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Bayazid II°


BAYAZID II° (c. 1447–1512), sultan of the Ottoman Empire (1481–1512), son and successor of Sultan Mehmet ii, conqueror of Constantinople. Following the expulsion from Spain, great numbers of Jews streamed into the Ottoman Empire and settled in various towns of the Balkans and Anatolia. According to R. Elijah *Capsali, Sultan Bayazid issued an order to the governors of the provinces not to refuse those Jews entry or cause them difficulties but to receive them cordially and provide them with the help they needed to settle themselves. Nevertheless, according to the same source, Bayazid was a devout Muslim and was responsible for certain cases of forced conversion of Jews to Islam. He was also the only sultan to enforce the prohibition against building new synagogues. Immanuel *Aboab attributes to Bayazid the famous remark that the Catholic monarchs (Ferdinand and Isabella) were considered wise, but wrongly so, since they impoverished Spain (by the expulsion of the Jews) and enriched the Ottoman Empire. During the reign of Bayazid the position of rabbi in the capital was held by R. Moses *Capsali, who was succeeded by R. Elijah *Mizraḥi. Joseph *Hamon was the sultan's physician and influential at court. European sources accuse Hamon of complicity in the sudden death of Bayazid after his forced abdication in favor of his son Selim i.


M. Franco, Essai sur l'histoire des Israélites de l'Empire Ottoman … (1897) 35–40; J.R. Hacker, "Ha-Rabbanut ha-Rashit ba-Imperiah ha-Ottomanit ba-Me'ah ha-15 ve-ha-16," in: Zion, 49, 3 (1984), 225–63; A. Shmuelevitz, "Capsali as a Source for Ottoman History 1450–1523," in: ijmes, 9 (1978) 339–44.

[Aryeh Shmuelevitz (2nd ed.)]

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