Croatia under the rule of the Ottoman Empire

Croatia under the rule of the Ottoman Empire
Croatia under the rule of the Ottoman Empire
Anonim
Croatia under the rule of the Ottoman Empire

In previous articles, it was told about Serbia and Montenegro. In this one we will talk about their closest neighbors - the Croats.

Fight for Croatia

Many linguists derive the word "Croat" from the common Slavic сhъrvatъ and Indo-European kher, referring to something related to weapons. (But the Serbs, according to one of the versions, are “united” by a common kinship. It has been suggested that the Belarusian word “syabr” is the same root word).

Croatian belongs to the South Slavic group, close to Serbian, Montenegrin and Bosnian. It has three dialects - Stockavian, which served as the basis of the literary Croatian language, Kaikavian and Chakavian.

The Croatian lands have long been an arena for the struggle of the great powers. In the Middle Ages, Venetians, Ottomans and Hungarians tried to establish power over this territory. And before them ancient Byzantium and the young empire of Charlemagne competed here.

In 925, Prince Tomislav I of the Trpimirovic dynasty became the first Croatian king, then this state included Pannonia, Dalmatia, Slavonia and Bosnia.

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After the death of the last king of the Trpimirovic family, Stephen II, in 1091, claims to these lands were made by King Laszlo I of Hungary, whose sister Elena was the wife of the previous Croatian monarch, Dmitar Zvonimir. The Hungarian army entered Croatia, and Elena was even proclaimed queen, but was forced to leave the country after the Polovtsian attack on Hungary, directed by the Byzantine emperor Alexei I Komnenos. However, the Hungarians still managed to keep Slavonia behind them, and the nephew of Laszlo I, Almos, became its king.

The Croats did not accept the loss: in 1093 they elected a new king - Petar Svachich, who after 2 years managed to conquer Slavonia. But this success ruined him, because Almos's brother - Kalman the Scribe (who became king of Hungary in 1095) in 1097 defeated the Croatian army in the battle on Mount Gvozd. In this battle, the last monarch of independent Croatia died.

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Initially, there was a Hungarian-Croatian union with a common king (the same Kalman Knizhnik). However, in 1102 a document (“Pacta conventa”) was signed, according to which Croatia became part of Hungary as an autonomous “Land of the Crown of St. Stephen (Archiregnum Hungaricum).

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From the end of the 12th century, northwestern Dalmatia with the cities of Zadar, Split, Trogir was under the rule of Hungary: on behalf of the king of this country, the governor, ban, ruled these lands. In Hungary itself, a close position to the Croatian Ban was held by the Palatine, who was both the first minister and the supreme judge.

South Dalmatia, which included the cities of Kotor, Bar, Ulcius, became a vassal of Serbia, where the Nemanich dynasty ruled at that time.

Venice took possession of Zadar in 1202, and Dubrovnik in 1205. In the 15th century, after buying in 1409 the rights to part of Dalmatia from Vladislav of Naples, the Venetians controlled almost the entire coast of the future Croatia.

And then the Ottoman sultans drew attention to these lands.

Ottoman conquest of Croatia

This is how the Ottoman Empire looked like in 1451 - before the capture of Constantinople (1453) and the "jump" to the Balkans.

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In 1459, as we remember from the article "Ottoman period in the history of Serbia", Serbia was finally conquered. In 1460 the Ottomans captured Bosnia, in 1463 - the Peloponnese, in 1479 - Albania and part of the Venetian possessions, finally, in 1483, Herzegovina was conquered. In 1493, the Croatian army was defeated in a battle with the Ottomans on the Krbavsky field.

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The Turkish troops were then led by the Bosnian Sanjak bey Khadim Yakup Pasha. At his disposal were only akindzhi - light (compared to sipahi) Ottoman cavalry. He was opposed by the ban Imre Deremchin, who brought with him 8 thousand infantry and two thousand heavily armed horsemen.

The Ottoman horsemen carried off the Croatian cavalrymen with a feigned retreat, and then, surrounding them, killed them. Then it was the turn of the infantry (which had upset their ranks when advancing). In this battle, many Croatian nobles died, including the ban himself.

In 1521, Sultan Suleiman I (the Magnificent) demanded a tribute from Hungary. After refusing, he first captured Belgrade, which belonged to this country, and then moved his troops to the capital city of Buda. The Hungarians met them on the Mohacs plain - about 250 km from the capital. Here on August 29, 1526, a battle took place, which ended in the defeat of the Christian army.

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The battle began with an attack by the Hungarian heavy cavalry on the right wing of the Ottomans. At the same time, infantry units of the Christian army entered the battle with the Janissaries in the center and on the other flank.

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The Hungarian knights managed to strongly press the Ottoman cavalry (although it is believed that the retreat of the Turks was a deceptive maneuver). In the end, the Turks led the enemy cavalry to their artillery positions: the fire of the Ottoman guns mixed the ranks of the attackers. A counterattack by the Turkish cavalry overturned the knights, who almost all died, being pressed against the Danube.

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The infantrymen held out longer, who were eventually surrounded and also defeated. King Lajos II of Hungary, Croatia and Bohemia was killed. He became the second king of the Jagiellonian dynasty to die in battle with the Turks. (The first was Vladislav Varnenchik, who died in 1444 in the battle of Varna - you can read the story about it in the article "Crusaders against the Ottoman Empire: the last campaign").

Two weeks later, the capital of Hungary, Buda, also fell.

One of the main Ottoman trophies in the Battle of Mohacs was a half-naked boy found in a ditch, either a Croat or a Hungarian, who went down in history as Piiale Pasha, the second vizier of the empire, commander-in-chief of the Ottoman fleet and son-in-law of Sultan Selim II. It was described in the article "Ottoman pirates, admirals, travelers and cartographers."

The central part of Hungary was now occupied by the Ottomans. The western and northern regions, including the city of Pozsony (Bratislava), came under the rule of the Habsburgs. The Ottomans also occupied many regions of Croatia.

You may have heard the phrase somewhere:

“Let others fight; you happy Austria, get married! What Mars gives to others, Venus gives you."

This couplet was attributed to the king of Hungary, Matius Corvin, who lived in the 15th century. But it appeared, apparently, in the 16th century. It was at this time (in 1526) that a successful marriage brought Austria the Habsburg crowns of Hungary and Croatia.

The problem was that the Ottomans then left the "remnants of the remnants" to Austria. The Turks retained possessions in Hungary until 1699. And now not only the Ottomans claimed the lands of the Christians that lay to the north of their property (the culmination of their onslaught was the siege of Vienna in 1683), but the Austrians also sought to conquer the territories of the Ottoman Sanjaks that belonged to them "by right".

In Dalmatia, the city of Dubrovnik (the Republic of Ragusa) has always occupied a special position, which belonged to the Venetians until 1358, and then fell under the rule of Hungary.

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In 1526, this republic was conquered by the Ottomans. But even then she managed to maintain a certain independence, limiting herself to paying tribute - until the devastating earthquake of 1667.

And the Venetians, despite the fierce confrontation with the Ottomans, held on to the Adriatic coast of Dalmatia until 1797, when the Republic of St. Mark was conquered by Napoleon Bonaparte.

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From August 6 to September 8, 1566, the Ottomans besieged the small fortress of Sigetvar, which was defended by the Croatian Ban Miklós Zrinyi.

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Sultan Suleiman I was with the Turkish army, who entrusted the command to Grand Vizier Mehmed Pasha Sokkol (this Serb, who was taken from his parents by the “devshirme” system, was described in the article The Ottoman Period in the History of Serbia).

On the night of September 7, Suleiman I died in his tent. But the vizier did not inform his army about this. Instead, he sent an army to a decisive assault: the city burned and Zrinyi, at the head of 600 horsemen, rushed against the superior forces of the Turks. Only seven of them managed to break through, and Miklos Zrinyi fell, struck by three Turkish bullets.

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Zrinya's nephew Gaspar Aldapich was taken prisoner, but was ransomed. Later he himself became a Croatian ban.

The death of Suleiman mixed up the plans of Mehmed Pasha: instead of going to Vienna, he returned to Constantinople to coordinate further actions with the new sultan - Selim II. And so Richelieu called the siege of Sigetvar

"The battle that saved civilization."

Sigetvar belonged to the Ottoman Empire for 122 years. And in 1994, the Hungarian-Turkish Friendship Park was opened near this city, where you can see the monument to Miklos Zrinyi and Suleiman I.

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In 1593, a battle took place in the interfluve of the Sava and Kupa rivers near the city of Sisak, after which the Ottomans' onslaught on the Balkans significantly weakened. In this battle, the army of the Bosnian Pasha Hassan Predojevic clashed with the Austrian troops, which were based on the Croats. There were also the border regions of the Military Krajina and even 500 Serbian Uskoks (we will talk about Uskoks later in this article). The Turks were completely defeated, even their commander-in-chief was killed.

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The new border between the possessions of the Ottomans and the Habsburgs remained until the end of the 17th century.

Dalmatian hops

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In Dalmatia (the Adriatic coast of modern Croatia), from the end of the 15th century, the Uskoks waged a constant struggle against the Turks.

There are two versions of the origin of this word. According to the first of them, the Uskoks are those who fled ("galloped") from the territory controlled by the Turks. It could have been Serbs, Croats, and Bosnians. But there were also "volunteers" from the other side of the Adriatic Sea, for example, the Venetians. According to another version, uskoks are “those who jump” (from an ambush).

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Leaps could operate on land. But they became famous at sea, where they went on large boats (about 15 meters long). Meeting with them was dangerous for any ship, not necessarily a Turkish one (although the Uskoks, of course, were robbed of the Ottomans with special pleasure).

Initially, the Uskoks were based in the Klis fortress, located on the rock, not far from Split.

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(In the TV series "Game of Thrones" Klis became the prototype of the city of Meereen - there they "painted on" the pyramids on the computer).

After Klis was surrendered to the Ottomans (in 1537), the Uskoks moved to the north-west of Dalmatia - to the city of Senj, located opposite the island of Krk and belonging to the Austrian Archduke Ferdinand (future emperor). And then the Venetian merchants had a saying:

"May the Lord protect us from the hands of Seni."

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The goods obtained at sea were usually sold in the Italian city of Gradiska (captured by the Austrians from Venice in 1511), which eventually even began to be called the "capital of the Uskoks".

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In 1615, they became so bold that they attacked the city of Monfalcone, which belonged to Venice. And then they captured the galleon of the governor of Venetian Dalmatia, who died during a boarding battle.

The result was the so-called Uskok war, or the "War of Gradiski" (this city withstood two sieges), in which the Austrians, Spaniards and Croats clashed with the Venetians, the Dutch and the British.

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This war lasted from 1615 to 1618. And it ended with the expulsion of the Uskoks from Senya. An undesirable result was the activation of the Ottoman military and corsair ships, which now began to enter the northern waters of the Adriatic Sea more often.

Haiduki

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A little was told about the Yunaks of Serbia in the article "The Ottoman period in the history of Serbia".

And in Croatia, Bulgaria, Macedonia and Hungary, such partisans were called free hayduks. (In Hungary there were also royal haiduks, similar to the registered Cossacks of the Commonwealth).

However, it would be naive to believe that the Yunaks, Uskoks and Free Guyduks were entirely noble “people's avengers”, eager to give the poor their last shirt and ready to climb the scaffold at any moment to deliver a heartfelt speech about love for their homeland before execution.

The line between the "national liberation struggle" and banditry was sometimes very thin. The partisans often attacked the Turks and "collaborators" because it was during such operations that one could hope for good prey. And what do you get from the poor local Christians? The Turks have already robbed them on completely legal grounds.

A certain Ferenc Nagy Szabo, who lived on the territory of modern Romania, wrote about these partisans in 1601:

These Haiduks are a very rude godless people, although they are Christians, they are extremely bad Christians. When we told them not to beat and not atheist, because we are also Hungarians and Christians, and that their Lord will certainly punish them, they answered us:

"This and that are the sons of the spirit, you are hairy Turks and hang out with the Turks … We are not afraid of anything from God, since we left Him in Zatissia."

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Croatia in the Habsburg state

During the Austro-Turkish War of 1683-1699, the Habsburgs managed to recapture Croatian territory up to the Sava River. Further, throughout the 18th century, the Austrian authorities encouraged the resettlement of ethnic Germans to Croatian lands. What caused the resistance of the local population.

From the end of the 18th century, Istria, Dalmatia and Dubrovnik came under Austrian rule, which at the beginning of the 19th century (1809−1813) were the Illyrian provinces of France. And then they went back to the Habsburgs.

In gratitude for its help in suppressing the Hungarian revolution of 1848, Croatia received autonomy rights. However, after the formation of the "two-pronged monarchy" (Austria-Hungary) in 1867, Croatia and Slavonia became part of the Hungarian kingdom, while Dalmatia and Istria were ceded to Austria.

After the annexation of Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1878, the Military Border (Military Krajina) was abolished, the lands of which were annexed to Croatia. Finally, after the defeat of Austria-Hungary in the First World War in 1918, Croatia became part of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes.

And then we will talk about Macedonia, which, in addition to the Turks, was claimed by Greeks, Bulgarians, Serbs and even Albanians.

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