Castle findings point toward tolerance of Ottoman state

Castle findings point toward tolerance of Ottoman state

ESKİŞEHİR - Anatolia News Agency
Castle findings point toward tolerance of Ottoman state

A total of 26 structures have been uncovered at this year’s excavations at the Karacahisar Castle, as well as arrow heads and coins. AA photo

Excavations at the Karacahisar Castle, which was the first castle conquered by the Ottomans in 1288 and where the Ottoman state was founded in 1299, have revealed that the castle was not set on fire and looted during the conquest, according to researchers.

“We did not have find traces of fire during the excavations. It made us ask the following question: ‘Did the Ottomans conquer this castle without fighting?’” said Professor Erol Altınsapan of Anadolu University’s History Department, the head of the excavations at the castle in the Central Anatolian province of Eskişehir.

Karacahisar Castle was the first castle that Osman Bey, the founder of the Ottoman state, conquered from non-Muslims and ultimately became the location in which the Ottoman state was founded.

“If they had looted this place and set it on fire, we would have found the traces of the fire. This is a very important finding. Ottomans did not torture the people here, a fact that shows us the tolerance of the Ottomans. This will provide very important data for all academics. Maybe the feudal landlord delivered the castle to the Ottomans,” the professor said.

Altınsapan said excavation work in the area was begun for the first time in 1999 by famous historian Halil İnalcık and Professor Ebru Parman.

“This year we excavated nearly 700 square meters of the castle, which is spread over an area of 60,000 square meters. We unearthed a total of 26 structures during this period. We also finished the excavation at a small Islamic complex there. Also, a structure with high-quality architectural work was also unearthed this year. We think that this structure was a complex that belonged to an administrator,” the professor said, adding that this season’s work would conclude next week.

“Other finds also include an observation tower and stairs to this tower, as well as 138 coins and 42 arrow heads. Each of these arrow heads has different characteristics. We also found ceramic objects like bibelots and toys. This shows us that children were important in Ottoman life,” he said.

Altınsapan said a new excavation area was also unearthed in the place of the small Islamic monastery. “There are remnants here that we think belong to a minaret base. These remnants have given us hope. It will be our first goal in next season’s excavations. Maybe we have found the minaret where the first sermon of the Ottomans was given. It will become apparent in the next season.”

Turkey, archaeology,