Savcı Bey

This is an Ottoman Turkish style name. Savcı is the given name, the title is Bey, and there is no family name.

Savcı Bey was a 14th-century Ottoman prince who participated in a joint rebellion with the Byzantine prince Andronikos against both of their fathers, the Ottoman emperor Murat I and the Byzantine emperor John V Palaiologos, respectively, in the 1370s. Savcı was the youngest of Murat I's three sons. The name of his mother and birth year are unknown. In Ottoman tradition, all princes (Turkish: şehzade) were required to serve as provincial (sanjak) governors as a part of their training. Savcı's sanjak was Bursa, the co-capital of the empire (along with Edirne).


When Ottoman Turks captured Edirne (Adrianopolis), Byzantine emperor John V Palaiologos appealed to the West for help. Instead, he was detained as a debtor in Venice. Andronikos (later Andronikos IV Palaiologos), his son and regent in Constantinople (modern İstanbul, Turkey), refused to pay the ransom for his father, and John had to give up the island Tenedos (modern Bozcaada, Turkey) to buy his freedom. After that event, John assigned his younger son Manuel (later Manuel II Palaiologos) as his crown prince and accepted the suzerainty of Ottomans in 1373. Thus, when the Ottoman sultan asked for his services against some rebellions in Ottoman lands, he had to leave his capital. This absence gave Andronikos a chance to rebel.

On the Ottoman side, Savcı Bey, who was the youngest of three brothers, saw that under the shadow of his older brothers, he had almost no chance to be enthroned in the future and faced a probable death under the traditional policy of fratricide in Ottoman succession. (This fear was not unreasonable; later when Murat I died older brother Beyazit I immediately killed the other brother). He prepared to rebel to gain the post. While his father was occupied with suppressing the rebellions, Savcı saw his chance to revolt. Using the royal treasury under his disposal, he formed an army. The two rebellious princes, well aware of one another's interests, decided to collaborate and combined their forces.[1][2]

End of the rebellion

After learning about their sons' joint rebellion, Murat and John returned from Anatolia. The armies of the fathers and the sons met in Apikridion (an ambiguous location probably southwest of Constantinople), where Murat persuaded Savcı's soldiers to switch sides.[3] Although the princes escaped to Didymoteicho (in modern Greece), they soon surrendered. After a short exchange, enraged Murat blinded Savcı. However, he changed his mind and had him executed. Although he asked John V to also blind his son, John was more merciful towards Andronikos and only blinded him in one eye. Andronikos went on to become the Byzantine emperor as Andronikos IV Palaiologos.[4]


Savcı's son Davut fled to Hungary. His name was mentioned in 1411 (during the Ottoman Interregnum) as an unsuccessful candidate to Ottoman throne and much later as an ally of John Hunyadi in his struggles against the Ottoman Empire.


  1. Prof.Yaşar Yücel-Prof Ali Sevim:Türkiye tarihi II, AKDTYKTTK Yayınları, 1991, p 16
  2. Joseph von Hammer: Osmanlı Tarihi Vol I (condensation: Abdülkadir Karahan), Milliyet yayınları, İstanbul. p 20
  3. Nicolae Jorga: Geschiste des Osmanichen vol I, (trans: Nilüfer Epçeli) Yeditepe Yayınları, 2009, ISBN 975-6480-18-1, p 235
  4. Lord Kinross:The Ottoman Centuries, (Trans. by Nilifer Epçeli) Altın Kitaplar, İstanbul,2008, ISBN 978-975-21-0955-1 p.49

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