Idris-i Bitlisi

For other Bidlisi, see Bidlisi.

Idris Bitlisi / Idris Bidlisi or Idris-i Bitlisi / Idris-i Bidlisi, a Kurdish religious scholar and Ottoman administrator, born in Bitlis in or around 1452-1457.[1] There is some controversy about his actual place of birth possibly having been Diyarbakir. His full name was Mevlana Hakimeddin İdris Mevlana Hüsameddin Ali-ül Bitlisi.


His father, Mevlana Şeyh Hüsameddin Ali-ül Bitlisi, was a well known religious scholar who was a follower of Seyyid Mehmet Nur and the founder of the Nurbahçi sect after his death. Like his father, Idris Bitlisi began his career in the Akkoyunlu court, in the service of Yakup Bey, son of Uzun Hasan. Later he attracted the attention of the Ottoman sultan Yavuz Sultan Selim and served under him for much of the rest of his life. He joined Yavuz Sultan Selim in his campaigns against Mamluks and Safavids. Bitlisi assisted the sultan in establishing an Ottoman administration in Egypt after its conquest in 1517. He was appointed to numerous administrative positions of significant responsibility including Kazasker (district supreme administrative judge) of Diyarbakir and Arabia.

He was instrumental in the incorporation of the territories of Urfa and Mosul into the Ottoman Empire without a war, and of Mardin, after a long siege. He played a key role in driving the Alevi Turkomans from the whole region and the assimilation and Ottomanization of the remaining Sunni Kurds.

He died in Istanbul on November 15, 1520, shortly after the death of his longtime benefactor, Sultan Selim. İdris-i Bitlisi is buried in Eyüp, in the garden of the mescit named "İdris Köşkü" (Idris House) or "İdris Çeşmesi" (Idris Fountain) built by his wife, Zeynep Hatun.

He wrote extensively towards the end of his life: his best known book is "Selim Şahname", an epic history of sultan Selim's reign.


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