Mehmed V

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Mehmed V
Caliph of Islam
Amir al-Mu'minin
Sultan of the Ottoman Empire
Kayser-i Rûm
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques
27th Caliph of the Ottoman Caliphate
35th Ottoman Sultan (Emperor)
Reign 27 April 1909 – 3 July 1918
Sword girding 10 May 1909
Predecessor Abdülhamid II
Successor Mehmed VI
Grand Viziers
Born (1844-11-02)2 November 1844
Topkapı Palace, Constantinople (present day Istanbul),[1] Ottoman Empire
Died 3 July 1918(1918-07-03) (aged 73)
Yıldız Palace, Constantinople, Ottoman Empire
Consorts Kamures Kadın
Dürrüaden Kadın
Mihrengiz Kadın
Nazperver Kadın
Dilfirib Kadın
Issue Şehzade Mehmed Ziyaeddin
Şehzade Mahmud Necmeddin
Şehzade Ömer Hilmi
Refia Sultan
Full name
Mehmed bin Abdul Mecid
Dynasty Osmanli (Ottoman)
Father Abdülmecid I
Mother Gülcemal Kadın

Mehmed V Reşâd (Ottoman Turkish: محمد خامس Meḥmed-i ẖâmis, Turkish: Mehmed V Reşad or Reşat Mehmet) (2 November 1844 – 3 July 1918) was the 35th and penultimate Ottoman Sultan. He was the son of Sultan Abdülmecid I.[2] He was succeeded by his half-brother Mehmed VI. His nine-year reign was marked by the cession of the Empire's North African territories and the Dodecanese Islands, including Rhodes, in the Italo-Turkish War, the traumatic loss of almost all of the Empire's European territories west of Constantinople in the First Balkan War, and the entry of the Empire into World War I, which would ultimately lead to the end of the Ottoman Empire.


He was born at the Topkapı Palace, Constantinople.[1] Like many other potential heirs to the throne, he was confined for 30 years in the Harems of the palace. For nine of those years he was in solitary confinement. During this time he studied poetry of the old Persian style and was an acclaimed poet. On his ninth birthday he was ceremoniously circumcised in the special Circumcision Room (Sünnet Odasi) of Topkapı Palace.


His reign began on 27 April 1909, but he was largely a figurehead with no real political power, as a consequence of the Young Turk Revolution in 1908 (which restored the Ottoman Constitution and Parliament) and especially the 1913 Ottoman coup d'état, which brought the dictatorial triumvirate of the Three Pashas to power.

Under his rule, the Ottoman Empire lost all its remaining territory in North Africa (Tripolitania, Cyrenaica and Fezzan) to Italy in the Italo-Turkish War and nearly all its European territories (except for a small strip of land west of Constantinople) in the First Balkan War.

Mehmed V's most significant political act was to formally declare jihad against the Entente Powers (Allies of World War I) on 14 November 1914, following the Ottoman government's decision to join the First World War on the side of the Central Powers.[3] He was actually said to look with disfavor on the pro-German policy of Enver Pasha.[4]

This was the last genuine proclamation of jihad in history by a Caliph, as the Caliphate lasted until 1924. The proclamation had no noticeable effect on the war, despite the fact that many Muslims lived in Ottoman territories. The Arabs eventually joined the British forces against the Ottomans with the Arab Revolt in 1916.

Mehmed V hosted Kaiser Wilhelm II, his World War I ally, in Constantinople on 15 October 1917. He was made Generalfeldmarschall of the Kingdom of Prussia on 27 January 1916, and of the German Empire on 1 February 1916.


Mehmed V died at Yıldız Palace on 3 July 1918 at the age of 73, only four months before the end of World War I.[5] Thus, he did not live to see the downfall of the Ottoman Empire. He spent most of his life at the Dolmabahçe Palace and Yıldız Palace in Istanbul. His grave is in the Eyüp district.

Decorations and awards

Ottoman orders

Mehmed V was Grand Master of the following Ottoman Orders:

Foreign orders and decorations


Sultan Mehmed Reşad married five times:

  • Circassian (of the Ubykh tribe) HIM Empress Kamures Kadın (Ganja, Caucus, 5 March 1855 – Kuruçesme Palace, Istanbul, 30 April 1921, buried at Eyüp, Mehmed Reşad Mausoleum), married at Istanbul, Ortaköy Palace on 30 September 1872, and had:
    • HIH Prince Şehzade Mehmed Ziyaeddin (Ortaköy Palace, Istanbul, 26 August 1873 – Alexandria, Egypt, 30 January 1938, buried in Alexandria [Tosun]/Cairo [Abbas Hilmi], Egypt), married five times and had two sons and six daughters.
  • Circassian (of the Ubykh tribe) HIM Empress Mihrengiz Kadın (Adapazarı, c. 1870 – Alexandria, Egypt, 12 December 1938, buried in Alexandria [Tosun]/Cairo [Abbas Hilmi], Egypt), married at Istanbul, Ortaköy Palace in 1876, and had:
    • HIH Prince Şehzade Ömer Hilmi (Veliahd Palace, Istanbul, 2 March 1888 – Alexandria, Egypt, 2 November 1935, buried in Alexandria [Tosun]/Cairo [Abbas Hilmi], Egypt), married five times and had one son and one daughter.
  • Abkhazian HIM Empress Dürrüaden Kadın (Kars, Caucasus, c. 1861 – Validebağı Köşkü, Istanbul, 17 October 1909, buried in Gülüstü Hanım Mausoleum), married at Istanbul, Veliahd Palace in 1877, and had:
    • HIH Prince Şehzade Mahmud Necmeddin (Veliahd Palace, Istanbul, 23 June 1878 – Dolmabahça Palace, Istanbul, 27 June 1913, buried in Eyüp, Mehmed Reşad Mausoleum), unmarried and without issue.
  • Abkhazian HIM Empress Nazperver Kadın (c. 1873 - Vaniköy Köşkü, Vaniköy, Istanbul, Turkey, c. 1930), married at Istanbul, Veliahd Palace in 1888, and had:
    • HIH Princess Refia Sultan (Veliahd Palace, Istanbul, 1888 – Veliahd Palace, Istanbul, 1888).
  • Circassian HIM Empress Dilfirib Kadın (c. 1892 - Erenköy Köşkü, Erenköy, Kadıköy, Istanbul, Turkey, 1952), married at Istanbul, Veliahd Palace in 1907, without issue.

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 The Encyclopædia Britannica, Vol.7, edited Hugh Chisholm, (1911), 3; "Constantinople, the capital of the Turkish Empire..".
  2. Abdulmecid, Coskun Cakir, Encyclopedia of the Ottoman Empire, ed. Gábor Ágoston, Bruce Alan Masters, (Infobase Publishing, 2009), 9.
  3. Lawrence Sondhaus, World War One: The Global Revolution, (Cambridge University Press, 2011), 91.
  4. Wikisource-logo.svg Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1922). [ "Mahommed V." ] Check |ws link in chapter= value (help). Encyclopædia Britannica (12th ed.). London & New York.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Mehmed V, Selcuk Aksin Somel, Encyclopedia of the Ottoman Empire, 371.

External links

Media related to Mehmed V at Wikimedia Commons

Mehmed V
Born: 2 November 1844 Died: 3 July 1918
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Abdul Hamid II
Sultan of the Ottoman Empire
27 Apr 1909 – 3 Jul 1918
Succeeded by
Mehmed VI
Sunni Islam titles
Preceded by
Abdul Hamid II
Caliph of Islam
27 Apr 1909 – 3 Jul 1918
Succeeded by
Mehmed VI

Template:Sons of the Ottoman Sultans