Şehzade Bayezid

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Şehzade Bayezid
Şehzade Bayezid.jpg
An Ottoman miniature showing Suleiman the Magnificent with his son, Şehzade Bayezid
Born 1525
Constantinople, Ottoman Empire
Died 25 September 1561(1561-09-25) (aged 35–36)
Qazvin, Safavid Empire
Burial Melik-i Acem Türbe, Sivas
Issue Şehzade Orhan
Şehzade Osman
Şehzade Abdullah
Şehzade Mahmud
Şehzade Muradhan
Mihrimah Sultan
Hatice Sultan
Ayşe Sultan
Hanzade Sultan
Dynasty Ottoman
Father Suleiman the Magnificent
Mother Hürrem Sultan
Religion Islam

Şehzade Bayezid (1525 – 25 September 1561) was an Ottoman prince as the son of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent and his legal wife Hürrem Sultan.[1] He unsuccessfully revolted to win the throne of the Ottoman Empire. After the death of three of Suleiman's sons, only Bayezid and Selim were alive. By the course of the 1550s, when Suleiman was already in his 60s, a protracted competition for the throne between Bayezid and Selim was evident. Bayezid had fallen in disfavour with his father – who was angered by Bayezid's disobedience stemming from around the same years – as opposed to his brother Selim (who would eventually succeed as Selim II). After a staged rebellion, which was suppressed in 1559 by Selim (who was further aided by Suleiman and Sokollu Mehmet Pasha) he fled to the neighbouring Safavid Empire, where he was wholeheartedly and lavishly received by Tahmasp I. However, in 1561, upon continuous insistment of Suleiman throughout the entire period of his exile, and by the means of several large payments, Tahmasp allowed Bayezid to be executed by an Ottoman executioner.


Bayezid born in 1525 in Constantinople (Istanbul) during the reign of his father, Suleiman the Magnificent. His mother was Hürrem, an Orthodox priest's daughter, who was sultan's concubine in that time. At the time of his birth, Bayezid had three elder full-brothers, Mehmed (born 1521), Abdullah (born 1522), and Selim (born 1524), and one elder half-brother Mustafa (born 1515). In 1533 or 1534, breaking a two-century-old tradition, his father freed and legally wed his mother.[2]

As a court rule, şehzades were appointed to govern a province in order to gain administrative experience. Bayezid became a governor of an Anatolian province (Turkish: sanjak). However, during his father's 12th campaign to Nakhchivan, part of modern Azerbaijan, in 1553, he was assigned to rule in Edirne, the Ottoman capital in European part, to control Rumelia, European territories of the empire, in the absence of his father. During the campaign, Şehzade Mustafa, was executed upon Sultan's order. The news of execution caused unrest in all parts of the empire and an impostor, claiming to be the executed Mustafa, rebelled against Suleiman in Rumelia. Although the rebellion was subdued by a vizier, Suleiman suspected that his son Bayezid was deliberately slow to react.[3]


Suleiman had five sons. His second son Mehmed had died a decade earlier in 1543. After the execution of Mustafa, who had been the most potential heir of the throne in 1553 and Cihangir's death, the youngest brother who suffered from poor health, only two princes were left to be the potential claimant to throne: Selim (the future Selim II) and Bayezid. Selim was the governor of Manisa and Bayezid was the governor of Kütahya, two cities at almost equal distance from Constantinople, the capital.

Suleiman was in his 60s, and the competition between the two brothers over the throne was evident. Suleiman scolded his sons and decided to change their places of duty. Selim was assigned to rule in Konya and Bayezid in Amasya, both provinces being this time further from the Constantinople but still equidistant. Selim was quick to obey and promptly moved to Konya. But to the dismay of his father, Bayezid obeyed only after much hesitation. Angered, Suleiman accused Bayezid of being a rebel and supported his elder son Selim against the disobedient Bayezid. Selim, in collaboration with Sokollu Mehmet Pasha, the future grand vizier, defeated his brother in a battle near Konya on 31 May 1559.[4]

After the rebellion[edit]

Bayezid returned to Amasya and escaped to Safavid Empire with his sons and a small army. According to journalist and historian researcher Murat Bardakçı, Sokullu Mehmet Pasha sent an army after Bayezid, which was defeated by Bayezıd's forces.[5] In the autumn of 1559, he reached the Safavid town of Yerevan, where he was received with great respect by its governor. Some time later, he reached Tabriz, where he was welcomed by Shah Tahmasp I. Although Tahmasp I initially wholeheartedly and lavishly welcomed Bayezid, including giving magnificent parties in his honour, he later jailed him on the request of Sultan Suleiman.[6][7] Both Suleiman and Selim sent envoys to Persia to persuade the shah to execute Bayezid. For the coming one and half year in fact, embassies would continue to travel between Istanbul and Qazvin. On 16 July, what would be the last of the Ottoman embassies would arrive, whose formal task, like the previous embassies, was to try return Bayezid to Istanbul.[8] As stated by Prof. Colin P. Mitchell, this included Khusrau Pasha (the governor of Van), Sinan Pasha, Ali Aqa Chavush Bashi, and a retinue of two hundred officials.[8] In the letter that was given with the embassy, Suleiman also declared his readiness to reconfirm the Treaty of Amasya (1555) and to begin a new era of Ottoman–Safavid relations.[8] Suleiman, throughout the embassies, also gave Tahmasp numerous gifts. He also agreed with Tahmasp's demand to pay him for handing Bayezid over (400,000 gold coins were given[9][10]). Finally, on 25 September 1561, Bayezid and his five sons were handed over by Tahmasp and executed in the environs of the Safavid capital Qazvin by the Ottoman executioner, Ali Aqa Chavush Bashi, through the way of garrotting.[11][8]



Bayezid had five sons:

  • Şehzade Orhan[12] (c. 1543, Kütahya – 25 September 1561, Qazvin, buried in Melik-i Acem Mausoleum, Sivas), governor of Çorum, educated by Çandarlızade Halil Bey;[13]
  • Şehzade Osman[12] (c. 1545, Kütahya – 25 September 1561, Qazvin, buried in Melik-i Acem Mausoleum, Sivas), governor of Sarikarahisar;[13]
  • Şehzade Abdullah[12] (c. 1548, Kütahya – 25 September 1561, Qazvin, buried in Melik-i Acem Mausoleum, Sivas);
  • Şehzade Mahmud[12] (c. 1552, Kütahya – 25 September 1561, Qazvin), governor of Canik;[13]
  • Şehzade Muradhan (c. 1554, Kütahya – 25 September 1561, Qazvin), governor of Kütahya;[13]

Bayezid had four daughters:

  • Mihrimah Sultan[12] (c. 1547, Kütahya – 1594, Istanbul), married in 1562 to Damat Müzaffer Pasha;
  • Hatice Sultan[12] (c. 1550, Kütahya – ?);
  • Ayşe Sultan[12] (c. 1553, Kütahya – 1572, Tokat), married in 1562 to Damat Hoca Ali Pasha Eretnaoğlu;
  • Hanzade Sultan[12] (c. 1556, Kütahya – ?).

In popular culture[edit]

In the 2011–2014 TV series Muhteşem Yüzyıl he is portrayed by Aras Bulut İynemli.


  1. ^ "The Imperial House of Osman: Genealogy". Archived from the original on May 2, 2006. 
  2. ^ Kinross, Patrick (1979). The Ottoman centuries: The Rise and Fall of the Turkish Empire. New York: Morrow. ISBN 978-0-688-08093-8. p, 236.
  3. ^ An essay on Süleyman's sons (in Turkish)
  4. ^ Prof.Dr.Yaşar Yücel-Prof.Dr.Ali Sevim: Türkiye Tarihi II, AKDTYK yayınları, İstanbul,1990 p 299-300
  5. ^ Habertürk newspaper Murat bardakçı's article (in Turkish)
  6. ^ Faroqhi, Suraiya N.; Fleet, Kate (2012). The Cambridge History of Turkey: Volume 2, The Ottoman Empire as a World Power, 1453–1603. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-1316175545. Tahmasp, thus presented with the opportunity to take revenge for the reverse flight of his own brother some years before, received Bayezid with great honour, as Suleyman had Alkas Mirza 
  7. ^ Clot, André (2012). Suleiman the Magnificent. Saqi. pp. 1–399. ISBN 978-0863568039. "(...) In the autumn of 1559, the prince reached Yerevan, where the governor received him with the greatest respect. A little later, Shah Tahmasp, delighted to have such a hostage in his hands, went to Tabriz to welcome him. The shah held magnificent parties in his honour. Thirty heaped plates of gold, of silver, of pearls and precious stones, "were poured on the prince's head". 
  8. ^ a b c d Mitchell 2009, p. 126.
  9. ^ Van Donzel, E.J. (1994). Islamic Desk Reference. BRILL. p. 438. ISBN 978-9004097384. 
  10. ^ Lamb, Harold (2013). Suleiman the Magnificent - Sultan of the East. Read Books Ltd. pp. 1–384. ISBN 978-1447488088. Four hundred thousand gold coins were sent to Tahmasp by the hand of an executioner 
  11. ^ Joseph von Hammer:Osmanlı Tarihi Vol II (condensation: Abdülkadir Karahan), Milliyet yayınları, İstanbul. p 36-37
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h Nahrawālī, Muḥammad ibn Aḥmad; Blackburn, Richard (2005). Journey to the Sublime Porte: the Arabic memoir of a Sharifian agent's diplomatic mission to the Ottoman Imperial Court in the era of Suleyman the Magnificent ; the relevant text from Quṭb al-Dīn al-Nahrawālī's al-Fawāʼid al-sanīyah fī al-riḥlah al-Madanīyah wa al-Rūmīyah. Orient-Institut. p. 151. ISBN 978-3-899-13441-4. 
  13. ^ a b c d Taş, Kenan Ziya. Osmanlılarda lalalık müessesesi. Kardelen Kitabevi. pp. 99–100, 130–1.