THE YEAR 2013 IS THE 500TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE DEATH OF SULTAN BAYEZİD II. WE TALKED BRIEFLY WITH WRITER REHA BİLGE ABOUT HIS NEW BOOK, THE SEA BATTLES AND GRAND STRATEGY OF BAYEZİD II.
How did the idea of researching the period of Sultan Bayezid II come about?
It is usually Mehmet the Conqueror, Selim I and Suleiman the Magnificent that come to mind in connection with the rise of the Ottoman Empire. But the reign of Bayezid II was a period of important developments and firsts that are unknown to most people.
What sort of portrait of Bayezid II will we see in your book?
I believe I have drawn a portrait of Bayezid II that goes beyond the usual. This sultan was the architect of Turkish naval superiority in the Mediterranean and a master strategist as well as an effective diplomat and the statesman who founded the Ottoman Empire.
Apart from the period of Bayezid II, what other topics do you touch on in your book?
I tried to treat interesting subjects that link the past and the present. Mehmet the Conqueror’s Otranto project, Alaeddin Keykubad and the Çukurova policies of Beyazid II, and Ataturk’s Hatay policy, for example, and the common ground between them. These are some of the chapters.
Reha Bilge’s earlier work, Matrakçı Nasuh’s History of Sultan Beyazid, which Bilge co-authored with Mertol Tulum, and his current book, The Naval Battles and Grand Strategy of Beyazid II, complement each other.