Mehmed’s first rule, however, came to an end just two years later when Murad II ascended the throne in the wake of unrest and strife in the conquered lands, particularly in the European region, and the threat posed by the Crusaders, which caused people to yearn for a more capable ruler.
Mehmed II returned to Manisa in the Aegean after abdicating the kingdom to his father, where he married and proceeded to advance his intelligence. The young king accompanied his father to the Battle of Kosovo in 1448, where he obtained additional military knowledge.
Mehmed II rose to the throne once more after the death of his father in 1451, but this time he did so with a wealth of knowledge and experience under his belt.
Then, in an unexpected manoeuvre, he had warships hauled overland around the city’s Galata district, which at the time was a tiny Genoese trade enclave on the European side of modern Istanbul. He had the city surrounded by both water and land.
He assisted in the invention and improvement of cannons, which were used in large assaults with the goal of shattering the city’s walls to allow soldiers to enter. The military campaign lasted for more than 50 days.
Finally, on May 29, the city fell, giving Mehmed II the rightful title of “conqueror.”
Later, he ensured Ottoman dominance over a number of Anatolian (central Turkish) regions as well as Serbia, Morea, Trebizond (Trabzon in the northern region of modern Turkey), Bosnia, Albania, and a number of other areas, bringing total Ottoman rule to almost 2.2 million square kilometres.