Mehmed VI Biography

(Sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1918 to 1922)

Birthday: March 30, 1861 (Aries)

Born In: İstanbul, Turkey

Mehmed VI, also known as Şahbaba, was the last Sultan of the Ottoman Empire who reigned from 1918 to 1922. His forced abdication and exile led to the emergence of the Republic of Turkey under the leadership of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk in 1923. The half-brother of Mehmed V who died in 1918, Mehmed VI succeeded to the throne as the oldest male member of the House of Osman. Born to Sultan Abdulmejid I and his wife Gülüstü Hanım, daughter of Prince Tahir Bey Çaçba, he was orphaned early on in life. Mehmed VI became the 36th Sultan of the Ottoman Empire in 1918 and was girded with the Sword of Osman. He opposed all nationalist ideologies and eventually undertook a campaign to crush the nationalists. However, general elections were held later on and the ensuing negotiations between him and the nationalists removed him from the throne in 1922. He was deposed by the founder of the nation-state of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, and became the last ruler of a dynasty that lasted for 641 years. Mehmed VI died in 1926 in Italy at the age of 65.
Quick Facts

Also Known As: Mehmed VI Vahideddin, Şahbaba

Died At Age: 65


Spouse/Ex-: Müveddet Kadın, Nazikeda Kadın, Nevzad Hanım, Inşirah Hanım (m. 1905–1909), Müveddet Kadın (m. 1911–1926), Nazikeda Kadın (m. 1885–1926), Nevvare Hanım (m. 1918–1924), Nevzad Hanım (m. 1921-1926)

father: Abdulmejid I

mother: Gülüstü Hanım

siblings: Abdul Hamid II, Ahmed Nureddin Efendi, Aliye Sultan, Bedia Sultan, Behice Sultan, Behiye Sultan, Cemile Sultan, Fatma Nazime Sultan, Fatma Sultan, Fehime Sultan, Mediha Sultan, Mehmed Burhaneddin Efendi, Mehmed V, mehmed vi mühibe sultan, mehmed vi neyyire sultan, mehmed vi şehime sultan, Mükbile Sultan, Münire Sultan, Murad V, Naile Sultan, Naime Sultan, Refia Sultan, Sabiha Sultan, Samiye Sultan, Şehzade Ahmed Kemaleddin, Seniha Sultan, Süleyman Efendi, Zekiye Sultan

children: Fatma Ulviye Sultan, Fenire Sultan, Rukiye Sabiha Sultan

Born Country: Turkey

Emperors & Kings Turkish Men

Died on: May 16, 1926

place of death: Sanremo, Italy

Childhood & Early Life
Mehmed VI was born as Mehmed bin Abdul Mecid on 14 January 1861, at the Dolmabahçe Palace in Istanbul, Ottoman Empire. His father Sultan Abdulmejid I died when the boy was just five months old. His mother Gülüstü Hanım died when he was four years old.
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Accession & Reign
Mehmed VI was not the heir apparent to the throne of the Ottoman Empire that was ruled by his elder half-brother Mehmed V in the 1910s. However, when Abdülaziz's son Şehzade Yusuf Izzeddin committed suicide in 1916, Mehmed VI became the heir to the throne as the eldest male member of the House of Osman.
Mehmed VI ascended the throne after the death of Mehmed V in 1918. The Ottoman Empire was left in ruins during World War I and most of its territories were divided amongst the European allies.
Dissolution of the Ottoman Empire
On 10 August 1920, Mehmed VI’s representatives signed the Treaty of Sèvres, which recognized Hejaz as an independent state. In the process of supporting the peace treaty, the sultan suspended the parliament and elected his own brother-in-law as the Vizier.
The sultan’s actions enraged Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the leader of the burgeoning nationalist movement. As a result, general elections were held which were eventually won by the nationalists. Their win led to the formation of a new government and a secular nation-state.
On 1 November 1922, the Grand National Assembly of Turkey abolished the Ottoman Empire. The head of the Republic of Turkey Atatürk subsequently sent Mehmed VI into exile.
Family & Personal Life
Mehmed VI married five times in his lifetime. His first and chief consort was the daughter of Prince Hasan Ali Bey Marşan, Abkhazian Nazikeda Kadın. The couple had three children, Fenire Sultan, Fatma Ulviye Sultan, and Rukiye Sabiha Sultan.
From 1905 to 1909, he was married to Inşirah Hanım. Then in 1911, the sultan married his third wife Abkhazian Müveddet Kadın, with whom he fathered Şehzade Mehmed Ertuğrul.
His fourth wife was Abkhazian Nevvare Hanım whom he married in 1918. On 1 September 1921, Mehmed VI married Albanian Nevzad Hanım.
On 1 November 1922, the Grand National Assembly of Turkey expelled Mehmed VI from Constantinople. He went into exile by boarding the British warship Malaya on 17 November and reached Malta, where he later lived on the Italian Riviera.
Following the banishment of the sultanate, Mehmed's first cousin Abdulmejid Efendi was elected the caliph and he became the new chief of the dynasty as Abdulmejid II.
Death & Legacy
Mehmed VI died on 16 May 1926, in Italy. He was buried at the Tekkiye Mosque in Damascus, Syria.
His brief reign terminated six centuries of an imperial polity that was responsible for the Pax Ottomana. Following his death, refugees from different parts of the world found shelter in the former Ottoman state.

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