Ottoman Sultans

The Sultanate was inherited from father to son during the early days of the Empire. Fatih, following the struggle for power between Yildirim Bayezit's sons for the throne, enacted the ruling of the murder of other siblings once the eldest was throned, in a decree named after himself. This application, which was enforced for 250 years, was repealed at the dawn of the 17th century and replaced with the rule of the eldest family member upon the death of a sultan. However, all prospective future heirs to the throne were forced to live in the Harem's "cage" section, cut off from the rest of the world.

The sultans of the Empire were:

Osman Gazi (1299-1324/26)
Orhan Gazi (1324/26-60)
Murat I (1360-89)
Yildirim Bayazid I (1389-1402)
Mehmet I (1413-21)
Murat II (1421-44 and 1446-51)
Fatih Mehmed II (1444-46 and 1451-81)
Beyazid II (1481-1512)
Yavuz Selim I (1512-20)
Suleyman I (1520-66)
Selim II (1566-74)
Murad III (1574-95)
Mehmet III (1595-1603)
Ahmed I (1603-17)
Mustafa I (1617-18 and 1622-23)
Genc Osman II (1618-22)
Murad IV (1623-40)
Ibrahim (1640-48)
Avci Mehmed IV (1648-87)
Suleyman II (1687-91)
Ahmed II (1691-95)
Avci Mehmed V (1648-87)
Suleyman III (1687-91)
Ahmed II (1691-95)
Mustafa II (1695-1703)
Ahmed III (1703-30)
Mahmud I (1730-54)
Osman III (1754-57)
Mustafa III (1757-74)
Abdulhamid I (1774-89)
Selim III (1789-1807)
Mustafa IV (1807-08)
Mahmud II (1808-39)
Abdulmecit (1839-61)
Abdulaziz (1861-76)
Murad V (1876)
Abdulhamid II (1876-1909)
Mehmed V (1909-18)
Vahdettin VI (1918-22)

(1259-1326) The founder of the Ottoman Empire, Osman succeeded his father to a small territory granted by the Seljuk Turks. He followed the gazi tradition, expanding and enriching his empire.

Murad I or Murat I
(1319-1389) Succeeded his father as ruler of the Ottoman Empire in 1359, Murad I captured Thrace in 1363 and by 1369, he had conquered Bulgaria, Macedonia, and Serbia. He died at the battle of Kosovo in 1389 when a Serbian noble gained access to his tent and stabbed him. Murad I reorganized the janissaries into a standing paid army in the service of the sultan.

Murad II or Murat II
(c.1403-1451) Succeeded his father, Mehmet I, in 1421. Murad II continued the expansionist policy of the Ottomans, capturing Salonika and embarking on a series of campaigns against Hungary. He was frustrated by the military strategy of the Hungarian leader, Janos Hunyadi. He signed the Treaty of Szeged in 1444 with a Balkan coalition under the leadership of the Polish king, Wladislaw III. He crushed a Christian army at Varna later in the same year, defeating the combined forces of Hungary, Serbia, and Bosnia at Kosovo in 1448, reacquiring control of Serbia, which he had earlier relinquished in the Treaty of Szeged.


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