Mustafa III

Mustafa III
Ottoman Caliph
Amir al-Mu'minin
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques
Sultan of the Ottoman Empire (Padishah)
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
Among others
Mustafa bin Ahmed
FatherAhmed III
MotherMihrişah Kadın
ReligionSunni Islam
TughraMustafa III's signature
Reception ceremony of the Comte de Saint Priest at the Ottoman Porte Antoine de Favray, 1767.
Coin of Mustafa III

Mustafa III (/ˈmʊstəfə/; Ottoman Turkish: مصطفى ثالث Muṣṭafā-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).

Early life[edit]

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 day 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 III,[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 elder half-brother Mehmed, he became heir to 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 rule[edit]

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 checked whether the laws he had enforced were followed.[7]

Treaty with Prussia[edit]

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.[8]

Russo-Turkish War (1768–1774)[edit]

Silver coin: 2 Zolota Mustafa III, 1759

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 ("I will find some means of humbling those infidels" [9]) 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.[10]


Many monumental buildings including the Fatih Mosque, which was built by Mehmed the Conqueror, were 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] and 1767.[11]

Personal life[edit]


Mustafa III

He was a poet, his poetry being written under the pseudonym of Cihangir.[12]

(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."[13]


"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 had seven known consorts: [14] [15] [16] [17] [18]

  • Aynülhayat Kadın (c. 1746 - 1 August 1764). Probably BaşKadin (first consort),[19] is sometimes considered Mustafa's legal wife. She was the mother of at least one daughter[20] and had a sister, Emine Hanim, in the harem like her. She built the Katırcıham Mescid Mosque on 1760. She was buried in Laleli.
  • Mihrişah Kadin (c. 1745 - 16 October 1805). She was of Genoese or Georgian origins, she was the mother of Selim III and two daughters. She was BaşKadin or became BaşKadin on the death of Aynülhayat Kadın.
  • Fehime Kadın [21] (? - 1761). Mother of Reyhan Sultan, she died in childbirth.
  • Rifat Kadın (c. 1744 - December 1803). Free-born woman, Mustafa met her while touring Istanbul undercover. She was then entrusted to the Grand Vizier's wife for educate her before entering the harem. Mother of Şah Sultan. After Mustafa's death, she returned to her family. She was buried in the Haydarpaşa cemetery.
  • Ayşe Adilşah Kadin (c. 1748 - 19 December 1803). Of Circassian origin, she was the mother of two daughters. She was buried in the garden of the mausoleum of Mustafa III.
  • Binnaz Kadın (c. 1740 - May 1823). Childless, after Mustafa's death she was married to Çayırzâde İbrahim Ağa. She was buried in the Hamidiye mausoleum.
  • Gülman Hanim. BaşIkbal. Also called Gülnar Hanim.


Mustafa III had at least two sons: [22] [23]

  • Selim III (24 December 1761 - 28 July 1808) - with Mihrişah Kadin. 28th Sultan of the Ottoman Empire.
  • Şehzade Mehmed (10 January 1767 - 12 October 1772). His tutor was Küçük Hüseyn Ağa. He was buried in the Mustafa III mausoleum.


Mustafa III had at least nine daughters: [24] [25] [26] [27] [22]

  • Hibetullah Sultan (17 March 1759 - 7 June 1762) - with Mihrişah Kadin.[28] Also called Heybetullah Sultan or Heyyibetullah Sultan. Hers was the first imperial birth in 29 years, and was therefore celebrated for ten days and ten nights in an extremely luxurious way. Her nurse was Emine Hanim, sister of Aynülhayat Kadın, and, being Mustafa's mother, Mihrişah Kadin, died, was his sister, Saliha Sultan, wife of the Grand Vizier, who presided over her Cradle Procession. At three months, she was betrothed to Hamid Hamza Paşah. In the luxurious ceremony, her father gave her the lands of Gümrükçü, but she died of illness at the age of three before being able to celebrate the marriage. She was buried in the Mustafa III mausoleum.
  • Şah Sultan (21 April 1761 - 11 March 1803) - with Rifat Kadın. Of frail health, she was engaged twice, but both her fiancés were executed before the wedding. She eventually managed to marry and had two biological daughters and an adoptive one.
  • Reyhan Sultan (1761 -?) - with Fehime Kadın. She died as a child.
  • Mihrimah Sultan (5 February 1762 - 16 March 1764) - with Aynülhayat Kadın. Her birth was celebrated for five days. She was buried in the Mustafa III mausoleum.
  • Mihrişah Sultan (9 January 1763 - 21 February 1769) - perhaps with Aynülhayat Kadın. Her birth was celebrated for three days. She was buried in the mausoleum of Mustafa III.
  • Beyhan Sultan (13 January 1766 - 7 November 1824) - with Adilşah Kadin. She married once and had a daughter.
  • Hatice Sultan (15 June 1766 - 1767) - perhaps with Aynülhayat Kadın.
  • Hatice Sultan (14 June 1768 - 17 July 1822) - with Adilşah Kadin. She married once and had a son.
  • Fatma Sultan (9 January 1770 - 26 May 1772) - with Mihrişah Kadin. She was buried in the mausoleum of Mustafa III.


Mustafa died of heart attack[29] on Friday,[30] 21 January 1774,[30][31][32] at the Topkapı Palace, and was buried in his own mausoleum located at Laleli Mosque, Istanbul.[33] He was succeeded by his brother Abdul Hamid I.[34] His death left the empire struggling with economic and administrative problems.[35]


  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 & Masters 2009, p. 411.
  7. ^ Sakaoğlu 2015, p. 334.
  8. ^ Hermann, Rainer (June 16, 2014). Where is Turkey Headed?: Culture Battles in Turkey. Blue Dome Press. ISBN 978-1-935-29572-3.
  9. ^ Lord Kinross Ottoman centuries
  10. ^ Somel, Selcuk Aksin (March 23, 2010). The A to Z of the Ottoman Empire. Scarecrow Press. p. 203. ISBN 978-1-461-73176-4.
  11. ^ Sakaoğlu 2015, p. 343.
  12. ^ Lord Kinross, Ottoman Centuries, (Perennial, 2002), 406.
  13. ^ Yıkılupdur bu cihan sanma ki biz de düzele
  14. ^ Beydilli, Kemal (2020). Kitab-ı Hedaya, Studien zum Osmanischen Reichundseinen Nachbargebieten, III. Mustafa (1757-1774): Kaynarca Öncesi Bir Padişah Portresi. Press of the University of Bonn. p. 233 n. 211.
  15. ^ Ulçay 2011, p. 149-151.
  16. ^ Kal'a, Ahmet (1998). Istanbul külliyâtı: Istanbul tarım tarihi, 1 (1743-1757), 2 (1757-1763). Istanbul Araştırmaları Merkezi. p. 218.
  17. ^ Haskan, Mehmed Nermi (2008). Eyüp Sultan Tarihi - Volume 2. Eyüp Belediyesi Kültür Yayinları. p. 583. ISBN 978-9-756-08704-6.
  18. ^ Sak, Osman; Çalışkan, İrfan (2002). Beşinci Eyüpsultan Sempozyumu. Eyüp Belediyesi Kültür ve Turizm Müdürlüğü. p. 124. ISBN 978-9-759-38441-8.
  19. ^ Esad Efendi believed she was the third consort. It is possible that she was demoted in favor of Mihrişah Kadin when she had a son.
  20. ^ She was the mother of Mihrimah Sultan, and according to Oztüna also of Hibetullah Sultan, Mihrişah Sultan and Hatice Sultan (the one who died as a newborn). However, the plaque on her grave only identifies her as Mihrimah's mother, and it has been discredited that she was Hibetullah's mother, while her other two daughters remain uncertain
  21. ^ O Fehime Hanim
  22. ^ 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, 50, 65, 95.
  23. ^ 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.
  24. ^ Uluçay 2011, p. 151-158
  25. ^ Sakaoğlu 2008, p. 466-483
  26. ^ İyianlar, Arzu (1992). Vâlide Sultanlar'ın İmar Faaliyetleri. İstanbul Üniversitesi Sosyal Bilimler Enstitüsü. pp. 167–8, 170–71.
  27. ^ Dominic, Paulina D .; Roszak, Stanisław (2017). The Istanbul Memories in Salomea Pilsztynowa's Diary "Echo of the Journey and Adventures of My Life" (1760). pp. 52 n. 41.
  28. ^ According to Oztüna, her mother was Aynülhayat Kadın, but this information was discredited
  29. ^ Palmer, Alan (May 19, 2011). The Decline and Fall of the Ottoman Empire. Faber & Faber. ISBN 978-0-571-27908-1.
  30. ^ a b Sakaoğlu 2015, p. 346.
  31. ^ Alexander, John T. (November 9, 1989). Catherine the Great: Life and Legend. Oxford University Press. p. 139. ISBN 978-0-199-87430-9.
  32. ^ The Biographical Dictionary of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge Vol. 1 Part II. 1842. p. 523.
  33. ^ Ayliffe, Rosie (2003). Turkey. Rough Guides. pp. 147. ISBN 978-1-843-53071-8.
  34. ^ Hill, George (September 23, 2010). A History of Cyprus, Volume 4. Cambridge University Press. pp. 94 n. 1. ISBN 978-1-108-02065-7.
  35. ^ Ágoston & Masters 2009, p. 412.


  • Ágoston, Gábor; Masters, Bruce Alan (2009). 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.
  • Sakaoğlu, Necdet (2015). Bu Mülkün Sultanları. Alfa Yayıncılık. ISBN 978-6-051-71080-8.
  • Uluçay, Mustafa Çağatay (2011). Padişahların kadınları ve kızları. Ankara: Ötüken.

External links[edit]

Mustafa III
Born: 28 January 1717 Died: 21 January 1774[aged 56]
Regnal titles
Preceded by Sultan of the Ottoman Empire
30 Oct 1757 – 21 Jan 1774
Succeeded by
Sunni Islam titles
Preceded by Caliph of the Ottoman Caliphate
30 Oct 1757 – 21 Jan 1774
Succeeded by