Murad IV

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Sultan Murad IV
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Sultan Murad IV

Murad IV (June 16, 1612February 9, 1640) was the sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1623 to 1640, known both for restoring the authority of the state and for the brutality of his methods.

Brought to power by a palace conspiracy in 1623, he succeeded his mad uncle Mustafa I. Murad was for a long time under the control of his relatives and during his early years as sultan, his mother, Kosem Sultana essentially ruled through him. The Empire fell into anarchy; the Persians invaded almost immediately, Northern Turkey erupted in revolts, and in 1631 the Janissaries stormed the palace and killed the Grand Vizier, among others. Murad feared suffering the fate of his elder brother, Osman II, and decided to assert his power. He had the Grand Vizier beheaded, had 500 military leaders strangled, and executed 20,000 rebels in Anatolia. He tried to quell the corruption that had grown during the previous sultans, and that had not been checked while his mother was ruling through proxy. This was achieved through numerous ways, such as limiting wasteful spending. Ironically he also banned alcohol and tobacco.

Continuing the Ottoman tradition of fratricide, Murad had his brother Bayezid killed in 1635, followed by the executions of two more brothers a few years later. Like his mad brother Ibrahim I, Murad ordered the drownings of some of his harem women, and practiced his aim by shooting arrows and bullets at women. He was an alcoholic, and would sometimes run through the streets drunk, cutting down passersby with his sword.

Militarily, Murad's reign is most notable for a war against Persia in which Ottoman forces conquered Azerbaijan, occupied Tabriz and — in the last great feat of Imperial Turkish arms — captured Baghdad in 1638. Murad himself commanded the invasion of Mesopotamia and proved to be an outstanding field commander. He died aged 27 from cirrhosis of the liver in 1640. On his deathbed he ordered the execution of his brother, Ibrahim, which would have meant the end of the Ottoman line, but the order was not carried out. Not until 1808 would there be another Sultan of his calibre.

Preceded by:
Mustafa I
Ottoman Sultan Succeeded by:
Ibrahim I
de:Murad IV.

hu:IV. Murád

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