Mustafa III

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Mustafa III
Caliph of Islam
Ottoman Sultan
Tughra of Mustafa III.JPG
Reign October 30, 1757 – January 21, 1774
Period Stagnation of the Ottoman Empire
Full Name Mustafa III
Predecessor Osman III
Successor Abdülhamid I
Royal House House of Osman
Dynasty Ottoman Dynasty
Father Ahmed III
Valide Sultan Emine Mihrişah Sultan

Mustafa III (Ottoman Turkish: مصطفى ثالث Muṣṭafā-yi sālis) (January 28/18, 1717 – January 21, 1774) was the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1757 to 1774. He was a son of Sultan Ahmed III (1703–30) and was succeeded by his brother Abdul Hamid I (1774–89). He was born in Edirne. His mother was Âminā Mihr-î-Shâh Sultan.


An energetic and perceptive ruler, Mustafa III sought to modernize the army and the internal state machinery to bring his empire in line with the Powers of Europe.

Unfortunately the Ottoman state had declined so far that any general attempts at modernization were but a drop in the ocean, while any major plans to change the administrative status quo immediately roused the conservative Janissaries and imams to the point of rebellion. Mustafa III did secure the services of foreign generals to initiate a reform of the infantry and artillery. The Sultan also ordered the founding of Academies for Mathematics, Navigation and the Sciences.

Well aware of his own military weakness, Mustafa III assiduously avoided war and was powerless to prevent the annexation of the Crimea by Catherine II of Russia (1762–96). However this action, combined with further Russian aggression in Poland compelled Mustafa III to declare war on Russia shortly before his death.

He died at Topkapi Palace, Constantinople.

Personal life[edit]

Mustafa married Valide Sultan Mihrişah (Mihr-i shah, originally from Genoa), and had two sons: Selim, son of Mihrişah (Mihr-i shah) and Mohammed. He also had five daughters, among them Hatice Sultan.

Mustafa III in his royal robes.

He was well talented and educated . He was an excellent poet, his poetry being written under the pseudonym of Cihangir.[1] One of his most famous poems is as follows:

(Ottoman Turkish)

“Yıkılupdur bu cihan sanma ki bizde düzele

Devleti çarh-ı deni verdi kamu müptezele

Şimdi erbab-ı saadette gezen hep hazele

İşimiz kaldı hemen merhamet-i lem yezele.”


"Do not expect us to save the world which is being ruined,

The bad running the country has caused the problems.

Now everybody at the Imperial Palace is false and base,

Only Allah, the Merciful and Everlasting, can help us."


  1. ^ Lord Kinross, Ottoman Centuries, (Perennial, 2002), 406.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

Mustafa III
Born: January 28, 1717 Died: January 21, 1774[aged 57]
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Osman III
Sultan of the Ottoman Empire
Oct 30, 1757 – Jan 21, 1774
Succeeded by
Abdul Hamid I
Sunni Islam titles
Preceded by
Osman III
Caliph of Islam
Oct 30, 1757 – Jan 21, 1774
Succeeded by
Abdul Hamid I