Ertuğrul Ghazi

tomb-of-ertugrul-gazi
Tomb of Ertuğrul Gazi, Söğüt, Turkey

About Ertuğrul Ghazi

Ertuğrul Ghazi is one of the most prominent and famous figures from the thirteenth century. Belonging to the Kayi tribe, he was a tough and devoted warrior who spent most of his life, fighting in the way of Allah, and conquered major lands. In many historical accounts, it is mentioned that he was the son of Suleyman Shah, who was of the Oghuz tribe. Contrary to this, some historians dispute this lineage and consider Ertugrul to be the son of Gunduz Alp. Ertugrul Gazi is famously known because he was the father of Osman Ghazi, who was the founder of one of the mightiest and long-ruling dynasties of the world till date – The Ottoman Empire. Ertugurl, as well as, his descendants are often known as ‘Ghazis’ that is a name given to those who are considered heroic figures who fight for the cause of Islam. Halime Hatun was his wife, and the mother of his son, Osman Gazi. According to many historical accounts, it is noted that Ertugrul Ghazi had two other sons, apart from Sultan Osman 1. Their names were Saru-Batu Bey and Gunduz Bey.

Also read – Ottoman Empire

Ertuğrul Ghazi was widely known in his times as well, mainly due to his power, toughness, and determination as a warrior. His firmness in faith, strong spirituality, and piety paved his way in becoming a strong warrior and invading his region. The reasons behind Ertugrul’s firmness and what encouraged him to establish a strong force was to defeat his enemies and gain his lands. His main aim was to form brotherhood and tranquility among his people. Apart from this, he was a firm believer in following and imposing law and order that everyone must follow.

The Oghuz Turks, who are considered to be Erutgrul’s ancestors by many historians, came hailed from Central Asia and came to Anatolia while escaping from the Mongols. Ertugrul Ghazi was given supremacy over the region of Sogut, as he started supporting the Sultanate of Rum. The region of Sogut was situated near the area of the Byzantines. Ertugrul started supporting the Sultanate of Rum after his father’s demise. This is often said to be an event that led towards the formation of one of the largest dynasties in the history of the world – The Ottoman Dynasty.

Ertuğrul Ghazi moved to the western region of Anatolia, accompanying his mother, Hayme Hatun, and one of his brothers Dundar. His remaining two brothers, Sungur-tekin, and Gundogdu, however, moved towards the Eastern region of Anatolia. This led to a division between the Kayi tribe. The main purpose behind why Ertugrul moved towards the Western region of Anatolia was because he wanted to join the Seljuk, Sultanate of Rum. Due to the support that he gave to the Seljuk, Sultanate of Rum against the Byzantine Empire, he was gifted lands in a mountainous region, between Urfa and Diyarbakir, known as Karaca Dag by Kayqubad 1, who was the Seljuk Sultan of Rum. It is often said that the primary reason to grant Ertugrul land was that the Seljuk Sultan wanted him to fight against the Byzantine’s or any other forces that rebelled against the Sultanate of Rum. Later, Ertugrul captured many areas, such as the important village of Sogut, and many of Sogut’s neighboring lands, as well. Sogut holds great importance as it became the capital of Sultan Osman 1’s dynasty, The Ottoman Dynasty in 1299.

Talking about the time when he moved to the Western part of Anatolia, he went there with his mother, Hayme Hatun, his brother Dundur, and with other people of his tribe. While going to settle in the west of Anatolia, he and his people had only four hundred tents to use. This laid the foundation of the empire that is one of those five empires in the history of the world that ruled for the longest period in history.

Ertugrul rebelled against the government of Saddetin Kopek, as a result of Sultan Alaeddin’s murder, who was poisoned by Saddetin Kopek. He later named the area of Sogut his own capital, which formerly came under Kopek’s government.

Ertugrul’s personal life was of much importance, as well. Ertugrul had great affection for his wife, Halime Hatun (who later became Halime Sultan), that was known by all. Some historians say that they both had four sons, but others dispute that he had only three sons; Osman Gazi, Saru-Batu Savci Bey, and Gunduz Bey. Halime Hatun lived for ninety years, and it is reported that it was after her demise that Ertugrul was left lonely and sad, and lived the last ten years of his life in sadness and silence. As the last years of his life proceeded, he became weak but did not want his tribe to weaken with. Therefore, he gave all the authority and power to his youngest son, Osman Ghazi.

Not much has been recorded about the life of Ertugrul Ghazi, and whatever that comes ahead, cannot be said to be reliable. However, the one thing that assures that Sultan Osman 1, was the son of Erutgrul is the coins forged in the times of Sultan Osman that said that Erutgrul was the son of Sultan Osman 1.

The little information that is collected by historians about Ertugrul Gazi and his life, comes ahead from the chronologies of the Byzantine’s, and Ibn al Arabi, from Turkish Archives, Western Archives about Templars and other legends. Ertugrul is an important figure also because he was the very first person in the history of Turkey who looked ahead to form a state that lasted for almost six hundred years, rather than following the nomadic lifestyle.

Ertuğrul Ghazi passed away nineteen years ahead of the formation of one of the mightiest and most credible dynasties of the world, in 1280. He is buried in Sogut, and around his tombs are the tombs of his mother, Hayme Hatun, his wife Halime Sultan, his sons, Osman Ghazi, Saru-Batu Savci Bey, and Gunduz Bey, his brother, Dundur, together with his alps, including Abdur Rehman, Samsa Alp, Turgut Alp, and many others.

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