EDIRNE, Turkey (AA): As part of a new tourism project, package tours of Ottoman capitals will take visitors on a journey through time while reviving cultural tourism in the historical cities. Tourists will experience the atmosphere of Ottoman capitals first-hand on the routes that start in the northwestern province of Edirne and continue on to Bilecik, Bursa and Istanbul.
The foundations of the Ottoman Empire were laid in the Söğüt district in the northwestern province of Bilecik, which is why some sources refer to it as the empire’s first capital. Legend has it that the birth of the great empire that would last six centuries was revealed to Osman Ghazi, also called Osman I, in a dream. It is said that Osman Ghazi, who would frequently visit his father-in-law Sheikh Edebali, had a vision on one of the nights he slept over. In his dream, a moon came out of the sheikh’s bosom and entered his own. Then, a massive tree grew out of his bosom, branching up to the sky, its roots surrounding the entire world and its shade encompassing all of the earth. In the dream, people gathered under the tree. Sheikh Edebali interprets the dream as the foretelling of the foundation of a world empire. In 1299, the city of Bilecik is taken over and the Ottoman Empire is founded by Osman Ghazi. From then onward, the city is increasingly developed under Ottoman rule.
After its capture from the Byzantines in 1326, Bursa served as the first major capital city of the early Ottoman Empire. Orhan Ghazi, the son of founder Osman Ghazi, took the city and ruled for nearly 35 years until his death in 1360.
Sultan Murad I, the son of Orhan Ghazi, succeeded his father on the throne and took the city of Edirne, which was known as Adrianople, in 1362. One night, Sultan Murad had a dream about a white-bearded man with a radiant face who told him to build a palace in Edirne. A grandiose palace was immediately built and in 1363 the Ottoman capital moved from Bursa to Edirne, although Bursa conserved its economic and spiritual importance.
The last among the Ottoman capitals is Istanbul, which was conquered in 1453 by Sultan Mehmed II, also known as Mehmed the Conqueror, in a show of great military might. Istanbul, which served as the capital since its conquest until the Republic of Turkey was established, has always attracted attention with its splendor throughout the years.
The Ottoman capital tour project will be initiated by Edirne Culture and Tourism Directorate.
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