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Apocalypticism and imperial criticism: (re)reading the Dürr-i meknūn (The Hidden Pearl, 1472–73) in the context of Ottoman–Akkoyunlu imperial confrontation

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  18 September 2023

Ebru Turan*
Fordham University, New York, USA


The Dürr-i meknūn (The Hidden Pearl) is one of the most fascinating and enigmatic works of fifteenth-century Ottoman literature. It consists of a digest of Islamic cosmology and cosmography engaging with a wide array of subjects, beginning with the Creation and concluding with the Last Judgement. The Dürr-i meknūn has long been attributed to the mystic and scholar Ahmed Bīcān and has accordingly been dated to between 1453 and 1466. However, building on the most recent research, which shows that Ahmed Bīcān could not possibly have penned the Dürr and that the text is in fact anonymous, this article provides a critical reading and new dating of the text by focusing on the apocalyptic prophecies found in Chapter 16. Using a novel methodology that integrates contextual and historical reading, with computations of Arabic gematria, my analysis demonstrates that the Dürr was composed in 1472–73, in anticipation of the Ottoman–Akkoyunlu confrontation at the Battle of Başkent, when fears were running high that the end of Ottoman rule was at hand.

Copyright © The Author(s), 2023. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of SOAS University of London

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1 Demirtaş, Ahmet, Yazıcıoğlu Ahmed Bîcan Dürr-i Meknûn (Istanbul, 2009), 153–5, 160–3Google Scholar.

2 Demirtaş, Dürr-i Meknûn, 208–15. For the references to the length of earthly time as 7,000 years, see 103, 117, 208–9, 214. It was a widely accepted belief in medieval Islamic sources that the life of the world would last seven millennia; see Khaldûn, Ibn, The Muqaddimah: An Introduction to History, (trans) Rosenthal, Franz, vol. 2 (London, 1958), 204–5Google Scholar.

3 Demirtaş, Dürr-i Meknûn, 215–28.

4 The text refers to the famous scholar ʿAbd al-Raḥmān al-Bisṭāmī (d. 1454) as dead; see Demirtaş, Dürr-i Meknûn, 210. For the post-conquest dating of the work, see also Yerasimos, Stéphane, La Fondation de Constantinople et de Sainte-Sophie dans les traditions turques: légendes d'Empire (Istanbul; Paris, 1990), 61–2Google Scholar.

5 Çelebioğlu, Âmil and Eraslan, Kemal, “Yazıcı-oğlu”, İslam Ansiklopedisi: İslam Alemi Coğrafya Etnografya ve Biyografi Lugatı (Istanbul, 1940–93)Google Scholar (hereafter İA); V. L. Ménage, “Bidjan, Ahmed”, Encyclopaedia of Islam, second ed. (Leiden, 1960–2005) (hereafter EI(2)); Yazıcıoğlu Mehmed, Muhammediye, (ed.) Âmil Çelebioğlu (Istanbul, 2018), 15–51; Âmil Çelebioğlu, “Ahmed Bîcan”, Türkiye Diyanet Vakfı İslam Ansiklopedisi (Istanbul, 1988–2013) (hereafter DİA).

6 Grenier, Carlos, “Reassessing the authorship of the Dürr-i meknūn”, Archivum Ottomanicum 35, 2018, 119Google Scholar.

7 The two oldest copies are both dated to 1598: one in the Topkapı Palace Museum Library, Istanbul, H.427, and the other in the National Library of Egypt, Cairo, Nr. 1562. For the list of the Dürr-i meknūn manuscripts, see Kaptein, Laban, Ahmed Bican Yazıcıoğlu Dürr-i meknûn: Kritische Edition mit Kommentar (Asch, 2007), 593–5Google Scholar; Demirtaş, Dürr-i Meknûn, 9–11.

8 Kaptein, Dürr-i meknûn.

9 Kaptein's work is not even mentioned in the bibliography; see Demirtaş, Dürr-i Meknûn, 249–57.

10 Bîcan, Yazıcıoğlu Ahmed, Dürr-i Meknun Saklı İnciler, (ed.) Necdet Sakaoğlu (İstanbul, 1999)Google Scholar.

11 I relied mainly on Demirtaş's edition but often consulted Kaptein's and Sakaoğlu's editions, as indicated in the notes. Translations are mine unless otherwise stated.

12 For the Anonymous Chronicle of the Ottoman dynasty, see Hasan Hüseyin Adalıoğlu, “Osmanlı Tarih Yazıcılığında Tevârih-i Âl-i Osman Geleneği”, in Güler Eren (ed.), Osmanlı, vol. 8 (Ankara, 1999), 286–92; Dimitris Kastritsis, “Ottoman anonymous chronicles”, in Graeme Dunphy and Cristian Bratu (eds), Encyclopedia of the Medieval Chronicle (Brill, 2010).; Necdet Öztürk (ed.), Anonim Tevârîh-i Âl-i Osman; Anonim Osmanlı Kroniği [Osmanlı Tarihi (1299–1512)] (İstanbul, 2015), xxi–xxxvii.

13 Çiğdem Kafesçioğlu, Constantinopolis/Istanbul: Cultural Encounter, Imperial Vision, and the Construction of the Ottoman Capital (University Park, 2009).

14 Yerasimos, La Fondation de Constantinople, 60–1, 68–74, 123–38, 193–245.

15 Kaya Şahin, “Constantinople and the end time: the Ottoman conquest as a portent of the last hour”, Journal of Early Modern History 14/4, 2010, 317–54, esp. 317–18, 324, 328, 335–43, 348–50.

16 Yerasimos, La Fondation de Constantinople, 183–99; Şahin, “Constantinople and the end time”, 322–8, 343–51.

17 Demirtaş, Dürr-i Meknûn, 217–19.

18 Paul J. Alexander, The Byzantine Apocalyptic Tradition (Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1984); Agustino Pertusi, Fine di Bisanzio e fine del mondo: significato e ruolo storico delle profezie sulla caduta di Constantinopoli in Oriente ed Occidente (Rome, 1988), 35–109; Paul Magdalino, “The history of the future and its uses: prophecy, policy, and propaganda”, in Roderick Beaton and Charlotte Roueché (eds), The Making of Byzantine History Studies Dedicated to Donald M. Nicol (London; Aldershot, 1993), 3–34; Paul Magdalino, “The end of time in Byzantium”, in Wolfram Brandes and Felicitas Schmieder (eds), Endzeiten Eschatologie in den monotheistischen Weltreligionen (Berlin and New York, 2008), 119–33; David Olster, “Byzantine apocalypses”, in Bernard McGinn (ed.), Encyclopedia of Apocalypticism, vol. 2 (New York, 1998), 48–73; Benjamin Lellouch and Stéphane Yerasimos, Les traditions apocalyptiques au tournant de la chute de Constantinople (Paris, 1999); Feridun M. Emecen, “Lanetli Şehir Düştü: İstanbul'un Fethi ve Kıyamet Senaryoları”, Osmanlı Araştırmaları XXII, 2003, 191–205; Feridun M. Emecen, “Emperyal Kentlerin Uğursuzluğu: İstanbul ve Apokaliptik Temalar”, in Antik Çağ’dan XXI. Yüzyıla Büyük İstanbul Tarihi, vol. 2 (Istanbul, 2016), 348–63; Feridun M. Emecen, Fetih ve Kıyamet 1453 (Istanbul, 2012), 30–8, 38–62, 260–2.

19 Demirtaş, Dürr-i Meknûn, 208–15.

20 Ibn Khaldûn, The Muqaddimah, vol. 3, 171–226; Ibn G. Weil and G. S. Colin, “Abdjad”, EI(2); Mustafa İsmet Uzun, “Ebced”, DİA; Metin Yurdagür, “Cefr”, DİA; Toufic Fahd, “Djafr”, EI(2); Toufic Fahd, “Ḥurūf (ʿilm al-)”, EI(2); Toufic Fahd, La divination arabe: études religieuses, sociologiques et folkloriques sur le milieu natif de l'Islam (Leiden, 1966), 219–24, 228–34; Mehmet Emin Bozhüyük, “Hurûf”, DİA; Noah Gardiner, “Jafr”, EI(3); İlker Evrim Binbaş, Intellectual Networks in Timurid Iran: Sharaf Al-Dīn ʻAlī Yazdī and the Islamicate Republic of Letters (Cambridge and New York, 2016), 150–64.

21 For al-Bisṭāmī, see M. Smith, “Al-Bisṭāmī”, EI(2); İhsan Fazlıoğlu, “İlk Dönem Osmanlı İlim ve Kültür Hayatında İhvânu's-Safâ ve Abdurrahmân Bistâmî”, Divan 1/2, 1996, 229–40; H. Algar, “Besṭāmī, ʿAbd-al-Raḥmān”, Encyclopaedia Iranica; Denis Gril, “Ésotérisme contre hérésie: ‘Abd al-Rahmân al-Bistâmî, un representant de la science des letters à Bursa dans la première moitié du XVe siècle”, in Gilles Veinstein (ed.), Syncrétismes et heresies dans l'Orient seldjoukide et ottoman (XIVe–XVIIIe siècle) (Paris, 2005), 183–95; Cornell H. Fleischer, “Ancient wisdoms and new sciences: prophecies at the Ottoman Court in the fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries”, in Masumeh Farhad and Serpil Bağcı (eds), Falnama: The Book of Omens (Washington, DC: 2009), 232–43; Cornell H. Fleischer, “A Mediterranean apocalypse: prophecies of empire in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries”, Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient 61, 2018, 42–8.

22 The main manuscript used by Demirtaş – Süleymaniye Kütüphanesi [hereafter SK], Pertevniyal 456, dated 1681 – reads “ḳābil ü fettāndur (he was a fomenter of discord and dissension)” instead of “the murderer of children (ḳatl-i fetān)”. However, the second manuscript he consulted – Topkapı Sarayı Müzesi Kütüphanesi [hereafter TSM], Koğuşlar 916, dated 1633 – and the manuscripts Kaptein used for his edition render it as (ḳātil-i fetān); see Kaptein, Dürr-i meknûn, 551.

23 Demirtaṣ, Dürr-i Meknûn, 211–12.

24 The word “bed'et (بدأة)” (“beginning”) is misspelled in all the manuscripts that Kaptein and Demirtaş consulted. Demirtaş misread it as “bir ʿatbūr”, which does not mean anything, because the copyist spelled it incorrectly as “bidʿat (بدعت)”; see Demirtaş, Dürr-i Meknûn, 211, 870/140b. In the manuscripts studied by Kaptein, on the other hand, instead of “bed'et”, the word “serāt (سراة)”, which also means beginning, is used. However, it is misspelled as “sürʿat, (سرعة)”, denoting velocity, which resulted in mistranslation; see Kaptein, Dürr-i meknûn, 299, 550, Appendix B. Only Sakaoğlu's transcription renders it correctly as “ser'idir”; see Sakaoğlu (ed.), Dürr-i Meknun Saklı İnciler, 118.

25 Ibn Taghrī Birdī, History of Egypt 1382–1469 AD, Part II (1399–1411 AD), (trans) William Popper (Berkeley, 1954), 33–60; Ahmed Ibn Arabshah, Tamerlane or Timur the Great Amir, (trans) J.H. Sanders (London, 1936), 116–69.

26 Bahattin Yaman, “Osmanlı Resim Sanatında Kıyamet Alametleri: Tercüme-i Cifru'l-Câmi Ve Tasvirli Nüshaları”, PhD thesis, Hacettepe Üniversitesi, 2002, 119–20, 233. Al-Bisṭāmī might have witnessed and survived Timur's sack of Aleppo in November 1400; see Smith, “Al-Bisṭāmī”. The Miftāḥ also quotes a different prophecy predicting the rise of Timur and that his conquests of Iran, Khorasan, Iraq, Anatolia, Syria and Upper Mesopotamia would occur in the year ah 803; see Yaman, “Tercüme-i Cifru'l-Câmi”, 88–9, 237. In the Turkish translation of the work, made at the end of the sixteenth century, the year 803 is substituted with 903 to maintain the apocalyptic relevance of the text in the new historical context; see Yaman, “Tercüme-i Cifru'l-Câmi”, 89.

27 David Cook, “Apocalyptic incidents during the Mongol invasions”, in Brandes and Schmieder (eds), Endzeiten Eschatologie in den monotheistischen Weltreligionen, 293–312; David Cook, “The image of the Turk in classical and modern Muslim apocalyptic literature”, in Wolfram Brandes, F. Schmieder and R. Voß (eds), Peoples of the Apocalypse (Berlin and Boston, 2016), 225–36; Judith Pfeiffer, “‘Faces like shields covered with leather:’ Keturah's sons in the post-Mongol Islamicate eschatological traditions”, in İlker Evrim Binbaş and Nurten Kılıç-Schubel (eds), Horizons of the World: Festschrift for İsenbike Togan (Istanbul, 2011), 557–95.

28 Hussain Ali M. Al-Trabulsy, “Investigation of some astronomical phenomena in medieval Arabic chronicles”, MA thesis, Durham University, 1993, 82. The appearance of comets was identified as a sign of the Day of Judgement in the Islamic tradition; see Yaman, “Tercüme-i Cifru'l-Câmi”, 25.

29 H.R. Roemer, “Tīmūr in Iran”, in Peter Jackson (ed.), The Cambridge History of Iran, vol. 6 (Cambridge, 1986), 47–8.

30 In the part telling the story of the Prophet Yusuf, the Dürr mentions that Yusuf became first the vizier and then the sultan of Egypt; see Demirtaş, Dürr-i Meknûn, 126. For the association of Yusuf with the throne of Egypt in the Key, see Yaman, “Tercüme-i Cifru'l-Câmi”, 95–96, 233.

31 Anne F. Broadbridge, Kingship and Ideology in the Islamic and Mongol Worlds (Cambridge; New York, 2008), 189.

32 For examples, see Cihan Yüksel Muslu, The Ottomans and the Mamluks Imperial Diplomacy and Warfare in the Islamic World (London, 2014).

33 Kemal Sılay, “Ahmedī's History of the Ottoman Dynasty”, Journal of Turkish Studies 16, 1992, 138, 156; Shai Har-El, Struggle for Domination in the Middle East: The Ottoman–Mamluk War 1485–1491 (Leiden, 1995), 68; Broadbridge, Kingship and Ideology, 175; Muslu, The Ottomans and the Mamluks, 82–5.

34 Ibn Taghrī Birdī, History of Egypt, Part II, 33–34; Shai Har-El, Struggle for Domination in the Middle East: The Ottoman–Mamluk War 1485–1491 (Leiden, 1995), 68; Broadbridge, Kingship and Ideology, 189; Muslu, The Ottomans and the Mamluks, 83–4.

35 Ibn Taghrī Birdī, History of Egypt, Part II, 33–4.

36 For Timur's characterization as ṣāḥib-ḳırān, see Broadbridge, Kingship and Ideology, 169–70; A. Azfar Moin, The Millennial Sovereign: Sacred Kingship and Sainthood in Islam (New York, 2012), 23–55; Binbaş, Intellectual Networks in Timurid Iran, 251–61. For Timurid propagandistic historiography, see John E. Woods, “The rise of Tīmūrid historiography”, Journal of Near Eastern Studies 46, 1987, 81–108; Charles Melville, “The Mongol and Timurid periods, 1250–1500”, in Charles Melville (ed.), Persian Historiography: A History of Persian Literature (London; New York, 2012), 190–2.

37 Ibn Arabshah, Tamerlane, 117–69; Ibn Taghrī Birdī, History of Egypt, Part II, 35–51, 59–60; Walter J. Fischel, “A new Latin source on Tamerlane's conquest of Damascus (1400/1401): (B. de Mignanelli's ‘Vita Tamerlani’ 1416)”, Oriens 9/2, 1956, 201–32; Johann Schiltberger, The Bondage and Travels of Johann Schiltberger in Europe, Asia and Africa, 1396–1427 (London, 1879), 20–4, 124–30; İbn Kemal, Tevârih-i Âl-i Osman IV. Defter, (ed.) Koji Imazawa (Ankara, 2000), 375–401.

38 Ibn Taghrī Birdī, History of Egypt, Part II, 59. The Ottoman historian İbn Kemal mentions this couplet as he describes Timur's ruin of Sivas: “Oldı Sīvās ehlinüñ ḥāli ḫarāb/Didiler ol yıl içün sāl-i ḫarāb” (The people of Sivas were destroyed/They called that year the year of destruction). The word “ḫarāb” (destruction) equates to the numeric value of 803 (ḫ + r + a + b = 600 + 200 + 1 + 2); see İbn Kemal, Tevârih-i Âl-i Osman IV. Defter, 383; Ibn Arabshah, Tamerlane, 116–17.

39 Ibn Taghrī Birdī, History of Egypt, Part II, 38. See also İbn Kemal, Tevârîh-i Âl-i Osman, 47; Schiltberger, The Bondage and Travels of Johann Schiltberger, “How Tämerlin caused MMM children to be killed”, 27; İbn Kemal, Tevârih-i Âl-i Osman IV. Defter, 379–81.

40 Ibn Taghrī Birdī, History of Egypt, Part II, 50–1.

41 Ibn Arabshah, Tamerlane, 145–6, 160–2.

42 Ibn Arabshah, Tamerlane, 117–19, 187–202.

43 Ibn Arabshah, Tamerlane, 76–82.

44 Ibn Arabshah, Tamerlane, 135, 163; Nihat Azamat (ed.), Anonim Tevârîh-i Âl-i Osman-F. Giese Neşri (Istanbul, 1992), 40.

45 Ibn Taghrī Birdī, History of Egypt, 1382–1469, Part I (1382–1399 AD), 138; Part II, 37, 43, 44, 46–7, 58–9; Ibn Arabshah, Tamerlane, 135, 140, 178–9; Broadbridge, Kingship and Ideology, 191.

46 Demirtaş, Dürr-i Meknûn, 212.

47 For the origins of the word, see Ignaz Goldziher, Muslim Studies, (eds) S.M. Stern and C.R. Barber, vol. 1 (London, 1969), 243–4; Maribel Fierro, “Al-Aşfar”, Studia Islamica 77, 1993, 175–6; Nadia Maria El Cheikh, Byzantium Viewed by the Arabs (Cambridge, MA, 2004), 24.

48 Suliman Bashear, “Apocalyptic and other materials on early Muslim–Byzantine wars: a review of Arabic sources”, Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, Third Series, 1/2, 1991, 174–90, 201. For examples of the apocalyptic usage in the early Islamic apocalypses, see Nuʿaym b. Ḥammād al-Marwazī, “The Book of Tribulations”: The Syrian Muslim Apocalyptic Tradition, (ed. and trans) David Cook (Edinburgh, 2017), 13, 250–1, 306, 312.

49 For the identification of the Benī Aṣfer with the crusaders, see Richard Hartmann, “‘Eine islamische Apokalypse aus der Kreuzzeugszeit’ Ein Beitrag zur Ǧafr-Literatur”, in Schriften der Königsberger gelehrten Gesellschaft, Geisteswissenschaftliche Klasse, 1–3 (Berlin, 1924), 90–1. For the association of the Benī Aṣfer with the crusaders in Ayyubid and Mamluk literary and historical sources, see Carole Hillenbrand, The Crusades: Islamic Perspectives (Edinburgh, 1999), 240; Daniel G. König, Arabic–Islamic Views of the Latin West: Tracing the Emergence of Medieval Europe (Oxford, 2015), 224; Niall Christie, The Book of the Jihad of ʿAli ibn Tahir al-Sulami (d. 1106): Text, Translation and Commentary (Farnham, 2015), 218; Osman Latiff, The Cutting Edge of the Poet's Sword Muslim Responses to the Crusades (Brill, 2018), 89–90, 145; Kenneth A. Goudie, Reinventing Jihād: Jihād Ideology from the Conquest of Jerusalem to the end of the Ayyūbids (c. 492/1099–647/1249) (Brill, 2019), 112–13.

50 El Cheikh, Byzantium Viewed by the Arabs, 24, 169; Latiff, The Cutting Edge of the Poet's Sword, 63–4, 115, 133. Demirtaş misread the word “ʿilj” (infidel) as “ʿalaca” due to incorrect vocalization by the copyist; see Demirtaş, Dürr-i Meknûn, 214. Kaptein's edition renders it correctly as “ʿilj”; see Kaptein, Dürr-i meknûn, 302, 552.

51 Demirtaş, Dürr-i Meknûn, 214. In some manuscripts, the year 909 is updated to 999; see Laban Kaptein, Apocalypse and the Antichrist Dajjal in Islam: Ahmed Bijan's Eschatology Revisited (Asch, 2011), 45, n. 36; Kaptein, Dürr-i meknûn, 307.

52 Şahin, “Constantinople and the end time”, 348.

53 Demirtaş, Dürr-i Meknûn, 102f, 214. The Anonymous Chronicle's apocalyptic calculations, like those of the Dürr, are also based on the solar year. As shown by Yerasimos, the earliest extant copy of the legends of Constantinople appears in an incomplete form in a copy of the History of Oruç Bey, a text closely related to the Anonymous Chronicle. Decoding the years given in this incomplete text by converting lunar years to solar years, Yerasimos established the date of its composition as ah 872, or 1467–68 ce, where history is cut off at the end; see Yerasimos, La Fondation de Constantinople, 70–1.

54 Demirtaş, Dürr-i Meknûn, 212; Kaptein, Dürr-i meknûn, 552.

55 Ibn Taghrī Birdī, History of Egypt, Part III, 46, 69–71; Part IV (1422–1438 AD), 19–20, 25–8, 33–45; Mustafa M. Ziada, “The Mamluk sultans, 1291–1517”, in Kenneth Setton (ed.), A History of the Crusades (Madison, WI, 1975), vol. 3, 492–8; Sir Harry Luke, “The kingdom of Cyprus, 1369–1489”, in Setton (ed.), A History of the Crusades, 372–5; Nicholas Coureas, “Latin Cyprus and its relations with the Mamluk sultanate, 1250–1517”, in A. J. Boas (ed.), The Crusader World (Abingdon, 2016), 395; İsmail Hakkı Uzunçarşılı, Anadolu Beylikleri ve Akkoyunlu, Karakoyunlu Devletleri, sixth ed. (Ankara, 2011), 19–20; Shai Har-El, Struggle for Domination in the Middle East, 70–1; Muslu, The Ottomans and the Mamluks, 91, 93.

56 Demirtaş, Dürr-i Meknûn, 212. For the association of the Karamanid lands with those of Yūnān, see Sara Nur Yıldız, “Razing Gevele and fortifying Konya: the beginning of the Ottoman conquest of the Karamanid principality in South-Central Anatolia, 1468”, in Andrew C.S. Peacock (ed.), The Frontiers of the Ottoman World (Oxford, 2009), 311–12.

57 For the truce of 1414, see Luke, “The kingdom of Cyprus”, 371–2; Coureas, “Latin Cyprus”, 394.

58 A. H. de Groot, “Ḳubrus”, EI(2).

59 Luke, “The kingdom of Cyprus”; Coureas, “Latin Cyprus”.

60 Demirtaş, Dürr-i Meknûn, 212: “Hemze-i maḥsūrenüñ işareti ile çevre hiṣār içre daḫı ġāfil olma küffāruñ iblīsinden. Zīrā ol iḥbāruñ sefīnesidür ve işrāk şeceresidür ve fācirlerüñ müfsidlerüñ derneğidür”. In the SK copy, the words “maḥsūr”, “ihbār” and “işrāk” are misspelled as “maḥẕūr”, “aḫbār” and “esrār”, respectively, whereas the TSM manuscript renders them correctly. They are also misspelled in Kaptein, Dürr-i meknûn, 552.

61 Kenneth M. Setton, The Papacy and the Levant, vol. 1 (Philadelphia, 1976), 258–84.

62 Shai Har-El, Struggle for Domination in the Middle East, 72–3; Muslu, The Ottomans and the Mamluks, 101–04.

63 John E. Woods, The Aqquyunlu: Clan, Confederation, Empire, rev. and expanded ed. (Salt Lake City, 1999), 39.

64 Uzunçarşılı, Anadolu Beylikleri, 188–9; Woods, Aqquyunlu, 33–59.

65 Ziada, “The Mamluk sultans”, 492–7; Melanie Alexxann Koskella, “A universal approach to plague epidemics in fifteenth century Mamluk Egypt and Syria: contemporary bias, classical Islamic medicine, and the voices of the Ulama”, PhD thesis, University of Utah, 2014, 136–94.

66 Ziada, “The Mamluk sultans”, 497–9; Ettore Rossi, “The hospitallers at Rhodes, 1421–1523”, in Setton (ed.), A History of the Crusades, vol. 3, 319–20. For the peacefulness of Jaqmaq's reign, see also Ibn Taghrī Birdī, History of Egypt, Part V (1438–1453 ad), 163.

67 Demirtaş, Dürr-i Meknûn, 213.

68 İbn Kemal, Tevârih-i Âl-i Osman VII. Defter, (ed.) Şerafettin Turan (Ankara, 1991), 346–58; Uzunçarşılı, Anadolu Beylikleri, 191–2; Woods, Aqquyunlu, 115–23; Tursun Bey, Târîh-i Ebü’l-Feth, (ed.) Mertol Tulum (Istanbul, 1977), 158–67; İbn Kemal, Tevârih-i Âl-i Osman VII. Defter, 332–69; Selâhattin Tansel, Osmanlı Kaynaklarına Göre Fatih Sultan Mehmed'in Siyasî ve Askerî Faaliyeti, fourth ed. (Ankara, 2014), 313–24; Franz Babinger, Mehmed the Conqueror and His Time (Princeton, 1978), 311–15; Colin Imber, The Ottoman Empire 1300–1481 (Istanbul, 1990), 214–17.

69 Demirtaş, Dürr-i Meknûn, 213.

70 For Mehmed II's first accession in 1444, see Halil İnalcık, Fatih Devri Üzerinde Tetkikler ve Vesikalar, third ed. (Ankara, 1995), 56–67.

71 Demirtaş, Dürr-i Meknûn, 213. For the beginning of Osman's reign, see Azamat (ed.), Anonim Tevârîh-i Âl-i Osman-F. Giese Neşri, 10.

72 Demirtaş, Dürr-i Meknûn, 212; Ziada, “The Mamluk sultans”, 492–7.

73 Demirtaş, Dürr-i Meknûn, 213.

74 Rudi Paret and Irfan Shahid, “Kayṣar”, EI(2); El Cheikh, Byzantium Viewed by the Arabs, 86–7.

75 For examples, see İbn Kemal, Tevârih-i Âl-i Osman VII. Defter, 265, 316, 439.

76 Kaptein, Dürr-i meknûn, 305, §16.90 provides all the versions, together with the manuscript details.

77 Ibn Khaldûn, The Muqaddimah, vol. 3, 173; Weil and Colin, “Abdjad”.

78 F.C. de Blois, “Shāh ‘King’, and Shāhanshāh”, EI(2).

79 Refet Yalçın Balata, “Hunkarnāma (Tavārīh-i ʿĀl-i Osmān) Mīr Sayyīd ʿAlī b. Muẓaffar-i Maʿāli”, PhD thesis, İstanbul Üniversitesi, 1992, 5 (Persian text); M. Ebrahim M. Esmail, “Kâşifî’nin Gazânâme-i Rūm Adlı Farsça Eseri ve Türkçe'ye Tercüme ve Tahlili”, MA thesis, Mimar Sinan Güzel Sanatlar Üniversitesi, 2005, 3a (Persian text).

80 De Blois, “Shāh ‘King’, and Shāhanshāh”.

81 Sahih Bukhari, vol. 8, Book 73, no. 225: (accessed 14 August 2023).

82 For Uzun Hasan's career and imperial pretensions, see Domenico Malipiero, “Annali veneti dell'anno 1457 al 1500 (Ordinati e abbreviati dal Francesco Longo, con prefazione e annotazioni di Agostino Sagredo)”, in Archivio Storico italiano 7/1 1843, 25–110; İbn Kemal, Tevârih-i Âl-i Osman VII. Defter, 316–66; Uzunçarşılı, Anadolu Beylikleri, 190–4; Tansel, Fatih Sultan Mehmed'in Siyasi ve Askeri Faaliyeti, 299–334; Bekir Sıtkı Baykal, “Uzun Hasan’ın Osmanlılara Karşı Kati Mücadeleye Hazırlıkları ve Osmanlı–Akkoyunlu Harbinin Başlaması”, Belleten 21/82, 1957, 261–96; H.R. Roemer, “The Türkmen dynasties”, in The Cambridge History of Iran, vol. 6, 168–82; Woods, Aqquyunlu, 87–120, esp. 112–15.

83 For Uzun Hasan's diplomatic negotiations with the western powers to organize an alliance against the Ottomans, see Malipiero, “Annali veneti”, 25, 33–4, 44, 67–9, 71–2, 75–6, 82–4, 89–90; Babinger, Mehmed the Conqueror and His Time, 297–9, 305–7; Şerafettin Turan, “Fâtih Mehmet–Uzun Hasan Mücadelesi ve Venedik”, Tarih Araştırmaları Dergisi III/4, 1965, 63–138; Setton, The Papacy and the Levant, vol. 3, 311–16.

84 Demirtaş, Dürr-i Meknûn, 213.

85 Woods, Aqquyunlu, 102.

86 Woods, Aqquyunlu, 102f.

87 Yaman, “Tercüme-i Cifru'l-Câmi”, 99, 234.

88 Denis Gril, “L’énigme de la Šaǧara al-nu‘māniyya fīl-dawla al-‘uṯmāniyya, attribuée à Ibn ‘Arabī”, in Benjamin Lellouch and Stéphane Yerasimos (eds), Les traditions apocalyptiques au tournant de la chute de Constantinople (Paris, 1999), 145, n. 23; Cornell Fleischer, “Seer to the sultan: Haydar-i Remmal and Sultan Sleyman”, in Jayne L. Warner (ed.), Cultural Horizons: A Festschrift in Honor of Talat S. Halmanê (Syracuse, 2001), 293. M. Fierro, “Le mahdi Ibn Tûmart et al-Andalus: l’élaboration de la légitimité almohade”, in M. Garcia-Arenal (ed.), Revue des Mondes Musulmans et la Méditerranée nos. 91–4 (= Mahdisme et Millénarisme en Islam) (Aix-en-Provence, 2000), 107–24. For the quotation of the prophecy in the Miftāḥ, see Yaman, “Tercüme-i Cifru'l-Câmi”, 81.

89 Bernard Lewis, “Khādim al-Ḥaramayn”, EI(2); P.M. Holt, “Power and position of the Mamlūk sultan”, Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies 38, 1975, 237–49; Broadbridge, Kingship and Ideology, 12–16. In the illustrated manuscripts of the Miftāḥ, the prophecy is accompanied by a miniature depicting the Ottoman Sultan Selim I, who conquered the Mamluk lands in 1516 and 1517, on the throne of Egypt; see Yaman, “Tercüme-i Cifru'l-Câmi”, 81–2, 234.

90 The conquest of Egypt as an apocalyptic event is also foreshadowed by a prophecy found in Chapter 7, which states that “Egypt will remain unconquered until the end of times, when a group of people with golden caps will arrive and take it”; see Demirtaş, Dürr-i meknûn, 151–2. Like the Janissaries, who wore gold-embroidered caps, the Akkoyunlu soldiers also wore golden turbans; see Baskins, Cristelle, “The bride of Trebizond: Turks and Turkmens on a Florentine wedding chest, circa 1460”, Muqarnas 29, 2012, 83Google Scholar.

91 The letter bā’, with the numerical value two, seems to have been skipped by some copyists inscribing the text in the late sixteenth century and seventeenth century, long after the date of composition, as they could no longer understand the authentic meaning of the prophecy; see Kaptein, Dürr-i meknûn, 553–4; Demirtaş, Dürr-i Meknûn, 213, 874.

92 Uzunçarşılı, Anadolu Beylikleri, 191–2; Woods, Aqquyunlu, 97–9; Aka, İsmail, İran'da Türkmen Hâkimiyeti (Kara Koyunlular Devri) (Ankara, 2001), 7682Google Scholar.

93 Malipiero, “Annali veneti”, 25.

94 Demirtaş, Dürr-i Meknûn, 213.

95 Kastritsis, Dimitris J., The Sons of Bāyezīd: Empire Building and Representation in the Ottoman Civil War of 1402–1413 (Leiden; Boston, 2007), 50–9, 111–23, 144–94CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

96 Demirtaş, Dürr-i Meknûn, 213.

97 Demirtaş, Dürr-i Meknûn, 214.

98 Demirtaş, Dürr-i Meknûn, 215–28.

99 Demirtaş, Dürr-i Meknûn, 216.

100 Demirtaş, Dürr-i Meknûn.

101 Demirtaş, Dürr-i Meknûn, 217.

102 Demirtaş, Dürr-i Meknûn, 217–18.

103 For the description of the Mehdī, the author seems to have relied on the well-known Muslim eschatological traditions associating the Mehdī with a saviour-conqueror figure arising from Khorasan or Transoxania. See David Cook, Studies in Muslim Apocalyptic (Princeton, 2002), 147–54.

104 For Muslim traditions on the Mehdī, see Nuʿaym b. Ḥammād al-Marwazī, “The Book of Tribulations”, 187–215; Kathīr, Ibn, Book of the End Great Trials and Tribulations (Riyadh Daruussalam, 2006), 50–5Google Scholar; W. Madelung, “al-Mahdī”, EI(2); Cook, Studies in Muslim Apocalyptic, 137–82; Yaman, “Tercüme-i Cifru'l-Câmi”, 80–7, 90–2, 118, 124–5, 127–8.

105 Demirtaş, Dürr-i Meknûn, 219–22.

106 Demirtaş, Dürr-i Meknûn.