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Encyclopedia > Ibrahim I
Sultan Ibrahim I
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Sultan Ibrahim I

Ibrahim I (November 5, 1615August 12, 1648) was the sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 16401648.


One of the most famous Ottoman Sultans as "Ibrahim the Mad". He succeeded his brother Murad IV in 1640. Inheriting all the cruelty and none of the ability of his brothers, Ibrahim brought the Empire almost to collapse in a very short space of time — paralleled only perhaps, by the rule of Phocas in the Byzantine Empire. He is claimed to have suffered from neurasthenia, and was also depressed after the death of his brother. His reign was essentially that of his mother, Kosem Sultana, who was no longer hindered in controlling the Empire as she willed.


He is known to have had an obsession with obese women, urging his agents to find the fattest woman possible. A candidate was tracked down in Georgia or Armenia and Ibrahim was so pleased with her that he gave her a government pension and (allegedly) a governership.


Ibrahim at first stayed away from politics, but eventually he took to raising and executing a number of viziers. A war with Venice was fought, and in spite of the decline of the Serenissima, Venetian ships won victories throughout the Aegean, capturing Tenedos (1646), the gateway to the Dardanelles. As Ibrahim's rule grew ever more unpredictable, he was deposed and murdered.

Preceded by:
Murad IV
Ottoman Sultan Succeeded by:
Mehmed IV

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