Sultan Mehmed III

Ruled 1595-1603

Mehmed III was born on 26th of May 26 1566 in Manisa province. His father was Murad III and his mother was Safiye Sultan, of Albanian origin. He is the 13th sultan of the Ottoman Empire. His reign lasted 8 years and was one of the sultans of the Stall Period of the Empire. Mehmed III was an idle ruler, his mother Safiye Sultan had a great influence on him. He was quiet, calm natured, extremely religious sultan. Like most sultans, he too was a poet.

During his young ages he served as the ruler of Saruhan for 12 years as a crown prince. When his father, Murad III, died in January 1595, he came to the palace in Istanbul. Upon ascending to the throne, the practice of Fratricide was carried out; Nineteen princes, four of them at young ages and the others as babies or small children, were strangled to death. This was a common practice during those Ages.

Mehmed III brought strict order to the treasury and cut expenditures. During his time, there were conflicts between the viziers in the palace, unrest among the Janissaries, and the Jelali revolts broke out in Anatolia between 1600 and 1601.

The major event of his reign was the long Austro-Ottoman War in Hungary between 1593-1606. Expeditions to Austria and Wallachia, conquest of Hungarian Egri castle (fort of Eger), conquest of Kanije castle, Battle of Keresztes (Haçova in Turkish) were some of them. Even though some wars were won, a lot of land was lost in general during his reign. He gave importance to diplomatic relations with England and France. Queen Elizabeth I sent gifts to the Ottoman court.

Mehmed III died on 20/21 December 1603 at the age of 38. His tomb today is in the courtyard of Hagia Sophia Mosque. After his death, his son Ahmed I ascended the throne.