Bayezid II: Ottoman Sultan from 1481 to 1512


Bayezid II was Mehmed II's eldest son and successor. From 1481 to 1512, he was Sultan of the Ottoman Empire. Before abdicating the throne to his son Selim I, Bayezid II stabilized the Ottoman Empire and put down a Safavid revolt. Following the proclamation of the Alhambra Decree, he removed Sephardi Jews from Spain. They spread throughout Ottoman countries, particularly in Salonica.

Bayezid II

8th Sultan of the Ottoman Empire


From 22 May 1481 to 24 April 1512


Mehmed II


Selim I


3 December 1447


On 26 May 1512 at the age of 64


Bayezid II Mosque, Istanbul


  • Şirin Hatun
  • Hüsnüşah Hatun
  • Bülbül Hatun
  • Nigar Hatun
  • Gülruh Hatun
  • Gülbahar Valide Hatun
  • Ferahşad Hatun




Mehmed II


Gülbahar Hatun


Sunni Islam

Early Life

Mehmed II and Gülbahar Hatun had a son named Bayezid II. Bayezid is said to be the son of Mükrime Hatun, according to certain sources. This would make Ayşe Hatun Bayezid II's first cousin. Mükrime Hatun, on the other hand, married two years after Bayezid was born. Mehmed was not pleased with the entire situation. Therefore, Gülbahar Hatun is widely regarded as Bayezid II's true mother. Bayezid II was born in Demotika and educated at Amasya, where he eventually served as a bey for 27 years. He fought against the Aq Qoyunlu in the Battle of Otlukbeli in 1473. Gülbahar Hatun was Bayezid II's wife. She was the mother of Selim I, Bayezid II's successor, and Sittişah Hatun's nephew.

Battle for the Throne

The main worry of Bayezid II was his conflict with his brother Cem Sultan. Cem Sultan claimed the throne and appealed to Egypt's Mamluks for military assistance. Cem sought protection with the Warriors of St. John at Rhodes after being defeated by his brother's forces. The Knights eventually handed Cem up to Pope Innocent VIII. The Pope planned to use Cem to push the Turks out of Europe, but the papal crusade never materialized, and Cem died in Naples.


In 1481, Bayezid II came to the Ottoman throne. Bayezid II, like his father, was a patron of both western and eastern culture. However, unlike many other sultans, he worked hard to ensure that internal politics ran smoothly. As a result, he was dubbed "the Just." Bayezid II waged multiple expeditions to seize the Venetian territories in Morea during his tenure, correctly identifying this territory as the key to future Ottoman naval strength in the Eastern Mediterranean. In 1501 the last of these battles ended, with Bayezid II controlling the whole Peloponnese. Rebellions in the east, such as the Qizilbash, plagued Bayezid II's rule and were frequently supported by Persia's monarch. In addition, Ismail was determined to promote Shi'ism to undermine the Ottoman state's power. During this time, Ottoman rule in Anatolia was significantly threatened, and Bayezid II's vizier Hadm Ali Pasha was one of them. In the fight against the Şahkulu insurrection, he was killed.

Jewish and Muslim Migration

As part of the Spanish Inquisition, the fledgling state of Spain evicted its Jewish and Muslim inhabitants in July 1492. In 1492, Bayezid II dispatched the Ottoman Navy, led by Admiral Kemal Reis, to Spain to safely evacuate the Spaniards. He issued proclamations across the empire stating that the refugees would be welcomed. He allowed the refugees to reside in the Ottoman Empire and become citizens of the Ottoman Empire. He mocked Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile to banish a class of extremely valuable subjects to their subjects. Bayezid sent a firman to all the governours of his European provinces, instructing them to desist from repelling the Spanish refugees and refrain from retaliating against them. He also instructed them to greet them with a polite and welcoming attitude. He promised to kill anyone who treated Jews badly or refused to admit them to the empire. Moses Capsali was instrumental in enlisting the Sultan's support for the Jews. He was extremely active in assisting the exiles. He visited the towns and was important in imposing a tax on the wealthy to pay for the ransom of the Jewish victims of the persecution. Al-Andalus' Muslims and Jews contributed significantly to the Ottoman Empire's rise to prominence by introducing new ideas, methods, and craftsmanship. For example, the Sephardic Jews developed the first printing press in Constantinople (modern-day Istanbul) in 1493. With the presence of such experts, Jews enjoyed a time of cultural prosperity during Bayezid's rule.


An earthquake struck Constantinople on 14 September 1509, during Bayezid II's final years. Between his sons Selim and Ahmet, a succession battle erupted. Ahmet unexpectedly captured Karaman. Then he began advancing on Constantinople to take advantage of his victory. Selim mounted an uprising in Thrace, fearing for his safety, but was defeated by Bayezid and forced to escape the Crimean Peninsula. Bayezid II became concerned that Ahmet might kill him to take the throne. As a result, he forbade his son from entering Constantinople. Finally, with the help of the Janissaries, Selim returned from Crimea and compelled his father to abandon the throne on 25 April 1512. Bayezid retired to Dimetoka, where he was born. However, he died at Havsa on 26 May 1512, before reaching his destination and barely a month after surrendering. In Istanbul, he was buried near the Bayezid Mosque.


In a ghazal written by Abdürrezzak Bahş, a scribe who arrived in Constantinople from Samarkand in the second part of the 15th century worked at Mehmed II and Bayezid II courts, and wrote in Chagatai using the Old Uyghur alphabet, Bayezid was praised.  Bayezid II had al-Atufi, the Topkap Palace librarian, prepare a register. The library's vast holdings reflect a broad sense of cosmopolitanism.

Wives and Children




  • Şirin Hatun
  • Hüsnüşah Hatun
  • Bülbül Hatun
  • Nigar Hatun
  • Gülruh Hatun
  • Gülbahar Hatun
  • Ferahşad Hatun
  • Şehzade Abdullah
  • Şehzade Şehinşah
  • Şehzade Korkud
  • Şehzade Mahmud
  • Şehzade Alemşah
  • Sultan Selim I
  • Şehzade Mehmed
  • Aynışah Hatun
  • Ayşe Hatun
  • Hatice Hatun
  • Hundi Hatun
  • Ilaldi Hatun
  • Kamerşah Hatun
  • Selçuk Hatun
  • Şah Hatun
  • Sultanzade Hatun
  • Hümaşah Hatun

Last updated: 2021-October-12
Tags: Ottoman Empire
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