For example, chapter 5 shows how Trumbull's diplomatic dispatches regarding the deposition of Sultan Mehmed IV
were based on newsletters produced by the English diplomat Thomas Coke.
It seems that -- similar to Damat Ferit PaE-a (the notorious son-in-law of the last Ottoman sultan, Mehmed IV
), who was prime minister for years with disastrous consequences for Turkey -- we will have Damat Berat PaE-a, who may run the economy with a Yiy-it Bulut approach.
Drawing on contemporary archival and manuscript sources, Marc Baer unfolds the most fascinating story of Sultan Mehmed IV. Although his reign was remarkably long (1648-87), he has almost been forgotten or depicted dismissively as weak and foolish.
The narrative begins with the circumstances of the enthronement of the seven-year old Mehmed IV in 1648, including a strikingly vivid depiction of Istanbul at the time.
Thus in the 1660s, Mehmed IV and the valide sultan worked hand in hand to strengthen the dynasty and the sultanate, drawing on notions of piety.
In 1663, Mehmed IV moved to Edirne, "the old warrior capital" (p.
All the more remarkable, then, that we have Baer's book put front and center the drama of Ottoman politics, organized around the career of Mehmed IV (r.
The first chapter, entitled "Inauspicious Enthronement," describes in vivid terms the tumultuous accession of Mehmed IV, and the second chapter, entitled "A Decade of Crisis," narrates the first decade of Mehmed's rule, during which the empire was confronted with a set of interrelated challenges: the recurring and violent power struggles between palace factions, growing financial deficits, a continuing pattern of rebellion in the provinces, and a prolonged and debilitating war with Venice.
Though not organized as a formal division in the book, chapters three through six make up a natural grouping, as they trace the various processes of conversion as defined by the author, but at an early stage in the reign of Mehmed IV. Chapter three concisely traces the history of the Muslim reformist Kadizadeli movement until the 1650s, drawing attention to historiographical debates over the relative weight of social versus religious factors in the movement's development.
The four essays on Quaker women explore the "injurious speech" of Mary Howgill, Elizabeth Stirredge, and Elizabeth Hooton leveled directly at and in the presence of alternately Oliver Cromwell and Charles II; Mary Fisher's meeting in 1658 with Sultan Mehmed IV
, the ruler of the Ottoman Empire; anti-tithe petitions; and the strategies women employed to "deal with the dual demands of serving God and the family" (19, 100).
The fascinating third chapter considers the perceptual ramifications of religious missions by Quakers Mary Fisher (in 1657, resulting in her speaking directly to Ottoman Sultan Mehmed IV
), Katherine Evans and Sarah Chevers (both imprisoned in Malta from 1659-62 for their religious and political convictions).
Meanwhile, soldiers who were still on the imperial payroll, as well as all other sorts of government employees, drained the central treasury by adding wives, children, and even deceased persons to the rolls.(4) In the midst of this continuing fiscal and moral crisis, Sultan Mehmed IV
(1648-87) conferred authority on a family of reforming grand viziers, or chief ministers-the Koprulu family, who headed the Ottoman government for most of the second half of the seventeenth century.