The tomb of ?ehzade Mehmed inside ?ehzade Mosque
|Born||28 August 1521|
Topkap? Palace, Istanbul, Ottoman Empire
|Died||6 November 1543 (aged 22)|
Manisa Palace, Manisa, Ottoman Empire
?ehzade Mosque, Istanbul
|Father||Suleiman the Magnificent|
?ehzade Mehmed (28 August 1521 - 6 November 1543) was an Ottoman prince (?ehzade), son of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent and Hürrem Sultan. He was assigned to rule in Manisa after his brother ?ehzade Mustafa was sent to Amasya from there.
Mehmed's birth changed the status of the harem, marking the beginning of Hürrem's rising in the palace. Historians say that Mehmed was very much like his older half-brother, Mustafa, and that he looked up to him as his role model, and had a good relationship with him since their childhood. Evliya Çelebi describes Mehmed as a "prince of more exquisite qualities than even Mustafa. He had a piercing intellect and a subtle judgment" and that Suleiman had intended that he would be his successor had he not died. Mehmed participated in the successful Siege of Esztergom along his father.
Historians believe that Suleiman favoured Mehmed over Mustafa. Their arguments are based on the fact that Suleiman sent his son Mehmed to rule Manisa instead of Mustafa, who was assigned to rule Amasya. Manisa is considered as a privileged sanjak for a ?ehzade, due to its proximity to Istanbul.
Mehmed's only child was Hüma Sultan with his wife, Ayeh Hanim.
There are different opinions surrounding Mehmed's death. According to some historians, he died from smallpox. According to another opinion, as being constantly favored by the sultan over his half-brother Mustafa, Mahidevran Sultan (mother of the latter) planned his death. It is worth noting that Mehmed died the same year he went to battle along his father at the Siege of Esztergom.
After his son's death, Suleiman the Magnificent had the famed imperial architect Mimar Sinan build the ?ehzade Mosque in Istanbul to commemorate Mehmed. Also, Suleiman composed an elegy for his beloved son Mehmed who died in 1543 and ended the poem with the line "Most distinguished of the princes, my Sultan Mehmed" in which the total numerical value is the year of his son's death. The fact that Mehmed's death offered Suleiman his first major opportunity to serve as an architectural patron may also have given later Ottomans reason to believe that Mehmed was the favored one. The fact that Suleiman had not only commissioned a mosque for Mehmed, but have it built in Istanbul as if he was a sultan (given that ?ehzade were buried in Bursa according to the custom) reflected how much the Sultan's love for his son.
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