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Osman Bey is the main protagonist in the Turkish TV series, Kuruluş: Osman, portrayed by Burak Özçivit. He also appears as a supporting character in its predecessor, Diriliş: Ertuğrul, where he is played by Emre Üçtepe. The character is based on Osman I, founder of the Ottoman Empire.
Osman was the prophesied third son and youngest child of Ertuğrul Gazi and Halime Sultan. Before his birth, he featured in various prophetic dreams of his father, mother and grandparents, Sûleyman Sah and Hayme Hatun, suggesting he had a great destiny to be the future leader of the Turks and Muslims.
Osman was defiant as a child, eager to hold the honour of his tribe and fighting enemies, often going against his father’s wishes. He formed a particularly close bond with Ertuğrul’s warriors, Bamsı Beyrek and Abdurrahman Gazi, who admired his likeness with Ertuğrul.
Flag of the Kayı tribe under Ertuğrul’s rule
After much foreshadowing and prophetic dreams, Osman first appears when he is born to Ertuğrul Gazi and Halime Sultan as their third son and youngest child. Unfortunately, Osman’s birth was marked by tragedy as it would lead to the passing of his mother, who dies giving birth to him. His mother’s death would leave the newborn Osman without mother’s milk. Eventually, Sügay Hatun became Osman’s milk mother. He would become the target of the Mongol, Alangoya – sister of his father’s enemy, Baycu Noyan. She would infiltrate the Kayı Tribe. However, he would be saved by his grandmother, Hayme. After the Kayı tribe settled in Söğüt, Osman continued to grow up and became a brave fighter, being the first of Ertuğrul’s sons to master the use of weapons, despite his young age.
He then appears as a 10-year-old boy in the fifth season, which starts off with him saving an old man and his daughter from a group of Byzantines. As he is only a child, he is injured, only surviving with the help of İlbilge Hatun, daughter of Umur Bey. As the season passes onto a position where Ertuğrul decides to marry İlbilge, Osman is the only one of his sons who disagrees, showing an attachment to his mother. He again shows this attachment when he is kidnapped by the Mongols, whose shaman realises that he will found the Ottoman Empire, where he remembers his mother, and after Aybars Bey, who was kidnapped by the Byzantines, went to hug his mother after being rescued, being demonstrably upset at his own mother’s absence. In the latter case, he is comforted by his paternal aunt, Selcan Hatun, whom he comes to regard as a mother figure. The season ends with Ertuğrul and İlbilge’s marriage.
Osman is shown as a courageous young man when he saves the Tekfur of Kulucahisar when he was about to be killed by the merciless Prensesi Sofia, although she later succeeds in killing him. Osman can see through Alişar, the devious Selçuk Sançak Bey, and Sofia’s plans, and warns Dündar, his uncle and the substitute Bey of the Kayı during Ertuğrul’s absence, about them, despite his refusal to listen. Osman also falls in love with the daughter of Şeyh Edebali, called Bala, although the sheikh tries to teach Osman patience by initially not agreeing to the marriage. As Kulucahisar and Alişar continue to become more aggressive against the Kayı, Geyhatu sends Komutan Balgay to cause more trouble and stop the Kayı, especially Osman, from rebelling against the Mongols. Dündar causes more problems for Osman when Alişar kills Dündar’s son and has it blamed on Osman. Soon after, along with the threat from Kulucahisar, Dündar is shown the truth, and Alişar is beheaded by Osman. Osman later marries Bala with Edebali’s consent after seeing a symbolic dream, having had to ignore his cousin Aygül’s love for him. Following this, after many difficulties, Balgay is presumably killed by Osman during the conquest of Kulucahisar with Sofia’s death at the hands of Osman happening in the process.
Flag of the Kayı tribe under Osman Bey’s rule
Followed by Ertuğrul’s return to the tribe, Yavlak Arslan, the new Uç Bey, seeks to create his own state and sees Osman as an obstacle, although they later unite against the new threat created by the Mongol Geyhatu, who allies with the new Tekfur of İnegöl, Aya Nikola, against the Turks of Anatolia. Targun Hatun also arrives in the tribe to kill Osman with the intention of saving her father, captured by Aya Nikola, although she falls in love with him and then tells Osman about her problems. Along with all this, Osman is elected as the new Bey, defeating his relatives Savcı and Dündar, after his father’s death, which upsets him greatly, whilst he decides to marry a second wife according to his father’s will and changes the Kayı flag. When Targun poisons Bala in order to marry Osman, she is exiled, leading to her wanting revenge from Osman. After Targun’s death, Osman meets Malhun Hatun and initiates a major battle with the Byzantines, historically known as the Battle of Mount Armenia, as well as trying to find the traitor in the Kayı, as the jealous Dündar helps the Byzantines stir traps for him. Eventually, Malhun’s father Ömer Bey ends his animosity towards Osman and hands over a ring, which Osman deduces to be Dündar’s, exposing Dündar as a traitor. He also faces the arrival of Kara Şaman Togay, the son of his father’s enemy Baycu Noyan. He is eventually advised by Şeyh Edebali to marry Malhun Hatun to provide an heir to his Beylik, which he reluctantly does. Malhun eventually gives birth to a son named Orhan. His joy is doubled when his first wife, Bala Hatun reveals that she is pregnant.
Osman’s principality is rising and he is now after the Catholic world and the Byzantine Emperor himself. Also facing the opposition of not only Aya Nikola, the tekfur of Inegol, but also the tekfur of bileçik, Rogatus, and tekfur of Harmankaya, Mikhael kosses. He captures father Gregor and has political relationship with Turgut Bey. Osman is shown as a powerful turk bey.
When Ertugrul was on his death bed, Dundar would instigate Savcı to become the Bey, resulting in him fighting with Osman. All this was stopped when Ertugrul recovered slightly, but shortly died soon after. Osman then became the Bey, whilst Savcı accepted it, although Dündar still seeks the Beylik. He also became the Uç Bey of Söğüt and Bithynia after becoming the Kayı Bey.
Uç Beys of the Sultanate of Rum (in fiction)
Reception and awards
In 2020, Pakistan’s Federal Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry, met Burak Özçivit when he visited the Kuruluş: Osman set with his family. It is unknown when he met the Turkish actor but it’s likely that it was after Osman became the Kayı Bey due to Burak’s outfit. Özçivit and some other members of the cast also visited Chechnya with the invitation by the Chechen president Ramzan Kadyrov. In 2020, Burak Özçivit won two awards for his role as Osman Bey, the International Venice TV awards in the category The Best Actor, and the Istanbul University Project Club in the category Best Male Actor of the Year.[9
How will Osman Bey’s successive conquests resonate? How will the balance of power change?