Mustafa III

Mustafa III (/ˈmʊstəfə/; Ottoman Turkish: مصطفى ثالثMuṣṭafā-yi sālis; 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 his consort Mihrişah Kadın. He was succeeded by his brother Abdul Hamid I (1774–89).

Mustafa III
مصطفى ثالث
Ottoman Caliph
Sultan of the Ottoman Empire
Kayser-i Rûm
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques
26th Ottoman Sultan (Emperor)
Reign30 October 1757 – 21 January 1774
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
Laleli Mosque, Fatih, Istanbul
ConsortsMihrişah Sultan
Mihrişah Kadın
Aynülhayat Kadın
Adilşah Kadın
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 Comte 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. In 1756, after the death of his half-brother Mehmed, he was only elder heir left for the throne.



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]

He traveled frequently and started to check whether the laws he had enforced were followed.[7] In February 1758, Mustafa launched a ship named Hısn-ı Bahri. He released prisoners from prison and the guards give them reminder that creditors should pay their debts.[8] In June 1758, when Ayşe Sultan’s husband Silahdar Mehmed Pasha returned from a journey, and Mustafa arranged dinner for him in the Bahariye Mansion. He also met his sister Esma Sultan in her palace.[8] On 14 March 1759, the birth of Mustafa’s first child Hibetullah Sultan, forty days celebrations were held, the city was decorated and prayers were prayed in the mosques for her long life. Shopkeepers reduced the prices on fruits and vegetables. [9]

Grand Vizier Ragıb Pasha, who had a complex built in Koska, died on 8 April 1763. Hamza Hamid Pasha was appointed instead. As well as being a good statesman, Ragıb Pasha was an exceptional state with his readiness, culture, rich, legal knowledge, poetry and conversations. So, Acem Ali, Hindi Hasan, Armenian Kazar and others were paying bribes to Ragıb Pasha. Acem Ali's neck, which got richer and gained palaces and mansions, was shot and Kazar was hung. [10]

On 28 March 1765, the Grand Vizier Köse Bahir Mustafa Pasha, who had a partnership with the corruption of Kethüda Ahmed Efendi, was dismissed from his position and was placed under arrest for two days. He was then exiled to Lesbos and executed there. Muhsinzade Mehmed Pasha became the Grand Vizier in his place. In April 1765, Bozok Mutasamfi Çapanoğlu Ahmed Pasha, who was executed for his persecution, was brought to Istanbul and exhibited in front of Bab-i Humayun.[11]

Treaty with PrussiaEdit

Mustafa much admired 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.[12]

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.[13]


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.[6]

Earthquake of 1767Edit

On 31 January 1767, there was another very severe earthquake in evening. Thus, four major earthquakes ruined Istanbul in eight months. Everyone left the city life by setting up tents on the countryside. Mustafa III mobilised the treasury possibilities for the restoration of Istanbul as soon as possible. Tıfli Efendi, Mehmed Ağa to the city walls, Osman Efen from Yenişehir to Baruthane, Osman Efen to Saraçhane and Arasta, Atefzade Ömer Efendi to Enderun buildings, Hezarfen Kara Mustafa Ağa, Tophane to Yedikule, Tophane Mahmud Bey was appointed as the building chief for the reconstruction of Fatih Mosque and Tomb. The fire that broke out in a galleon made the anchored ships in Kalafaytri hold. Aynalıkavak Palace, Halıcıoğlu pier were burned while the boats that got fire wandered under the influence of winds and currents. [14]

Personal lifeEdit


He was a poet, his poetry being written under the pseudonym of Cihangir.[15]

(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.”[16]


"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 III

Mustafa had five consorts:

  • Mihrişah Sultan (died 16 October 1805, buried in Mihrişah Sultan Mausoleum, Eyüp, Istanbul),[17] Senior Consort;[18]
  • Mihrişah Kadın (died 1799, buried in Şah Sultan Mausoleum, Eyüp, Istanbul), Second Consort;[19][20]
  • Aynülhayat Kadın (died 21 July 1764, buried in Mustafa III Mausoleum, Laleli Mosque, Istanbul), Third Consort;[21]
  • Adilşah Kadın (died 19 December 1803, buried in Mustafa III Mausoleum, Laleli Mosque, Istanbul),[22] Third Consort;[23]
  • Rif’at Kadın (died 25 December 1804, buried in Haydarpaşa Cemetery, Istanbul), Fourth Consort;[24][25]

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[26] – 12 October 1772, buried in Mustafa III Mausoleum, Laleli Mosque Istanbul);[27]

Mustafa had seven daughters:

  • Hibetullah Sultan (14 March 1759 – 7 June 1762, buried in Mustafa III Mausoleum, Laleli Mosque, Istanbul),[28][29] with Mihrişah,[30][31] betrothed on 2 June 1759 to Mahir Hamza Pasha;[26]
  • 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;[32][33]
  • Mihrimah Sultan (4 November 1762[34] – 16 March 1764,[35] buried in Mustafa III Mausoleum, Laleli Mosque, Istanbul),[26] with Aynülhayat;[36][37]
  • Mihrişah Sultan (9 December 1762[38] – 21 February 1769, buried in Mustafa III Mausoleum, Laleli Mosque, Istanbul);[39][40]
  • 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;[41][42]
  • Hatice Sultan (14 June 1768 – 17 July 1822, buried in Mihrişah Sultan Mausoleum, Eyüp, Istanbul), with Adilşah, married on 9 November 1786 to Damad Seyyid Ahmed Pasha;[43][44]
  • Fatma Sultan (9 January 1770 – 26 May 1772, buried in Mustafa III Mausoleum, Laleli Mosque, Istanbul),[27][40] with Mihrişah;[30]


Mustafa died of heart attack[45] on Friday, [46] 21 January 1774, [46][47][48] at the Topkapı Palace, and was buried in his own mausoleum located at Laleli Mosque, Istanbul.[49] He was succeeded by his brother Abdul Hamid I.[50] His death left the empire struggling with economic and administrative problems.[51]


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  • Uluçay, Mustafa Çağatay (2011). Padişahların kadınları ve kızları. Ankara, Ötüken.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • A ́goston, Ga ́bor; Masters, Bruce Alan (May 21, 2010). Encyclopedia of the Ottoman Empire. Infobase Publishing. ISBN 978-1-438-11025-7.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
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  • Sakaoğlu, Necdet (2015). Bu Mülkün Sultanları. Alfa Yayıncılık. ISBN 978-6-051-71080-8.

External linksEdit

Mustafa III
Born: 28 January 1717 Died: 21 January 1774[aged 56]
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