Muharrem Kesi̇k

Keywords: Turkish Seljuk State, Kılıç Arslan II, İstanbul, First Attempt to Fly, 1162


When Sultan Mesud I (1116-1155) died, he was succeeded on the throne of the Turkish Seljuk State by his son Kılıç Arslan II, who as soon as he came to power was confronted by an opposing coalition consisting of the Danişmend Princes Yağıbasan Zülkarneyn and Zünnun, the Lord of Musul Nureddin Mahmud Zengi, the Byzantine Emperor Manuel and Kılıç Arslan II's brother Şahinsah Prince of Ankara and Çankırı , all of whom wanted to profit from this transition. With the aim of disrupting this coalition opposing him and of finding new allies, Sultan Kılıç Arslan II went to Istanbul to Emperor Manuel's palace in 1162. Manuel welcomed Sultan Kılıç Arslan. During his stay in Istanbul the Sultan managed to obtain the desired support from the Emperor and thus to disrupt the opposing coalition. He signed a treaty with the Byzantine Emperor Manuel Komnenos. During a chariot race organised by Emperor Manuel Komnenos in honour of Sultan Kılıç Arslan II during his stay in Istanbul, a Turk tried to fly with the aid of a special costume by jumping from a high tower, but was unsuccessful. Even if unsuccessful, this attempt shows us that the Seljuk Turks had started as far back as the 12th century to experiment with flying techniques. As far as we know this Turk who attempted to fly had previously been successful and in this case was only trying to show his ability to fly.