08.11.

1687: Janissaries Depose Sultan Mehmed IV

1687: Janissaries Depose Sultan Mehmed IV
Photo Credit To http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Apartments_Valide_Sultan_Topkapi_March_2008pano.jpg

Story Highlights

  • historical event: The Janissaries were the elite of the Turkish military forces. By this time their numbers had grown to over 54,000 and they transformed from a military branch into a kind of interest group, which held great power in the Ottoman Empire. They were so powerful that they could overthrow and appoint sultans.

On this day the Janissaries in Istanbul deposed Sultan Mehmed IV and imprisoned him in the imperial palace. This magnificent Topkapi palace can be seen even today. It is located right at the tip of the Istanbul peninsula, overlooking the Sea of Marmara and the Bosphorus. It stretches over between 592,600 and 700,000 square meters. Only the palace harem had more than 400 rooms.

The Janissaries were the elite of the Turkish military forces. By this time their numbers had grown to over 54,000 and they transformed from a military branch into a kind of interest group, which held great power in the Ottoman Empire. They were so powerful that they could overthrow and appoint sultans.

The ousted Mehmed IV was a rather weak Sultan during his reign. He was injured as a child when his father threw him into a water tank during an argument with his wife. The boy barely survived, thanks to the harem servants who saved him. When he became the Sultan after his father’s death, his favorite harem girl was Rabi’i Gülnûş – a former slave from Crete.

The newly appointed Sultan was Mehmed’s half-brother, Suleiman II. His mother was Dilâşub Salih, an ethnic Serb. Interestingly, her birth name was a Christian name – Catherine. During the reign of her son she became the most powerful woman in the court, with the title of Valide Sultan (which roughly translates to Queen Mother).

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