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. (September 2016)
Mehmed was born at the Manisa Palace in 1566, during the reign of his great-grandfather, Suleiman the Magnificent. He was the son of Şehzade Murad (later Murad III), himself the son of Şehzade Selim (later Selim II), who was the son of Sultan Suleiman and Hürrem Sultan. His mother was Safiye Sultan, an Albanian from the Dukagjin highlands. His great-grandfather died the year he was born and his grandfather became the new Sultan, Selim II. His grandfather Selim II died when Mehmed was eight, and Mehmed's father, Murad III, became Sultan in 1574. Mehmed thus became Crown Prince until his father's death in 1595, when he was 28 years old.