Murad IV Ghazi (Ottoman Turkish: مراد رابع Murād-i rābi‘) (July 26/27, 1612 – February 9, 1640) was the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1623 to 1640, known both for restoring the authority of the state and for the brutality of his methods. Murad IV was born in Istanbul, the son of Sultan Ahmed I (1603–17) and the ethnic Greek Valide Sultan Kadinefendi Kösem Sultan (also known as Mahpeyker), originally named Anastasia. Brought to power by a palace conspiracy in 1623, he succeeded his mad uncle Mustafa I (1617–18, 1622–23). He was only eleven when he took the throne. He married Aisha, without issue.
Murad IV was for a long time under the control of his relatives and during his early years as Sultan, his mother, Kösem Sultan, essentially ruled through him. The Empire fell into anarchy; the Safavid Empire invaded Iraq almost immediately, Northern Anatolia erupted in revolts, and in 1631 the Janissaries stormed the palace and killed the Grand Vizier, among others. Murad IV feared suffering the fate of his elder brother, Osman II (1618–22), and decided to assert his power.
Absolute Rule and Imperial Policies
Murad IV tried to quell the corruption that had grown during the reigns of previous Sultans, and that had not been checked while his mother was ruling through proxy. He addressed this corruption with several policy changes, such as limiting wasteful spending.
Murad IV also banned alcohol, tobacco, and coffee in Istanbul. He ordered execution for breaking this ban. He would patrol the streets and taverns of İstanbul in civilian clothes at night, policing the enforcement of his command. If, while patrolling the streets, he saw a subject using tobacco or alcohol, he would kill the person on the spot with his mace.
Militarily, Murad IV's reign is most notable for the war against Persia in which Ottoman forces, invaded Azerbaijan, occupied Yerevan, Tabriz and Hamadan, and recaptured Baghdad in 1638. The sultan had a famous quote about the fall of Baghdad, "Bağdat'ı almaya çalışmak, Bağdat'ın kendinden daha mı güzeldi ne" ("I guess trying to capture Baghdad was better than Baghdad itself").
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