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The Parish Hall => The History Subforum => Topic started by: Vetus Ordo on August 18, 2018, 05:47:38 PM

Title: Orhan Çelebi and his Muslim troops defending Constantinople
Post by: Vetus Ordo on August 18, 2018, 05:47:38 PM
Orhan Çelebi and his Muslim troops defending Constantinople


It has been said many times that the Ottoman army that conquered Constantinople in 1453 was a multi-ethnic one with many Greeks, Bulgarians, Serbs and other Christians from the Balkans. Conversely, if we were to search for Muslims defending the City, the most famous one would surely be Orhan Çelebi, also called Orhan Şehzade.

He was born in 1412 in an unknown place. There's not much recorded information about his life: he was a prince of the Ottoman Empire and a pretender to the throne, being a cousin of Mehmed II. He was sent as a hostage to Constantinople as a child, along with his sister Fatima, and the Byzantines were paid tribute by the Ottomans during his time there in order to keep him away from Turkish territory. Usually the hostages served as a deterrent to possible attacks by the enemy, but the fact that the Byzantines were paid simply to keep him away makes us assume that the political conditions in the Sultan's lands had possibly changed, as new beys arose that could side with Orhan in a coup d'état.

In 1453, Orhan's tribute was cut and when the siege started he decided to side with the Byzantines, joining the city's defenses. We don't know how but he managed to create a small army of 600 Muslim Turks, called by Ottoman sources "the 600 traitors," and we simply know that "600 Ottomans defected and his side, acclaiming him as their new Sultan."

Orhan and the other Muslims defended the south side of the City, in particular the harbors, and we know they repelled a Turkish assault using firepower, shocking the enemy by speaking in Turkish. When Mehmed conquered the City, Orhan was taken captive and killed under unknown circumstances. Some people said he was caught on a boat, trying to escape dressed as a monk, others said he committed suicide jumping off a tower. In any case, he died fighting for Constantine XI.

He also had 4 sons, Ali Shah, Jahan Shah, Vali Khan, and Buga Khan, but we don't know their fate.