Amazing legend of Istanbul

The seventh Ottoman Sultan II. Mehmet wanted to finish what his great-grandfather Bayezid wanted to do, to conquer Constantinople…

To this end, he wanted to build a fortress at the other side of  Anadoluhisarı;  which had been built originally by Yıldırım Beyazıt. But the banks of the Bosporus, was  not in the hands of the Turks at that time.Moreover, even if superficial good-neighborly relations with Byzantium has been built those years, the young Turkish sultan did not want to disrupt this association and wanted to achieve to obtain the land by friendly compliments. II. Mehmet gets inspired by a letter, received  from a priest who has converted to Muslim.

He writes in his letter “You are the one who is going to conquer Constantinople. If you build a fortress here and two other fortresses on the Mediterranean side of the stray and don’t let food to be carried into the strays, then there will be famine in Istanbul.  If you bring your armies and soldiers through Edirne, the town will be graced.”

Sultan II. Mehmet  gets very happy by this and after seeking the approval of Emperor Konstantin’s he goes to hunting  in the  region and sends the hunted goods to Konstantin as a sign of his friendship.

Sultan sends also a request with the hunted goods; he states that he wants to build a hunting house on the Rumeli side of the Bosporus. Emperor Konstantin suspects something else by this request, but does not want to say no and receive hostility. Konstantin’s, decides to take a winding route to this request and sends his ambassador to state the following: “If the sultan wants to build a hunting house, he can build it as long as it should not be bigger than the skin of these cattle. If it is build bigger, it is against my wishes and will bridge the piece among us”.

II Mehmet agrees with this note and gets the skin to be cut in very tiny slices; he then adds the end of these slices and covers a significant region. Rumelihisari is built in the land surrounded by the cattle skin.

When Konstantin receives the news of the new castle, he sends his ambassador and says that the Sultan has acted against the peace agreement.  The Ottoman Sultan sends back the cattle skin tied back to back with the ambassador.  He sends a note stating “We have built a fortress by the cattle’s skin, if you believe we have not behaved correctly, we will take down the inappropriate portions. So the Sultan has been able to build two fortresses on two bays of Istanbul and this has led to conquering of Istanbul from a logistic point.  In the year of 1452, Mehmet the conqueror has built this fortress on the hill Of Hermaion in 4 months and 10 days. He has also named Hisar as “Bogazkesen” himself. The three big towers have been built by three big commanders of Sultan Mehmet II. ; the length of the fortress is 250meters. The width of the fortress descending on the hill is 125 meters. The tower by the seaside has been built by Candarli Halis Pasha, the tower on the Bebek side by Zaganos Pasha and finally the one facing Sariyer has been by Saruca Pasha. Saruca Pasha Tower has also been used as a prison, therefore is sometimes called the “black tower”.


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