No so long ago...

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By: Khalid Hafeez

The allied had always hated to test their might against Sultan Yalderam, and his naval fleet. His conquests in Eastern Anatolia and Belgrade had terrified them. When Yelderam attacked Hungary and smashed her forts at Timshor, Krachwa, Krancibesh and Mehdia, the West was alarmed enough to put the mutual disputes aside and unite against the Sultan. One hundred thousand warriors from France, Germany, Hungary and Vlachia attacked Serbia – the ally of Sultan in the west. They raised hell in Weidin and Irsuwa, the two cities of Serbia at the border of Hungary. Sultan had posted some of his men to support Serbian army. They fought valiantly and did not sheath swards while their comrades from the Serbian army lost posts to the West European allies.

Sultan had an intelligent network of informers who kept him abreast with the latest development on and beyond borders.

The emperors and army chiefs were celebrating the fall of Weidin and Irsuwa. Constable of France – Phillip Debar, Chief of Naval staff – Jean Debar, King of Germany – Fredrik, King of Hungary – Sagismond Marshal Bosikat and John Pleologus had gathered to toast the occasion. No one cared for having drunk a bit too much. 

Marashal Bosikat said,” I bet, Yalderam would not dream of crossing the pass so fast.”

Phillip Debar chimed “ We can take the sky on our lances, should it fall.”

On hearing the news by his informers, Sultan swore, “By God, I shall tie my horse in St. Peter’s Cathedral.”

Every one seemed to enjoy the wine and took no notice of the weary rider who had just entered the room. He reached Phillip De bar and whispered something. 

Phillip laughed and mocked the informer “Yalderam has crossed the pass and has reached the lower slope.” 

He grew less serious when he said “Gentlemen! Yalderam reaches you in less than six hours.”

Marshal Bosikat, a bit too confident for his recent success at Serbia snarled in rage, “ The informers would get their ears chopped off for passing such outrageous information”. Once again the roar of laughter deafens the ears and the informer leaves the room in dismay.

The allied forces could hardly believe their eyes when they saw Sultan surging with his men in the battlefield of Nichopolis on September 25, 1396. A fierce battle took place and took toll of thousands of French, Hungarian, German and Vlachian soldiers. Some ten thousand allied warriors were hanged. Sagismond of Hungary fled the battlefield. Along with many others Count Noris was caught. 

To skip the punishment they dreaded most, the allied had joined forces. Yet, the coalition did not prove viable. Sultan Yalderam had not only punished them but also managed to enter into Western Europe. 

The above account is one of the many valiant feats of courage and commitment to the faith displayed by the Othmanian kings. Sultan Yalderam was one of those courageous kings who pushed the Islamic Empire in to the heart of Europe and helped to establish a strong Muslim rule that lasted for centuries.