Mustafa IV

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Mustafa IV
مصطفى رابع
Ottoman Caliph
Amir al-Mu'minin
Sultan of the Ottoman Empire
Kayser-i Rûm
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques
Mustafa IV.jpg
29th Ottoman Sultan (Emperor)
Reign29 May 1807 – 28 July 1808
PredecessorSelim III
SuccessorMahmud II
Born8 September 1779
Istanbul, Ottoman Empire
Died16 November 1808(1808-11-16) (aged 29)
Istanbul, Ottoman Empire
Fatih, Istanbul
ConsortsŞevkinur Kadın
Seyyare Kadın
IssueEmine Sultan
Full name
Mustafa bin Abdul Hamid
FatherAbdul Hamid I
MotherSineperver Sultan
ReligionSunni Islam
TughraMustafa IV مصطفى رابع's signature
Document issued in the name of Mustafa IV

Mustafa IV (/ˈmʊstəfə/; Ottoman Turkish: مصطفى رابعMuṣṭafā-yi rābi‘; 8 September 1779 – 16 November 1808) was the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1807 to 1808.

Early life[edit]

Born in Constantinople, Mustafa IV was the son of Sultan Abdul Hamid I (1774–1789) and Sineperver Sultan.[1]

Both he and his brother, Mahmud II, were the last remaining male members of the house of Osman I after their cousin, the reformist Sultan Selim III (1789–1807). They alone were therefore eligible to inherit the throne from Selim, by whom they were treated favorably. Since Mustafa was the elder, he took precedence over his brother to the throne.[2] During his short reign, Mustafa would both save his cousin's life, and order him murdered. Mustafa was Sultan Selim III's favourite crown prince, but he deceived his cousin and co-operated with the rebels to take his throne.


Mustafa came to the throne in the wake of the turbulent events that led to the fatwa against Selim for "introduce[ing] among the Moslems the manners of infidels and show[ing] an intention to suppress the Janissaries."[3] Selim fled to the palace, where he swore fealty to his cousin as the new sultan, and attempted to commit suicide. Mustafa spared his life by smashing the cup of poison that his cousin attempted to drink.[3]

Mustafa's brief reign was turbulent. Immediately upon ascending to the throne, the Janissaries rioted throughout Constantinople, looting and murdering anyone who appeared to support Selim.[4] More threatening, however, was a truce signed with the Russians, which freed Mustafa Bayrakdar, a pro-reformist commander stationed on the Danube to march his army back to Constantinople in an effort to restore Selim. With the aid of the Grand Vizier of Adrianople, the army marched on the capital and seized the palace.[3]

Attempting to secure his position by positing himself as the only surviving heir of Osman, Mustafa ordered both Selim and his brother Mahmud murdered at Topkapı Palace, Constantinople. He then ordered his guards to show the rebels Selim's body,[4] and they promptly tossed it into the inner courtyard of the palace. Mustafa then ascended his throne, assuming that Mahmud was also dead, but the prince had been hiding in the furnace of a bath.[5] Just as the rebels demanded that Mustafa "yield his place to a worthier," Mahmud revealed himself, and Mustafa was deposed. The failure of his short reign prevented the efforts to undo the reforms, which continued under Mahmud.


Mustafa was later killed on Mahmud's orders on 16 November 1808, and was buried in his father's mausoleum.


  • Şevkinur Kadın (died 1812, buried in Abdul Hamid I Mausoleum, Istanbul), the principal consort;[6]
  • Seyyare Kadın (died 1817, buried in Abdul Hamid I Mausoleum, Istanbul), the second consort;[6]
  • Emine Sultan (6 May 1808 – 9 November 1808);


  1. ^ Yavuz Bahadıroğlu, Resimli Osmanlı Tarihi, Nesil Yayınları (Ottoman History with Illustrations, Nesil Publications), 15th Ed., 2009, page 395, ISBN 978-975-269-299-2
  2. ^ Lord Kinross, The Ottoman Centuries: The Rise and Fall of the Turkish Empire, Perennial, 1977, p. 437. ISBN 0-688-03093-9.
  3. ^ a b c Kinross, p. 433.
  4. ^ a b Goodwin, p. 291.
  5. ^ Kinross, p. 434.
  6. ^ a b Ziya, Mehmet (2004). Istanbul ve Boğaziçi: Bizans ve Osmanlı medeniyetlerinin Ölümsüz Mirası, Volume 1. BIKA.

External links[edit]

Mustafa IV
Born: 8 September 1779 Died: 15 November 1808
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Selim III
Sultan of the Ottoman Empire
29 May 1807 – 15 November 1808
Succeeded by
Mahmud II
Sunni Islam titles
Preceded by
Selim III
Caliph of the Ottoman Caliphate
29 May 1807 – 15 November 1808
Succeeded by
Mahmud II