Murad IV: Sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1623 to 1640


Murad IV (1612 – 1640) was the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1623 to 1640 and was noted to restore the state's power and brutality. Murad IV was the son of Sultan Ahmed I (r. 1603–1617) and Kösem Sultan and was born in Constantinople. In 1623, a palace plot brought him to power, and he succeeded his uncle Mustafa I (r. 1617–1618, 1622–1623). When he took charge of the throne, he was just 11 years old. His reign is most known for the Ottoman–Safavid War (1623–1639). The upshot divided the Caucasus between the two Imperial powers for over two centuries and provided the groundwork for the present Turkey–Iran–Iraq boundaries.

Early Life of Murad IV

He was born on 27 July 1612 to Ahmed I and Kösem Sultan, his consort and later wife. He was imprisoned in the Kafes with his brothers Suleiman, Kasim, Bayezid, and Ibrahim after his father died when he was six years old. Grand Vizier Kemankeş Ali Pasha and Şeyhülislam Yahya Efendi were both removed from power. They didn't stop talking the next day when the Sultan, a 6-year-old child, was taken to the Eyüp Sultan Mausoleum. Muhammad's swords and Yavuz Sultan Selim's swords were bequeathed to him. He was circumcised five days later.


Early Sovereignty (From 1623 to 1632)

For a very long time, Murad IV was ruled by his relatives, and his mother, Kösem Sultan, essentially led through him during his early years as Sultan. Then, the Empire descended into chaos; the Safavid Empire invaded Iraq almost immediately, revolts erupted in Northern Anatolia, and the Janissaries stormed the palace in 1631, killing the Grand Vizier and others. Murad IV was afraid of following in the footsteps of his elder brother, Osman II (1618 to 1622), and decided to assert his authority. In 1628, he had his brother-in-law, Kara Mustafa Pasha (his sister Gevherhan Sultan's husband, who was also the former governor of Egypt), executed for allegedly acting "against the law of God." On February 8, 1625, Diyarbekir Beylerbeyi Hafez Ahmed Pasha became vizier and emperor after the death of Grand Vizier Çerkes Mehmed Pasha in the winter of Tokat. In addition, the plague of Bayrampaşa, which began in the summer of 1625 and spread to Istanbul, posed a threat to the city's population. Every day, a thousand people died on average. To avoid the plague, the people fled to the Okmeydanı. In the countryside outside of Istanbul, the situation was even worse.

Final Regulation and Grand Strategies (From 1632 to 1640)

Murad IV attempted to stem the tide of corruption accumulated throughout previous Sultans' reigns and had gone unchecked while his mother ruled by proxy. In Constantinople, Murad IV outlawed wine, tobacco, and coffee. For violating the ban, he ordered death. He was said to roam the streets and lowest taverns of Constantinople at night in civilian clothing, police executing his orders by disguising himself and killing the offender with his own hands. He liked to sit in a kiosk by the river near his Seraglio Palace and shoot arrows at any passerby or boatman who rowed too close to his imperial property, emulating Selim the Grim's adventures. He reinstated judicial norms by harsh sanctions, including death; for example, he once strangled a grand vizier because the official had beaten his mother-in-law.

Combat Counter to Safavid Iran

Murad IV's reign is most remembered for the Ottoman–Safavid War (1623–1639), during which Ottoman armies conquered Azerbaijan, occupied Tabriz and Hamadan, and captured Baghdad in 1638. Following the conflict, the Treaty of Zuhab mostly reaffirmed the lines established by the Peace of Amasya, with Eastern Armenia, Eastern Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Dagestan remaining Persian, and Western Armenia and Western Georgia remaining Ottoman. The Persians had irreversibly lost Mesopotamia. The borders established as a result of the battle are nearly identical to the current boundary line between Turkey, Iraq, and Iran. Baghdad stood out for forty days during the siege in 1638 but was eventually forced to capitulate. In the latter years of the war, Murad IV led the Ottoman army himself.

Relations with the Mughal Kingdom

Murad IV has met Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan's emissaries, Mir Zarif and Mir Baraka, who presented him with 1000 pieces of beautifully embroidered fabric armour when encamped in Baghdad. Murad IV provided them with the finest weaponry, saddles, and Kaftans and ordered his soldiers to follow the Mughals to Basra, from whence they made ship for Thatta and then Surat.


Murad IV placed a strong focus on architecture, and several monuments were built during his reign. The Baghdad Kiosk, constructed in 1635, and the Revan Kiosk, been built-in 1638 in Yerevan, were locally made. The Kavak Sarayı pavilion, the Meydan Mosque, the Bayram Pasha Dervish Lodge, Tomb, Fountain, Primary School, and the Şerafettin Mosque Konya are among the others.

Music and Poetry

Murad IV composed a lot of poetry. For his poetry, he adopted the pen name "Muradi." He also enjoyed putting people to the test with riddles. He once devised a lyrical puzzle and stated that anyone who could solve it would be rewarded handsomely. Cihadi Bey, a poet from Enderun School, supplied the proper response and was promoted. Murad IV was a composer as well. "Uzzal Peshrev" is one of his compositions.



Murad IV's concubines are primarily unknown because he did not leave offspring to succeed to the throne. However, many historians see Ayşe Sultan as his sole consort until the very end of Murad's seventeen-year rule, when a second Haseki appears in the archives. It's conceivable that Murad only had one concubine until the second came up or that he had several concubines but chose just two to be Haseki.

Sons and Daughters

  • Şehzade Ahmed
  • Şehzade Numan
  • Şehzade Orhan
  • Şehzade Hasan
  • Şehzade Suleiman
  • Şehzade Mehmed
  • Şehzade Osman
  • Şehzade Alaeddin
  • Şehzade Selim
  • Şehzade Mahmud
  • Kaya Sultan
  • Safiye Sultan
  • Rukiye Sultan


Murad IV had died of cirrhosis during the age of 27 in Constantinople in 1640. Murad IV was said to have ordered the killing of his mentally disabled brother, Ibrahim (reigned 1640 to 1648), on his deathbed, which would have put an end to the Ottoman dynasty. The order, however, was not followed out.

Last updated: 2021-October-19
Tags: Ottoman Empire
Share this Article
Facebook Google+ Twitter