on them, the course of the war changed At that time, Anatolian soldiers took the part of Timur due to Anatolian Beys betrayal The betrayal panicked Yildirim armies The sultan, seeing that bad situation, withdrew to the hill he established his headquarters and went on resisting the enemy Timur forces surrounded Yildirim in Çataltepe He had only 300 soldiers with him Yildirim took an axe when his sword was broken He killed everyone drawing near
The sun, which rose with golden lights in the morning was not setting behind the purple mountains of Çubuk Plain Everywhere was getting dark The bodies were lying on the ground like yellow roses Yildirim rode his horse toward northwest of the hill at that time However, everywhere was surrounded by enemy soldiers Yildirim was tired after swinging his sword all day in the battle field and exhausted because of hunger and thirst While he was climbing down from the steep and stony slope near Mahmudoglu village, he fell down with his horse because his horse’s leg went between some stones At that time, Timur’s soldiers stood Yildirim, having a bloody axe, with torn clothes and dusty face drew a portrait of heroism He stared at Semerkandi soldiers with his fiery eyes, and cried out:
Do what you are supposed to do!
Cağatay Khan Mahmudoğlu said:
Come here You are the guest of Timur-u Gürgani
Yildirim was taken captive, and Tamerlane drew back to his tent After having heard congratulations of his commanders for his victory, he started to play chess with his son Şahruh At night, Yildirim, who was taken captive, was brought to Timur’s tent Timur stood, showed him a place and showed respect Yildirim, seeing that Timur smiled for a while during the conversation, shouted in anger:
It is bad to make fun of a man Allah rendered unfortunate
I am laughing because Allah left the world to a lamed like me and a blind like you Then he asked Yildirim the following question:
What would you do to my soldiers if you defeated us?
I would put all to sword
But I thought good So God gave me the victory You thought bad God gave you the bad Therefore, I will not do anything other than goodness to you and your members Be at ease!
Then he prepared a dining table for Yildirim They all ate yogurt together in the same table Some time later, they found and took his son Musa Celebi The next day Tamerlane launched further movement toward Anatolia The soldiers of Timur were looting everywhere Even one day they attacked boys with Koran in their hands with horsemen and killed all They went into Bursa palace and looted the treasury completely
After some time, when Tamerlane went to Izmir to invade, he took Yildirim with him Upon Izmir victory, Tamerlane arranged a perfect feast He intended to give a lesson to Yildirim with this feast How could Yildirim marry a Christian girl although he was a Muslim ruler? Timur could not stand this He made Princess Olivera distribute wine in this feast Yildirim, seeing his lover serving to the drunks, he felt the greatest pain of captivity His whole endurance ended He stood up and insulted Tamerlane
After that, Yildirim started to wait for being beheaded But that was not the outcome The next day, he was sent to Akşehir on Timur’s order But Yildirim had lost all his desire to live He began to suffer spiritually His country was routed, his sons were lost at the battlefield, and his treasury was looted How could he live any more?
He took out the ring he always had on his finger The ring gem hid an effective poison under it He swallowed it and died That hero ruler of Ottomans committed suicide imur, after this bloody disaster, did not remain in Anatolia and turned back to Semerkand Turkish nation, who had the capacity to establish state, organized again immediately and maintained existence of their state They had a long period of 624 years of domination under the name of Ottomans However, Tamerlane’s state died with him.