Atmeydanı Incident

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Atmeydanı incident was a rebellion in the Ottoman Empire during the stagnation period. The name Atmeydanı refers to modern Sultan Ahmet Square in İstanbul ( Byzantine Hippodrome of Constantinople). Indeed Atmeydani means Hippodrome in Turkish.


Sultan İbrahim of the Ottoman Empire was dethroned (12 August 1648) and then killed by the revolters. The new sultan was his 6-year-old son Mehmet IV. In the Ottoman Empire it was a custom of the new sultans to tip the soldiers when they ascend the throne. (Turkish: Culus bahşişi) But because of the costly war in Crete, (Cretan War (1645-1669)) the regents of the sultan were unable to pay the tip. The sipahi corps, the main cavalry units of the Ottoman army were especially complainant, for they were not salaried soldiers.

The incident[edit]

Two months later, the Ottoman Porte (government) decided to send sipahi units to Crete. But, the angry sipahis returned to İstanbul to demand their tips along with some other rights. Some İstanbul citizens also joined them. They gathered in the square named Atmeydanı. According to historian Nicolae Iorga, Kösem Sultan the mother of the former sultan (İbrahim's mother) was secretly supporting them. Although the porte met most of their requests they increased their demands (like execution of some statesmen etc.) The porte sent two sermonizers to them. But the second sermonizer who was actually a member of janissary corps was killed by the crowd. Then the janissaries were charged over the sipahis (i.e., infantry troops of the army over the crowd mostly composed of the cavalry troops of the same army.) After the bloody combat more organised janisarries defeated the sipahis.[1][2]


Sipahis were subdued. But janissaries gained too much power and soon they began the cause of unrest in İstanbul. The troubled years of the empire continued till the beginning of Köprülü era in 1656.


  1. ^ Niclolae Jorga: Geschiste des Osmanichen, ( trans. Nilüfer Epçeli) Vol 3,Yeditepe yayınları İstanbul, 2009, ISBN 975-6480-21-1 p 63
  2. ^ Halil İbrahim İnal: Osmanlı Padişahları,Nokta Kitap, İstanbul, 2007, ISBN 978-9944-1-7437-4 p 322