Sultan Ahmed Khan I

Birth: Manisa 28 April 1590

Death: Istanbul 22 November 1617

Reign: 21/22 December 1603 – 22 November 1617


The Caliph of Islam and the 14th Sultan. He was the son of Sultan Mehmed Khan III and Haseki Handan Sultan. Ahmed Khan I was the first prince not to be sent to a province as provincial gover­nor but made to stay in the court under custody. He did not enforce the fratricide practice by not executing his brother Mustafa following his accession to the throne. By appointing Sultan Mustafa I to replace him before his death, he initiated the practice of accession of the eldest male member of royal family, who was mentally sound and proved his adequacy (the accession of the oldest and intelligent).


His reign witnessed great challenges. He was occupied with the Iran ordeal in the east which he inherited from his grandfather and father, the fight against Austria in the west as well as the Celali Re­bellion in Anatolia

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The greatest heritage that Ahmed Khan I left us is the magnificent Sultan Ahmed Complex seated in the horizon of Istanbul like a phoe­nix. This monument, standing as a comparative unit against Hagia Sophia even today, lasts with all its splendour.


The Kaaba Cover, used to cover interior and exterior of the Kaaba and replaced annually and previously woven in Egypt, was began to be woven in Istanbul workshops and sent to Kaaba during the reign of Sultan Ahmed I.


Just like his ancestors and descendants, Sultan Ahmed was also inclined to poetry. Poems he wrote under the pseudonym ‘Bahti’ were rich enough to make up a small collection. He was a very pious sultan, fond of the Prophet to the extent that he had a verse of his poetry written over footprint of the Prophet Mohammed which he had put on his turban.


His known favourites were Mahfiruz Sultan and Mahpeyker (Kosem) Sultan. Of his sons, Osman (II), Murad (IV) and Ibrahim Sultan were enthroned. He had princes named Mehmed, Bayezid, Suleyman and Kasim. His sons named Selim and Huseyin died during childhood. He had daughters named Hanzade Sultan, Aise Sultan, Atike Sultan, Ubeyde Sultan, Fatma Sultan and Gevherhan Sultan.

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