Ahmed I (Ottoman Turkish: احمد اول‎ Aḥmed-i evvel; Turkish: I

Ahmed I (Ottoman Turkish: احمد اول‎ Aḥmed-i evvel; Turkish: I. Ahmed; April 18, 1590 – November 22, 1617) was the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1603 until his death in 1617.In the earlier part of his reign Ahmed I showed decision and vigor, which were belied by his subsequent conduct. The wars which attended his accession both in Hungary and in Persia terminated unfavourably for the empire, and its prestige received its first check in the Treaty of Zsitvatorok, signed in 1606, whereby the annual tribute paid by Austria was abolished. Following the crushing defeat in the Ottoman–Safavid War (1603–18) against the neighbouring rivalling Safavid Empire led by Shah Abbas the Great, Georgia, Azerbaijan and other vast territories in the Caucasus were ceded back to Persia per the Treaty of Nasuh Pasha in 1612, territories which had earlier been temporarily conquered per the outcoming result of the Ottoman–Safavid War (1578–90). The new borders were drawn per exactly the same line as confirmed in the Peace of Amasya of 1555.[2]Upon ascending the throne, Ahmed I appointed Cigalazade Yusuf Sinan Pasha as the commander of the eastern army. The army marched from Constantinople on 15 June 1604, which was too late, and by the time it had arrived on the eastern front on 8 November 1604, the Safavid army had captured Yerevan and entered the Kars Eyalet, and could only be stopped in Akhaltsikhe. Despite the conditions being favourable, Sinan Pasha decided to stay for the winter in Van, but then marched to Erzurum to stop an incoming Safavid attack. This caused unrest within the army and the year was practically wasted for the Ottomans.[3]In 1605, Sinan Pasha marched to take Tabriz, but the army was undermined by Köse Sefer Pasha, the Beylerbey of Erzurum, marching independently from Sinan Pasha and consequently being captured as a POW by the Safavids. The Ottoman army was routed Urmia and had to flee firstly to Van and then to Diyarbekir. Here, Sinan Pasha sparked a rebellion by executing the Beylerbey of Aleppo, Canbulatoğlu Hüseyin Pasha, who had come to provide help, upon the pretext that he had arrived too late. He soon died himself and the Safavid army was able to capture Ganja, Shirvan and Shamakhi in Azerbaijan.[3]Grand Vizier Malkoç Ali Pasha marched to the western front from Constantinople on 3 June 1604 and arrived in Belgrade, but died there, so Lala Mehmed Pasha was appointed as the Grand Vizier and the commander of the western army. Under Mehmed Pasha, the western army recaptured Pest and Vác, but failed to capture Esztergom as the siege was lifted due to unfavourable weather and the objections of the soldiers. Meanwhile, the King of Transylvania, Stephen Bocskay, who struggled for the region's independence and had formerly supported the Habsburgs, sent a messenger to the Porte asking for help. Upon the promise of help, his forces also joined the Ottoman forces in Belgrade. With this help, the Ottoman army besieged Esztergom and captured it on 4 November 1605. Bocskai, with Ottoman help, captured Nové Zámky (Uyvar) and forces under Tiryaki Hasan Pasha took Veszprém and Polata. Sarhoş İbrahim Pasha, the Beylerbey of Nagykanizsa (Kanije), attacked the Austrian region of Istria.[3]However, with Jelali revolts in Anatolia more dangerous than ever and a defeat in the eastern front, Mehmed Pasha was called to Constantinople. Mehmed Pasha suddenly died there, whilst preparing to leave for the east. Kuyucu Mehmed Pasha then negotiated the Peace of Zsitvatorok, which abolished the tribute of 30,000 ducats paid by Austria and addressed the Habsburg emperor as the equal of the Ottoman sultan. The Jelali revolts were a strong factor in the Ottomans' acceptance of the terms. This signaled the end of Ottoman growth in Europe.[3]The resentment against the war with the Habsburgs and heavy taxation combined with a weakness of Ottoman military response to make the reign of Ahmed I the zenith of Jelali revolts. Tavil Ahmed launched a revolt soon after the coronation of Ahmed I and defeated Nasuh Pasha and the Beylerbey of Anatolia, Kecdehan Ali Pasha. In 1605, Tavil Ahmed was offered the position of the Beylerbey of Shahrizor to stop his rebellion, but soon afterwards, he went on to capture Harput. His son, Mehmed, obtained the governorship of Baghdad with a fake firman and defeated the forces of Nasuh Pasha sent to defeat him.[3]Meanwhile, Canbulatoğlu Ali Pasha united his forces with the Druzite Sheikh Ma'noğlu Fahreddin to defeat the Amir of Tripoli Seyfoğlu Yusuf. He went on to take control of the Adana area, forming an army and issuing coins. His forces routed the army of the newly appointed Beylerbey of Aleppo, Hüseyin Pasha. Grand Vizier Boşnak Dervish Mehmed Pasha was executed for the weakness he showed against the Jelalis and replaced by Kuyucu Murad Pasha, who marched to Syria with his forces to defeat the 30,000-strong rebel army with great difficulty, albeit with a decisive result, on 24 October 1607. Meanwhile, he pretended to forgive the rebels in Anatolia and appointed the rebel Kalenderoğlu, who was active in Manisa and Bursa as the sanjakbey of Ankara. Baghdad was recaptured in 1607 as well. Canbulatoğlu Ali Pasha fled to Constantinople and asked for forgiveness from Ahmed I, who appointed him to Timişoara and later Belgrade, but then executed him due to his misrule there. Meanwhile, Kalenderoğlu was not allowed in the city by the people of Ankara and rebelled again, only to be crushed by Murad Pasha's forces. Kalenderoğlu ended up fleeing to Persia. Murad Pasha then suppressed some smaller revolts in Central Anatolia and suppressed other Jelali chiefs by inviting them to join the army.[3]Due to the widespread violence of the Jelali revolts, a great number of people had fled their villages and a lot of villages were destroyed. Some military chiefs had claimed these abandoned villages as their property. This deprived the Porte of tax income and on 30 September 1609, Ahmed I issued a letter guaranteeing the rights of the villagers. He then worked on the resettlement of abandoned villages.[3]The new Grand Vizier, Nasuh Pasha, did not want to fight with the Safavids. The Safavid Shah also sent a letter saying that he was willing to sign a peace, with which he would have to send 200 loads of silk every year to Constantinople. On 20 November 1612, the Treaty of Nasuh Pasha signed, which ceded all the lands the Ottoman Empire had gained in the war of 1578–90 back to Persia and returned to the 1555 boundaries.[3]However, the peace ended in 1615 when the Shah did not send the 200 loads of silk. On 22 May 1615, Grand Vizier Öküz Mehmed Pasha was assigned to organize an attack on Persia. Mehmed Pasha delayed the attack till the next year, until when the Safavids made their preparations and attacked Ganja. In April 1616, Mehmed Pasha left Aleppo with a large army and marched to Yerevan, where he failed to take the city and withdrew to Erzurum. He was removed from his post and replaced by Damat Halil Pasha. Halil Pasha went for the winter to Diyarbekir, while the Khan of Crimea, Canibek Giray, attacked the areas of Ganja, Nakhichevan and Julfa.[3]Ahmed I renewed trade treaties with England, France and Venice. In July 1612, the first ever trade treaty with the Netherlands was signed. He expanded the capitulations given to France, specifying that merchants from Spain, Portugal, Catalonia, Ragusa, Genoa, Ancona and Florence could trade under the French flag.[3]Ahmed I's mother was Valide Handan Sultan, an ethnic Greek who was originally named Helena. He was born at Manisa Palace. He succeeded his father Mehmed III (r. 1595–1603) in 1603 at age 13. He broke with the traditional fratricide and sent his brother Mustafa to live at the old palace at Bayezit along with their grandmother Safiye Sultan. He was known for his skills in fencing, poetry, horseback riding, and fluency in numerous languages. A half-brother of Ahmed, Yahya, resented his accession to the Ottoman throne in 1603, and spent his life scheming to become Sultan.Ahmed was a poet who wrote a number of political and lyrical works under the name Bahti. But while supportive of poetry, he displayed an aversion to artistry and continued his father's neglect of miniature painting.[citation needed] This was connected to a devout religiosity that declared depiction of living things in art an immoral rivalry to Allah's creation.[4] Accordingly, Ahmed patronized scholars, calligraphers, and pious men. Hence he commissioned a book entitled The Quintessence of Histories to be worked upon by calligraphers. He also attempted to enforce conformance to Islamic laws and traditions, restoring the old regulations that prohibited alcohol and he attempted to enforce attendance at Friday prayers and paying alms to the poor in the proper way.He was responsible for the destruction of the musical clock organ that Elizabeth I of England sent to the court during the reign of his father.[5] The reason for this may have been Ahmed's religious objection to figurative art or the fact that the complex organ served as a daily reminder of the waxing influence and power of the West.Ahmed I died of typhus in 1617.Today, Ahmed I is remembered mainly for the construction of the Sultan Ahmed Mosque (also known as the Blue Mosque), one of the masterpieces of Islamic architecture. The area in Fatih around the Mosque is today called Sultanahmet. He died at Topkapı Palace in Istanbul and is buried in a mausoleum right outside the walls of the famous mosque.In the 2015 TV series Muhteşem Yüzyıl: Kösem, Ahmed I is portrayed by Turkish actor Ekin Koç. Media related to Ahmed I at Wikimedia Commons Works written by or about Ahmed I at Wikisource