Sultan Mehmed III was born in Manisa, on 26th May 1566. His father was Sultan Murad III and his mother was Safiye Sultana. His grandfather Suleyman the Magnificent gave his name as an attribution to Mehmed the Conqueror. Mehmed was medium size and he had a handsome face. He had a very strong education. He attended the classes of famous scholar Hoca Sadeddin Efendi. In 1583, he was appointed as Manisa governor.
On 27th January 1595, he succeeded his father.
Sultan Mehmed III admired his mother. His mother Safiye Sultana benefited from this and she dominated the state by using her influence on her son. She forced the sultan to be acted in the way she desired. Mehmed III was a very religious sultan, he appreciated Islam. He was so sensitive that on hearing bad news he had fallen ill. The Celali revolts and the Iran Wars made him so depressed. He prohibited alcohol and closed all the taverns.
Sons: Ahmed I, Mustafa I, Selim, Mahmud
AUSTRIA and WALLACHIA CAMPAIGNS
When Mehmed III came to throne while the Ottoman-Austrian wars were continuing and he immediately focused on the Wallachia problem. In 1595, the Austrian Army besieged the Castle of Estergon. Mehmed Pasha did not assisted the castle although he and his army were 49 km. away from the region. As a result of this negligence, the castle surrendered after a very brave defence.
Sinan Pasha campaigned to Wallachia ruled by Prince Mihai Vitezul. The Ottoman forces invaded Bucharest and Tergoviste. But, Mihai attacked after a while and the Ottoman forces retreated. Many soldiers had died.
Following the fall of the Estergon Castle, Visegrad was occupied by the Austiran forces. The yeniceris reacted against the loss of these important castles, and towns and they forced the sultan for another campaign.
INVASION of the CASTLE of EGRI
As the empire was facing with crisis, Sultan Mehmed III assembled the state council and said:
�From, our forefather, the founder of our empire Osman Ghazi; to our grand father Suleyman the Magnificent all the sultans went campaigns in front of their armies. Our grandfather Sultan Selim II and our father Murad III left this tradition. We too, had mistaken while ordering our pashas campaign. Surely, our soldiers sons would like to see us in front of them. We have decided, were are going to campaign very soon. Be prepared.�
His mother rejected this plan, fearing to let the Sultan out of Istanbul. But her son said;
�Mother, we are a Sultan son of a sultan, why we have armoured this sword in Eyup Sultan Mosque? Our decision is certain we are going for the campaign. We do not sacrifice our state for the throne.� On 20th July the army had moved and the castle of Egri was besieged and on 12th October 1596, it was surrendered to the sultan.
The TRIUMPH of HACOVA
Following the invasion of Egri Castle, the Ottoman army had advanced to Hacova where they came across with the European army, organised by Austria, Germany, Wallachia, Spain, France, and Poland. Austrian archduke Maximillian was commanding this army. In the war, the Ottoman army was failed to defend the riffle shots of the Europeans and many soldiers had died.
But the Ottoman raiders were continuing to struggle very courageously and they defeated their enemies and opened the way through Vienna (26th October 1596).
After this triumph the sultan returned to Istanbul. Satirci Mehmed Pasha was appointed to the Austria front. He recaptured the Tata Castle but he was defeated by the Austrian Army on the north of Budapest. Meanwhile, a peace treaty was tried to be signed with the representatives of Austria. After a while, the Austrians captured the castle of Raab which was invaded by Suleyman the Magnificent (1598).
INVASION of the CASTLE of KANIJE
Satirci Mehmed Pasha did not win a military success for two years. During these years Austria occupied many Ottoman castles. Therefore, Mehmed Pasha was executed and grand vizier Damat Ibrahim Pasha replaced him. He marched through Vienna. Meanwhile, Austria demanded peace and offered to give Egri and Hatvan. The Ottoman representatives wanted Estergon, Neograd, Vurek and Yanikkale, as well; and the treaty was abandoned.
Damat Ibrahim Pasha spent the winter in Belgrade, and he begun to put pressure on Austria by besieging the castle of Kanije. The Turkish slaves in the castle exploded the powder magazines and very badly damaged the walls. But, the castle did not surrendered. An army of 20.000 soldiers commanded by Philippe Emanuel arrived to defend the castle. But the Ottoman Army defeated both of the armies and the castle had surrendered.
Kanije was transformed to the centre of the Roumelia region. Tiryaki Hasan Pasha was appointed as the governor of Kanije. Damat Ibrahim Pasha was promised to be the grand vizier as long as he lived (10th September 1601). After this triumph, Istolni, Belgrade and Estergon were invaded (1601-1603).
RELATIONS with IRAN
Iran ignored the treaty signed in 1590. Shah Abbas by benefited from the Ottoman-Austria war and declared war in 25th August 1603. Shah Abbas invaded Tabriz and Erivan. Sultan Mehmed III had passed away while this war was lasting. He was 38 years old.
Sultan Mehmed III had build the Golmarmara Halime Hatun Mosque and for his mother, he build Yeni Valide Mosque. Beside these, Mehmed III had restored many mosques.