Ottoman Empire / Rulers /
Mehmed 4 Avci
(1642-1693) Ottoman sultan 1648-1687. Much this period, however, Murad was a minor.
From he accessed the throne at the age of 6, power was exercised by his grandmother and mother, with the Janissaries dominating the state administration.
His nickname "Avci" can be translated to "hunter". This involves little military courage, but points at his sole great interest in life. At times he actually lead campaigns against other countries, in the search of new hunting grounds.
His early period was marked by decay both in the structures of the administration and in the economy, a continuation from the inadequate regime of his father. It wasn't until 1656, when Mehmed Köprülü became grand vizier, that the heavy corruption was rooted out and unruly elements of the army removed, often by wide execution campaigns.
1642 January 2: Born in Istanbul as son of sultan Ibrahim.
1648: At the age of 6, Mehmed succeeds his deposed father as sultan. He inherits an empire with strong internal tensions, and a ongoing war against Venice.
1656: The Albanian Mehmet Köprülü Pasha becomes grand vizier and was given great authoritative power. He soon starts campaigns against the many corrupt leaders in the empire.
1661: Mehmed Köprülü Pasha dies, but his regime is continued by his son Ahmed. Ahmed chose a milder line, but he was just as determined.
1670: The war against Venice comes to an end.
1672: War against Poland is the result when the Ukrainian ruler Doroshenko changes his allegiance from the Polish to the Ottoman throne.
1676: War against Poland comes to an end, with the Ottoman gains of Ukraine and Podolia (southwest in modern Ukraine). By this advance, the Ottomans become direct neighbours to Russia, which would bring future conflicts.
Ahmed Köprülü dies, and his brother-in-law Kara Mustafa becomes new grand vizier.
1681: The Ottomans lose in war against Russia, and has to give up the landscape of Kiev.
1683: Against the command of Mehmed, Kara Mustafa sets out to conquer Vienna. He makes a great error: he waits for Vienna to surrender, which according to Ottoman law would give him a larger cut of the loot, than conquest by force. If an attack had come, Vienna would probably not have been able to defend itself. But by waiting, the Polish king could come to their rescue. The Ottomans were severely beat, and Kara Mustafa was executed when he returned to Istanbul.
1687: After this the Ottomans faced a number of serious defeats (losing Hungary and Belgrade to Austria, the Peloponnes to Venice and Azov to the Russians) Mehmed is deposed by rebelling Janissary troops. His brother, Süleyman 2 becomes new sultan.
Mehmed moves to Edirne where he lives peacefully.
1693: Mehmed dies from natural causes.