Mehmed V

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Mehmed V
Caliph of Islam
Amir al-Mu'minin
Sultan of the Ottoman Empire
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques
Sultan Mehmed V of the Ottoman Empire cropped.jpg
Official portrait of Mehmed V, 22 July 1913
Sultan of the Ottoman Empire
Reign 27 April 1909 – 3 July 1918
Sword girding 10 May 1909
Predecessor Abdülhamid II
Successor Mehmed VI
Grand Viziers
Born (1844-11-02)2 November 1844
Topkapı Palace, Constantinople(present day Istanbul)[1]
Died 3 July 1918(1918-07-03) (aged 73)
Yıldız Palace, Constantinople(present day Istanbul)
Spouses Kamures Kadınefendi
Dürriand Kadınefendi
Mihrengiz Kadınefendi
Nazperver Kadınefendi
Dilfirib Kadınefendi
Issue Şehzade Mehmed Ziyaeddin
Şehzade Mehmed Necmeddin
Şehzade Ömer Hilmi
Refia Sultan
Dynasty Ottoman
Father Abdülmecid I
Mother Gülcemal Sultan
Religion Sunni Islam

Mehmed V Reshad (Ottoman Turkish: محمد خامس Meḥmed-i ẖâmis, Turkish: Mehmed V Reşad or Reşat Mehmet) (2 November 1844 – 3 July 1918) was the 35th Ottoman Sultan. He was the son of Sultan Abdülmecid I.[2] He was succeeded by his half-brother Mehmed VI.


Sultan of the Ottomans Mehmed V in Ottoman naval uniform.

He was born at Topkapı Palace, Istanbul.[1] Like many other potential heirs to the throne, he was confined for 30 years in the Harems of the palace. For nine of those years he was in solitary confinement. During this time he studied poetry of the old Persian style and was an acclaimed poet. On his ninth birthday he was ceremoniously circumcised in the special Circumcision Room (Sünnet Odasi) of Topkapı Palace.


Wilhelm II, Mehmed V, Franz Joseph: The three emperors of the Central Powers in World War I.

His reign began on 27 April 1909, but he was largely a figurehead with no real political power, as a consequence of the Young Turk Revolution in 1908 (which restored the Ottoman Constitution and Parliament) and especially the 1913 Ottoman coup d'état, which brought the dictatorial triumvirate of the Three Pashas to power.

Mehmed V's most significant political act was to formally declare jihad against the Entente Powers (Allies of World War I) on 11 November 1914, following the Ottoman government's decision to join the First World War on the side of the Central Powers.[3] He was actually said to look with disfavor on the pro-German policy of Enver Pasha.[4]

This was the last genuine proclamation of jihad in history by a Caliph, as the Caliphate lasted until 1924. The proclamation had no noticeable effect on the war, despite the fact that many Muslims lived in Ottoman territories. The Arabs eventually joined the British forces against the Ottomans with the Arab Revolt in 1916.

Mehmed V and Enver Pasha hosting Wilhelm II.

Mehmed V hosted Kaiser Wilhelm II, his World War I ally, in Constantinople on 15 October 1917. He was made Generalfeldmarschall of the Kingdom of Prussia on 27 January 1916, and of the German Empire on 1 February 1916.


Mehmed V died at Yıldız Palace on 3 July 1918 at the age of 73, only four months before the end of World War I.[5] Thus, he did not live to see the downfall of the Ottoman Empire. He spent most of his life at the Dolmabahçe Palace and Yıldız Palace in Istanbul. His grave is in the historic Eyüp district of the city.

Decorations and awards[edit]

Ottoman orders

Mehmed V was Grand Master of the following Ottoman Orders:

Foreign orders and decorations

Family life[edit]

First marriage and issue[edit]

Sultan Mehmed V.

He married firstly at Constantinople, Ortaköy Palace, on 30 September 1872 to Azerbaijani HH Kamures Kadınefendi (Ganja, Caucus, 5 March 1855 – Kuruçesme, Istanbul, 30 April 1921), and had:

Second marriage and issue[edit]

He married secondly at Constantinople, Ortaköy Palace, on 10 October 1876 to Georgian HH Dürriand Kadınefendi (Kars, Caucus, 16 May 1860 – Istanbul, 17 October 1909), and had:

Third marriage and issue[edit]

He married thirdly at Constantinople, Ortaköy Palace, on 4 April 1887 to HH Mihrengiz Kadınefendi (Adapazarı, 15 October 1869 – Alexandria, 12 December 1938 and buried in Cairo), and had:

Fourth marriage and issue[edit]

He married fourthly at Constantinople, Ortaköy Palace, in 1888 to HH Nazperver Kadınefendi (1870 - Istanbul, 1930) and had:

  • Princess Refia Sultan (c. 1888 - c. 1888)

Fifth marriage[edit]

He married fifthly at Constantinople, Ortaköy Palace, in 1907 to HH Dilfirib Kadınefendi (1890 - Istanbul, 1953) without issue.


  1. ^ a b The Encyclopaedia Britannica, Vol.7, edited Hugh Chisholm, (1911), 3; "Constantinople, the capital of the Turkish Empire..".
  2. ^ Abdulmecid, Coskun Cakir, Encyclopedia of the Ottoman Empire, ed. Gábor Ágoston, Bruce Alan Masters, (Infobase Publishing, 2009), 9.
  3. ^ Lawrence Sondhaus, World War One: The Global Revolution, (Cambridge University Press, 2011), 91.
  4. ^ Wikisource-logo.svg Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1922). "Mahommed V.". Encyclopædia Britannica (12th ed.). London & New York. 
  5. ^ Mehmed V, Selcuk Aksin Somel, Encyclopedia of the Ottoman Empire, 371.

See Also[edit]

External links[edit]

Media related to Mehmed V at Wikimedia Commons

Mehmed V
Born: 2 November 1844 Died: 3 July 1918
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Abdul Hamid II
Sultan of the Ottoman Empire
27 Apr 1909 – 3 Jul 1918
Succeeded by
Mehmed VI
Sunni Islam titles
Preceded by
Abdul Hamid II
Caliph of Islam
27 Apr 1909 – 3 Jul 1918
Succeeded by
Mehmed VI