[POETIC DESCRIPTION OF THE SIEGE AND THE FALL OF THE BYZANTINE CONSTANTINOPLE] Mahrûse-i Istanbul fetihnâmesi: Tâcîzâde Tugrâyî Cafer Çelebi münseâtindan. [i.e. The book of the conquest of Constantinople the Almighty City]

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TÂCÎZÂDE CAFER ÇELEBI, (1452-1515), Tarih-i Osmânî Encümeni Mecmuasi / Ahmed Ihsan ve Sürekâsi Matbaacilik Osmanli Sirketi, Istanbul (Constantinople), [AH 1331] = 1915.

Modern cloth bdg. Small 4to. (26 x 19 cm). In Ottoman script (Old Turkish with Arabic letters). 24 p.

First edition of this epic and historically important account, describing the siege and fall of the Byzantine Empire and Constantinople by Ottoman Sultan Mehmet II in 1453. This is one of the finest literary examples of sixteenth-century Ottoman prose.

"This description of the conquest of Istanbul in 1453 is mentioned only by Ismail Pasha in his "Hediyyetü'l Arifîn". The text, which was published as a supplement to TOEM (parts 20 and 21, Istanbul 1331) is said to be taken from a manuscript owned by Halis Efendi. The introduction to Ca'fer Çelebi's life was also written by Halis Efendi.

The work is written in a very elegant style, with ayets, hadith, and beyts in Arabic, Persian, and Turkish scattered throughout the text and may be considered one of the finest examples of sixteenth-century Ottoman prose writing. [.] Ca'fer's work is in some aspects a reliable source for the conquest of Istanbul. The preparation for the siege is given in this work. The council of war which was held before the siege and in particular Mehmed II's speech to the council is very detailed and the chain placed across the entrance to the Golden Horn and its history is very well described in this work as well. During the siege, the Byzantines received help from the outside. Ca'fer is specific about this and states that "four huge vessels full of provisions, soldiers and ammunition came to help of the Byzantines". After the last attack, Constantinople fell into the hands of the Ottoman army. The date given for this is 857 Cem. I. 20 Seshenbe in Ca'fer's work. The plundering and looting which occurred during the first three days of the conquest are vividly described by Ca'fer Çelebi, but the withdrawal of Justinian and his men which preceded the conquest and the death of the Byzantine Emperor during the capture of the city are omitted in this work.

Ca'fer's closing lines are devoted to the conversion of St. Sophia (Ayasofya) into a mosque by Mehmed II.

Ca'fer Çelebi used eyewitness accounts as well as written works. It is certain that he did not rely exclusively on any source which is not extant, for the departs from Ruhi, Enverî, Tursun Beg, Neshrî, and Asikpasha-zâde either by adding new information or giving a conflicting account." (Erünsal).

Özege 11953; TBTK 7066.