Today we mourn the 563rd anniversary of the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople

Thanks to the Gates of Vienna for the reminder:

Today was the 563rd anniversary of the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople, and thousands of Turks commemorated the event by gathering to pray in front of Hagia Sophia in Istanbul. Led by a group called the Anatolian Youth Association, the devout crowd demanded that Hagia Sofia be returned to use as a mosque. The structure has been a museum since 1934.

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In other news, British Home Secretary Theresa May said that her country’s sharia court system has been beneficial for many Muslims in Britain.

In memoriam of the great Oriana Fallaci, I want you to read what happened on that day:

…Crashing aside the Christians at Varna in 1444 they secured possession of Walachia, Moldavia, Transylvania, the territory now called Bulgaria and Romania, then in 1453 they put again under siege Constantinople which on May 29 fell into the hands of Mehmet II and by the way: do you know who was Mehmet II? A guy who, by virtue of the Islamic Fratricide Law which authorized a sultan to murder members of his immediate family, had ascended the throne by strangling his three year-old brother. Do you know the chronicle that about the fall of Constantinople the scribe Phrantzes has left us to refresh the memory of the oblivious or rather of the hypocrites?

Perhaps not. Especially in Europe, a Europe that weeps only for the Muslims, never for the Christians or the Jews or the Buddhists or the Hindus, it would not be Politically Correct to know the details of the fall of Constantinople. Its inhabitants who at daybreak, while Mehmet II is shelling Theodosius’ walls, take refuge in the cathedral of St. Sophia and here start to sing psalms. To invoke divine mercy. The patriarch who by candlelight celebrates his last Mass and in order to lessen the panic thunders: “Fear not, my brothers and sisters! Tomorrow you’ll be in the Kingdom of Heaven and your names will survive till the end of time!”. The children who cry in terror, their mothers who give them heart repeating: “Hush, baby, hush! We die for our faith in Jesus Christ! We die for our Emperor Constantine XI, for our homeland!”. The Ottoman troops who beating their drums step over the breaches in the fallen walls, overwhelm the Genovese and Venetian and Spanish defenders, hack them on to death with scimitars, then burst into the cathedral and behead even newborn babies. They amuse themselves by snuffing out the candles with their little severed heads… It lasted from the dawn to the afternoon that massacre. It abated only when the Grand Vizier mounted the pulpit of St. Sophia and said to the slaughterers: “Rest. Now this temple belongs to Allah” Meanwhile the city burns, the soldiery crucify and hang and impale, the Janissaries rape and butcher the nuns (four thousand in a few hours) or put the survivors in chains to sell them at the market of Ankara. And the servants prepare the Victory Feast. The feast during which (in defiance of the Prophet) Mehmet II got drunk on the wines of Cyprus and, having a soft spot for young boys, sent for the firstborn of the Greek Orthodox Grand Duke Notaras. A fourteen year-old adolescent known for his beauty. In front of everyone he raped him, and after the rape he sent for his family. His parents, his grandparents, his uncles, his aunts and cousins. In front of him he beheaded them. One by one. He also had all the altars destroyed, all the bells melted down, all the churches turned into mosques or bazaars. Oh, yes. That’s how Constantinople became Istanbul. But Doudou of the UN and the teachers in our schools don’t want to hear about it.

Here’s an older blog entry, dating back to May 29, 2006

Today, our Memorial Day for 2006, marks the 553rd anniversary of the fall of Constantinople. Paul Belien gives a moving account of the story at Brussels Journal. His recalling of the appeasement that led up to the seizure of the city is especially notable in our time: appeasement is a fool’s vain wish to avoid the predator:

Fall of Constantinople

In 1374, when the Ottomans were only a nascent power, Prince Manuel, governor of Salonica and a son of the Byzantine Emperor, had tried to rally the inhabitants of his city against the Turks. But the Salonicans did not want to bear the high costs of defending their city and promptly threw him out. Out of fear of the Turks his father, Emperor John V, refused Manuel shelter within the walls of Constantinople and so did all the other Byzantine cities. Consequently the prince was forced to seek refuge with… the Ottomans, whom he served until 1394, when he became Emperor himself.

When the Sultan demanded a Byzantine princess from the Emperor, the latter gave away his daughter Theodora to spend the rest of her life in the Sultan’s harem. He also gave the Turks a church in Constantinople to convert into a mosque. All the appeasement was in vain, however, because in 1453 the Turks demanded that the Byzantines surrender Constantinople. This time the Byzantines refused. In their final hour they saved their honour. “They fought for the city as they had never fought for the empire,” writes Jason Goodwin in his history of the Ottoman Empire. After a siege of two months the city fell. Emperor Constantine XI, Manuel’s son, died with his sword in his hand. 

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

That is Mr. Belien’s version. Oriana Fallaci, in The Force of Reason, has another more detailed version of Constantinople’s conversion into Istanbul. It is written in her inimitable style, which deserves not to be paraphrased, but quoted in full (pp 42-44):

…Crashing aside the Christians at Varna in 1444 they secured possession of Walachia, Moldavia, Transylvania, the territory now called Bulgaria and Romania, then in 1453 they put again under siege Constantinople which on May 29 fell into the hands of Mehmet II and by the way: do you know who was Mehmet II? A guy who, by virtue of the Islamic Fratricide Law which authorized a sultan to murder members of his immediate family, had ascended the throne by strangling his three year-old brother. Do you know the chronicle that about the fall of Constantinople the scribe Phrantzes has left us to refresh the memory of the oblivious or rather of the hypocrites?

Perhaps not. Especially in Europe, a Europe that weeps only for the Muslims, never for the Christians or the Jews or the Buddhists or the Hindus, it would not be Politically Correct to know the details of the fall of Constantinople. Its inhabitants who at daybreak, while Mehmet II is shelling Theodosius’ walls, take refuge in the cathedral of St. Sophia and here start to sing psalms. To invoke divine mercy. The patriarch who by candlelight celebrates his last Mass and in order to lessen the panic thunders: “Fear not, my brothers and sisters! Tomorrow you’ll be in the Kingdom of Heaven and your names will survive till the end of time!”. The children who cry in terror, their mothers who give them heart repeating: “Hush, baby, hush! We die for our faith in Jesus Christ! We die for our Emperor Constantine XI, for our homeland!”. The Ottoman troops who beating their drums step over the breaches in the fallen walls, overwhelm the Genovese and Venetian and Spanish defenders, hack them on to death with scimitars, then burst into the cathedral and behead even newborn babies. They amuse themselves by snuffing out the candles with their little severed heads… It lasted from the dawn to the afternoon that massacre. It abated only when the Grand Vizier mounted the pulpit of St. Sophia and said to the slaughterers: “Rest. Now this temple belongs to Allah” Meanwhile the city burns, the soldiery crucify and hang and impale, the Janissaries rape and butcher the nuns (four thousand in a few hours) or put the survivors in chains to sell them at the market of Ankara. And the servants prepare the Victory Feast. The feast during which (in defiance of the Prophet) Mehmet II got drunk on the wines of Cyprus and, having a soft spot for young boys, sent for the firstborn of the Greek Orthodox Grand Duke Notaras. A fourteen year-old adolescent known for his beauty. In front of everyone he raped him, and after the rape he sent for his family. His parents, his grandparents, his uncles, his aunts and cousins. In front of him he beheaded them. One by one. He also had all the altars destroyed, all the bells melted down, all the churches turned into mosques or bazaars. Oh, yes. That’s how Constantinople became Istanbul. But Doudou of the UN and the teachers in our schools don’t want to hear about it.
No, we don’t teach history that way anymore. But Oriana Fallaci is dying, and death gives her freedom to tell the truth, the whole bloody truth, and nothing but the horrendous truth.

This has been a report on the Religion of Peace. They will tell you we made it up.

For a poetic version, see the Baron’s post from January on Yeats’ “Sailing to Byzantium”.

Runciman claims there was no rape:

It appears that Fallaci played a bit loose with the facts for a good story. According to Runciman there was no rape:

The kindness that Mehmet had shown to the Emperor’s surviving ministers was of short duration…. Five days after the fall of the city [3 June] he gave a banquet. In the course of it, when he was well flushed with wine, someone whispered to him that Notaras’s fourteen-year old son was a boy of exceptional beauty. The Sultan at once sent a eunuch to the house of the Megas Doux to demand that the boy be sent to him for his pleasure. Notaras, whose elder sons had been killed fighting, refused to sacrifice the boy to such a fate. Police were then sent to bring Notaras with his son and his young son-in-law, the son of the Grand Domestic Andronicus Cantacuzenus, into the Sultan’s presence. When Notaras still defied the Sultan, orders were given for him and the two boys to be decapitated on the spot. Notaras merely asked that they should be slain before him, lest the sight of his death should make them waver. When they had both perished he bared his neck to the executioner. The following day nine other Greek notables were arrested and sent to the scaffold.

This is not to minimize the horror inflicted on the Byzantines by the Ottomans. But in reporting such incidents it is best to be scrupulously accurate, lest your “facts” be challenged.

2 thoughts on “Today we mourn the 563rd anniversary of the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople”

  1. The ONE good thing that has come out of the ‘interfaith’ alliance is that it has made it so easy to identify the traitors among the clergy. Why is the praising of Islam so universal today by our leaders? it’s sickening.

    1. Einfaltspinsel:

      German Protestant bishop wants Islam classes in all state schools
      MAY 29, 2016 4:57 PM BY ROBERT SPENCER 20 COMMENTS

      “The head of the Protestant Church in Germany has called for Islam to be taught in state schools across the country as a way to make young Muslims impervious to the ‘temptation of fundamentalists.’” He suggests this because he assumes that Islam is a religion of peace that has been hijacked by a tiny minority of extremists. In reality, however, if Islam is taught in state schools, Germany will find itself confronted with more jihad, not less. But by the time they figure out why it is happening, it will probably be too late.

      Heinrich Bedford-Strohm

      “German Protestant bishop wants Islam classes in all state schools,” Reuters, May 28, 2016:

      The head of the Protestant Church in Germany has called for Islam to be taught in state schools across the country as a way to make young Muslims impervious to the “temptation of fundamentalists”.

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