Kasper Leuken. Deposition of Sultan Mehmed IV
The last sultan, which we managed to talk about in the previous article ("Game of Thrones" in the Ottoman Empire. Fatih's law in action and the emergence of cafes) was a strong man Murad IV, who died of cirrhosis of the liver at the age of 28. And now the time has come for Shehzade Ibrahim from the golden cage of the cafe - the youngest son of Sultan Ahmed I, brother of Osman II and Murad IV.
The first prisoner of the cafe on the throne of the Ottoman Empire
Ibrahim, sultan der Turkei
Ibrahim was 25 years old at that time, and he spent most of his life in a cafe. He was terribly frightened when he saw strangers entering his room, deciding that the killers had come. And he believed in the death of Murad IV only when he saw his corpse. As you might expect, Ibrahim turned out to be a very weak ruler. It is not surprising that he was sometimes compared to Nicholas II. Ibrahim I even had his own "Rasputin" - a certain Jinji Khoja, who was engaged in the expulsion of genies from dignitaries, courtiers, as well as the wives and concubines of the Sultan. It ended with the fact that Ibrahim was declared insane and killed. And his seven-year-old son Mehmed IV became the new sultan.
Mehmed the Hunter
Young Mehmed IV, miniature 1657
This sultan held the throne for 39 years. However, he was mainly engaged in hunting (that's why he was nicknamed "The Hunter"). And also calligraphy and writing poetry under the pseudonym of Bethai ("Faithful"). The country was ruled by other people.
At first, his grandmother Kyosem-Sultan, appointed regent, and his mother Turkhan Khatije, who, in the end, came out the winner in this fierce competition, grabbed for life and death. The loser Kyosem Sultan was strangled with a silk cord.
Then viziers from the Köprülü family ruled for 28 years. In Turkey, it is believed that this time became the "golden age" for ordinary citizens of the Ottoman Empire. There were no glorious victories and rapid expansion of the empire, but ordinary people then lived better than ever. It was under Mehmed IV that the Ottoman troops besieged Vienna in 1683, but were defeated by the Polish king Jan Sobieski and the Austrian field marshal Karl of Lorraine. And the "golden age" of the Ottoman Empire ended.
Since that time, the so-called "Great Turkish War" began - a chain of military conflicts in which the Ottomans were constantly defeated: from the Holy Roman Empire, Russia, Poland, Venice and Malta. Military failures, in the end, led to the fact that in 1687 the powerless Sultan Mehmed IV was removed from the throne, but they did not kill. With two concubines, he was sent to one of the palaces of Edirne, where he lived (like in prison) for another 6 years. Another son of Ibrahim I, Suleiman II, who had previously spent 39 years in a cafe, was elevated to the throne.
Sultans from cafes
Suleiman II was a deeply sick man who spent two years in bed out of 4 years of his reign. And his influence on state affairs was small.
At this time, for the first time in stories The Ottoman state began to mint copper coins, a tobacco tax was introduced, but some other taxes were reduced. During the reign of Suleiman II, Turkey once again fought with Austria, losing Bosnia and Belgrade, which, however, was soon returned.
Suleiman was succeeded by his brother, Ahmed II, who spent 48 years in the cafe, doing mainly calligraphy. At present, a copy of the Koran, personally rewritten by him, is kept in Mecca.
Achmet II, sultan der Turkei
At the same time, the Sultan began to convene the State Council 4 times a week, and important decisions were made collectively. Ahmed II was quite popular among the people. It was even said that he, disguised as a simple citizen, walked the streets of the capital and listened to what people say about the measures taken by him and his government. The war continued with Austria, during which the Ottoman army was defeated on August 19, 1691 at the Battle of Slankomen. Moreover, in this battle, the Grand Vizier of the Fazil Empire Mustafa Köprelu died. Like his older brother, Ahmed II was distinguished by poor health and after accession to the throne he lived for only 4 years.
This son of Mehmed IV (Mustafa II) became an exception to the rule. Since before the accession to the throne, Mustafa II was not kept in a cafe, but lived in Edirne, using limited freedom.
During the reign of Mustafa II, Russian troops took Azov (which was officially ceded to Russia in 1700).
Turkey also fought an extremely unsuccessful war with Austria, the Venetian Republic and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. It was then that Prince Eugene of Savoy won his first major victory at Zenta (September 11, 1697). It all ended with the conclusion of the Karlovytsky Peace Treaty (January 26, 1699), according to which Turkey lost Hungary, Transylvania, the city of Timisoar, Morea, Dalmatia and Right-Bank Ukraine.
In 1703, during the uprising in Constantinople, Mustafa was forced to renounce the throne in favor of his brother Ahmed. And, according to the old Ottoman tradition, he died soon after his abdication: probably, he was poisoned by the order of the new sultan.
"Age of tulips"
The new Sultan Ahmed III was 30 years old. And he turned out to be a very big fan of European culture, highlighting France. Under him, printing began to develop rapidly in the Ottoman Empire. An attempt was made to introduce universal primary education. And cultivation of tulips became fashionable: the name of this flower gave the name to the era.
Foreign policy and military successes during his reign alternated with failures, one of which became fatal for this Sultan (but more on that later).
It was Ahmed III who gave refuge to Charles XII, who was defeated at Poltava. And then I didn't know how to get rid of this guest. This was discussed in the article "Vikings" against the Janissaries. The incredible adventures of Charles XII in the Ottoman Empire.
During the reign of Ahmed III, unfortunate for Russia took place Prut campaign of Peter I (see also article Prut disaster of Peter I).
In 1715, Turkey started a war with Venice and recaptured Morea. But after the intervention of the Holy Roman Empire, the Habsburgs suffered defeats at Petrovaradin and Belgrade (the Austrian troops were commanded by Eugene of Savoy) and lost the northern parts of Serbia and Bosnia, Banat and Little Wallachia. However, the Ottomans still managed to save Morey then.
In the 1720s, the Ottoman Empire began a war with Iran, also achieving considerable success at first. But then the Turkish army was defeated. It led to another uprising in Constantinople (September 28, 1730) and the overthrow of Ahmed III (September 29, 1730).
He ceded power to his nephew Mahmud (son of Mustafa II), who (contrary to tradition) did not begin to strangle or persecute the former sultan.
Ahmed died 6 years later, when he was 62 years old, seeing the collapse of all his undertakings (some of the buildings he built were even destroyed).
Sultan Mahmoud I
Having come to power, Sultan Mahmud I at the first opportunity executed the Albanian Patron Khalil, a former sailor and janissary, the leader of the uprising that brought him to power. It happened on November 15, 1731.
Patron Khalil, portrait by Jean-Baptiste van Moore
Then about 7 thousand more people were executed - Khalil's supporters.
This sultan was remembered for the first attempts to modernize the Ottoman army according to European standards (the head of this program was the French Count de Bonneval, who had converted to Islam).
Under Mahmud I, the empire waged unsuccessful wars with Iran (ended with the cession of a number of territories) and with Russia, which, after the campaigns of Minich and Lassi, managed to return Azov.
But the war with the Austrians turned out to be more successful: northern Serbia, Belgrade and Little Wallachia were recaptured.
Mahmud died (as the Turks themselves say) “the death of a righteous man” - when he returned from Friday prayers, sitting on a horse.
New "sultans from the cage"
Osman III, was the son of Mustafa II. In 1703, when his father was removed from the throne, the 4-year-old boy was placed in a cafe, where he remained for 51 years.
He was intolerant of bribery, did not like music and women. They said that his shoes were specially nailed so that, hearing the steps of the Sultan, the maids had time to hide.
Christians and Jews, by his order, now had to wear special decals on their clothes.
However, ordinary people of Constantinople remembered this sultan for the help he provided to the townspeople during the great fire of July 1756.
The suspected cause of Mahmud's death was a stroke. Since this sultan did not leave children, his cousin Mustafa III, who spent "only" 27 years in the cafe, became the new ruler.
This sultan, like Ahmed III, was a supporter of the modernization of the Ottoman Empire along European lines. Invited by Mustafa III, the Hungarian engineer Franz Tott organized separate artillery units in the Turkish army, built a plant for the production of cannons, founded Muhendishan-i Bahr-i Humayun - the first naval school in the Ottoman Empire.
But the Russo-Turkish War of 1768-1774. ended in disaster for Turkey (it was during this war that Pyotr Rumyantsev won his loudest victories, and the Russian squadron of Alexei Orlov destroyed the Ottoman fleet at Chesma).
Mustafa did not live to see the end of this war. And the Kyuchuk-Kaynardzhi peace treaty was concluded under his successor, Abdul-Hamid I, also a former prisoner of the cafe.
It was during the reign of Abdul-Hamid that Crimea became part of Russia. His nephew, Selim III (son of Mustafa III), was also a "cafe graduate". And just like his father, he dreamed of reforms on the European model.
Selim III, portrait of an unknown artist, 1785
These reforms, called the Nizam-s Jedid (New Order), provided for the replacement of the Janissary corps with a regular army, the opening of military schools, the construction of new types of ships and another attempt to introduce universal primary education. It was under this sultan that the first opera was staged in Constantinople. Selim III raised his nephews, Mustafa and Mahmud, as his own children. And in the end, he was betrayed by one of them.
In May 1807, he was overthrown by the Janissaries and later executed by order of one of his pupils, who became the new sultan, Mustafa IV.
Mustafa's brother, Mahmud, survived only because he managed to escape to the Ruschuk Pasha Alemdar Mustafa Bayraktar, who managed to collect a 15-strong army and move it to Constantinople.
And in June of the next 1808, Mustafa, in turn, was dethroned. The reformist Mahmud II did not want to look "barbarian" in the eyes of "enlightened Europe." And therefore he preferred to evade his responsibilities to eliminate his brother, yielding the right to give the order for his execution to Sheikh-ul-Islam of the Ottoman Empire. Mustafa's execution can be considered the last application of the Fatih law in Turkey.
Mahmud II went down in history as the sultan who liquidated the Janissary corps and banned the Sufi monastic order of Bektash in Turkey. In Turkey, he is known by the nickname "Inkilabchi" ("Revolutionary"). Sometimes he is also called "Ottoman Peter I".
To learn more about the corps of janissaries, bektashs and Sultan Mahmud II, see the article Janissaries and Bektashi.
Also, the medieval system of forming the army according to the rule was eliminated, when the owners of land allotments (timars) were obliged to supply horse riders-sipahs in wartime.
These reforms did not save Turkey from military defeats in two wars with Russia (1806-1812 and 1828-1829) and with Greece (1821-1829). It was also restless on the outskirts of the empire. The separatist aspirations of the governors of Ioannina and, especially, Egypt, became a big problem. In 1833, only the intervention of Russia, which sent a squadron headed by M.P. to help Turkey, which was defeated in the war with rebellious Egypt. Lazarev (Bosphorus expedition of the Russian fleet) prevented the disaster. The troops of Ibrahim Pasha, having defeated the Ottoman army at Konya, were already moving towards Constantinople.
The reforms of Mahmud II met with dull resistance from almost all strata of the conservative Ottoman society. And it is impossible to call them very successful. Despite all the efforts of both Mahmud and some of his successors, the Ottoman Empire finally embarked on the path of degradation and decline, which ended with its disintegration and the removal from the throne of the last Sultan Mehmed VI.
On November 1, 1922, the sultanate was abolished. On November 18, Mehmed VI was stripped of the title of Caliph.
This is how the Turkish Republic appeared, which still exists today. But the story of these events is beyond the scope of this article.
The official abolition of the Fatih law took place in 1876 with the accession to the throne of Sultan Abdul-Hamid II.
Abdul Hamid II, before 1900
Then the constitution of the Ottoman Empire was adopted, the third article of which secured the rights of the eldest son:
"The Ottoman supreme power, concentrated in the person of the sovereign, the great caliph, belongs to the senior prince of the Osman dynasty."