IV. The Early Modern Period, 1500–1800 > C. The Middle East and North Africa, 1500–1800 > 2. The Middle East, 1501–1808 > a. The Ottoman Empire > 2. Decentralization and External Challenges > 1627
  The Encyclopedia of World History.  2001.
A Greek press was founded in Istanbul by Nicodemus Metaxas, with printing equipment imported from England.  1
Mustafa Kochi Bey, close adviser to Murad IV, presented to the sultan his perceptive treatise (Risale) on the state and prospects of reforming the Ottoman Empire. He recommended resolute action by the sultan to eliminate corruption and factional politics and restore the financial strength of the state.  2
1633, Sept. 2
A great fire in Istanbul burned large parts of the city. With its densely built wooden houses, the capital suffered an unusually high number of fires that often caused immense damage (109 major fires between 1633 and 1839). The disaster of 1633 prompted a crusade by Sultan Murad to restore public morality by prohibiting the use of coffee and tobacco and ordering the closing of all coffeehouses. The effects of this effort were short-lived.  3
End of Ottoman rule in Yemen. The province was lost to the Zaydis, who had launched a successful war against the Ottoman forces beginning around 1626.  4
End of Fakhr al-Din's rule in Lebanon, after his defeat by an Ottoman army sent against him. He was put to death in Istanbul. Other rulers of the Ma‘nid family retained control of the Shuf Mountain until the extinction of their line in 1697.  5
Death of Nef'i (b. 1582), the dominant Ottoman poet of the 17th century. He was patronized by Sultan Murad IV, for whom he wrote poems of praise. His satirical poems criticizing important figures and corrupt practices led to his downfall and execution.  6
Death of Kadizade Mehmed Efendi, a conservative member of the Ottoman ulama who led a fundamentalist movement calling for the enforcement of a strict interpretation of Islam and the ending of illegitimate religious innovations, including the Sufi mystical orders. His followers, known as the Kadizadelis, gained political influence and sought by violence and bribery to enforce their vision until the grand vezir Mehmed Koprulu confiscated their properties and banished their leaders in 1656.  7
1638, Dec. 25
The Ottoman reconquest of Baghdad from the Safavids, after previous attempts to take the city (in 1625 and 1630) had failed. A peace treaty between the Ottoman Empire and Iran (signed May 17, 1639) confirmed Baghdad as an Ottoman possession and established a rough boundary between the two states which endured with little change for more than 200 years.  8
SULTAN IBRAHIM. The death of Murad IV (Feb. 1640) brought to the throne his brother Ibrahim, whose personal indulgences and crazes, including his passion for women and furs, made him known as Ibrahim the Mad. The treasury was depleted, bribery and extortion became rampant in all levels of the administration, and the currency was debased. His disastrous reign came to an end with his execution in Aug. 1648, under pressure from the Janissaries.  9
The Ottoman capture of Crete. After occupying part of the island from Venice, the Ottomans in 1647 laid siege to the capital, Candia, which finally surrendered in Sept. 1669. The peace agreement allowed Venice to retain three fortified posts on the island.  10
Venetian blockade of the Dardanelles, which interrupted the shipment of supplies to Crete and the importation of grains to the capital from Egypt and Syria.  11
SULTAN MEHMED IV. Ibrahim's son came to power while still a boy, and his first eight years as sultan were marked by political disorder in the capital and provinces, domination by military officers, and a financial crisis. In 1656, after a major revolt in Istanbul and a new Venetian naval blockade, he appointed as grand vezir a ruthless reformer, Mehmed Koprulu, who inaugurated a new era of political stability.  12
The Encyclopedia of World History, Sixth edition. Peter N. Stearns, general editor. Copyright © 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Maps by Mary Reilly, copyright 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.