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Zacour, N. P.; Hazard, H. W. (ed.) / Volume VI: The impact of the Crusades on Europe

VII: The Ottoman Turks and the Crusades, 1329-1451,   pp. 222-275 PDF (18.9 MB)

Page 262

with the Karamanids.119 But the most disturbing news for the Ottomans was
the campaign of Shährukh, son of Timur, in Anatolia, which gave rise
to great expectations throughout Christian Europe. Since 1416 Sh~hrukh (1405-1447)
had showed his determination to sustain the status quo established by Timur
in Anatolia and not let the Ottomans press and annex the Anatolian emirates,
those of the Karamanids and Jandarids in particular. The contemporary sources
attribute to him a grandiose plan to invade the Ottoman dominions in Anatolia
and Rumelia and return to Azerbaijan via Moldavia and Kaffa.'2° But in
1429, when he invaded eastern Anatolia, his immediate concern was to crush
the rising power of the Turcoman Karakoyunlu there, which threatened Timurid
rule in Azerbaijan. 
 The common danger brought the Ottomans and Mamluks much closer to each other.
Apart from the Timurid threat, the project of a Karamanid-Cypriote-Venetian
alliance was against the interests of the Mamluks, who had invaded Cyprus
in 1426 and made king Janus a vassal, while the Karamanids were considered
to be under Mamluk protection. At any rate, this Mamluk-Ottoman rapprochement
would continue in the future, and turn against western Christendom, Rhodes
in particular, in the coming decades. 
 On March 29, 1429, Venice finally declared war against the Ottomans, whose
growing naval power and continual attacks on Euboea and other Venetian possessions
in the Aegean had become distressing. By early March a Turkish fleet had
appeared before Thessalonica.'21 The senate believed that the Ottomans had
decided to finish this dispute once and for all. 
 During the long struggle for Thessalonica, the Ottoman tactics consisted
of naval attacks on the Venetian possessions and merchant marine in the Aegean,122
while sustaining a long blockade which aimed to force the city to surrender
by ruining its trade and starving its inhabitants, a tactic successfully
used by the Ottomans against other cities with strong fortifications and
large populations since the fall of Bursa 
 119. lorga, Geschichte, I, 406; idem, Notes et extraits, I, 502; the senate's
decision is dated August 30, 1424. 
 120. FeridUn, op. cit., I, 152. 
 121. Iorga, Notes et extraits, I, 486—488; the Ottomans succeeded
in capturing two Venetian ships; the report is dated March 29, 1429. Venice,
at this time, attempted to use the false "Mustafa", pretender to the Ottoman
throne, in Thessalonica to cause defections in Murad's army; see ibid., I,
489—490, dated May 10, 1429. 
 122. The Ottoman attack on Euboea, Modon, and Coron in the spring of 1428
was particularly destructive, reminiscent of the raids of Umur Pasha in the
previous century; see Setton, The Papacy, II, 37. 

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