On this day, 9 February 1640, the 18th Ottoman Sultan Ibrahim I ascended the Ottoman throne after the death of his brother Sultan Murad IV. Ibrahim was the son of Sultan Ahmed I and famous Kösem Sultan, who has been described as the most powerful woman in the Ottoman history. He was deposed in 1648 after ruling for 8 years.
Born on November 5, 1615, Ibrahim was raised and educated in the imperial harem in Istanbul. His childhood and youth coincided with a period of multiple crises that shook the Ottoman dynasty and its imperial traditions.
The first four years of Ibrahim’s reign provided a stable administration for the empire, thanks to his decision to keep in office his brother’s able grand vizier, Kemankeş Kara Mustafa Pasha, who continued the economic and political reforms begun under Murad IV. These provided economic relief to Istanbul and the provinces, which had suffered economically from the expensive campaigns mounted by the Ottomans against the Safavids of Iran in the late 1630s.
As part of these reforms, Mustafa Pasha ordered a new tax survey, reduced the numbers of Janissaries and cavalrymen, stabilized the currency, and required that payments into and withdrawals from the treasury be made in coinage.
With Ibrahim’s enthronement, Kösem Sultan, as the queen mother (valide sultan) and supervisor of the imperial harem, began again to exercise the power that she had lost during Murad IV’s rule.
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