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Mustafa III (/ˈmʊstəfə/; Ottoman Turkish: مصطفى ثالثMuṣṭafā-yi sālis; 28 January 1717 – 24 December 1773) was the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1757 to 1773. He was a son of Sultan Ahmed III (1703–30), and his consort Mihrişah Kadın. He was succeeded by his brother Abdul Hamid I (1774–89).

Mustafa III
مصطفى ثالث
Ottoman Caliph
Amir al-Mu'minin
Sultan of the Ottoman Empire
Kayser-i Rûm
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques
26th Ottoman Sultan (Emperor)
Reign30 October 1757 – 24 December 1773
PredecessorOsman III
SuccessorAbdul Hamid I
Born28 January 1717
Edirne Palace, Edirne, Ottoman Empire
Died21 January 1774(1774-01-21) (aged 56)
Topkapı Palace, Istanbul, Ottoman Empire
Fatih, Istanbul
ConsortsMihrişah Sultan
Mihrişah Kadın
Aynülhayat Kadın
Adilsah Kadin
Rif’at Kadın
Issuesee below
Full name
Mustafa bin Ahmed
FatherAhmed III
MotherMihrişah Kadın
ReligionSunni Islam
TughraMustafa III مصطفى ثالث's signature
Reception ceremony of the Conte de Saint Priest at the Ottoman Porte Antoine de Favray, 1767.
Coins of Mustafa III.

Early lifeEdit

Mustafa was born at the Edirne Palace on 28 January 1717.[1] His father was Sultan Ahmed III, and his mother was Mihrişah Kadın.[2] He had a full brother named, Şehzade Süleyman. In 1720, a large fifteen days circumcision ceremony took place for Mustafa, and his brothers, princes Süleyman, Mehmed, and Bayezid.[3] In 1730, after the Patrona Halil revolt, led to the deposition of his father Sultan Ahmed,[4] and the succession of his cousin Sultan Mahmud I, Mustafa, his father, and brothers were all locked up in the Topkapı Palace.


Mustafa ascended the throne on 30 October 1757, after the death of his cousin Osman III, the son of Sultan Mustafa II.[5]

Character of Mustafa's ruleEdit

Soon after his accession to the throne, Mustafa demonstrated a special care for justice. He took a number of measures to increase prosperity in Istanbul. He regulated coinage, built large grain stores, maintained aqueducts, and established a strict fiscal policy.[6]

Treaty with PrussiaEdit

Mustafa much admired the Frederick the Great's generalship, and in 1761 established a peace treaty with Prussia. Frederick wanted an alliance against the Habsburgs, and Mustafa wanted to modernize his state and army. Mustafa preferred recruiting his officers in Berlin, rather than in Paris and London, to re-organize his army. In 1763, the two countries exchanged their diplomats for the first time.[7]

Russo-Turkish War (1768–1774)Edit

Koca Ragıp Pasha, who remained grand vizier until 1763, pursued a peace policy towards neighboring countries. But the increasing influence of Russia over the Caucasus and its intention to control Poland created tension between the Ottomans and Russia. Ragıp Pasha's successor Muhsinzade Mehmed Pasha also preferred to remain at peace, and Mustafa's insistence on war with Russia led to his resignation in 1768. The Sultan expected to gain an easy victory over the Russians, but in fact the Ottomans were unprepared for a long war. During the war, military reforms were undertaken, with the assistance of French officer François Baron de Tott. They included the modernization of artillery corps and the foundation of the Naval Engineering School in 1773. The war was disastrous for the Ottoman Empire. The Russian armies occupied the Crimea, Romania and parts of Bulgaria.[8]


Many monumental buildings including the Fatih Mosque, which was built by Mehmed the Conqueror was rebuilt from the ground during his reign. In addition, he had built Laleli Mosque complex, and the shore along the Yenikapı filled to set up a new neighborhood. Apart from these, he undertook other construction projects after the earthquakes of 1766-67.[6]

Personal lifeEdit


He was a poet, his poetry being written under the pseudonym of Cihangir.[9]

(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.”[10]


"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.



Mustafa had five consorts:

  • Mihrişah Sultan (died 16 October 1805, buried in Mihrişah Sultan Mausoleum, Eyüp, Istanbul),[11] Baş Kadın;[12]
  • Mihrişah Kadın (died 1799, buried in Şah Sultan Mausoleum, Eyüp, Istanbul), İkinci Kadın;[13][14]
  • Aynülhayat Kadın (died 21 July 1764, buried in Mustafa III Mausoleum, Laleli Mosque, Istanbul), Üçüncü Kadın;[15]
  • Adilşah Kadın alias Ayşe (died 19 December 1803, buried in Mustafa III Mausoleum, Laleli Mosque, Istanbul),[16] Üçüncü Kadın;[17]
  • Rif’at Kadın (died 25 December 1804, buried in Haydarpaşa Cemetery, Istanbul), Dördüncü Kadın;[18][19]

Mustafa had two sons:

  • Selim III (24 December 1761 – 28 July 1808, buried in Mustafa III Mausoleum), with Mihrişah;
  • Şehzade Sultan Mehmed (10 January 1767[20] – 12 October 1772, buried in Mustafa III Mausoleum, Laleli Mosque Istanbul);[21]

Mustafa had seven daughters:

  • Hibetullah Sultan (14 March 1759 – 7 June 1762, buried in Mustafa III Mausoleum, Laleli Mosque, Istanbul),[22][23] betrothed on 2 June 1759 to Mahir Hamza Pasha;[20]
  • Şah Sultan (20 April 1761 – 11 March 1803, buried in Şah Sultan Mausoleum, Eyüp, Istanbul), with Mihrişah, married on 6 November 1778, Damad Seyyid Mustafa Pasha;[24][25]
  • Mihrimah Sultan (5 February 1762 – 6 October 1762, buried in Mustafa III Mausoleum, Laleli Mosque, Istanbul), with Aynülhayat;[26][27]
  • Mihrişah Sultan (9 January 1763 – 21 February 1769, buried in Mustafa III Mausoleum, Laleli Mosque, Istanbul);[28][29]
  • Beyhan Sultan (15 December 1765 – 7 November 1824, buried in Mihrişah Sultan Mausoleum, Eyüp, Istanbul), with Adilşah, married on 22 April 1784 to Damad Celik Mustafa Pasha;[30][31]
  • Hatice Sultan (14 June 1768 – 17 July 1821, buried in Mihrişah Sultan Mausoleum, Eyüp, Istanbul), with Adilşah, married on 9 November 1786 to Damad Seyyid Ahmed Pasha;[32][33]
  • Fatma Sultan (9 January 1770 – 26 May 1772, buried in Mustafa III Mausoleum, Laleli Mosque, Istanbul);[21][29]


Mustafa died of heart attack[34] on 24 December 1773,[35][36] at the Topkapı Palace, and was buried in his own mausoleum located at Laleli Mosque, Istanbul.[37] He was succeeded by his brother Abdul Hamid I.[38] His death left the empire struggling with economic and administrative problems.[39]


  1. ^ Brill, E. J. The Encyclopaedia of Islām: A Dictionary of the Geography, Ethnography and Biography of the Muhammadan Peoples, Volume 3, Part 2. p. 761.
  2. ^ Faroqhi, Suraiya (November 29, 2005). Subjects of the Sultan: Culture and Daily Life in the Ottoman Empire. I. B. Tauris. p. 326. ISBN 978-1-850-43760-4.
  3. ^ Murphy, Rhoads (October 20, 2011). Exploring Ottoman Sovereignty: Tradition, Image and Practice in the Ottoman Imperial Household, 1400-1800. A&C Black. p. 182. ISBN 978-1-441-10251-5.
  4. ^ Keskiner, Philippe Bora (2012). Sultan Ahmed III (r.1703-1730) as a Calligrapher and Patron of Calligraphy. p. 58.
  5. ^ Biographical Encyclopaedia of Islam, Volume 3. Cosmo Publications. 2006. p. 864. ISBN 978-8-130-70390-9.
  6. ^ a b Ágoston 2009, p. 411.
  7. ^ Hermann, Rainer (June 16, 2014). Where is Turkey Headed?: Culture Battles in Turkey. Blue Dome Press. ISBN 978-1-935-29572-3.
  8. ^ Somel, Selcuk Aksin (March 23, 2010). The A to Z of the Ottoman Empire. Scarecrow Press. p. 203. ISBN 978-1-461-73176-4.
  9. ^ Lord Kinross, Ottoman Centuries, (Perennial, 2002), 406.
  10. ^ Yıkılupdur bu cihan sanma ki biz de düzele
  11. ^ Uluçay 2011, p. 150-1.
  12. ^ Kal'a, Ahmet (1998). İstanbul külliyâtı: İstanbul tarım tarihi, 1 (1743-1757), 2 (1757-1763). İstanbul Araştırmaları Merkezi. p. 218.
  13. ^ Haskan, Mehmed Nermi (2008). Eyüp Sultan Tarihi - Volume 2. Eyüp Belediyesi Kültür Yayınları. p. 583. ISBN 978-9-756-08704-6.
  14. ^ Sak, Osman; Çalışkan, İrfan (2002). Beşinci Eyüpsultan Sempozyumu. Eyüp Belediyesi Kültür ve Turizm Müdürlüğü. p. 124. ISBN 978-9-759-38441-8.
  15. ^ Uluçay 2011, p. 150.
  16. ^ Uluçay 2011, p. 149-50.
  17. ^ Tarih dergisi, Issues 25-27. 1971. p. 141.
  18. ^ Uluçay 2011, p. 151.
  19. ^ Tarih ve toplum: aylık ansiklopedik dergi - Volume 24. İletişim Yayınları/Perka A. Ş. p. 59.
  20. ^ a b Şemʼdânî-zâde Fındıklılı, Süleyman Efendi (1976). Aktepe, M.Münir (ed.). Şemʼdânî-zâde Fındıklılı Süleyman Efendi târihi Mürʼiʼt-tevârih-Volume II A. Edebiyat Fakültesi Matbaası. pp. 32, 95.
  21. ^ a b Şemʼdânî-zâde Fındıklılı, Süleyman Efendi (1976). Aktepe, M.Münir (ed.). Şemʼdânî-zâde Fındıklılı Süleyman Efendi târihi Mürʼiʼt-tevârih-Volume II B. Edebiyat Fakültesi Matbaası. pp. 24, 89, 90.
  22. ^ Uluçay 2011, p. 151-2.
  23. ^ Sakaoğlu 2008, p. 466.
  24. ^ Uluçay 2011, p. 153-4.
  25. ^ Sakaoğlu 2008, p. 468-69.
  26. ^ Uluçay 2011, p. 152-3.
  27. ^ Sakaoğlu 2008, p. 482-83.
  28. ^ Uluçay 2011, p. 153.
  29. ^ a b Sakaoğlu 2008, p. 483.
  30. ^ Uluçay 2011, p. 155-7.
  31. ^ Sakaoğlu 2008, p. 472-73.
  32. ^ Uluçay 2011, p. 157-8.
  33. ^ Sakaoğlu 2008, p. 477.
  34. ^ Palmer, Alan (May 19, 2011). The Decline and Fall of the Ottoman Empire. Faber & Faber. ISBN 978-0-571-27908-1.
  35. ^ Alexander, John T. (November 9, 1989). Catherine the Great: Life and Legend. Oxford University Press. p. 139. ISBN 978-0-199-87430-9.
  37. ^ Ayliffe, Rosie (2003). Turkey. Rough Guides. p. 147. ISBN 978-1-843-53071-8.
  38. ^ Hill, George (September 23, 2010). A History of Cyprus, Volume 4. Cambridge University Press. pp. 94 n. 1. ISBN 978-1-108-02065-7.
  39. ^ Ágoston 2009, p. 412.


  • Uluçay, Mustafa Çağatay (2011). Padişahların kadınları ve kızları. Ankara, Ötüken.
  • A ́goston, Ga ́bor; Masters, Bruce Alan (May 21, 2010). Encyclopedia of the Ottoman Empire. Infobase Publishing. ISBN 978-1-438-11025-7.
  • Sakaoğlu, Necdet (2008). Bu mülkün kadın sultanları: Vâlide sultanlar, hâtunlar, hasekiler, kadınefendiler, sultanefendiler. Oğlak Yayıncılık. ISBN 978-9-753-29623-6.

External linksEdit

Mustafa III
Born: 28 January 1717 Died: 21 January 1774[aged 57]
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Osman III
Sultan of the Ottoman Empire
30 Oct 1757 – 21 Jan 1774
Succeeded by
Abdul Hamid I
Sunni Islam titles
Preceded by
Osman III
Caliph of the Ottoman Caliphate
30 Oct 1757 – 21 Jan 1774
Succeeded by
Abdul Hamid I