Sultan Ahmed I | 14th Ruler of the Ottoman Empire (Sultanate e Usmania)
Sultan Ahmed I was the sixth caliph and fourteenth Sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1603 until his death in 1617. Sultan Ahmed I was born on 18th Apr 1590 when his father Sehzade Mehmed was still a prince. He was also the 93rd Caliph of the Islam. He played the important role in putting an end to the Ottoman convention of regal fratricide.
Ruler of the Ottoman Empire:
After the death of Sultan Mehmed who died in 1603, Sultan Ahmed I ascended the throne at the age of 14. Due to the ongoing wars with Austria and Iraq, the Ottoman Empire was not stable at the time when Sultan Ahmed I took control of the empire. Sultan Ahmed I broke the legacy and let his uncle live. This was the first reason for Sultan Ahmed to become famous.
Wars and Diplomatic Relations:
In the earlier days of his reign, Sultan Ahmed I showed determination and consistency with his words. His words hold more power and fear for any emperor coming in the way. There were two wars fought in Sultan Ahmed I tenure. Along with these two wars, internal revolts destroyed the hold of the Ottoman Empire leading to a peace agreement for ending the war.
The first war which Sultan Ahmed I had to go through (shortly after his father passed away) was the Ottoman-Safavid War (started in 1604 lasted till 1606). Sinan Pasha was appointed the commander in chief of the Ottoman army which was moving towards the eastern border. By the time the army reached the eastern border, it was already too late. The Safavid army has captured and took control of Yerevan, Kars Eyalet. Sinan decided to wait which resulted in the Safavid army attacking Erzurum. Sinan ordered the forces to move towards Erzurum to defend the area. This uncertainty caused unrest in the army and a whole year was wasted with no new territories captured by the Ottoman Empire. Sinan Pasha and Sefer Pasha the commander-in-chief of Erzurum had disagreements and the majority of the army was being taken as prisoners by Safavid. Sinan Pasha than killed the commander in chief of Aleppo for just being late and then died himself resulting in a lot of lands captured by the Safavid army.
On the other hand, the war with the Habsburgs (the long Turkish war) was going on since the last decade. The western army, under the supervision of Ali Pasha, was fighting on western borders. Ali Pasha died in Belgrade and Mehmed Pasha was appointed the new commander in chief of the western army. Under the leadership of Mehmed Pasha, some areas were quickly captured but the western army failed to capture Esztergom as the weather got worse and the objections of soldiers. The Prince of Transylvania (Stephen Bocskay) who was supporting the Habsburgs earlier on needed help with his region’s independence and offered help to the Ottoman Empire in exchange for helping him for independence. With this help the Ottoman Empire captured Esztergom. These two forces combined captured many states on the western front. Mahmud Pasha from the eastern border was called back and he died there. Murad Pasha was then asked to initiate a negotiation known as the Peace of Zsitvatorok, which abolished the previously agreed upon tribute of 30,000 ducats regularly paid by the Austrians. This agreement in this negotiation also agreed to declare the Habsburg emperor as the equal to the Ottoman sultan. This negotiation and a new agreement were a clear indication for the end of the Ottoman Empire’s growth in Europe.
The Jelali revolts proved a strong factor in the acceptance of the terms by the Ottomans. Disappointment due to the agreement and restlessness due to war with Habsburgs, implementation of heavy taxes, and continuous loose to Ottoman forces were the key factors of Jelali revolts in the Sultan Ahmed I reign. Tavil Ahmed rose from the revolts and captured many areas. To stop his rebellion Tavil Ahmed was immediately offered the position of commander in chief. He was then defeated by his son Mehmed who became the governor of Baghdad. Due to all this restlessness caused by Jelali revolts, most of the villagers had left their villages and the army had made a habit of capturing the village and declaring it their property. With this going on Sultan Ahmed issued a letter ensuring the safety and rights of the villagers.
The new Vizier, Nasuh Pasha didn’t want to fight anymore which led to Ottoman-Safavid War Peace and Continuation. The Safavid commander also sent in the letter suggesting a peace agreement with the Ottoman forces. This is how the war was put to an end and this agreement is called Treaty of Nasuh Pasha. As per the agreement in the treaty, the Safavid Shah has to send 200 loads of silk every year to Constantinople.
Life of Sultan Ahmed:
Sultan Ahmed I was famous for his poetry, fluency in several languages, and his interest to write political and religious poetry. He was very fond of scholars and calligraphers and he orders to make a book called ‘The Quintessence of Histories’ to be a writer by calligraphers. He enforced Islamic laws and regulations during his reign. Attendance to Friday Prayer was made mandatory.
Sultan Mehmed III had two spouses named Mahfiruz Hatun, Kösem Sultan. As per history and resources, Sultan Ahmed I had nine sons and five daughters. Out of his nine sons, Osman II, Murad I, and Ibrahim became Sultans of the Ottoman Empire.
Sultan Ahmed I died of typhus and gastric bleeding on 22nd Nov 1617 in Istanbul and his tomb is in Sultan Ahmed Mosque. Sultan Ahmed I is also noted and admired for the construction of the Blue Mosque, one of the most beautiful and popular mosques in Turkey. He was succeeded by his younger brother Sultan Mustafa 1.
Nowadays, Sultan Ahmed I is remembered mainly for the construction of the Blue Mosque (also known as the Sultan Ahmed Mosque). The Blue Mosque is masterpieces of Islamic architecture.