Mustafa III

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Mustafa III
مصطفى ثالث
Caliph of Islam
Amir al-Mu'minin
Sultan of the Ottoman Empire
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques
18th Caliph of the Ottoman Caliphate
26th Ottoman Sultan (Emperor)
Reign October 30, 1757 – January 21, 1774
Predecessor Osman III
Successor Abdülhamid I
Born January 1717
Died 21 January 1774 (aged 56-57)
Consorts Mihrişah Sultan
Adilşah Kadın
Aynülhayat Kadın
Rif’at Kadın
Dynasty Osmanli (Ottoman)
Father Ahmed III
Mother Emine Mihrişah Sultan
Religion Sunni Islam

Mustafa III (Ottoman Turkish: مصطفى ثالث‎, lit. 'Muṣṭafā-yi sālis') (18/28 January 1717 – 21 January 1774) was the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1757 to 1774. He was a son of Sultan Ahmed III (1703–30) and was succeeded by his brother Abdul Hamid I (1774–89). He was born in Edirne Palace. His mother was Âminā Mihr-î-Shâh Sultan.


An energetic and perceptive ruler, Mustafa III sought to modernize the army and the internal state machinery to bring his empire in line with the Powers of Europe.

Unfortunately the Ottoman state had declined so far that any general attempts at modernization were but a drop in the ocean, while any major plans to change the administrative status quo immediately roused the conservative Janissaries and imams to the point of rebellion. Mustafa III did secure the services of foreign generals to initiate a reform of the infantry and artillery. The Sultan also ordered the founding of Academies for Mathematics, Navigation and the Sciences.

Well aware of his own military weakness, Mustafa III assiduously avoided war and chose not to contest the annexation of the Crimea by Catherine II of Russia (1762–96). However this action, combined with further Russian aggression in Poland compelled Mustafa III to declare war on Russia shortly before his death.

He died at Topkapi Palace, Constantinople.

Personal life[edit]


  • Ayn ul-Hayat Bash Kadin Effendi (1726 – 21 July 1764), styled Bash Kadin Effendi from 30 October 1757.
  • Fahima Kadin Effendi (d. 1761).
  • Mihrişah Sultan (1745 – 16 October 1805), originally from Georgia; styled 2nd Kadin Effendi from 1761, Bash Kadin Effendi from 21 July 1764.
  • Rifat Kadin Effendi (1744 – January 1804), styled 2nd Kadin Effendi from 21 July 1764.
  • Aisha Adil-Shah Kadin Effendi (1748 – 19 December 1803).
  • Binnaz Kadin Effendi (d. May 1823).


  • Selim III (24 December 1762 – 28 July 1808), son of Mihrişah.
  • Şehzade Mehmed (10 January 1767 – 12 October 1772), son of Mihrişah.


  • Hibatullah Sultan (17 March 1759 – June 1762).
  • Shah Sultan (born and died bef. April 1761), daughter of Rifat.
  • Shah Sultan (21 April 1761 – 11th March 1803), daughter of Mihrişah. Married:
    • firstly 23 April 1764, H.H. Damad Kosa Bahir Mustafa Pasha, Grand Vizier.
    • secondly 1 January 1768, H.H. Damad Muhammad Amin Pasha, Grand Vizier 1768-1769.
    • thirdly 2 October 1778, Damad Sayyid Mustafa Pasha.
  • Mihr-i-Mah Sultan (5 February 1762 – 6 October 1762), daughter of Ayn ul-Hayat.
  • Mihr-i-Shah Sultan (9 January 1763 – 21 February 1769).
  • Hatum Sultan (1764 – March 1769).
  • Bayhan Sultan (13 January 1765 – 7 November 1824), daughter of Aisha Adil-Shah. Married 22 April 1784, Damad Jalik Mustafa Pasha.
  • Hatice Sultan (15 June 1766 – 17 July 1821), daughter of Aisha Adil-Shah. Married 10 November 1786, Damad Sayyid Ahmed Pasha.
  • Fatma Sultan (9 January 1770 – 26 May 1772), daughter of Mihrişah.
  • Raykhan Sultan.
Mustafa III in his royal robes.

He was well talented and educated . He was an excellent poet, his poetry being written under the pseudonym of Cihangir.[1] One of his most famous poems is as follows:

(Ottoman Turkish)

“Yıkılupdur bu cihan sanma ki bizde düzele

Devleti çarh-ı deni verdi kamu müptezele

Şimdi erbab-ı saadette gezen hep hazele

İşimiz kaldı hemen merhamet-i lem yezele.”


"This world has ruined, don't even think with us it recovers,

It was the lousy fate that has delivered the power to vulgars

Now the perfidious ones have populated the Imperial Palace

It's now the mercy of the everlasting God that runs our business."

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Lord Kinross, Ottoman Centuries, (Perennial, 2002), 406.
Mustafa III
Born: January 28, 1717 Died: January 21, 1774[aged 57]
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Osman III
Sultan of the Ottoman Empire
Oct 30, 1757 – Jan 21, 1774
Succeeded by
Abdul Hamid I
Sunni Islam titles
Preceded by
Osman III
Caliph of Islam
Oct 30, 1757 – Jan 21, 1774
Succeeded by
Abdul Hamid I