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Mehmed V
Ottoman Caliph
Amir al-Mu'minin
 Kayser-i Rûm
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques
Sultan Muhammed Chan V., Kaiser der Osmanen 1915 C. Pietzner.jpg
Portrait photograph of Mehmed V by Carl Pietzner (June 1915)
35th Sultan of the Ottoman Empire (Padishah)
Reign27 April 1909 – 3 July 1918
Sword girding10 May 1909
PredecessorAbdul Hamid II
SuccessorMehmed VI
Grand Viziers
Born(1844-11-02)2 November 1844
Old Çırağan Palace, Constantinople, Ottoman Empire
(present day Istanbul, Turkey)
Died3 July 1918(1918-07-03) (aged 73)
Yıldız Palace, Istanbul, Ottoman Empire
Tomb of Sultan Mehmed V Reşad, Eyüp, Istanbul
(m. 1872; his d. 1918)
(his d. 1918)
(m. 1876; died 1909)
(m. 1888; his d. 1918)
(m. 1907; his d. 1918)
Full name
Mehmed Han bin Abdulmejid[1]
FatherAbdulmejid I
MotherGülcemal Kadın (Biological mother)
Servetseza Kadın (Adoptive mother)
ReligionSunni Islam
Mehmed V's signature

Mehmed V Reşâd (Ottoman Turkish: محمد خامس‎, romanized: Meḥmed-i ẖâmis; Turkish: V. Mehmed or Mehmet Reşat; 2 November 1844 – 3 July 1918) reigned as the 35th and penultimate Ottoman Sultan (r. 1909–1918). He was the son of Sultan Abdulmejid I.[2] He succeeded his brother Abdul Hamid II after the Young Turk revolution. 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 (now Istanbul) in the First Balkan War, and the entry of the Ottoman Empire into World War I in 1914, which would ultimately lead to the Empire's end.[3]


He was born at the Topkapı Palace, Istanbul.[4] 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. At the age of 64, Mehmed V was the oldest person to ascend the Ottoman throne.

In 1911 he embarked on an imperial tour of Selânik (today Thessaloniki) and Manastır (today Bitola), stopping by Florina on the way. He also visited Üsküp (Skopje) and Priştine (Pristina), where he attended Friday prayers at the Tomb of Sultan Murad. The visit was recorded on film and photographs by the Manaki brothers. It would soon prove to be the last visit of an Ottoman sultan to the Rumelian provinces before the catastrophe of the Balkan Wars the following year.

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. The Ottomans made some small gains in the following war, recapturing the peninsula comprising East Thrace up to Edirne, but this was only partial consolation for the Turks: the bulk of Ottoman territories that they had fought to keep had been lost forever.[5]

The sudden loss of these enormous swathes of land, which had been Ottoman territory for centuries and were ceded to its opponents within a span of only two years, was deeply shocking to the Ottoman Turks and resulted in massive popular backlash against the government, culminating in the 1913 Ottoman coup d'etat.

Despite his preference that the country stayed out of further conflict, 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.[6] He was actually said to look with disfavour on the pro-German policy of Enver Pasha,[7] but could do little to prevent war due to the sultanate's diminished influence since the overthrow of Abdülhamit II in 1909.

This was the last genuine proclamation of jihad in history by a Caliph, as the Caliphate lasted until 1924. As a direct result of the declaration of war, the British annexed Cyprus and the Khedivate of Egypt outright; these provinces had at least been under nominal Turkish rule. The proclamation had no noticeable effect on the war, despite the fact that many Muslims lived in Ottoman territories. Some 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.[8] 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 of modern Istanbul.

Decorations and awards

Ottoman orders

Mehmed V was Grand Master of the following Ottoman Orders:

Foreign orders and decorations


Name Birth Death Notes
By Kamures Kadın
Şehzade Mehmed Ziyaeddin  26 August 1873[11][12] 30 January 1938[11] married five times, and had issue, two sons and six daughters
By Mihrengiz Kadın
Şehzade Ömer Hilmi  2 March 1886[13][12] 2 November 1935[13] married four times, and had issue, one son and one daughter
Refia Sultan 1887[14] or 1888[15] 1888[15] died in infancy
By Dürrüaden Kadın
Şehzade Mahmud Necmeddin 23 June 1878[16][17] 27 June 1913[16] unmarried, and without issue
By Nazperver Kadın
no issue
By Dilfirib Kadın
no issue

See also


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ Abdulmecid, Coskun Cakir, Encyclopedia of the Ottoman Empire, ed. Gábor Ágoston, Bruce Alan Masters, (Infobase Publishing, 2009), 9.
  3. ^ "Rusya Fransa ve İngiltere devletleriyle hal-i harb ilanı hakkında irade-i seniyye [Imperial Decree Concerning the Declaration of a State of War with the States of Russia, France, and the United Kingdom], Nov. 11, 1914 (29 Teşrin-i Evvel 1330), Takvim-i Vekayi, Nov. 12, 1914 (30 Teşrin-i Evvel 1330)" (PDF).
  4. ^ The Encyclopædia Britannica, Vol.7, edited Hugh Chisholm, (1911), 3; "Constantinople, the capital of the Turkish Empire..".
  5. ^ The Ottoman Empire: Three Wars in Three Years, 1911-13. New Zealand History. Retrieved 28 January 2020
  6. ^ Lawrence Sondhaus, World War One: The Global Revolution, (Cambridge University Press, 2011), 91.
  7. ^ Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1922). "Mahommed V." . Encyclopædia Britannica (12th ed.). London & New York: The Encyclopædia Britannica Company.
  8. ^ Mehmed V, Selcuk Aksin Somel, Encyclopedia of the Ottoman Empire, 371.
  9. ^ "A Szent István Rend tagjai" Archived 22 December 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ Acović, Dragomir (2012). Slava i čast: Odlikovanja među Srbima, Srbi među odlikovanjima. Belgrade: Službeni Glasnik. p. 369.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  11. ^ a b Brookes 2010, p. 291.
  12. ^ a b Uluçay 2011, p. 260.
  13. ^ a b Brookes 2010, p. 287.
  14. ^ Scott-Keltie, J. (27 December 2016). The Statesman's Year-Book. Springer. p. 1265. ISBN 978-0-230-27032-9.
  15. ^ a b Brookes 2010, p. 284.
  16. ^ a b Brookes 2010, p. 286.
  17. ^ Uluçay 2011, p. 261.


  • Uluçay, M. Çağatay (2011). Padişahların kadınları ve kızları. Ötüken. ISBN 978-9-754-37840-5.
  • Brookes, Douglas Scott (2010). The Concubine, the Princess, and the Teacher: Voices from the Ottoman Harem. University of Texas Press. ISBN 978-0-292-78335-5.

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 the Ottoman Caliphate
27 Apr 1909 – 3 Jul 1918
Succeeded by
Mehmed VI
This page was last edited on 18 January 2021, at 07:46
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