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Nickname(s)Gazi Baba
Died17 November 1417
Yenice-i Vardar, Ottoman Empire (now Giannitsa, Greece)
Mausoleum of Ghazi Evrenos, Giannitsa
AllegianceOttoman Empire
Battles/warsBattle of Kosovo (1389)
Battle of Nicopolis (1396)
Battle of Maritsa
Evrenos conquered Keşan, İpsala, Komotini, Feres, Xanthi, Maroneia, Serres, Monastir, and, in 1397, Corinth
ChildrenAli Bey Evrenosoğlu

Evrenos or Evrenuz (died 17 November 1417 in Yenice-i Vardar) was an Ottoman military commander. Byzantine sources mention him as Ἐβρενός, Ἀβρανέζης, Βρανέζης, Βρανεύς (?), Βρενέζ, Βρενέζης, Βρενές.[1]

He served as a general under Süleyman Pasha, Murad I, Bayezid I, Süleyman Çelebi and Mehmed I. Legends stating that he lived for 129 years and had an incredibly long career are inaccurate. These sources of confusion may be linked to the deeds of his descendants becoming intertwined with his own achievements in historical retellings.[2] He was also known as Gavrinos, and believed to descend from a Greek family.[3]


A copy of the Koran that belonged to Evrenos

Οriginally, Gazi Evrenos was a noble dignitary, a bey in the principality of Karasi, joining the Ottomans only after their conquest of the beylik in 1345.[4] A Greek legend[5] maintains that Evrenos' father was a certain Ornos, renegade Byzantine governor of Bursa (Prusa) who defected to the Ottomans, and then on to Karasi, after the Siege of Bursa, in 1326.[6] Stanford J. Shaw states that Evrenos was originally a Byzantine Greek feudal prince in Anatolia who had entered Ottoman service following the capture of Bursa, converted to Islam, and later became a leading military commander under both Orhan and Murat.[7] Joseph von Hammer regarded Evrenos as simply a Byzantine Greek convert to Islam.[8] Peter Sugar considers the family to be of Greek origin as well.[9] Turkish sources report that the family was of Turkish origin.[10][11] However, others dismiss this, noting that the Evrenos family were certainly of non-Turkish origin.[12]

Evrenos has led many crucial Ottoman campaigns and battles in Bulgaria, Thessaly, and Serbia. After having participated in the Ottoman conquest of Adrianopolis in 1362, Evrenos was appointed to uc beği (frontier warlord) of Thessaly.[1] Evrenos built a hospice in Komotini following his conquest of the area in 1363.[13] Later, Evrenos also led the conquest of Serres.[14]

The most famous battle which of Evrenos participated in the shattering victory of the battle of Maritsa,[15] where the 800 Ottoman warriors launched a devastating night raid where they defeated 70,000 Serbian Empire soldiers.[16][17] Later, Evrenos and his Akinjis fought in the Battle of Kosovo (1389) and the Battle of Nicopolis (1396). Evrenos conquered Keşan, İpsala,[18] Komotini, Feres, Xanthi, Maroneia, Monastir, and, in 1397, Corinth.[2][19] He founded the town Yenice-i Vardar, modern Giannitsa.[20]

Gazi Evrenos died at an advanced age in Yenice-i Vardar. He was buried in a mausoleum there in 1417. The mausoleum survives but was badly mutilated in 19th century and served for a time as an agricultural store.[21]


Mausoleum of Gazi Evrenos, Giannitsa. Before (left) and after (right) its restoration)

As one of the most successful Ottoman commanders, Evrenos acquired a considerable amount of wealth and founded numerous endowments (awqaf). Several monuments attributed to him survive in southeastern Europe. Of primary importance is his mausoleum, or türbe, with its accompanying epitaph in Giannitsa.[21] A hammam of Evrenos stands to the south of the mausoleum. Two other monuments stand in Greek Thrace.[22]

Heritage & descendants

Imaret of Komotini, Thrace, Greece.

Some argue that the name Evrenos (also Evrenuz)[23] is not Turkish. Heath Lowry theorized that the father of Hayreddin Barbarossa perhaps was a Sipahi cavalry served under Evrenos.[24] What is certain is that Gazi Evrenos was from Ottoman Anatolia and first appears as bey.[11] Lapavitsas even put forward that the founder, Piranki (Prangı) Isa Bey, might've been descended from the mercenaries of the Catalan Company, who razed the coasts of Asia Minor in the early 14th century.[25] But modern historians generally reject these views. In light of a newly discovered vâkfiye (pious endowment charter) drawn up in 1456-1457 by İsa Beğ (one of Evrenos' seven sons), it posits a new explanation for the ethnic origins of the family. In this regard it advances the hypothesis that to his contemporaries 'Evrenos' was actually known as 'Evreniz/Evrenüz' or 'Avraniz/Avranüz.' Further, according to Heath W. Lowry, that his father's actual name was Branko/Pranko Lazart, which, according to Lowry, raises the possibility of a Serbian origin for the family.[26] Others, such as Stanford J. Shaw, Dimitri Kitsikis, Peter Sugar, Joseph Von Hammer propose a Greek origin for the family,[7][8][9][27] with Shaw noting that he was a Byzantine feudal prince in Anatolia who converted to Islam and entered Ottoman service following the capture of Bursa.[7]

Îsâ "Prangi" Bey, Evrenos' father, was, according to some sources, the son of Bozoklu Han, who joined Süleyman Pasha in his conquest of Rumelia. He is said to have been martyred in the village of Prangi (also known as Sırcık or Kırcık in Ottoman sources), a busy ferry-place on the Evros river about 6 km (4 mi) east from Didymoteicho, and that his tomb was built by his son Evrenos (Evrenuz) Bey.[21][23]

Gazi Evrenos Bey was father of seven sons (Khidr-shah, Isa, Suleyman, Ali, Yakub, Barak, Begdje) and several daughters.[28]

Together with the Mihaloğulları (from the Beylik of Karasi ), Malkoçoğulları (from Serbia), Ömerli/Ömeroğlu, and the Turahanoğulları, Evrenos' descendants, the Evrenosoğulları, constitute one of the Byzantine families that effectively formed the early Ottoman warrior nobility.[19]


  1. ^ a b Trapp, Erich; Walther, Rainer; Beyer, Hans-Veit; Sturm-Schnabl, Katja (1978). "Ἐβρενέζ". Prosopographisches Lexikon der Palaiologenzeit (in German). Vol. 3. Vienna: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften. pp. 207–208. ISBN 3-7001-3003-1.
  2. ^ a b Reinert, Steven W. (1991). "Evrenos". In Kazhdan, Alexander (ed.). The Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium. Vol. 2. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press. p. 765. ISBN 0-19-504652-8.
  3. ^ Abbé Raynal (Guillaume-Thomas-François), Histoire philosophique et politique des établissemens et du commerce des Européens dans l'Afrique septentrionale, Paris, 1826, vol.2, p. 361
  4. ^ International Journal of Turkish Studies Volumes 7-8 (Turkey -- Periodicals, Turkey -- Periodicals -- History, Turkish antiquities -- Periodicals). University of Wisconsin. 2001. p. 13. Retrieved 16 February 2022.
  5. ^ Bent Holm, Mikael Bøgh Rasmussen, ed. (2021). Imagined, Embodied and Actual Turks in Early Modern Europe. Hollitzer. p. 5. ISBN 9783990121252. According to a Greek legend, Evrenos Bey's father was the governor of Bursa and a convert
  6. ^ P. Voutierides, "Neai Ellenikai Poleis-Yenitsa" Panathinaia 25 (1912-13), p. 210.
  7. ^ a b c Stanford J. Shaw: History of the Ottoman Empire and Modern Turkey. Volume 1, Empire of the Gazis: The Rise and Decline of the Ottoman Empire 1280–1808. Cambridge University Press, 1977.
  8. ^ a b Joseph von Hammer: Geschichte des Osmanischen Reiches. Zweite verbesserte Ausgabe Bd. I - IV. Hartlebens, Pesth 1836. (Serbo-Croatian edition by Nerkez Smailagić. Zagreb, 1979.)
  9. ^ a b Sugar, Peter F. (1 July 2012). Southeastern Europe under Ottoman Rule, 1354-1804. University of Washington Press. p. 25. ISBN 978-0-295-80363-0.
  10. ^ Tokalak, İsmail (2006). Bizans-Osmanlı sentezi Bizans kültür ve kurumlarının Osmanlı üzerinde etkisi. Gülerboy Yayıncılık via Indiana University. p. 249. ISBN 9789944547208. Akınism is not unique to the Ottomans, nor is Evrenosoğulları, Mihaloğulları and Malkoçoğulları, who come from famous raider families, are of Turkish origin.
  11. ^ a b Nicolle, David (2011). Cross & Crescent in the Balkans The Ottoman Conquest of Southeastern Europe (14th–15th Centuries). Pen & Sword Books. ISBN 9781844687602. According to some sources, mainly Greek, Evrenos son of Isa (Jesus) Bey Prangi came from a family of Byzantine origin which transferred its alliance to the Turkish Karasi rulers of western Anatolia and had converted to Islam in the 14th century. Other scholars, generally Turkish, claim that the family was of ancient Turkish origin. Certainly Gazi Evrenos was first mentioned as a middle ranking bey.
  12. ^ Lapavitsas, Costas; Cakiroglu, Pinar (8 August 2019). Capitalism in the Ottoman Balkans: Industrialisation and Modernity in Macedonia. Bloomsbury Publishing. p. 91. ISBN 978-1-78831-660-6.
  13. ^ Dana Arnold; Finbarr Barry Flood; Gulru Necipoglu Contributor: Dana Arnold (2017). A Companion to Islamic Art and Architecture (ebook) (Art / History / General, Architecture / Buildings / Religious, Art / Middle Eastern, Islamic architecture, Islamic art). Wiley. p. 736. ISBN 9781119068570. Retrieved 16 February 2022. ((cite book)): |author3= has generic name (help)
  14. ^ "Sırpsındığı Savaşı". Turkcebilgi (in Turkish). Retrieved 16 February 2022.
  15. ^ Michael R. Palairet (2016). Macedonia A Voyage through History (Vol. 2, From the Fifteenth Century to the Present) · Volume 2 (History / General, Political Science / History & Theory, Electronic books, Macedonia -- History). Cambridge Scholars Publishing. ISBN 9781443888493. Retrieved 16 February 2022.
  16. ^ Boskovic, Vladislav (2009). King Vukasin and the disastrous Battle of Marica. GRIN Verlag. p. 11. ISBN 978-3-640-49264-0.
  17. ^ The New Encyclopædia Britannica: Micropaedia. 1993. p. 855. ISBN 978-0-85229-571-7. ((cite book)): |work= ignored (help)
  18. ^ Stanford J. Shaw; Ezel Kural Shaw (1976). History of the Ottoman Empire and Modern Turkey: Volume 1, Empire of the Gazis: The Rise and Decline of the Ottoman Empire 1280-1808 (illustrated, reprint ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 20, 31. ISBN 9780521291637. Retrieved 16 February 2022.
  19. ^ a b Mélikoff, I. (1965). "Ewrenos". In Lewis, B.; Pellat, Ch. & Schacht, J. (eds.). The Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition. Volume II: C–G. Leiden: E. J. Brill. p. 720. OCLC 495469475.
  20. ^ Machiel Kiel, "Yenice Vardar (Vardar Yenicesi-Giannitsa): A forgotten Turkish cultural centre in Macedonia of the 15th and 16th century", Studia Byzantina et Neohellenica Neerlandica 3 (1973): 303.
  21. ^ a b c Demetriades, Vasilis (1976). "The Tomb of Ghāzī Evrenos Bey at Yenitsa and Its Inscription". Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. 39 (2): 328–332. doi:10.1017/S0041977X00050023. ISSN 0041-977X. JSTOR 616797. S2CID 178591943.
  22. ^ Machiel Kiel, "The Oldest Monuments of Ottoman-Turkish Architecture in the Balkans: The Imaret and the Mosque of Ghazi Evrenos Bey in Gümülcine (Komotini) and the Evrenos Bey Khan in the Village of Ilıca/Loutra in Greek Thrace" Sanat Tarihi Yıllıġı, Kunsthhistorische Forschungen 12 (Istanbul, 1983): pp. 117-138.
  23. ^ a b "EVRENOSOĞULLARI". İslâm Ansiklopedisi. Archived from the original on 22 October 2020.
  24. ^ Heath W. Lowry (2014). Frontiers of the Ottoman Imagination: 8 Lingering Questions Regarding the Lineage, Life & Death of Barbaros Hayreddin Paşa (History General Middle East and Islamic Studies History & Culture Cartography Religion Ottoman & Turkish Studies). Brill. pp. 185–212. doi:10.1163/9789004283510_010. ISBN 9789004283510. Retrieved 16 February 2022.
  25. ^ Lapavitsas, Costas; Cakiroglu, Pinar (2019). Capitalism in the Ottoman Balkans Industrialisation and Modernity in Macedonia. Bloomsbury Publishing. ISBN 9781788316590. He [Evrenos] might have even been a descendant of a mercenary of the notorious Grand Catalan Company [...]
  26. ^ Lowry, Heath W. (2012). Fourteenth Century Ottoman Realities. İstanbul: Bahçeşehir University Press. p. 11.
  27. ^ Δ. Κιτσίκης, Ιστορία της Οθωμανικής Αυτοκρατορίας: 1280-1924, Αθήνα 1988, p.. 55-56.
  28. ^ Mélikoff, I. (1965). "Ewrenos Og̲h̲ullari̊". In Lewis, B.; Pellat, Ch. & Schacht, J. (eds.). The Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition. Volume II: C–G. Leiden: E. J. Brill. p. 720. OCLC 495469475.

See also

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