Murad IV

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Murad IV
Ottoman Caliph
Amir al-Mu'minin
Kayser-i Rûm
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques
Sultan of the Ottoman Empire
Reign10 September 1623 – 8 February 1640
PredecessorMustafa I
RegentKösem Sultan
Born(1612-07-27)27 July 1612
Topkapı Palace, Constantinople, Ottoman Empire
Died8 February 1640(1640-02-08) (aged 27)
Constantinople, Ottoman Empire
SpouseAyşe Sultan
Şemsişah Sultan?
Şemsperi Hatun?
Sanavber Hatun
Among others
Kaya Sultan
Şah Murad bin Ahmed Han[1]
FatherAhmed I
MotherKösem Sultan
ReligionSunni Islam
TughraMurad IV's signature

Murad IV (Ottoman Turkish: مراد رابع, Murād-ı Rābiʿ; Turkish: IV. Murad, 27 July 1612 – 8 February 1640) was the sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1623 to 1640, known both for restoring the authority of the state and for the brutality of his methods. Murad IV was born in Constantinople, the son of Sultan Ahmed I (r. 1603–17) and Kösem Sultan.[2] He was brought to power by a palace conspiracy when he was just 11 years old, and he succeeded his uncle Mustafa I (r. 1617–18, 1622–23). Until he assumed absolute power on 18 May 1632, the empire was ruled by his mother, Kösem Sultan, as nāʾib-i salṭanat (regent). His reign is most notable for the Ottoman–Safavid War, of which the outcome would partition the Caucasus between the two Imperial powers for around two centuries, while it also roughly laid the foundation for the current TurkeyIranIraq borders.

Early life[edit]

Murad IV was born on 27 July 1612 to Ahmed I (reign 1603 – 1617) and his consort and later wife Kösem Sultan, an ethnic Greek.[3] After his father's death when he was six years old, he was confined in the Kafes with his brothers, Suleiman, Kasim, Bayezid and Ibrahim.[4]

Grand Vizier Kemankeş Ali Pasha and Şeyhülislam Yahya Efendi were deposed from their position. The next day, the child of the age of 6 was taken to the Eyüp Sultan Mausoleum. The swords of Prophet Muhammad and Yavuz Sultan Selim were bequeathed to him. Five days later he was circumcised.[4]


Early reign (1623–32)[edit]

Murad IV in his young age
Ottoman miniature painting depicting Murad IV during dinner

Murad IV was for a long time under the control of his relatives and during his early years as Sultan, his mother, Kösem Sultan, essentially ruled through him. In this period, the Safavid Empire invaded Iraq, Northern Anatolia erupted in revolts, and in 1631 the Janissaries stormed the palace and killed the Grand Vizier, among others.

At the age of 16 in 1628, he had his brother-in-law (his sister Gevherhan Sultan's husband, who was also the former governor of Egypt), Kara Mustafa Pasha, executed for a claimed action "against the law of God".[5]

After the death of the Grand Vizier Çerkes Mehmed Pasha in the winter of Tokat, Diyarbekir Beylerbeyi Hafiz Ahmed Pasha became a vizier on 8 February 1625.[6]

An epidemic, which started in the summer of 1625 and called the plague of Bayrampaşa, spread to threaten the population of Istanbul. On average, a thousand people died every day. The people fled to the Okmeydanı to escape the plague. The situation was worse in the countryside outside of Istanbul.[6]

Absolute rule and imperial policies (1632–1640)[edit]

Murad IV banned alcohol, tobacco, and coffee in Constantinople.[7] He ordered execution for breaking this ban.[8] He restored the judicial regulations by very strict punishments, including execution; he once strangled a grand vizier for the reason that the official had beaten his mother-in-law.[9][10][11]

Fire of 1633[edit]

On 2 September 1633,[12] the Cibali fire broke out, burning a fifth of the city. The fire started during the day when a caulker burned the shrub and the ship caulked into the walls. The fire, which spread from three branches to the city. One arm lowered towards the sea.[12] He returned from Zeyrek and walked to Atpazan. The most beautiful districts of Istanbul were ruined, from the Yeniodas, Mollagürani districts, Fener gate to Sultanselim, Mesihpaşa, Bali Pasha and Lutfi Pasha mosques, Şahı buhan Palace, Unkapanı to Atpazarı, Bostanzade houses, and Sofular Bazaar. The fire that lasted for 30 hours was only extinguished after the wind stopped.[12]

The war against Safavid Iran[edit]

Murad IV's reign is most notable for the Ottoman–Safavid War (1623–39) against Persia (today Iran) in which Ottoman forces managed to conquer Azerbaijan, occupying Tabriz, Hamadan, and capturing Baghdad in 1638. The Treaty of Zuhab that followed the war generally reconfirmed the borders as agreed by the Peace of Amasya, with Eastern Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Dagestan staying Persian, Western Georgia stayed Ottoman.[13] Mesopotamia was irrevocably lost for the Persians.[14] The borders fixed as a result of the war, are more or less the same as the present border line between Iraq and Iran.

During the siege of Baghdad in 1638, the city held out for forty days but was compelled to surrender.

Murad IV himself commanded the Ottoman Army in the last years of the war.

Relations with the Mughal Empire[edit]

While he was encamped in Baghdad, Murad IV is known to have met ambassadors of the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, Mir Zarif and Mir Baraka, who presented 1000 pieces of finely embroidered cloth and even armor. Murad IV gave them the finest weapons, saddles and Kaftans and ordered his forces to accompany the Mughals to the port of Basra, where they set sail to Thatta and finally Surat.[15]


Murad IV put emphasis on architecture and in his period many monuments were erected. The Baghdad Kiosk, built in 1635, and the Revan Kiosk, built in 1638 in Yerevan, were both built in the local styles.[16] Some of the others include the Kavak Sarayı pavilion;[17] the Meydanı Mosque; the Bayram Pasha Dervish Lodge, Tomb, Fountain, and Primary School; and the Şerafettin Mosque in Konya.

Music and poetry[edit]

Murad IV wrote many poems. He used the "Muradi" penname for his poems. He also liked testing people with riddles. Once he wrote a poetic riddle and announced that whoever came with the correct answer would get a generous reward. Cihadi Bey, a poet from Enderun School, gave the correct answer and he was promoted.[18]

Murad IV was also a composer. He has a composition called "Uzzal Peshrev".[19]


Due to the prominence during his reign of his mother Kösem Sultan and the fact that all of his sons died in infancy, Murad IV's family is not well known.

Only three of his many concubines are known and of the thirty-two children that Evliya Çelebi said that Murad IV had, five have not yet been identified, and the name of some of others is still unknown.

Furthermore, no child had a certain nominated mother.


Murad IV

Of the numerous concubines he had, only three certain consorts of Murad IV are known, plus some disputed:[20][21][22][23][24][25]

  • Ayşe Sultan. First Haseki of Murad IV and the only one whose title is confirmed.
  • Şemsişah (Şemsperi) Sultan. According to L. Pierce, Murad IV had a second Haseki in the last years of his reign. The identity and title of this concubine are however disputed, but some have proposed Şemsişah as a probable identity. She started with a salary of 2,751 daily asprons, the highest ever recorded for a concubine, but after seven months it was reduced to 2,000 daily asprons, on par with Ayşe Sultan. She disappears from the records soon after Murad IV's death.
  • Sanavber Hatun. She founded a charity in the capital in 1628. Since this required high wealth and Murad's first children were born in 1627, she was likely One of his firsts concubines and the mother of at least one of Murad's elder children.
  • Şemsperi Hatun. (disputed)
  • Emirgün's sister (disputed). Her brother, the governor of Yerevan, would offer it to Murad IV to earn his favors. Being beautiful, the sultan fell in love with her, but later left her in Damascus instead of taking her to the capital.
  • Rosana Sultan (existence disputed): according to the sources, she was the favorite of Murad IV, and she was tall, blonde and extremely pale. She had a bad temper and even the sultan feared her. She had followed him to war in 1635, but was sent back to Constantinople when Murad fell in love with Emirgün's sister. In the capital she was received with every honor, but jealousy for the new concubine led her to issue an imperial order to execute Murad IV's brothers, who hated her. When Murad returned, one of his sisters tried to accuse her, but he didn't believe her and furiously hit her. Eventually his mother Kösem Sultan managed to find evidence and witnesses against Rosana and Murad IV stabbed her himself. From that moment on, the sultan swore never to favor another woman. Although the story has spread widely in European sources, most historians dismiss it as a romantic legend or a fictionalized and more dramatic version of Ayşe Sultan's story.


Murad IV had at least fifteen sons, but none of them survived infancy and all of them died before their father (d. 1640):[21][22][24][25][26]

  • Şehzade Ahmed (Constantinople, 21 December 1627 - Constantinople, ?).
  • Şehzade Fülan (Constantinople, March 1631 - Constantinople, March 1631). Buried in the Ahmed I mausoleum in the Blue Mosque.
  • Şehzade Süleyman (Constantinople, February 1632 - Constantinople, 1632). Buried in the Ahmed I mausoleum in the Blue Mosque.
  • Şehzade Mehmed (Constantinople, 8 August 1633 - Constantinople, ?). Born in the Pavilion of the Kandilli Garden, buried in the Ahmed I mausoleum in the Blue Mosque.
  • Şehzade Fülan (Constantinople, February 1634 - Constantinople, March 1634).
  • Şehzade Fülan (Constantinople, 10 March 1634 - Constantinople, March 1634).
  • Şehzade Alaeddin (Constantinople, 16 August 1635 - Constantinople, 1637). Buried in the Ahmed I mausoleum in the Blue Mosque.
  • Şehzade Fülan (Izmit, 15 May 1638 - ?). Probably the son of Ayşe Sultan, as he is referred to as "son of Haseki".
  • Şehzade Abdülhamid (Constantinople, ? - Constantinople, ?). Buried in the Ahmed I mausoleum in the Blue Mosque.
  • Şehzade Selim (Constantinople, ? - Constantinople, ?). Buried in the Ahmed I mausoleum in the Blue Mosque.
  • Şehzade Orhan (Constantinople, ? - Constantinople, ?). Buried in the Ahmed I mausoleum in the Blue Mosque.
  • Şehzade Numan (Constantinople, ? - Constantinople, ?). Buried in the Ahmed I mausoleum in the Blue Mosque.
  • Şehzade Hasan (Constantinople, ? - Constantinople, ?). Buried in the Ahmed I mausoleum in the Blue Mosque.
  • Şehzade Mahmud (Constantinople, ? - Constantinople, ?). Buried in the Ahmed I mausoleum in the Blue Mosque.
  • Şehzade Osman (Constantinople, ? - Constantinople, ?). Buried in the Ahmed I mausoleum in the Blue Mosque.


Murad IV had at least thirteen daughters.[21][22][24][25][26]

Unlike their brothers, at least eight of them survived at least to the age of marriage:

  • Fülane Sultan (Constantinople, 1627 - ?). She married Tüccarzade Mustafa Paşa in 1640.
  • Gevherhan Sultan (Constantinople, February 1630 - ?). She married Haseki Mehmed Pasha.
  • Hanzade Sultan (Constantinople, 1631 - ?, after 1675). She married Nakkaş Mustafa Pasha and she was widowed in 1657.
  • Ismihan Sultan (Constantinople, 1632 - Constantinople, 1632). Called also Esmihan Sultan.
  • Ismihan Kaya Sultan (Constantinople, 1633 - Constantinople, 1658). She married Melek Ahmed Paşah and she died in childbirth.
  • Rabia Sultan (Constantinople, ? - Constantinople, ?). Buried in the Ahmed I mausoleum in the Blue Mosque.
  • Fatma Sultan (Constantinople, ? - Constantinople, ?). Buried in the Ahmed I mausoleum in the Blue Mosque.
  • Bedia Sultan (Constantinople, ? - ?).
  • Bedia Ayşe Sultan (Constantinople, ? - ?). She married Malatuk Süleyman Paşa before 1655.
  • Hafsa Sultan (Constantinople, ? - ?). She married Ammarzade Mehmed Paşah.
  • Safiye Sultan (Constantinople, after 1634 - Constantinople, 1680 or after). She married Sarı Abaza Hüseyin Paşah (brother or son of Grand Vizier Siyavuş Paşah) in 1659. She had three sons and a daughter: Sultanzade Abubekr Bey, Sultanzade Mehmed Remzi Paşah (d. 21 November 1719), Sultanzade Abdüllah Bey (stillborn, after 1680) and Rukiye Hanımsultan (1680 - January 1697). She died to give birth to Abdüllah.
  • Rukiye Sultan (Constantinople, 1640 - 1696/1703). She married Şeytân Melek İbrâhîm Pasha and was widowed in 1685. She had two daughters: Fatma Hanımsultan (1677 - 1727) and Ayşe Hanımsultan (1680 - 1717). She may have remarried to Gürcü Mehmed Paşah or Bıyıklı Mehmed Paşah in 1693. She was buried in the Şehzade Mosque.
  • Esma Sultan (? - ?). She died in infancy.


Murad IV died from cirrhosis in Constantinople at the age of 27 in 1640.[27]

Rumours had circulated that on his deathbed, Murad IV ordered the execution of his mentally disabled brother, Ibrahim (reigned 1640–48), which would have meant the end of the Ottoman line. However, the order was not carried out.[28]

In popular culture[edit]

In the TV series Muhteşem Yüzyıl: Kösem, Murad IV is portrayed by Cağan Efe Ak as a child, and Metin Akdülger as the Sultan.[29]

In the film Three Thousand Years of Longing (2022), Murad IV is portrayed by Ogulcan Arman Uslu, with Kaan Guldur playing him a child.[30]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ali Aktan, (1995), Osmanlılar İlim ve İrfan Vakfı, p. 202 (in Turkish)
  2. ^ Finkel, Caroline (2005). Osman's Dream: The Story of the Ottoman Empire, 1300-1923. New York: Basic Books. p. 197. ISBN 978-0-465-02396-7.
  3. ^ Finkel, Caroline (2006). Osman's dream : the story of the Ottoman Empire, 1300-1923. New York: Basic Books. p. 197. ISBN 0-465-02396-7. OCLC 63664444.
  4. ^ a b Sakaoğlu 2015, p. 224.
  5. ^ Accounts and Extracts of the Manuscripts in the Library of the King of France. Vol. 2. R. Faulder. 1789. p. 51. The sultan Morad put him to death in the year 1037 [AH], for some action which was contrary to the law of God.
  6. ^ a b Sakaoğlu 2015, p. 225.
  7. ^ Hopkins, Kate (24 March 2006). "Food Stories: The Sultan's Coffee Prohibition". Archived from the original on 20 November 2012. Retrieved 12 September 2006.
  8. ^ Hari, Johann (2015). Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs. Bloomsbury USA. p. 262. ISBN 978-1620408902.
  9. ^ Davis, William Stearns (1922). A short history of the Near East: from the founding of Constantinople (330 A.D. to 1922). New York: The Macmillan Company. pp. 259–260.
  10. ^ İnalcık, Halil; Imber, Colin (1989). The Ottoman Empire : the classical age, 1300-1600. New Rochelle, N.Y.: Aristide D. Caratzas. p. 99. ISBN 0-89241-388-3.
  11. ^ Traian Stoianovich (1 January 1994). Balkan Worlds: The First and Last Europe. M.E. Sharpe. p. 57. ISBN 978-0-7656-3851-9.
  12. ^ a b c Sakaoğlu 2015, p. 232.
  13. ^ Wallimann, Isidor; Dobkowski, Michael N. (March 2000). Genocide and the Modern Age: Etiology and Case Studies of Mass Death. ISBN 9780815628286. Retrieved 30 December 2014.
  14. ^ Roemer (1989), p. 285
  15. ^ Farooqi, N. R. (1989). Mughal-Ottoman relations: a study of political & diplomatic relations between Mughal India and the Ottoman Empire, 1556-1748. Idarah-i Adabiyat-i Delli. Retrieved 14 June 2015.
  16. ^ Artan, Tülay (2008). "Questions of Ottoman Identity and Architectural History". In Arnold, Dana; et al. (eds.). Rethinking Architectural Historiography. London: Routledge. pp. 85–109, page 98. ISBN 978-0-415-36082-1.
  17. ^ Müller-Wiener, Wolfgang (1988). "Das Kavak Sarayı Ein verlorenes Baudenkmal Istanbuls". Istanbuler Mitteilungen. 38: 363–376.
  18. ^ "IV. Murad ve Şairliği". 7 July 2014.
  19. ^ "Sultan IV. Murad - Uzzâl Peşrev" – via
  20. ^ Leslie P. Peirce (1993). The Imperial Harem: Women and Sovereignty in the Ottoman Empire. Oxford University Press. pp. 107–108. ISBN 978-0-19-508677-5.
  21. ^ a b c Yılmaz Öztuna - Sultan Genç Osman ve Sultan IV. Murad
  22. ^ a b c Necdet Sakaoğlu - Bu Mülkün Kadın Sultanları
  23. ^ M. Çağatay Uluçay - Padişahların Kadınları ve Kızları
  24. ^ a b c François de Chassepol - Historia delli vltimi due gran visiri con alcuni secreti intrecci del Serraglio, e molte particolarità sopra le Guerre di Candia, Dalmatia, Transilvania, Polonia & Ungheria
  25. ^ a b c Du Loir - Les voyages du sieur Du Loir
  26. ^ a b Leslie P. Peirce (1993). The Imperial Harem: Women and Sovereignty in the Ottoman Empire. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-508677-5.
  27. ^ Selcuk Aksin Somel, Historical Dictionary of the Ottoman Empire, 2003, p.201
  28. ^ Barber, Noel (1973). The Sultans. New York: Simon and Schuster. p. 87. ISBN 9780671216245.
  29. ^ "Muhteşem Yüzyıl Kösem'in 4. Murad'ı Metin Akdülger kimdir?" (in Turkish). Retrieved 6 November 2017.
  30. ^ Marcus, Dan (26 August 2022). "'Three Thousand Years of Longing' Cast and Character Guide: Meet the Djinn and All Who Knew Him". Collider. Retrieved 27 August 2022.


  • Roemer, H. R. (1986). "The Safavid Period". The Cambridge History of Iran: The Timurid and Safavid Periods. Vol. VI. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 189–350. ISBN 0521200946.
  • Sakaoğlu, Necdet (2008). Bu mülkün kadın sultanları: Vâlide sultanlar, hâtunlar, hasekiler, kadınefendiler, sultanefendiler. Oğlak Yayıncılık. p. 303.
  • Sakaoğlu, Necdet (2015). Bu Mülkün Sultanları. Alfa Yayıncılık. ISBN 978-6-051-71080-8.

External links[edit]

Media related to Murad IV at Wikimedia Commons

Murad IV
Born: July 27, 1612 Died: February 8, 1640
Regnal titles
Preceded by Sultan of the Ottoman Empire
10 September 1623 – 9 February 1640
with Kösem Sultan (1623–1632)
Succeeded by
Sunni Islam titles
Preceded by Caliph
Ottoman Dynasty
10 September 1623 – 9 February 1640
Succeeded by