Mehmed VI

Mehmed VI
Caliph of Islam
Amir al-Mu'minin
Sultan of the Ottoman Empire
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques

Photograph of Mehmet VI by Sébah & Joaillier, c. 1920
36th Ottoman Sultan (Emperor)
Reign 3 July 1918 – 1 November 1922
Sword girding 4 July 1918
Predecessor Mehmed V
Successor Monarchy abolished
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, as President of Turkey
Grand Viziers
28th Caliph of the Ottoman Caliphate
Reign 3 July 1918 – 19 November 1922
Predecessor Mehmed V
Successor Abdülmecid II
Head of the House of Osman
(in exile)
Pretence 19 November 1922 – 16 May 1926
Predecessor Mehmed V
Successor Abdülmecid II
Born (1861-01-14)14 January 1861
Constantinople, Ottoman Empire
Died 16 May 1926(1926-05-16) (aged 65)
Sanremo, Italy
Burial Damascus, Syria
Consort Nazikeda Kadın
Inşirah Hanım
Müveddet Kadın
Nevvare Hanım
Nevzad Hanım
Issue From the 1st marriage:
Princess Münire Sultan
Princess Fenire Sultan
Princess Fatma Ulviye Sultan
Princess Rukiye Sabiha Sultan Hanım Efendi
From the 3rd marriage:
Prince Mehmed Ertuğrul Efendi
Full name
Mehmed bin Abdul Mecid
Dynasty Osmanli (Ottoman)
Father Abdülmecid I
Mother Gülüstü Hanım
Religion Islam
Royal styles of
Mehmed VI
Reference style His Imperial Majesty
Spoken style Your Imperial Majesty
Alternative style Sire
Departure of the former Mehmed VI from Dolmabahçe Palace after the abolition of monarchy, 1922
Mehmed VI in 1918

Mehmed VI (Ottoman Turkish: محمد السادس Meḥmed-i sâdis, وحيد الدين Vahideddin, Turkish: Vahideddin or VI. Mehmed), who is also known as Şahbaba (meaning "Emperor-father") among his relatives, (14 January 1861 – 16 May 1926) was the 36th and last Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, reigning from 1918 to 1922. The brother of Mehmed V, he succeeded to the throne as the eldest male member of the House of Osman after the 1916 suicide of Abdülaziz's son Yusuf Izzettin Efendi,[1] the heir to the throne. He was girded with the Sword of Osman on 4 June 1918, as the thirty-sixth padishah. His father was Sultan Abdülmecid I and mother was Gülüstü Hanım (1830 – 1865), an ethnic Abkhazian, daughter of Prince Tahir Bey Çaçba and his wife Afişe Lakerba, originally named Fatma Çaçba.[2] Mehmed was removed from the throne when the Ottoman sultanate was abolished in 1922.


He was born in the Dolmabahçe Palace or the Beşiktaş Palace, Beşiktaş, both in Istanbul.[3][4]


The First World War was a disaster for the Ottoman Empire. British and allied forces had conquered Baghdad, Damascus, and Jerusalem during the war and most of the Empire was divided among the European allies. At the San Remo conference of April 1920, the French were granted a mandate over Syria and the British were granted one over Palestine and Mesopotamia. On 10 August 1920, Mehmed's representatives signed the Treaty of Sèvres, which recognized the mandates and recognized Hejaz as an independent state.

Turkish nationalists rejected the settlement by the Sultan's four signatories. A new government, the Turkish Grand National Assembly, under the leadership of Mustafa Kemal (Atatürk) was formed on 23 April 1920, in Ankara (then known as Angora). The new government denounced the rule of Imperial Sultan Mehmed VI and a temporary constitution was drafted.

Exile and death

The Turkish Grand National Assembly abolished the Sultanate on 1 November 1922, and Mehmed was expelled from Istanbul. Leaving aboard the British warship Malaya on 17 November, he went into exile in Malta; Mehmed later lived on the Italian Riviera.

On 19 November 1922, Mehmed's first cousin and heir Abdülmecid Efendi was elected Caliph, becoming the new head of the Imperial House of Osman as Abdülmecid II before the Caliphate was abolished by the Turkish Grand National Assembly in 1924.

Mehmed died on 16 May 1926 in Sanremo, Italy, and was buried at the Tekkiye Mosque of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent in Damascus.[5]


Sultan Mehmed VI married five times:

Titles and styles

His Imperial Majesty, the Grand Sultan Mehmed VI Vahid ed-din, Sultan of the Ottomans, Commander of the Faithful and Successor of the Prophet of the Universe.


  1. Freely, John, Inside the Seraglio, 1999, Chapter 16: The Year of Three Sultans.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Harun Açba (2007). Kadın efendiler: 1839-1924. Profil. ISBN 978-9-759-96109-1.
  3. Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911), The Encyclopædia Britannica, 7 (3), Constantinople, the capital of the Turkish Empire.
  4. Britannica, Istanbul:When the Republic of Turkey was founded in 1923, the capital was moved to Ankara, and Constantinople was officially renamed Istanbul in 1930.
  5. Freely, John, Inside the Seraglio, published 1999, Chapter 19: The Gathering Place of the Jinns

Further reading

External links

Media related to Mehmed VI at Wikimedia Commons

Mehmed VI
Born: 14 January 1861 Died: 16 May 1926
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Mehmed V
Sultan of the Ottoman Empire
3 July 1918 – 1 November 1922
Succeeded by
Sultanate abolished
Sunni Islam titles
Preceded by
Mehmed V
Caliph of Islam
3 July 1918 – 19 November 1922
Succeeded by
Abdülmecid II
Titles in pretence
Preceded by
Sultanate abolished
Sultan of the Ottoman Empire
1 November 1922 – 19 November 1922
Abdülmecid II
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