ÂSAFÎ DAL MEHMED ÇELEBİ’S ŞECÂ’ATNÂME ABOUT THE SEIZURE OF TBILISI BY LALA MUSTAFA PASHA
Lala Mustafa Pasha’s military campaign in Kartli in 1578 has been depicted by a number of Ottoman historians: Gelibolulu Mustafa Ali, Müneccimbaşı Ahmed B. Lütfullah, Ebubekir Bin Abdullah, İbrahim Peçevi, Mustafa Selaniki, etc. The unknown work for Georgian historiography to date - Âsafî Dal Mehmed Çelebi’s Şecâ’atnâme (a Book of Courage), where the writer details the stories of the conquest of Georgia by the Ottoman Commander-in-chief, occupies its place alongside the formally known Ottoman written sources describing the “Eastern military expedition”. The author is the witness of the historical events of utmost importance for us. He is the direct participant of the “Eastern military expedition” and descriptor of the conquered places, occasionally engaged in the leadership of the army and sometimes appointed as a governor-general.
The Şecâ’atnâme conveys the comprehensively interesting accounts about the conquest of Kartli by the Ottomans which are somewhat different from the other contemporary sources: 1. The decision taken at the meeting held to seize Tbilisi by the Ottoman commander Osman Pasha and bring it to completion 2. The exact date for the entrance into the city. 3. The miniature depicting the seizure of aflame Tbilisi 4. Minting the coin in the name of Sultan Murad III dedicated to the conquest of Tbilisi.
The unknown factual material revealed on the basis of conducting the scientific study of Âsafî Dal Mehmed Çelebi’s work enhances our knowledge about the aggressive wars waged on the territory of Georgia in the second half of XVI century. The Şecâ’atnâme informatively extends and enriches the historical accounts about Lala Mustafa Pasha’s military expedition in Kartli in 1578 preserved in the formally known Ottoman written references and represents relatively complete historical picture of the process of conquering Tbilisi.
Keywords: Lala Mustafa Pasha, Özdemiroğlu Osman Pasha, Eastern military expedition, Conquest of Tbilisi, Minting of the coin, Miniature.