1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Manisa

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MANISA (anc. Magnesia ad Sipylum), the chief town of the Saru-khan sanjak of the Aidin (Smyrna) vilayet of Asia Minor, situated in the valley of the Gediz Chai (Hermus), at the foot of Mt Sipylus, and connected by railway with Smyrna and Afium Kara-Hissar. Pop. about 35,000, half being Mussulman. Manisa is an important commercial centre, and contains interesting buildings dating from the times of the Seljuk and early Osmanli sultans, including mosques built by Murad II. and III. and a Mevlevi Tekke second only to that at Konia. It is the seat of a flourishing American mission. In 1204 Manisa was occupied by John Ducas, who when he became emperor made it the Byzantine seat of government. In 1305, after the inhabitants had massacred the Catalan garrison, Roger de Flor besieged it unsuccessfully. In 1313 the town was taken by Saru Khan and became the capital of the Turcoman emirate of that name. In 1398 it submitted to the Osmanli sultan Bayezid I., and in 1402 was made a treasure city by Timur. In 1419 it was the scene of the insurrection of the liberal reformer, Bedr ed-Din, which was crushed by Prince Murad, whose residence in the town as Murad II., after twice abdicating the throne, is one of the most romantic stories in Turkish history. In the 17th century Manisa became the residence of the greatest of the Dere Bey families, Kara Osman Oglu, Turcoman by origin, and possibly connected with the former emirs of Sarukhan, which seems to have risen to power by farming the taxes of a province which princes of the house of Othman had often governed and regarded with especial affection. The liva of Sarukhan was one of the twenty-two in the Ottoman Empire leased on a life tenure up to the time of Mahmud II. In the 18th century the family of Kara Osman Oglu (or Karasman) ruled de facto all west central Anatolia, one member being lord of Bergama and another of Aidin, while the head of the house held Manisa with all the Hermus valley and had greater power in Smyrna than the representative of the capitan pasha in whose province that city nominally lay. Outside their own fiefs the family had so much property that it was commonly said they could sleep in a house of their own at any stage from Smyrna to Baghdad. The last of its great beys was Haji Hussein Zadē, who was frequently called in to Smyrna on the petition of his friends, the European merchants, to assure tranquillity in the troublous times consequent on Napoleon’s invasion of Egypt, and the British and Russian attacks on the Porte early in the 19th century. He always acquitted himself well, but having refused to bring his contingent to the grand vizier when on the march to Egypt in 1798, and awakened the jealousy of the capitan pasha, he was in continual danger. Exiled in 1812, he was subsequently restored to Manisa, and died there in 1821. His son succeeded after sanguinary tumults; but Mahmud II., who had long marked the family for destruction, was so hostile towards it, after he had got rid of the janissaries, that it had lost all but the shadow of power by 1830. Descendants survived in Manisa who retained a special right of granting title-deeds within the district, independent of the local administration.  (D. G. H.)