Many of us who enjoy reading fascinating stories from the past may be familiar with the historical records of the Ottoman Empire. The Ottoman Empire is noted for its military campaigns coupled with breakthroughs in art, law, literature, and architecture under a commanding figure, Suleyman the Magnificent. Turkish Suleyman Kanuni was born in November 1494, he died in September 1566. He ruled when King Henry VII was ruling England. When Suleyman became old, his sons began to struggle for power.
Sehzade Mustafa, born on August 6, 1515, was the eldest son of Sultan Suleyman, the heir apparent to the Ottoman throne. Mustafa became the governor of Amasya and soon won the people’s admiration, including powerful social groups. Prince Mustafa was loved and desired by all in the empire to succeed Suleyman because he has built a reputation for being courageous, generous, fair to people around him.
However, Suleyman’s second wife, Hurrem Sultan, grew resentful of Mustafa’s influence and became envious of her husband’s affection for him. She wanted Selim, one of her sons, to succeed her husband. Soon, Hurrem began plotting the death of her stepsons, by partnering with Rustem Pasha, who joined Suleyman’s army, she made a court alliance against Mustafa to support Selim. As one loved by Sultan Suleyman, she succeeded in making him believe that Mustafa was trying to oust him as king. Suleyman summoned his son at Eregli, where Mustafa, who went innocently and hurriedly to meet him, only met an untimely death. He watched as his guards, at his order, stabbed and strangled Mustafa. These caused much uproar and protest throughout the empire because they see Mustafa as the only worthy successor to Suleyman, hence, the gradual decline of the Ottoman Empire began.
Some critics argued that Hurrem is not to blame for the death of Mustafa. Being a mother of four sons, she did what was expected of anyone to protect her sons and prevent a possible fratricide that has always happened after the death of each Sultan. That alone will not prevent the struggle for power from resurfacing within her four sons, showing that this reason offered is flawed. Historians had it that the reason for the murder of Prince Mustafa by Suleyman was not treason as he was made to believe. It was actually a trickery plan of Hurrem Sultan to make way for her son Sehzade Selim to succeed the Sultan. This reason given to explain why Suleyman killed Mustafa is generally accepted.