Osman II: Ottoman Sultan from 1618 to 1622


Osman II, also known as Genç Osman, was an Ottoman sultan who ascended to the throne as a 14-year-old active and intellectual kid who saw the need for reform inside the empire throughout his brief reign (1618–22). Osman, ambitious and brave, launched a military war against Poland, interfered in Ottoman vassal principalities Moldavia and Walachia. Recognizing that his failure at Chocim (Khotin, Ukraine) in 1621 was partly due to the Janissary corps' lack of discipline and depravity, he punished them by lowering their pay and closing their coffee shops. Then he announced his intention to go on a pilgrimage to Mecca, but his true goal was to form a new army in Egypt and Syria to depose the Janissaries. When the Janissaries learned of the plot and were already enraged by Osman's prior tactics, they revolted, ousted Osman on May 19, 1622, and murdered him the next day.

Osman II

16th Sultan of the Ottoman Empire


26 February 1618 – 20 May 1622


Mustafa I


Mustafa I


3 November 1604


20 May 1622 (aged 17)


Sultan Ahmed Mosque, Istanbul


  • Ayşe Sultan
  • Akile Hatun
  • Mehlika Sultan




Sultan Ahmed I


Mahfiruz Hatun


Sunni Islam

Early Life

Sultan Ahmed I (1603–1617) and one of his consorts, Mahfiruz Hatun, had a son, Osman II, born in Topkap Palace in Constantinople. Later legends claim that his mother paid close attention to Osman's education. At the same time, he was a child, as Osman II became a well-known poet and would have learned a variety of languages, including Arabic, Persian, Greek, Latin, and Italian; however, this has been denied afterwards. Osman was born eleven months after his father's accession to the king, Ahmed Ahmed. He received his education at the palace. He was regarded as one of the most cultured of Ottoman princes by European observers. Osman's failure to take the throne when his father Ahmed died might have been due to his lack of a mother to campaign for him; his mother was most likely dead or exiled.


After a coup against his uncle Mustafa I "the Intestable" (1617–1618, 1622–1623), Osman II gained the throne at 14. Despite his youth, Osman II tried to establish himself as a ruler as quickly as possible. After securing the empire's eastern frontier by negotiating a peace deal with Safavid Persia, he commanded the Ottoman war against Poland and King Sigismund III during the Moldavian Magnate Wars. After being forced to sign a humiliating peace deal with the Poles during the Battle of Khotyn (Chocim) in September–October 1621, Osman II returned to Constantinople in disgrace, blaming his defeat Janissaries' cowardice and the ineptness of his politicians. Osman II's fundamental and unusual shortcoming was the apparent lack of a female power base in the harem. A governess (daye hatun, lit. wet-nurse) was assigned as a stand-in valide from 1620 until Osman's death, but she could not counteract Mustafa I's mother's conniving at the Old Palace. Even though he had a faithful chief black eunuch at his side, he lacked what was considered a winning combination in politics and valide sultan–chief black eunuch, especially in the case of a young and ambitious monarch. Piterberg claims that Osman II did not have a Haseki sultan, but Peirce claims that Ayşe was Osman's Haseki. However, Ayşe would not be able to fill Valide's shoes throughout her husband's rule. In 1620, Özi Beylerbeyi İskender Pasha intercepted the secret letter brought to Istanbul by Transylvanian Prince Bethlen Gabor and sent it to Poland, and Osman became a veteran among his contemporaries. He decided to go on a Polish trip. Continuing his preparations for the Polish war, Osman was not deterred by the cold, hunger, or the British envoy John Eyre. Despite the terrible colds, the ambassador of King Sigismund III of Poland was transported to Istanbul. Regardless of their circumstances, the janitors and army refused to embark on a campaign.

Winter of 1621

A heavy snowstorm began in Istanbul after the assassination of Şehzade Mehmed on January 12, 1621. The cold had a significant impact on the people of Istanbul, which exacerbated local violence on January 24, 1621, even more than the palace murder. This is the capital's worst natural calamity under Osman's brief four-year rule. The Golden Horn and the Bosphorus were coated in ice towards the end of January-beginning of February, according to Bostanzade Yahya Efendi, one of those who experienced the cold: "Between Üsküdar and Beşiktaş, the guys stroll about and travel to Üsküdar." They walked from Istanbul. And the year turned into a grand event. It had been snowing for 15 days, and the frosts had hardened due to the extreme cold, yet the river between Sarayburnu and Üsküdar was open. "The road became Üsküdar, the Mediterranean froze a thousand thirty," Haşimi Çelebi, "for this natural calamity, thirty thousand froze between Üsküdar and Istanbul from the cold." There was an entire famine in Istanbul due to the Zahire ships' difficulty, and 75 dirhams of bread became one akche, and the oak of meat became 15 akches.


To counteract Janissary influence, Osman II shuttered their coffee shops (meeting places for throne plots) and began organizing the formation of a new and more loyal army made up of Anatolian sekbans. However, the Janissaries staged a palace rebellion, and the young monarch was imprisoned in Istanbul's Yedikule Fortress, where he was strangled to death. After Osman's death, his ear was severed and delivered to Halime Sultan and Sultan Mustafa I to prove his death and to relieve Mustafa of his dread of his nephew. Thus, a Sultan was executed by the Janissaries for the first time in Ottoman history. This catastrophe is one of the most talked-about events in Ottoman history. In the Fezleke of Katip Çelebi, Hasanbegzade, Karaçelebizade, Müneccimbaşı, Solakzade, Peçevi, and Naima dates were specified, and some of them were recounted in a narrative manner.






  • Ayşe Sultan
  • Akile Hatun
  • Mehlika Sultan
  • Şehzade Ömer


Last updated: 2021-October-12
Tags: Ottoman Empire
Share this Article
Facebook Google+ Twitter