Mustafa Çelebi

Mustafa Çelebi

Mustafa Çelebi, also called Düzmece Mustafa (1393-1422) was an Ottoman prince (Turkish: şehzade) who struggled for throne in the early years of the fifteenth century (Çelebi is an honorific title meaning gentleman)



Mustafa was one of the sons of Beyazıt I, the Ottoman sultan. His mother was probably Devlet Hatun, the daughter of bey Germiyanids (Germiyan was the name of an independent Turkish principality in center-west portion of Anatolia. ) After the battle of Ankara in which Ottoman sultan Bayazit was defeated by Temur, Mustafa as well as Bayazit himself was taken as a prisoner of war. While his four brothers were fighting each other during the Interregnum, (Turkish: Fetret Devri) he was held captive in Samarkand (modern Uzbekistan). After the death of Temur he returned to Anatolia in 1405 and secluded himself in the territories of Turkish beyliks.

First rebellion

After the interregnum, Mustafa appeared in Rumeli (European portion of the empire) with the help of Byzantine Emperor Manuel II Palaiologos. He also had the support of Mircea I of Wallachia and Cüneyt Bey of Aydın (ruler of the Aydinid principality). Mustafa asked Mehmet I, who had recently defeated other claimants, to partition the empire. But he was refused and was easily defeated by the forces of Mehmet . He took refuge in Byzantine city of Thessaloniki in 1416. After reaching an agreement with Mehmet, Manuel sent him to the island of Lemnos.[1][2]

Second rebellion

After the death of Mehmet I in 1421, Mustafa felt that he could easily defeat Murat II , Mehmet's son. With the help of Byzantines he captured Gelibolu, the fort which controls the strait of Çanakkale (Dardanelles) and after capturing Edirne the European capital of the empire, he began ruling in Rumeli . He proved that he was indeed Beyazid's son and he gained the support of the governors in Rumeli. Although Murat sent a force on him over the strait of Bosphorous, even Murat's soldiers joined him. Over confident of himself, Mustafa decided to cross the Çanakkale strait and conquer Anatolia, the Asiatic side of the empire.

However in Anatolia, Mihaloğlu (a descendant of Köse Mihal) a partisan of Murat who was very famous in Rumeli encouraged Mustafa partisans to change sides. On the other hand, some of Mustafa's allies notably Cüneyt abandoned him and Mustafa gave up hopes to conquer Anatolia. He escaped to Rumeli. Murat chased him . To cross the strait, Murat asked for the help of Genoa vessels which he paid dearly. Murat's forces soon caught Mustafa.[3] [4]


Mustafa was hanged just like a common criminal. Although inter dynasty executions were common in Ottoman dynasty, hanging was not a usual treatment for a dynasty member. Probably, Murat tried to emphasize that Mustafa was not his genuine uncle but an imposter. Thus contemporary Ottoman historians call him Düzmece (fake) Mustafa.[5]


  1. ^ Prof. Yaşar Yüce-Prof. Ali Sevim: Türkiye Tarihi Cilt II, AKDTYKTTK Yayınları, İstanbul, 1991 p 86-88
  2. ^ Barker, John (1969). Manuel II Paleologus (1391–1425): A Study in Late Byzantine Statesmanship. Rutgers University Press. pp. 340–344. ISBN 0-8135-0582-8. 
  3. ^ Prof. Yaşar Yüce-Prof. Ali Sevim: Türkiye Tarihi Cilt II, AKDTYKTTK Yayınları, İstanbul, 1991 p 92-96
  4. ^ Joseph von Hammer:Osmanlı Tarihi Vol I (condensation: Abdülkadir Karahan), Milliyet yayınları, İstanbul. p 74-78
  5. ^ Halil İbrahim İnal: Osmanlı İmparatorluğu Tarihi,İstanbul, 2008,ISBN078-9944-174-37-4 p 125

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