Murad V

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Murad V
مراد خامس
Ottoman Caliph
Amir al-Mu'minin
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques
Sultan Murad V of the Ottoman Empire.jpg
33rd Sultan of the Ottoman Empire
Reign30 May 1876 – 31 August 1876
(13 weeks 2 days)
SuccessorAbdul Hamid II
Born(1840-09-21)21 September 1840
Çırağan Palace, Istanbul, Ottoman Empire
(present day Istanbul, Turkey)
Died29 August 1904(1904-08-29) (aged 63)
Çırağan Palace, Istanbul, Ottoman Empire
Burial30 August 1904
New Mosque, Istanbul
Turkish: Murad bin Abdulmejid
Ottoman Turkish: مراد بن عبدالمجید
FatherAbdulmejid I
MotherŞevkefza Kadın
TughraMurad V مراد خامس's signature

Murad V (Ottoman Turkish: مراد خامس; Turkish: V. Murad; 21 September 1840 – 29 August 1904) was the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire who reigned from 30 May to 31 August 1876. The son of Abdulmejid I, he supported the conversion of the government to a constitutional monarchy. His uncle Abdulaziz had succeeded Abdulmejid to the throne and had attempted to name his own son as heir to the throne, which spurred Murad to participate in the overthrow of his uncle. However, his own frail physical and mental health caused his reign to be unstable and Murad V was deposed in favor of his half-brother Abdul Hamid II after only 93 days.

Early life[edit]

Murad V was born as Şehzade Mehmed Murad[1] on 21 September 1840[2] in the Çırağan Palace[3] in Istanbul.[4] His father was Sultan Abdulmejid I, son of Sultan Mahmud II and Bezmiâlem Sultan. His mother was Şevkefza Kadın,[5] an ethnic Georgian.[6]

In September 1847,[7] aged seven, he was ceremoniously circumcised together with his younger half-brother, Şehzade Abdul Hamid.[8][9]

Murad was educated in the palace. His tutors included Toprik Süleyman Efendi, who taught him the Quran, Ferrik Efendi, who taught him Ottoman Turkish language, Sheikh Hafız Efendi, who taught him Hadith (the traditions of Muhammad), Monsieur Gardet, who taught him French, and Callisto Guatelli and Italian Lombardi, who taught him to play piano.[10][11]

Crown prince[edit]

Photograph taken during Murad's visit to London

After Abdulaziz ascended the throne after the death of Sultan Abdulmejid in 1861, Murad became the heir to the throne. He spent most of his time at his farmhouse in Kurbağalıdere which Abdulaziz had allocated to him. His family used to spend their winters in the crown prince's apartments located in the Dolmabahçe Palace and the Nisbetiye Mansion.[12][13]

He participated in the visits of Abdulaziz to Egypt in 1863 and to Europe in 1867. While he was appreciated by the European rulers for his kindness, his uncle, who was uncomfortable with this, had planned to send him back to Istanbul. Napoleon III and Queen Victoria showed greater interest in Murad than in Abdulaziz. Moreover, special invitations and excursions were organized for the crown prince.[14]

He frequently communicated with the New Ottomans, who wanted a constitutional regime. Şinasi, whom he met frequently, exchanged ideas with Namık Kemal and Ziya Pasha on constitutionalism, democracy and freedom. Through Ziya Pasha and his private physician Kapoleon Efendi, he also communicated with Midhat Pasha, the leading statesman of the Ottoman Tanzimat era and leader of the opposition group, which was dissatisfied with Sultan Abdulaziz's rule.[15]

Murad was the first member of the Ottoman dynasty to become a member of the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Turkey.[16] On 20 October 1872,[17] Murad was secretly inducted into the lodge, sponsored by his chamberlain Seyyid Bey. Murad rose through the ranks in the lodge. At one point he proposed establishing an independent Ottoman lodge to be named Envar-ı Şarkiye, "Eastern Lights", with its ritual conducted in Turkish, but the plan was never realized.[18]

Succession question[edit]

Sultan Abdulaziz tried to change the succession system in favor of his own son Şehzade Yusuf Izzeddin.[19] For this purpose Abdulaziz set out to mollify different pressure groups and have his son gain popularity among them. During the 1867 visit to Europe, rumors spread that contrary to the rules of protocol Abdulaziz arranged Izzeddin's reception in Paris and London before the official heir, Prince Murad. When the conservative Mahmud Nedim Pasha became the Grand vizier in September 1871 he lent his support to Abdulaziz's plans.[20] To further legitimize his plans, Abdulaziz tactically supported a change to primogeniture in the Muhammad Ali dynasty of Egypt. By granting primogeniture to Isma'il Pasha in 1866, Abdulaziz was clearly seeking to create a positive climate of opinion about a change in favour of his own son.[21]


Murad on route to be crowned


As a result, Murad cooperated with the constitutionalist circles and took part in the deposition of Abdulaziz.[19] On the night of 29–30 May 1876, the committee led by the Midhat Pasha and the Minister of War, Hüseyin Avni Pasha, deposed Abdulaziz and raised Murad to the throne.[2]

Though he successfully acceded to the throne, he was not capable of maintaining his place.[19] He struggled to appear normal in his new role, so at odds with his previously quiet life of dabbling in music.[2] His weak nerves, combined with alcoholism, led to a mental breakdown.[19] The death of his deposed uncle only days after his accession stunned him, and that, combined with the distress over the abrupt manner in which he was brought to the throne and the demands besieging him as ruler, led to anxiety that the world interpreted as resulting from having ordered his uncle's murder.[2]

Illness and deposition[edit]

Murad began to manifest bizarre behavior that preceded his complete collapse. The government leaders called in the Viennese specialist in psychiatric disorders, Dr. Max Leidesdorf, who concluded that the new Sultan could make a complete recovery with three months' treatment in a clinic, which the other Ottoman leaders were unwilling to attempt. A mentally competent prince on the throne formed an essential component of their plans to implement reforms with due legitimacy. Murad's younger brother and heir to the throne, Abdul Hamid, however, appeared eminently healthy physically and mentally, and supportive of the leaders' plans to introduce parliamentary government.[22]

Securing the Şeyhülislam's ruling sanctioning Murad's dethronement, and Abdul Hamid's promise to proclaim a constitution,[23] Midhat Pasha, and the Ottoman governing deposed him on 31 August 1876,[19] after reigning for only ninety-three days on the grounds that he was mentally ill.[24] After which his younger half-brother, Sultan Abdul Hamid II, ascended the throne. Murad was then confined to the Çırağan Palace, which Abdul Hamid did not allow him to leave.[19]


Ali Suavi, an Ottoman political activist, journalist, educator, theologian and reformer, involved in the incident

In confinement, Murad's consort Gevherriz Hanım worked with Nakşifend Kalfa, the hazinedar Dilberengiz, the eunuch Hüseyin Ağa, and Hüsnü Bey (who had been Second Secretary of Murad) to allow for a British physician to meet with Murad to ascertain Murad's mental fitness. When the physician arrived, Gevherriz served as translator. It is not clear how true this story is, and it is possible the physician was sent by freemasons rather than by the British.[25]

In 1877, some nine months into confinement, Murad regained his mental faculties. The first two years of his confinement in Çırağan witnessed three attempts by supporters to free him and restore him to the throne, but all three resulted only in Abdul Hamid’s tightening the cordon that isolated Çırağan Palace from the city around it.[23]

Ali Suavi incident[edit]

On 20 May 1878,[26] an attempt was made to liberate Murad from the Çırağan Palace and restore him to the throne. Murad’s brothers, Şehzade Ahmed Kemaleddin and Şehzade Selim Süleyman, and sisters, Fatma Sultan and Seniha Sultan, and her husband Mahmud Celaleddin Pasha were involved in the plot.[27] They all wanted to see the former Sultan on the throne.[26] During the incident Ali Suavi, the radical political opponent of Abdul Hamid’s authoritarian regime stormed the palace with a band of armed refugees from the recent Russo-Turkish War (1877–1878).[26] Ottoman battleship Mesudiye was anchored offshore the palace to take Murad, and to announce his accession.[28] However, he did not reach the battleship,[29] Ali Suavi's men were unable to overcome the fierce resistance of the Beşiktaş police prefect, Hacı Hasan Pasha.[30] The plot failed, and Ali Suavi and most of his men were killed.[31] In the aftermath, security at the Çırağan Palace was tightened.[32]

Life in confinement[edit]

Çırağan Palace, where Murad and his family were confined by Sultan Abdul Hamid for twenty-eight years until Murad's death in 1904

His mental faculties restored, Murad lived out a far more benign existence than that attributed to him by the Western press. Reports through the years claimed that the former Sultan languished in prison, or escaped and was hiding, or lectured his brother on the Armenian troubles.[23]

After his mother's death in 1889, Murad focused all his love and attention on his children. Selaheddin became his companion in grief, and the two of them passed long hours together reminiscing about bygone days as well as speculating on the future. For some time father and son took an interest in the Mesnevi, spending hours reciting verses from that work and taking great pleasure in doing so.[33]

Death and legacy[edit]

Poster produced after his death

At length, suffering from diabetes, Murad died at the Çırağan Palace on 29 August 1904.[23] While his senior consort Mevhibe Kadın and his son Selahaddin reported that Murad was willing to be buried in the mausoleum of Yahya Efendi, Abdul Hamid did not approve of it. The next day, Murad's funeral was carried out without announcement and ceremony. His body was washed and shrouded in the Topkapı Palace, and was then taken to the Hidayet Mosque in Bahçekapı. After the funeral procession was held, he was buried next to his mother Şevkefza in the New Mosque, Istanbul.[34]

An important primary source about his life comes from the memoirs of one of his consorts, Filizten Hanım, written in the 1930s.[35]


Murad had learned both French and Arabic. He ordered and read books and magazines from France and was influenced by French culture. He played the piano and composed Western-style music.[19] He was a liberal.[24][36][37][38]



Name Birth Death Notes
By Mevhibe Kadın (married 2 January 1857; c. 1844 – c. 1936)
no issue
By Reftarıdil Kadın (married 4 February 1859; c. 1839 – c. 1936)
Şehzade Mehmed Selaheddin 5 August 1861[39][40] 29 April 1915[39][40] married seven times, and had issue, seven sons and seven daughters
By Şayan Kadın (married 5 February 1869; 4 January 1853 – fl. 1919)
Hatice Sultan 5 May 1870[41][42] 13 March 1938[41][42] married two times, and had issue, two sons and two daughters
By Meyliservet Kadın (married 1870s; 21 October 1854 – 1891)
Fehime Sultan 2 August 1875[43][44] 15 September 1929[43][44] married two times without issue
By Nevdürr Hanım (married 1870s; c. 1861 – fl. 1947)
no issue
By Gevherriz Hanım (married 1870s; c. 1862 – c. 1949)
no issue
By Remzşinas Hanım (married 1870s; c. 1864 – fl. 1934)
no issue
By Resan Hanım (married 2 November 1877; 28 March 1860 – 31 March 1910)
Fatma Sultan 19 June 1879[45][46] 23 November 1930[47] married one time, and had issue, three sons and one daughter
Aliye Sultan 24 August 1880[48][49] 19 September 1903[48][49] unmarried, and without issue
By Filizten Hanım (married 1879; c. 1861–62 – c. 1945)
no issue

In popular culture and literature[edit]

  • In the 2011 TV series Kirli Oyunlar, Murad V is portrayed by Turkish actor Sezgin Erdemir.[50]
  • In the 2012 movie The Sultan's Women, Murad V is portrayed by Turkish actor Serhat Kaplan.[51]
  • In the 2015 TV series Filinta, Murad V is portrayed by Turkish actor Uğur Uludağ.[52]
  • In the 2017 TV series Payitaht: Abdülhamid, Murad V is portrayed by Turkish actor Nevzat Yılmaz.[53]
  • Murad is a character in Ayşe Osmanoğlu's historical novel The Gilded Cage on the Bosphorus (2020).[54]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Satı 2020, p. 8.
  2. ^ a b c d Brookes 2010, p. 16.
  3. ^ Satı 2020, p. 6.
  4. ^ Britannica, "Istanbul": "Until the Turkish Post Office officially changed the name in 1930, however, the city continued to bear the millenary name of Constantinople."
  5. ^ "Kesitler". Osmanlı Web Sitesi (in Turkish). Retrieved 31 January 2021.
  6. ^ Eldem, Edhem (2018). The harem seen by Prince Salahaddin Efendi (1861–1915). Searching for women in male-authored documentation. p. 21.
  7. ^ Satı 2020, pp. 8–9.
  8. ^ Mehmet Arslan (2008). Osmanlı saray düğünleri ve şenlikleri: Manzum sûrnâmeler. Sarayburnu Kitaplığı. p. 329. ISBN 978-9944-905-63-3.
  9. ^ Dünden bugüne İstanbul ansiklopedisi. Kültür Bakanlığı. 1993. p. 72. ISBN 978-975-7306-07-8.
  10. ^ Sakaoğlu 2015, p. 440.
  11. ^ Satı 2020, p. 9.
  12. ^ a b Satı 2020, p. 17.
  13. ^ Sakaoğlu 2015, p. 441.
  14. ^ Sakaoğlu 2015, p. 442.
  15. ^ Küçük, Cevdet (2006). "Murad V". TDV Encyclopedia of Islam, Vol. 31 (Muhammedi̇yye – Münâzara) (in Turkish). Istanbul: Turkiye Diyanet Foundation, Centre for Islamic Studies. pp. 183–185. ISBN 9789753894586.
  16. ^ "Hür ve Kabul Edilmiş Masonlar Büyük Locası Derneği" (in Turkish). 13 April 2014. Archived from the original on 13 April 2014. Retrieved 31 January 2021.
  17. ^ Satı 2020, p. 41.
  18. ^ Brookes 2010, p. 69 n. 44.
  19. ^ a b c d e f g Ga ́bor A ́goston; Bruce Alan Masters (21 May 2010). Encyclopedia of the Ottoman Empire. Infobase Publishing. p. 404. ISBN 978-1-4381-1025-7.
  20. ^ Zachs & Weismann 2005, p. 41.
  21. ^ Zachs & Weismann 2005, p. 43.
  22. ^ Brookes 2010, pp. 16–17.
  23. ^ a b c d Brookes 2010, p. 17.
  24. ^ a b Palmer, Alan. The Decline and Fall of the Ottoman Empire, 1992. Pages 141–143.
  25. ^ Brookes 2010, pp. 68–72.
  26. ^ a b c Brookes 2010, p. 76 n. 51.
  27. ^ Brookes 2010, p. 76.
  28. ^ Brookes 2010, pp. 79, 85 n. 62.
  29. ^ Brookes 2010, p. 79.
  30. ^ Brookes 2010, pp. 79–80.
  31. ^ Brookes 2010, pp. 76 n. 51, 80 n. 56.
  32. ^ Brookes 2010, p. 85.
  33. ^ Brookes 2010, pp. 98–99.
  34. ^ Sakaoğlu 2015, p. 450.
  35. ^ Brookes 2010, pp. 13–14.
  36. ^ Howard, Douglas Arthur (2001). The History of Turkey. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 66. ISBN 0313307083. Retrieved 6 May 2017.
  37. ^ Smith, Jean Reeder; Smith, Lacey Baldwin (1980). Essentials of World History. Barron's Educational Series. ISBN 0812006372. Retrieved 6 May 2017.
  38. ^ Yapp, Malcolm (9 January 2014). The Making of the Modern Near East 1792-1923. Routledge. p. 118. ISBN 978-1317871071. Retrieved 6 May 2017.
  39. ^ a b Uluçay 2011, p. 238.
  40. ^ a b Brookes 2010, p. 289.
  41. ^ a b Uluçay 2011, pp. 240–242.
  42. ^ a b Brookes 2010, p. 282.
  43. ^ a b Uluçay 2011, pp. 242–243.
  44. ^ a b Brookes 2010, p. 281.
  45. ^ Uluçay 2011, p. 281.
  46. ^ Brookes 2010, p. 291.
  47. ^ Yolcu, Cengiz (2018). Sofya'da Medfun Bir Osmanlı Sultanı: V. Murad'ın Kızı Fatma Sultan. p. 40.
  48. ^ a b Uluçay 2011, p. 243.
  49. ^ a b Brookes 2010, p. 278.
  50. ^ "5. Murad masondu". Ensonhaber (in Turkish). 20 November 2011. Retrieved 30 January 2021.
  51. ^ Cast of the 2012 movie "The Sultan's Women", retrieved 30 January 2021
  52. ^ ""Filinta" Episode #2.58 (TV Episode 2015)". IMDb. 30 January 2021. Retrieved 30 January 2021.
  53. ^ Payitaht: Abdülhamid (TV Series 2017– ), retrieved 30 January 2021
  54. ^ Osmanoğlu, Ayşe (30 May 2020). The Gilded Cage on the Bosphorus: The Ottomans: The Story of a Family. Ayşe Osmanoğlu. ISBN 978-1-9163614-1-6.


  • Brookes, Douglas Scott (2010). The Concubine, the Princess, and the Teacher: Voices from the Ottoman Harem. University of Texas Press. ISBN 978-0-292-78335-5.
  • Sakaoğlu, Necdet (2015). Bu Mülkün Sultanları. Alfa Yayıncılık. ISBN 978-6-051-71080-8.
  • Satı, İbrahim (2020). Sultan V.Murad'ın Hayatı ve Kısa Saltanatı (1840-1904).
  • Uluçay, M. Çağatay (2011). Padişahların kadınları ve kızları. Ötüken. ISBN 978-9-754-37840-5.
  • Zachs, Weismann; Weismann, Itzchak (24 March 2005). Ottoman Reform and Muslim Regeneration. I.B.Tauris. ISBN 978-1-850-43757-4.

External links[edit]

Murad V
Born: 21 September 1840 Died: 29 August 1904
Regnal titles
Preceded by Sultan of the Ottoman Empire
30 May 1876 – 31 August 1876
Succeeded by
Sunni Islam titles
Preceded by Caliph of the Ottoman Caliphate
30 May 1876 – 31 August 1876
Succeeded by