The Battle of Bapheus
Compiled By: Syed Ali Shahbaz
On July 27, 1302 AD, the Battle of Bapheus occurred, resulting in a decisive victory for the rising principality of the Ottoman Turks over the Byzantine Empire, and opening up of all of Asia Minor for the Muslim conquest. The Ottomans achieved characteristics and qualities of state after this battle near what is now Yalova in Turkey. Osman I, who served the Seljuq sultans of Roum or Anatolia, had succeeded in the leadership of his clan in 1282, and over the next two decades launched a series of ever-deeper raids into Byzantine territories.
By 1301, the Ottomans were besieging Nicaea, the former imperial capital. In the spring of 1302, Emperor Michael IX launched a campaign, but the Turks avoided open battle and carried on hit-and-run raids that weakened and isolated the Byzantine army, forcing the emperor to retreat by the sea, followed by waves of refugees. At this Michael's co-emperor Andronikos II Palaiologos sent another army across the Bosporus which was routed by the Turks at Bapheus – the first major victory for the nascent Ottoman emirate.
The Byzantine defeat sparked a massive exodus of the Christian Greek population from the area into the European parts of the Empire. In the next one-and-a-half centuries, the Ottomans were to complete the conquest of the Byzantine Empire by capturing its capital Constantinople in 1453 and renaming it Islambol (Istanbul).