The Ottoman Sultan Mehmed VI “Vahdeddin”, is the last Ottoman sultan to rule the Ottoman Caliphate and combines the title of Caliph of Islam with the Sultan of the State.
Sultan Vahdeddin was the last de facto Ottoman sultan in the country, after whom Abd al-Majid Effendi assumed the title “Caliph of the Islam” only without the title of Sultan.
The lineage and family of Sultan Vahiduddin
Sultan Mehmed VI belongs to the Ottoman family as his full name Until Erturgul Gazi is:
Sultan Vahid al-Din Muhammad VI son of Abdul Majeed I son of Mahmoud II son of Abd al-Hamid I son of Ahmed III son of Muhammad IV son of Ibrahim I son of Ahmed I son of Muhammad III son of Murad III son of Salim II son of Suleiman the Magnificent son of Selim I bin Bayazid II son of Muhammad Al-Fatih son of Murad II son of Muhammad I son of Bayazid I son of Murad I son of Orhan Gazi son of Osman son of Erturgul Gazi
Sultan Muhammad VI married the following women in his lifetime:
- Mrs. Nazikada, with whom he had three daughters.
- Mrs. Inshrah.
- Mrs. Mawada, from whom he had Prince Muhammad Erturgul.
- Mrs. Nafzad.
The life of Sultan Mehmed VI before the Sultanate
Sultan Mehmed VI was born on January 14, 1861, in Dolmabahce Palace in Istanbul, and his father died at an early age when he was only 5 months old.
The mother of Sultan Vahdeddin also passed away when he was four years old, as Şayeste Hanım “his father’s wife” raised him and taught him.
Mohammed VI educated himself through the study of private teachers in addition to his attendance at Al-Fateh School in secret with the students, which qualified him at an advanced level to judge the cases that were presented to him after he assumed power.
Mehmet VI received courses and lessons in Islamic Sharia, interpretation of the Quran, and hadiths, as well as in Arabic and Persian.
The young prince became interested in Sufism in his youth, as he attended a dervish lodge, as he had become a disciple of the Naqshbandi sect.
Prince Mehmet VI received private lessons and was a good reader, as he took an interest in various topics, including arts. He took calligraphy and music lessons, learned how to write in arabic Naksh script, and played some musical instruments.
The reign of Sultan Mehmet VI
Muhammad VI took power after the death of his brother Mehmet V “Muhammad Rashad” on the 3rd of July 1918, after the defeat of the Ottoman Empire in the First World War.
The priorities of Sultan were to get out of the war with the least possible losses after the severe damage that is done to the state.
The Armistice of Mudros was signed after the Sultan took power, which allowed the Allied forces to enter Istanbul and control the important forts, the Dardanelles and the Bosporus.
The Ottoman Empire had lost many areas when the Sultan came to power, as the Government of Union and Progress, which was controlling the state at that time, had suffered heavy losses on most fronts.
The Ottoman army was demobilized as a result of the Armistice of Mudros, in addition to making all ports, railways and other strategic points available for use by the Allies. In the Caucasus, the Ottomans had to retreat into the pre-war borders between the Ottoman and Russian Empires.
After the surrender of the Ottoman Empire and the signing of the Armistice of Mudros, the Sultan ordered Mustafa Kemal Pasha to go to Eastern Anatolia to protect non-Muslims in addition to implementing the conditions of the Allied forces.
Some historical sources disagree on this point, with some portraying the Sultan as committing national treason by suppressing the resistance movements.
While other sources confirm that the Sultan secretly supported the national resistance movements, as Mustafa Kemal Ataturk said at a later time in a press interview that the Sultan summoned him before sending him and told him:
You have served the state many times so far, Pasha, you can save the country!
Mustafa Kemal Pasha initiated the War of Independence and formed the Turkish National Assembly, which refused to recognise the Sultan and the armistice he had concluded with the Allies.
The government of Istanbul was formed by order of the Sultan and under the leadership of Suleiman Shafiq Pasha, the “Kuvâ-i İnzibâtiyye” had a mission was to fight the “Kuva-yi Milliye” that announced their desire to liberate the country.
Some believe that the sultan secretly provided support to the Kuva-yi Milliye and that he created the Kuvâ-i İnzibâtiyye in public to reassure the allies.
A new government was formed in Ankara April 23, 1920 headed by Mustafa Kemal, as the government announced its rejection of the rule of Muhammad VI and Suleiman Shafik Pasha, and a temporary constitution was drawn up for the country.
In 1920, the Ottoman Empire ratified the Treaty of Sèvres, which unfairly divided Anatolia and the Ottoman Empire, which was rejected by the Ankara government.
The banishing of the Sultan
The Turkish National Assembly abolished the sultanate on November 1, 1922, and the council also decided to banish Sultan Mehmed VI from Istanbul which made him the last Ottoman sultan.
On the 17th of November 1922, the Sultan departed on board a British warship to Malta and then moved to the Italian Riviera.
On November 19, 1922, two days after the sultan’s exile, his cousin, Abd al-Majid Effendi, was elected as a caliph and a head of the Ottoman family, and it should be noted that Abd al-Majid Effendi was only a caliph and did not assume the title of Sultan, which was canceled as Mehmed VI, the last Ottoman sultan.
Sultan Mehmed VI protested the election of his cousin as caliph, stressing that he had not waived his right to the Islamic caliphate and rule.
The death of the last Ottoman Sultan
Sultan Muhammad VI Vahdeddin died on May 16, 1926 in Sanremo, Italy. His daughter, Sabiha Sultan, found money for burial with difficulty.
Also read: A full report about Enderun Ottoman School
Who is the last Ottoman Sultan?
The Ottoman Sultan Mehmed VI “Sultan Vahdeddin” is the last Ottoman ruler to behold the title of Sultan.
Who is the Ottoman Sultan Muhammad VI?
He is Vahideddin, the last Ottoman sultan, born on January 14, 1861, and assumed power in 1918.
Who is Sultan Vahideddin?
Sultan Mehmed VI was the last to collect the titles Caliph of the Muslims and Sultan of the Ottoman Empire at the same time.
This post is also available in: العربية (Arabic)