Şehzade Mehmed

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Şehzade Mehmed
Bornc. 1521
Ottoman Empire
Died6 November 1543(1543-11-06) (aged 21–22)
Constantinople, Ottoman Empire
IssueHümaşah Sultan
FatherSuleiman the Magnificent
MotherHürrem Sultan

Şehzade Mehmed (1521–1543) was an Ottoman prince (şehzade), son of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent and Hürrem Sultan.[1] He was assigned to rule in Manisa after his brother Şehzade Mustafa was sent to Amasya from there.


Mehmed's birth changed the status of the harem, marking the beginning of Hürrem's rising in the palace. Historians say that Mehmed was very much like his older half-brother, Mustafa, and that he looked up to him as his role model, and had a good relationship with him since their childhood. Evliya Çelebi describes Mehmed as a "prince of more exquisite qualities than even Mustafa. He had a piercing intellect and a subtle judgment"[2] and that Suleiman had intended that he would be his successor had he not died. Mehmed participated in the successful Siege of Esztergom along his father.

Historians believe that Suleiman favoured Mehmed over Mustafa. Their arguments are based on the fact that Suleiman sent his son Mehmed to rule Manisa instead of Mustafa, who was assigned to rule Amasya. Manisa is considered as a privileged sanjak for a Şehzade, due to its proximity to Istanbul

Mehmed's only child was Hümaşah Sultan.


There are different opinions surrounding Mehmed's death. According to some historians, he died from smallpox. According to another opinion, as being constantly favored by the sultan over his half-brother Mustafa, Mahidevran Sultan (mother of the latter) planned his death. It is worth noting that Mehmed died the same year he went to battle along his father at the Siege of Esztergom.

After his son's death, Suleiman the Magnificent had the famed imperial architect Mimar Sinan build the Şehzade Mosque in Istanbul to commemorate Mehmed. Also, Suleiman composed an elegy for his beloved son Mehmed who died in 1543 and ended the poem with the line "Most distinguished of the princes, my Sultan Mehmed" in which the total numerical value is the year of his son's death.[3][4] The fact that Mehmed's death offered Suleiman his first major opportunity to serve as an architectural patron may also have given later Ottomans reason to believe that Mehmed was the favored one. The fact that Suleiman had not only commissioned a mosque for Mehmed, but have it built in Istanbul as if he were a sultan (given that şehzade were buried in Bursa according to the custom) reflected how much the sultan loved his son.

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Peirce, Leslie P., The Imperial Harem: Women and Sovereignty in the Ottoman Empire, Oxford University Press, 1993, ISBN 0-19-508677-5 (paperback).
  • Yavuz Bahadıroğlu, Resimli Osmanlı Tarihi, Nesil Yayınları, 15th Ed., 2009, ISBN 978-975-269-299-2 (Hardcover).


  1. ^ Peirce, Leslie P. (1993). The Imperial Harem: Women and Sovereignty in the Ottoman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-508677-5.
  2. ^ "Fisher. Suleyman and His Sons". Coursesa.matrix.msu.edu. Retrieved 2017-02-26.
  3. ^ "SULEYMAN THE MAGNIFICENT - POET". Web.archive.org. Archived from the original on 2006-03-09. Retrieved 2017-02-26.
  4. ^ [1][dead link]