Murad II

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Murad II
Ottoman Sultan

Murad II Kodja (June 1404, Amasya – 3 February 1451, Edirne) (Ottoman Turkish: مراد ثانى Murād-ı sānī, Turkish:II. Murat) was the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1421 to 1451 (except for a period from 1444 to 1446 when his son Mehmed II reigned). Murad II's reign was marked by the long war he fought against the Christian feudal lords of the Balkans and the Turkish emirates in Anatolia, a conflict that lasted 25 years. He was brought up in Amasya, and ascended the throne on the death of his father Mehmed I. His mother was Valide Sultan Emine Hatun, daughter of Suleyman Bey, ruler of Dulkadirids, his father's third consort. Their marriage served as an alliance between the Ottomans and this buffer state.


Murad II (Murat), when called from his vice-royalty in Asia Minor to become the sovereign of the Ottoman Empire, was only eighteen years of age. He was solemnly recognized as sultan, girded with the sabre of Osman at Bursa and the troops and officers of the state willing paid homage to him as their sovereign. But his reign was soon troubled by insurrection. The Byzantine Emperor, released the 'pretender'[1] Mustafa Çelebi (known as Düzmece Mustafa) from confinement and acknowledged him as the legitimate heir to the throne of Bayezid I (1389–1402). The Byzantine Emperor, Manuel II, had first secured a stipulation, that Mustafa should, if successful, repay him for his liberation by giving up a large number of important cities. The pretender was landed by the Byzantine galleys in the European dominion of the sultan and for a time made rapid progress. Many Turkish soldiers joined him, he defeated and killed the veteran general Beyazid Pasha whom Murad had sent to fight him. Mustafa defeated Murad's army and declared himself Sultan of Adrianople (modern Edirne). He then crossed the Dardanelles to Asia with a large army; but the young Sultan showed in this emergency that he possessed military and political abilities worthy of his best ancestors. Mustafa was out-manoeuvered in the middle of the field and his troops, whose confidence in his person and cause he had lost by his violence and incapacity, passed over in large numbers to Murad II. Mustafa took refuge in the city of Gallipoli but the sultan, who was greatly aided by a Genoese commander named Adorno, besieged him there and stormed the place. Mustafa was taken and put to death by the sultan who then turned his arms against the Roman emperor and declared his resolution to punish the Palaiologos for their unprovoked enmity by the capture of Constantinople.

Murad II then formed a new army called Azeb in 1421 and marched through the Byzantine Empire and laid siege to its capital Constantinople.[2] While Murad was besieging the city, the Byzantines, in league with some independent Turkish Anatolian states, sent the sultan's younger brother Mustafa (who was only 13 years old) to rebel against the sultan and besiege Bursa. Murad had to abandon the siege of Constantinople in order to deal with his rebellious brother. He caught Prince Mustafa and executed him. The Anatolian states that had been constantly plotting against him — Aydinids, Germiyanids, Menteshe and Teke — were annexed and henceforth became part of the Ottoman Empire.

Murad II then declared war against Venice, the Karamanid Emirate, Serbia and Hungary. The Karamanids were defeated in 1428 and Venice withdrew in 1432 following the defeat at the second Siege of Thessalonica in 1430.[3] In the 1430s Murad captured vast territories in the Balkans and succeeded in annexing Serbia in 1439. In 1441 the Holy Roman Empire and Poland joined the Serbian-Hungarian coalition. He relinquished his throne[citation needed] in 1444 to his son Mehmed II but a Janissary revolt[4] in the Empire forced him to return. Murad II won the Battle of Varna in 1444 against János Hunyadi.

In 1448 he defeated the Christian coalition at the Second Battle of Kosovo (the first one took place in 1389). When the Balkan front was secured, Murad II turned east to defeat Timur's son, Shah Rokh, and the emirates of Karamanid and Çorum-Amasya. In 1450 Murad II led his army into Albania and unsuccessfully besieged the Castle of Kruje in an effort to defeat the resistance led by Skanderbeg. In the winter of 1450–1451, Murad II fell ill, and died in Edirne. He was succeeded by his son Mehmed II (1451–81).

Personal life

Murad II had six wives:[5]

  1. Alime Hatun (m.1421), of the Dulkadiroğlu Beylik;
  2. Yeni Hatun, daughter of Mahmud Bey from Amasya;
  3. Valide Sultan Hüma Hatun (m.1431), born in Devrekani county of Kastamonu Kiran province, daughter of Abd'Allah of Hum, Huma meaning a girl/woman from Hum, mother of Mehmed the Conqueror;
  4. Tacünnisa Hatice Halime Hatun (m.1423), daughter of Isfendiyar, the ruler of the Isfendiyarids;
  5. Mara Hatun (Mara Branković) (m.1435), the daughter of Đurađ Branković of Serbia [1].
  6. Halima Hatun, mother of Şehzade Küçük Ahmed.


Murad II is portrayed by İlker Kurt in 2012 film Fetih 1453. In the film, Murad II is depicted as a Sultan who attempts to conquer Constantinople and, as a consequence, he is lack of care toward his son Mehmed II (Devrim Evin). He was also portrayed by Vahram Papazian in the Albanian movie The Great Warrior Skanderbeg in 1953.


  1. Finkel, C., Osman's Dream:The History of the Ottoman Empire, Osman 2005, pp.43, Basic Books
  2. A contemporary account of the siege was written by John Kananos.
  3. On this event, cf. the account by John Anagnostes.
  4. Kafadar, Cemal, Between Two Worlds, University of California Press, 1996, p xix. ISBN 0-520-20600-2
  5. ,[better source needed]
  • PD-icon.svg This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Creasy, Edward (1878). History of the Ottoman Turks; From the beginning of their empire to the present time. 

Further reading

  • Babinger, Franz, Mehmed the Conqueror and his Time. Princeton NJ: Princeton University Press, 1978. ISBN 0-691-01078-1
  • Harris, Jonathan, The End of Byzantium. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2010. ISBN 978-0-300-11786-8
  • Imber, Colin, The Ottoman Empire. London: Palgrave/Macmillan, 2002. ISBN 0-333-61387-2
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