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"He is a sincere man. But this Templar fantasy of his is dangerous. It flies in the face of reality."
―Suleiman I, 1512.[src]

Ahmet (Turkish: Şehzade Ahmet; 1465 – 1512), born Ahmet bin Bayezid, was an Ottoman Şehzade (Prince), and the oldest son of Bayezid II. He was also the elder brother of Selim I and Korkut, and uncle of Suleiman I.

Tired of the feuds that divided men, Ahmet joined the Templar Order, eventually becoming the Grand Master of the Byzantine Rite, while simultaneously having been chosen as the heir of his father, the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire.

Believing that he was guaranteed control over the Ottoman Empire, Ahmet started an expedition to find the Masyaf Keys needed to open the hidden library in Masyaf. Here, he believed he would find the location of the "Grand Temple", and intended to use the power hidden there to further the Templar cause.

Eventually, Ahmet's efforts were thwarted by the combined efforts of the Ottoman Assassins and their ally Ezio Auditore da Firenze, Mentor of the Italian Assassins. Ultimately, Ahmet's father chose Selim as his heir instead; during Selim's march to Constantinople, he happened upon Ahmet and swiftly killed him.

Biography

Early life

Born the eldest living son of the Ottoman Sultan Bayezid II in 1465, Ahmet was selected as his father's heir at childhood. With Ahmet sharing his distaste for war and an affection for knowledge with his father, many believed him to be the most reasonable choice.[1]

Joining the Byzantine Rite

Ezio: "Why the Templars?"
Ahmet: "Because I am tired of all these pointless blood feuds that pit father against son, brother against brother. To achieve true peace, mankind must think and move as one body, with one master mind."
—Ahmet discussing his reasons for following the Templar ideology.[src]

Ahmet became a Templar after exchanging letters with his exiled uncle Cem. Their philosophy appealed to him as he tired of the divisions within mankind and agreed that all the people should be united under one ruler. Cem informed him of the existence of Niccolò Polo's journal detailing the library of Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad.[2]

In 1509, an earthquake struck Constantinople, at which point Bayezid had disappeared from Constantinople. In his absence, the Byzantine Rite - a remnant of the fallen Byzantine Empire - led by Manuel Palaiologos entered the city, and strived to revive their fallen empire.[3] Ahmet joined the Templars, though this act caused great internal conflict for him, as he was still an Ottoman prince, and acting for either the Ottomans or the Byzantines would mean turning his back on his other affiliation.[4]

Ahmet, much younger and more charismatic than the elderly Manuel Palaiologos, slowly slipped into the position of Grand Master of the Byzantine Rite, with Manuel becoming his second-in-command.[4][5] At the same time, Bayezid and Selim had engaged in a conflict, as Selim was making an effort to gain the Ottoman throne for himself.[3]

Gaining power in the Empire

"I will open that library, and I will find the Grand Temple. And with the power that is hidden there, I will destroy the superstitions that keep men divided."
―Ahmet about his plans to find the library.[src]

In 1511, Ahmet initiated several plans to further his influence in the Ottoman Empire. One of these was to locate the "Grand Temple" of the First Civilization, which Ahmet believed they could find by accessing the library of Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad - the late Mentor of the Levantine Assassins - located in Masyaf, Syria. Ahmet entrusted Manuel Palaiologos with the Masyaf expedition, and the search for the keys needed to open the library, while Ahmet himself focused his attention on matters in Constantinople.[3] The first key was found by Ahmet's confidante Hasan Pasha in the tunnels beneath Topkapı Palace unearthed by the earthquake.[2]

Ahmet at Suleiman's banquet

In the heart of the Ottoman Empire, Ahmet initiated a plot to have the Templars abduct Ahmet's own nephew, Suleiman, during a cultural exhibition. If this were to be successful, Ahmet would rescue him from the Byzantines, and be heralded a hero. Ahmet himself attended the celebration in Topkapı Palace, while Templars disguised as guests were tasked with abducting the young Shehzadem Suleiman.[3]

However, to Ahmet's displeasure, the Templar infiltrators were killed by several Ottoman Assassins, who had entered the party disguised as Italian minstrels, on orders of their leader, Yusuf Tazim. Following the failed plot, Ahmet took advantage of the Janissaries' well-known distaste for him, and accused Janissary Captain Tarik Barleti of a conspiracy against him, since the Janissaries were tasked with the Prince's protection.[3]

Suleiman introducing "Marcello" to Ahmet

Some time later, Tarik was murdered in the Janissary camp, and it was commonly believed that Ahmet was the one responsible for his death.[3]

Finding his nephew Suleiman in Topkapı Palace to inform him of the event, Ahmet noticed Suleiman was meeting with Ezio Auditore - introduced to Ahmet as "Marcello" by Suleiman - which led to Ahmet growing suspicious of the man, and of his interactions with his nephew.[3]

Death

Ahmet: "Soldiers! Selim is not your master! You serve the Sultan! You carry out his command alone! Where is he? Where is our Sultan?!"
Selim: "He stands before you, brother. Father made his choice."
—Ahmet and Selim shortly before Ahmet's death.[src]

Ahmet confronting Ezio in Cappadocia

In March 1512, Ahmet personally traveled to Cappadocia, where Manuel Palaiologos was hiding and forming an army together with the renegade Shahkulu. Ahmet arrived shortly after Ezio had killed Manuel and taken the Masyaf key from him, giving him an opportunity to confront the Assassin.[3]

Revealing himself to be the leader of the Byzantine Rite, Ahmet threatened to capture Ezio's love interest Sofia Sartor, after Ezio claimed to not know of the other Masyaf keys. Ahmet left his subordinates to take care of Ezio, while he returned to Constantinople to order Sofia's capture.[3]

The capture, which resulted in the death of the Ottoman Assassin leader Yusuf Tazim, infuriated the Assassins, and led them to an all-out assault on the arsenal within Constantinople, where Ahmet was temporarily hiding.[3]

Though many of his men were killed during the attack, Ahmet managed to salvage his own life by reminding Ezio that he still held Sofia. Offering to spare Sofia in exchange for the Masyaf keys, Ahmet arranged a meeting with Ezio near Galata Tower.[3]

Ahmet met with Ezio on the rampart connected to Galata Tower soon afterwards, and after some mutual hostility, Ezio handed over the keys. Ahmet then directed Ezio to Sofia atop Galata Tower, but unbeknownst to the Assassin, the woman atop the Galata Tower was not Sofia, as Ahmet had ordered Sofia to be killed in a square not too far from the tower. Ahmet, finally having all keys in his possession, triumphantly hurried off to Masyaf.[3]

Sofia and Ezio pursuing Ahmet

As Ahmet and his entourage left Constantinople by several horse-drawn wagons, they were followed by Ezio and Sofia, who had been rescued from Ahmet's men. Leaving his soldiers to take care of the two, Ahmet rode ahead, and a chase ensued.[3]

Ezio was able to dispatch the other wagons, before Ahmet smashed Ezio's cart, causing Ezio to fall off. Ezio was able to catch himself by using a parachute, holding onto a rope attached to the wagon as Sofia continued the pursuit of Ahmet.[3]

After several more unsuccessful attempts from the Templars to shake Ezio and Sofia, Ahmet obliterated Sofia's cart, thinking he had finally lost them. As Ahmet proceeded onwards, Ezio lunged at him from a nearby ledge, and knocked him from his seat.[3]

Selim throwing Ahmet off a cliff

This resulted in both men free-falling off a cliff, and the two engaged in melee combat in mid-air. As they neared the ground, however, Ezio deployed another parachute to break the fall, and Ahmet survived by clinging onto him during the descent.[3] As they faced each other again on solid ground, and wondered what would happen next, Ahmet's brother Selim arrived, accompanied by the Sultan's army.[3]

Ahmet, thinking that their father was still the Sultan, attempted to remind the army that they were sworn to serve him, not Selim. However, much to Ahmet's horror, Selim revealed that their father had abdicated the throne, and had chosen Selim as his heir. Selim then proceeded to corner Ahmet against a weakened fence along the cliffside and proceeded the strangle him,, having learned of his brother's treachery against the Ottoman Empire. Ignoring Ahmet's pleas for mercy, the fence eventually broke, and Ahmet fell down the cliff to his death.[3]

Personality and characteristics

"You are weak, Ahmet. Pensive in times of war and restless in times of peace. You lack passion for the traditions of the ghazi (holy warriors), yet you speak of fraternity in the company of infidels. You would make a decent philosopher, Ahmet, but you will be a poor Sultan."
―Tarik, giving his opinion on Ahmet's character.[src]

Ahmet playing chess against his nephew

Ahmet, being a member of the most powerful family and rulers of Constantinople, was a proud and arrogant man. The fact that he had counted on his father's support of him becoming the next Sultan only made this worse, as he felt no doubt about his father's choice. Though Ahmet was certain that he would be become the Sultan, he was also shown to be insecure about it, and constantly paid attention to his relations with the public and the Janissaries, as he realized the equal importance of their support. However, much to Ahmet's bewilderment and unease, he found that the Janissaries held much contempt for him.[3]

When conversing with Tarik Barleti on why the Janissaries looked upon him disdainfully, Tarik admits that they found Ahmet a weak man who was pensive in times of war and restless during peace, and that he undervalued the traditions of their military and had skewed beliefs on fraternity. Tarik also added that Selim would make a "decent philosopher," though a poor Sultan all the same. Despite consenting to an honest opinion, Ahmet received Tarik's assessment poorly, and angrily tells the latter to leave his presence.

Despite this, Ahmet did appear to have redeeming qualities. He was shown to value family, and was on good terms with his nephew Suleiman despite the latter being Selim's son. Suleiman in turn described Ahmet as a sincere man and cared for his uncle as well. Ahmet was also shown to lament a time when he was on good terms with his brother, before both had become rivals vying to become Sultan, and did not show outright hostility and hatred whenever he mentioned his brother.

As Grand Master of the Byzantine Templar Rite, Ahmet was an intelligent and cunning man. Like most Templars, Ahmet believed in the Order's goals and was certain that achieving them would bring order and prosperity to the world. Due to his age and charm, he was able to rule over men who would not normally accept another as their superior. Ahmet managed to set up a scheme to get his hands on the Masyaf keys, while simultaneously maintaining his good public image.[3]

However, unlike many members who simply just lusted after power, influence and control, Ahmet's reasoning for his joining of the Templars appeared to at least be partially attributed to the state of his family, expressing disdain for how deeply divided he, his father, and Selim as a result of their quarreling over the throne.[3]

Trivia

  • Ahmet is a Turkish variant of the Arabic name Ahmad, meaning "highly praised".
  • Historically, Ahmet was executed in 1513 near Bursa after his army was defeated by Selim I when the latter learned of Ahmet's treachery.

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