Şehzade Mehmed

Şehzade Mehmed (Ottoman Turkish: شہزادہ محمد‎; 31 October 1522 – 7 November 1543) was an Ottoman prince (şehzade), the son of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent and his wife Hurrem Sultan.[2] He served as governor of Manisa.

Şehzade Mehmed
Şehzade Mehmed's tomb.png
The tomb of Şehzade Mehmed inside Şehzade Mosque
Governor of Manisa
Tenure12 November 1542 – 7 November 1543
Born31 October 1521[1]
Old Palace, Istanbul, Ottoman Empire
Died7 November 1543(1543-11-07) (aged 21)
Manisa Palace, Manisa, Ottoman Empire
Şehzade Mosque, Istanbul
IssueHümaşah Sultan
FatherSuleiman the Magnificent
MotherHurrem Sultan
ReligionSunni Islam


Şehzade Mehmed was born on 31 October 1521 in the Old Palace, during Suleiman's campaign to Rhodes. His birth was celebrated in the camp with sacrifices and distribution of alms.[1] His mother was Hurrem Sultan,[3][4] an Orthodox priest's daughter,[5]. In 1533 or 1534, his mother, Hurrem, was freed and became Suleiman's legal wife.[6] He had four younger brothers, Şehzade Abdullah, who died at the age of three years, Şehzade Selim (future Selim II), Şehzade Bayezid, and Şehzade Cihangir, and a younger sister, Mihrimah Sultan.[3][4]

Mehmed was circumcised together with his brothers, Şehzade Mustafa and Şehzade Selim on 27 June 1530.[7] In February 1534, Mustafa was appointed the governor of Manisa. Mehmed on the other hand remained in the capital, and in 1537, joined his father on his campaign to Corfu. In 1541, he and his younger brothers, Şehzade Selim, and Şehzade Bayezid, accompanied their father on his campaign to Buda.[8][9]

Suleiman favoured Hurrem's son, and appointed Mehmed, his second and most loved son, his heir contrary to the tradition.[10] Soon after their return from Corfu in October 1542, Suleiman under Hurrem's influence, appointed him the governor of Manisa. He also appointed Selim the governor of Karaman. Prior to the appointment, Şehzade Mustafa was sent to Amasya on 16 June 1541. Mehmed began his duties formally as governor soon after his arrival to Manisa on 12 November 1542.[8][10]

His mother, however, didn't accompany him to his provincial post. A Manisa register indicates that she did, however, visit Mehmed in 1543. The same year, she also visited her younger son Prince Selim, who had been appointed the governor of Karaman.[11] His only child, Hümaşah Sultan[12] was born in 1543 in Mansia.[13]

Evliya Çelebi describes Mehmed as a "prince of more exquisite qualities than even Mustafa. He had a piercing intellect and a subtle judgment. Suleiman had intended that he would be his successor, but man proposes and God disposes". It is however important to note it seems to be Evliya's personal opinion and he never met the prince because Evliya was born in 1611 (and Mehmed died in 1543). Evliya did not also have an opportunity to meet anyone who knew the Prince or Suleiman personally due to this fact. [14]


Şehzade Mehmed fell ill in Manisa on Wednesday, 31 October 1543. He died shortly after, on Wednesday night, 7 November,[8] probably of smallpox.[10] The following day, Lala Pasha, and Defterdar İbrahim Çelebi took his body to Istanbul. After his death his younger brother Selim replaced him as the governor of Manisa.[8]

After Mehmed's death, Suleiman had the famed imperial architect Mimar Sinan build the Şehzade Mosque in Istanbul to commemorate Mehmed. Also, Suleiman composed an elegy for Mehmed and ended the poem with the line "Most distinguished of the princes, my Sultan Mehmed".[15][16]

In popular cultureEdit

  • In the 2003 TV miniseries Hürrem Sultan, Şehzade Mehmed was played by Turkish actor Sezgi Mengi.[17]
  • In the 2011–2014 TV series Muhteşem Yüzyıl, (Magnificent Century) Şehzade Mehmed is portrayed by Turkish actor Gürbey İleri (main) in the third season,[18][19] and Arda Anarat (supporting) in the second and third season.[20]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Yelçe, Nevin Zeynep (2009). The Making of Sultan Süleyman: A Study of Process/es of Image-Making and Reputation Management. p. 256.
  2. ^ Peirce 1993, p. 59.
  3. ^ a b Peirce 1993, p. 60.
  4. ^ a b Yermolenko 2005, p. 233.
  5. ^ Yermolenko 2005, p. 234.
  6. ^ Yermolenko 2005, p. 235.
  7. ^ Akbar, M.J (May 3, 2002). The Shade of Swords: Jihad and the Conflict between Islam and Christianity. Routledge. pp. 88. ISBN 978-1-134-45258-3.
  8. ^ a b c d Sağır 2016, p. 922.
  9. ^ "Şehzade Bayezid (ö. 969/1562): Kanûnî Sultan Süleyman'ın saltanat iddiasıyla isyan eden Hürrem Sultan'dan olma oğlu". İslam Ansiklopedisi. Retrieved 20 October 2019.
  10. ^ a b c Peirce 1993, p. 80.
  11. ^ Peirce 1993, p. 61.
  12. ^ Peirce 1993, p. 67, 68, 69.
  13. ^ Necdet Sakaoğlu (2007). Famous Ottoman Women. Avea. p. 91. ISBN 978-975-7104-77-3.
  14. ^ "Fisher. Suleyman and His Sons". Coursesa.matrix.msu.edu. Archived from the original on 2016-03-09. Retrieved 2017-02-26.
  15. ^ "SULEYMAN THE MAGNIFICENT - POET". Archived from the original on 2006-03-09. Retrieved 2017-02-26.
  16. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-04-28. Retrieved 2016-04-16.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  17. ^ Hürrem Sultan (2003– ) Sezgi Mengi: Sehzade Mehmet, retrieved 2021-01-02
  18. ^ The Magnificent Century (2011–2014) Gürbey Ileri:Sehzade Mehmed, retrieved 2021-01-02
  19. ^ "Muhteşem Yüzyıl - Şehzade Mehmed - Gürbey İleri Kimdir (Gerçek İsmi, Rolü, Öldü mü, Ayrıldı mı)". Dizisi (in Turkish). Retrieved 2021-05-02.
  20. ^ "Muhteşem Yüzyıl - Şehzade Mehmed 2 - Arda Anarat Kimdir (Gerçek İsmi, Rolü, Öldü mü, Ayrıldı mı)". Dizisi (in Turkish). 2016-04-23. Retrieved 2021-05-02.


  • Peirce, Leslie P., The Imperial Harem: Women and Sovereignty in the Ottoman Empire, Oxford University Press, 1993, ISBN 0-19-508677-5
  • Sağır, Yusuf (2016). According to the Records and Vakfiyye's the Foundation of Şehzade Mehmet.
  • Yermolenko, Galina (April 2005). "Roxolana: "The Greatest Empresse of the East". DeSales University, Center Valley, Pennsylvania. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)