Ottomans settled in Söğüt and Domaniç with 400 tends and expanded fast. After Mehmet II. conquered Constantinople, that state became an empire. Ottoman Empire was a powerful and grand empire. Most important speciality of empire is stability. There were stability and balance. There are 6 emperor between 1451 and 1595. That state shows us stability and powerful position of Empire and how much Ottoman emperors were talented and educated. That is to say, triumphs and world state – came after triumps- aren’t random or lucky. Background of Ottoman successes shouldn’t be forgotten.
Ottoman Empire was governed by the central administration. Sultan was most important administrator in central government. Destiny of empire is in his hand and he is unique dominant of palace. We can say that the sultans have an important role in successes and triumphs. We should understand the sultans in order to understand Ottoman successes. At the same time, we should know their education level – they had taken in their principality period- in order to understand them. In Ottoman Empire, education of princes was very important. At childhood period their education was began. Because, all of the şehzades was a candidate of sultanate.
Princeeducation between II. Mehmet and III. Murat is different than other periods. That period begin from starting principality period of Mehmet II. (1444) and continue until the end of the principality of Mehmet III. (1595). Main form of prince education began to be founded in Şehzade Mehmet period. Moreover, main character of prince education chanced after III. Murat’ principality. After that time, Sanjak System was ended and princes didn’t go to sanjaks. Practical education of princes was finished by the Murat III.
* * *
Prince education is divided into two parts. First is the education period in palace and second is the period after go to sanjak.
Both of those periods developed different talents of princes. Theoretical education began after prince has been weaned and prince was educated in order to be made an emperor. At that period, şehzades
took main education and scientific education. Second education period – in sancak
– prepared the prince for throne. That period confronted prince with state realities and policy.
After prince was weaned, a group was appointed for the education of prince and three has odalı interested instruction and teaching. One of them is called ‘‘başlala’’ and the others was ‘‘lala’’. Until 5-6 years old, diction and discipline were developed. After that time, a teacher was appointed and lessons began with ceremony. Beginning of lessons with ceremony is called ‘‘Bed-i besmele’’. When prince began the lesson, Elif ba, cüz kesesi and hilal were given as a gift by the sadrazam. Teacher of prince taught in section of darû’s-sâde ağası. Dignitaries of the palace congratulated prince who read the Koran from the beginning to end. And they gave gift to prince.
There is no enough information in sources about which lessons princes took in theoretical education period. In spite of that, we know that princes took religious lessons as Koran, hadith, fiqh –fıkıh- and Arabic. Because, Ottoman Emperors knew those branches. Moreover, they took philosophy, science, Islamic history and literature, literature, mathematic, astronomy, history of civilizations and nations, administration. Prince education isn’t only science and literature. Also, physical education was very important in prince education. Horsemanship and fighting arts were taken in third courtyard of palace with içoğlans. Thanks to that, princes could defense himself, ride a horse and hunt very well.3
Second period of prince education is after go to sanjak. Prince –if he is enough for sanjak- was sent to sanjak. Ageof the accession to sanjakis different from prince to prince.
Age of the accession to sanjakis revealed as 15 at the official documents of Ottoman Empire. However, this is not an absolute regulation. If that is a rule, we can say that it wasn’t carry out. Princes were sometimes appointed to sanjak before that age and sometimes after that.4
According to Halil İnalcik, Mehmet II. was 12 years old when he was appointed to Manisa for sancak bey.5
Cem Sultan was 10 years old when he was appointed to sanjak.
Appointing of princes to sanjak has three important reasons. Firstly, it was useful for experience and to be effective in the imperial administration. A prince who was sent to sanjak faced with state realities and acquired experience of state administration. Secondly, they were more effective than other administrators. Because, they are members of dynasty. Thirdly, princes were an important burden for the Ottoman economy. By the means of that system, Ottoman administration could prevent that burden. When a prince was appointed to sanjak, he gained ‘hases. After that time, he had enough possibilities and burden on the Ottoman economy was finished.6
Sanjaks -princes were appointed- are
Amasya, Kütahya, Karaman, Kastamonu, Konya, Menteşe, Teke, Kefe, Trabzon, Semendire, Sebinkarahisar and Bolu. Most important of those sanjaks are Amasya, Manisa and Kütahya. When princes were at sanjak, they continued theoretical education too. While a prince went to sanjak, his lala
was sent near him. Besides, princes appointed famous scholars to his education. For example; When Bayezid II. was in Amasya, he appointed Şeyh Hamdullah Efendi –a famous master of hat
- for his education.7
Last emperor who went to sanjak is Mehmet III. If we look at the after that time, we can see insufficient of princes clearly. They didn’t have experience because they haven’t to
met face to face with realities of state and administration. Those inexperienced princes couldn’t save themselves from the palace women and self-seeking groups. That situation shows us how much sanjak system is important.8
Education of the princes: Mehmet II. was a very good educated emperor. He has been raised very well. Murat II. appointed Molla Gürani to educate Şehzade Mehmet. Lessons that Mehmet II. took are philosophy, science, history and literature of Islam , Greek and Latin literature. We know that Mehmet II. received education from the Asian and European teachers.9 From the directions of the traditions, he took theoretical and practical education and, it is known that he knew Turkish, Arabic, Greek, Persian, Slavic languages. The result of this education, he was command of literature too. He had a great attention to philosophy of religion, geography, mathematic and science of hey’et.10 Sanjaks that Mehmet II. ascended were Amasya and Manisa.
Şehzade Mustafa –son of Mehmet II- was wise and poet. He went to Manisa and Karaman as a sancak beyi.11
Bayezid II. received very well education in his principality period. By the accession to sanjak of Bayezid, he acquired military and administrative experience. He could read Uighur language and knew Italian little. He took hat lessons from
Şeyh Hamdullah. Çandarlı İbrahim and Yahya Paşa were his lala
he was wise and poet. He wrote poems in Turkish and Persian by the name of adli.13
Education of Cem Sultan began when he was four years old and his education continued in the palace until 10 years old. He learned Italian and Greek from his mother very well. He went to Kastamonu, Manisa and Karaman sanjaks. His lala was Gedik Ahmet Paşa. We know that he had a poetical character and he had poems in Persian and Turkish.14
Prince Korkud grew up beside his great father –Mehmet II-. Thanks to that, he was educated very well. He was poet and musician and wrote poems with the name of harimi. He had comprehensive information about Muslim jurisprudence and, he could read and write Arabic. Some letters that he sent to his father are Arabic. At first, he was appointed to Manisa sanjak, later , he was sent to Antalya.15
Childhood period of Selim I. passed beside Mehmet II. He rescued his first education beside him. After that education period, he took lessons from Halimi Çelebi and Şeyh Hamdullah who were very famous teachers in that era. He presented in Trabzon and Semendire sanjak.16 Beside theoretical lessons as history, literature, science, he took practical lessons as horsemanship, marksmanship, swordsmanship and shooting arrow. He was on a good level in Persian and Arabic language and had Persian poems. His handwritten Persian poems are in 736 at the archive of Topkapı Palace.17
Süleyman I. took lesson from Molla Hayrettin and went to Kefe and Manisa sanjaks. When Selim organized a campaign, he remained in Edirne and got experience. He learned Arabic and Persian as his other brothers and wrote poems. He wrote poems by the name of Muhibbi and he had a divan. His handwritten poems are in a manuscript in the archive of Topkapı Palace. He emphasized importance of health in his famous verse.18
Murat III. had 4 divan which two of them are Turkish, one is Arabic and one is Persian.19
All of those examples demonstrate that princes knew Arabic and Persian. Also, they were cognizant of literature and poem. And, some of them had work which reached to today. Moreover, when princes ascended the throne, they became very successful. Those examples reveal how much good princes were educated.
Teachers (hocas) of princes: We can say that Ottoman princes took lessons from best teachers in their times. It is known that those teachers are at the most important levels in scholarship and science. We can prove that easily because princes became a specialist their scope.20 Teacher who was cognizant of scope were called and assigned for prince education. In the next period, prince was under the control of teacher and teacher was responsible for prince. Teachers had a great responsibility. However, it is an important point that they got appropriation of responsibility by various ways. They were hold in esteem and got an important position among dignitaries. After his student became emperor, he was assigned to prince education or appointed administrative and judicial office. Prince teachers sometimes worked right beside emperor and emperors benefited from their experience. Molla Gürani was appointed to kadıasker by Mehmet II. Mevlana Sadettin Efendi was right beside Murat III. and Murat III. benefited from his experience.21 Molla Hüsrev –teacher of Mehmet II.- was assigned to şeyhülislamlık and he continued that duty in the later 20 years. Mehmet II. made his respect to teacher clearly in his kanunname and he emphasized that he stand up when teacher come to divan –settled in the bairams-.22
Molla Hüsrev: Molla Hüsrev was a very important scholar in the second part of the XV. century. Mehmet II. appreciated and took pride him and described him as ‘Ebu Hanife of
the time’. His father is from a turcoman tribe around Yozgat.23
We don’t have any information
about his birth. He dead in 885 H. (1480) and was buried in the madrasa which he established in Bursa.
He took lesson from Yusuf Bâli and took icazet. He was at first appointed to a madrasa in Bursa and after appointed to kadılık of Adrianople. At the reign of first sultanate years of Mehmet II. he was appointed to Kadıaskerlik. When Mehmet II. was sent to Manisa, he went too. In 1451, Murat II. died and Mehmet II. ascended the throne again. By the that, Molla Hüsrev was assigned to kadılık of Constantinople. After at one time, he went to Bursa and built a madrasa and taught to a group student. When he came back, he was appointed to Şeyhülislamlık and continued that duty until his death.
Some of the his works areDürer and Gurer that is commentary of Dürer, Mirkat and Mir’at that is commentary of Mirkat, commentary of Miftah, commentary of Telvih and the other some haşiyes. Moreover, He had someTurkish and Arabic poems.24
Molla Gürani: Molla Gürani is the famous müfessir, fakih, scholar of hadith and şeyhülislam. He born in 803 H. (1416 C) in town of Kürân in Syria and he was called Gürani because of town of Kürân. At the childhood period, he memorized the Koran and learned some branches as nahiv, maânî, beyân and yedi kırâat. He traveled to Baghdad, Diyarbekir and Hasankeyf in order to get an education. When he was 17 years old, he went to Damascus and afterwards Cairo. He took lessons from the famous scholars such as İbn Hacar al- Askalani. After he became an important scholar at the scope of Arabia, fıqh, tefsir, hadith and kırâat; he was appointed to Madrasa of Barkukiye.25
Molla Yegan met with him on the way of hajj and brought to Constantinople and introduced him to Murat II.. Murat II. appointed him to madrasa in Kaplıca and afterwards
Madrasa of Yıldırım. Molla Gürani had a hardly and seriously character. At that time, şehzade
Mehmed was in Manisa and he didn’t read the Koran from beginning to end. Murat II. assigned Mola Gürani to teaching of şehzade
Mehmed and he continued that duty until the beginning of second sultanate of Mehmed. He contributed on the forming of character of Mehmed very much.26
Molla Gürani was appointed to Şeyhülislamlık in 885 H. (1488 C.) and continued his death. He dead in 893 H. (1488 C.) and buried in front of the mihrap of the mosque which he had built between the Aksaray and Topkapı in İstanbul.
Gâyet-ül-emâni fi tefsir-i seb’il-mesani 2) El-Kevser-ül-câri alâ riyâd-il-Buhari 3) A hâşiye
which he wrote for şerh of the kaside of Şatıbiyye 4) Keşf-ül-esrar an kırâat-il-eimmet-il-ahyar 5) Şerh-i cem’ul-cevâmi 6) A kaside
which was written with aruz
Şeyh Hamdullah Efendi:
Hamdullah Efendi –known as founder of the school of hat
in the Ottoman Empire- is son of Mustafa Dede who was Sühreverdiye şeyhi
and from family of Sarıkadızadeler.28
He born in Amasya in 840 H. (1436 C.)29
He is called with ‘‘Şeyh, ibnü’ş-şeyh, kıbletülküttab, kutbülküttab ve şeyhürramiyan’’
Hamdullah learned religious and literary branches from Hatip Kasım Efendi. He practiced the art of hat from Hayreddin Mar’aşi in Amasya and took icazet from aklam-ı sitte.
He got friendship of Şehzade Bayezid and Bayezid appointed to himself as teacher of hat and took icazet from him. Also, Hamdullah taught writing to sons of Bayezid. At those years, he copied some works for personal library of Mehmed II. His works we have in today are Kitabü Huneyn b.İshak fi’l-meşa’il, ecvibetiha fi’t-tıb and (TSMK, Ahmed III., no. 1996) Meşalihu’l-ebdan ve’l enfüs (Library of Süleymaniye, Ayasofya, no. 3740).
By the accession to the throne of Bayezid, he went to İstanbul and was appointed for education of clerks and officers in the palace. After that, he formed very important works in the reign of Bayezid II., Selim I. and Süleyman I. and dead in 926 H. (1520 C.). After namaz of the funeral was performed by Şeyhülislam
Zembilli Ali Efendi in Hagia Sofia and his corpse was buried in cemetery of Karacaahmet. Written on the gravestone ‘‘Reisülhattatin Hamdullah el-ma’ruf bi’bni’ş-şeyh rahmetullahi aleyh’’.30
Şeyh Hamdullah Efendi had a lot of works. He formed the writings on the minbar and dome of mosque which Bayezid II. built in Constantinople.He formed a kind of style which is own. His work which was settled by six kind of writing and named aklam-ı sitte or Şeş kalem is on 2084 number in the library of safekeeping department of Topkapı palace. A Koran which is his handwriting is on 71. number in the same library.31
Halimi Çelebi: His actual name is ‘‘Abdulhalim’’ and fathers name is Ali. He born in Kastamonu and completed first education here and became a student of Alaeddin Arabi Efendi. After Alaeddin Arabi Efendi dead, he went to Bursa and became affiliated with Hacı Halife who was from Zeyniyye sheikhs. He traveled to Arabian lands and Persia. When he came back to Anatolia, went to Trabzon by the invitation of Şehzade Selim. Selim appointed him to imamlık of himself and education of Şehzade Süleyman. When Selim became sultan, he put Halimi Çelebi on a salary which is 200 akçes and appointed him to hâcebygiving him ownership of some villages. Halimi Çelebi was shown respect by Selim I. He became very effective near sultan and people consulted with him before Selim. A poet in his period wrote about him as that:
Honorable name of this sultan is Selim
It is suitable that his friend is Halim
He joined to campaign of Egypt and got sick on the way of coming back and dead in 922 H. (1516 C.). his Arabian and Persian poems are very important. He built a külliye that was formed mosque, madrasa, sıbyan mektebi, imaret andguest-house. Also, he built a bathroom.32
Hoca Sa’deddin Efendi: Father of Hoca Sa’deddin Efendi is Hasan Can ibn Hafız Mehmet ibn Hafız Cemaleddin İsfahani. Selim I. brought his father to İstanbul as soon as battle of Çaldıran and took for palace. After that, his father stayed with Selim and got have an important position. Sa’deddin Efendi born at 943 H.(1536 C.) in İstanbul. He became a student of Karamani Mehmet Efendi at the youtful period, afterwards Ebussuud Efendi. He got have an important position thanks to his father and began to teach in madrasa of Murat Paşa by 30 akçes and afterwards in Hariç medrese. He witnessed to all of the triumps of Süleyman magnificent and he kept his position in the reign of Selim II. too. Selim II. appointed him to teach Murat III. When Murat III. ascended the throne, he assigned him to şeyhülislamlık and dead in 943 H. (1599 C.).
His life can be searched on three ways. Hocalık
and historianship. His important book is Tacüt Tevarih.33
TEACHERS OF ŞEHZADES
Molla Gürani, İbnü’t-tercid, Mevlana Sıraceddin Muhammed bin Ömer el-Halebi, Mevlana İlyas, Molla Hüsrev ve Mevlana Ali bin Yusuf el-Fenari
Molla Salahaddin, Mevlana Kasım Hatib bin Yakub, Mevlana ibnü’l-Muarref, Şeyh Hamdullah
Halimi Çelebi, Taşköprülü Muslihiddin Mustafa Efendi, Amasyalı Şeyh Abdullah, Molla Muhittin Efendi, Şeyh Hamdullah
Mevlana Seyyid İbrahim
Molla Hayrettin, Halimi Çelebi
Şeyh Nurullah bin Akşemsedin, Birgili Ataullah Efendi
Mevlana Saadettin Efendi
Adli: An expression which means ‘‘just’’. It is known that was used Bayezid II. and Mehmed III..Generally, in the poems of Bayezid II..
Akçe: A silver coin, the chief unit of account in the Ottoman Empire.
Aruz: Prosody written according to the rules of classical Ottoman poetry.
Başlala: Head of the lalas.
Cüz kesesi: Ornamented leather or cloth bag or holder for carrying a section of the Koran.
Darû’s-sâde ağası: ‘Ağa of the Abode of felicity’, the chief black eunuch of the Palace; known also as harem ağası.
Divan: Work settled by poems.
Fakih: Specialist of muslim jurisprudence.
Fiqh: Fıkıh, muslim jurisprudence.
Hâce: A rank which was used for hocas and clerks involve reis’ül-küttap, tezkireci, clerk of janissary and ruznameci.
Hariç medrese: Exterior medrese, a madrasa giving preparatory courses of instruction.
Hâs: A domain of the sultan, prince of the blood, beylerbeyi or sanjak beyi, yielding an annual revenue of more than one hundred thousand akçes.
Has odalı: It is used for the members of Has Oda that was the sultan’s privy chamber.
Haşiye: Interpretation written near lines in the books.
Hat: Art of the Arabic handwriting.
Hilal: A stick to show letters. In the madrasas, freshman students used a stick to show letters and lines.
İcazet: Permissin that was given to students who graduated from madrasa. When a student graduated, his teacher gave permission to the student to pass the another level.
İçoğlan: A devşirme boy, selected as a page and receiving an education in the palace.
İmamlık: Being a imam (hodja), rank of imam.
İmaret: Food kitchen, place which served free food to the poor and to others, such as madrasah students.
Kadı: A administering both şeriat and kanun and chief administrator of a kadılık.
Kadıasker: The highest judicial authority of the empire after the şeyhülislam. There were two kadıaskers, one for Rumelia and one for Anatolia.
Kadılık: A kadı ‘s administrative and judicial district; sub-diviision of a sanjak
The office of the kadı
Kânûnnâme: A code of laws; a collection of sultanic laws, as distinct from the şeriat
Kırâat: Good reading of the Koran.
Külliye: Complex of buildings adjacent to a mosque. There are a lot of necessary buildings in a külliye.
Lala: High-ranking manservant who looked after a şehzade -son of the sultan- teacher of şehzade.
Mihrap: Mihrab, niche in a mosque wall indicating the direction of Mecca.
Molla: Title given to senior members of the ulema.
Müfessir: Specialist of the tefsir, person who know Koran and hadiths very well and explain the Koran.
Sadrazam: The chief vizier and deputy of the sultan
Sanjak: The chief administrative unit of the Ottoman Empire, governed by a sanjak beyi; subdivision of a beylerbeyilik.
Sıbyan mektebi: Elementary school, school which children take first education. Generally, children who were 5 or 6 years old and called ‘‘sabi’’ go to those schools. There were one sıbyan mektep in the almost quarter. Because of that, those schools are called ‘‘mahalle mektebi’’ mean school of the quarter.
Sultan: Empiror, head of the state ( in Ottoman empire and the other muslim- turkish states)
Şehzade: Son of the sultan.
Şeyh: Sheikh, chief, head.
A popular religious leader.
A tribal chief.
The sultan’s spiritual mentor.
The religious head of a craft guild.
Şeyhülislamlık: Office of Şeyhülislam who is the head of the hierarchy of ulema (scholars).
Tefsir: A commentary of the Koran.
1. Eroğlu, Haldun. Osmanlı Devletinde Şehzadelik Kurumu, Akçağ yayınları. Ankara 2004
2. Uzunçarşılı, İ.H.. Osmanlı Devleti Saray Teşkilatı. TTK. II. ed.
3. Uzunçarşılı, İ.H.. Osmanlı Tarihi.TTK. Vol: II.
4. İnalcık, H.. Mehmet II.. İA. vol: VII,
5. Abdülkadiroğlu, Abdülkerim. Halimi Çelebi.D. İ. A., vol: 15
6. Serin, Muhittin. Hamdullah Efendi. D.İ.A. vol: 15
7. Osmanlı, Yeni Türkiye Yayınları. Vol:. 12
8. Okur, Münevver. Cem Sultan, Kültür Bakanlığı Yayınları, Ankara, 1992
9. Akgündüz, Ahmet. Osmanlı Kanunnameleri
10. Refik, Ahmet. Alimler ve Sanatkarlar. Kültür Bakanlığı Yayınları, I. ed.
11. Ateş, Ahmet. Molla Gürani, İ.A
 Dr. Haldun Eroğlu,Osmanlı Devletinde Şehzadelik Kurumu, Akçağ pub., Ankara 2004, p.81
 İ.H. Uzunçarşılı, Osmanlı Devleti Saray Teşkilatı, vol.II, p. 110
3 H. Eroğlu, Osmanlı Devletinde Şehzadelik Kurumu, p. 82
4 H. Eroğlu, Osmanlı Devletinde Şehzadelik Kurumu, p. 112
5 H. İnalcık, İA, vol. VII, p. 552
6 H. Eroğlu, Osmanlı Devletinde Şehzadelik Kurumu, p. 106
7 Muhittin Serin, Hamdullah Efendi, D.İ.A, vol. 15, p. 449
8 İ.H.Uzunçarşılı,Osmanlı Devleti Saray Teşkilatı, p. 120
9 H. Eroğlu, Osmanlı Devletinde Şehzadelik Kurumu, p. 82
10 Osmanlı, Yeni Türkiye Yayınları, vol. 12, p. 47
11 İ.H. Uzunçarşılı, Saray Teşkilatı, p. 125
12 Osmanlı, Yeni Türkiye Yayınları, vol. 12, p. 73
13 İ. H.Uzunçarşılı,Osmanlı Tarihi, ,vol. II, p. 248
14 Münevver Okur, Cem Sultan, Kültür Bakanlığı Yayınları, p. I, Ankara, 1992
15 İ.H.Uzunçarşılı,Osmanlı tarihi, vol. II, p. 235
16 Osmanlı, Yeni Türkiye Yayınları, vol. 12, p. 77
17 İ.H.Uzunçarşılı, Osmanlı tarihi, vol. II, p. 304
Süleymans famous verse Âlem içre mûteber bir nesne yok devlet gibi
Olmaya devlet cihanda bir nefes sıhhat gibi
19 H. Eroğlu, Osmanlı Devletinde Şehzadelik Kurumu, p. 83
22 ‘‘ve bayramlarda meydan-ı Divan’a taht kurulub oturmak emrim olmuşdur. El öptükte vüzeram ve kadıaskerlerim ve defterdarlarım kafadarım olup duralar ve hocama ve müfi’l enama ve vüzerama ve kadıaskerlerime ve defterdarlarıma ve nişancıya kendim kalkmak kanunundur’’ A. Akgündüz, Osmanlı Kanunnameleri, vol.1, p. 327
23 İ.H.Uzunçarşılı, Osmanlı Tarihi, vol. II, p. 656
25 Ahmet Ateş, Molla Gürani, İ.A, p. 406
28 Muhittin Serin, Hamdullah Efendi, D.İ.A, vol. 15, p. 449
29 İ.H.Uzunçarşılı, Osmanlı Tarihi, vol. II, p. 613
30 Muhittin Serin, Hamdullah Efendi, D.İ.A, vol. 15, p. 449- 450
31 İ.H.Uzunçarşılı, Osmanlı Tarihi, vol. II, p. 613-614
32 Abdülkerim Abdulkadiroğlu, Halimi Çelebi, D.İ.A, vol. 15, p. 343
33 Ahmet Refik, Alimler ve Sanatkarlar, Kültür Bakanlığı Yayınları, I.ed., p. 76