Mehmed VI

Mehmed VI
Caliph of Islam
Amir al-Mu'minin
Sultan of the Ottoman Empire
Kayser-i Rûm
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques
Sultan Mehmed VI of the Ottoman Empire.jpg
36th Ottoman Sultan (Emperor)
Reign4 July 1918 – 1 November 1922
Sword girding4 July 1918
PredecessorMehmed V
SuccessorMonarchy abolished
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, as President of Turkey
Grand Viziers
28th Caliph of the Ottoman Caliphate
Reign4 July 1918 – 19 November 1922
PredecessorMehmed V
SuccessorAbdulmejid II
Head of the House of Osman
(in exile)
Pretence19 November 1922 – 16 May 1926
PredecessorMehmed V
SuccessorAbdulmejid II
Born(1861-01-14)14 January 1861
Istanbul, Ottoman Empire
Died16 May 1926(1926-05-16) (aged 65)
Sanremo, Kingdom of Italy
ConsortsNazikeda Kadın
Inşirah Hanım
Müveddet Kadın
Nevvare Hanım
Nevzad Hanım
IssueFenire Sultan
Fatma Ulviye Sultan
Rukiye Sabiha Sultan
Şehzade Mehmed Ertuğrul
Full name
Mehmed bin Abdul Mecid
FatherAbdulmejid I
MotherGülüstü Hanım
ReligionSunni Islam
Tughra FaythMehmed VI's signature

Mehmed VI (Ottoman Turkish: محمد السادسMeḥmed-i sâdis, وحيد الدينVahideddin, Turkish: Vahideddin or Altıncı Mehmet), 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 became heir to the throne after the 1916 suicide of Abdülaziz's son Şehzade Yusuf Izzeddin as the eldest male member of the House of Osman. He acceded to the throne after the death of Mehmed V.[1] He was girded with the Sword of Osman on 4 July 1918, as the thirty-sixth padishah. His father was Sultan Abdulmejid 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.


Mehmed VI was born at the Dolmabahçe Palace, in Constantinople.[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 Ottoman Empire was divided amongst 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 recognised the mandates and recognised 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 Mehmed VI and the command of Süleyman Şefik Pasha, who was in charge of the army commissioned to fight for the empire against the Turkish National Movement (the Kuvâ-i İnzibâtiyye); as a result, a temporary constitution was drafted.

Exile and death

The Grand National Assembly of Turkey abolished the Sultanate on 1 November 1922, and Mehmed VI was expelled from Constantinople. 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 Abdulmejid Efendi was elected Caliph, becoming the new head of the Imperial House of Osman as Abdulmejid 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]

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