Ebba Herrera

Ebba Herrera

Published: 12 Sep 2023

Source: Fr.de

Sultan Mehmed V is a historical figure who has left an indelible mark on the world. Known for his intriguing personality and eventful reign, Sultan Mehmed V captivated the minds and hearts of many during his time as the ruler of the Ottoman Empire. From his ascent to the throne to his role in World War I, there are numerous fascinating facts about this enigmatic leader that are worth exploring. In this article, we will delve into 15 captivating facts about Sultan Mehmed V, shedding light on his life, achievements, and the impact he had on history. So, let us embark on a journey through time and discover the intriguing stories that surround this remarkable individual.

Table of Contents

Sultan Mehmed V was the 35th Sultan of the Ottoman Empire.

Sultan Mehmed V, also known as Mehmed Re?ad, ascended to the throne in 1909 and reigned until his death in He was the last Ottoman Sultan to hold absolute power before the empire transitioned into a constitutional monarchy.

Mehmed V played a significant role during World War I.

As the Ottoman Empire entered World War I, Mehmed V took on the responsibility of leading the Ottoman forces. Under his rule, the empire faced major challenges and witnessed significant changes in its political and territorial landscape.

He oversaw the Ottoman Empire’s entry into the war.

Shortly after the outbreak of World War I, Sultan Mehmed V made the decision to align the Ottoman Empire with the Central Powers, which included Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Bulgaria. This move would have far-reaching consequences for the empire and its people.

Mehmed V witnessed the disintegration of the Ottoman Empire.

During his reign, Sultan Mehmed V witnessed the gradual collapse of the Ottoman Empire. The empire lost large parts of its territories and faced internal conflicts and uprisings, leading to its eventual disintegration and the establishment of modern Turkey.

He was known for his diplomatic efforts.

Sultan Mehmed V was recognized for his diplomatic skills and efforts to maintain the stability of the Ottoman Empire during a tumultuous period. He engaged in diplomacy with various world powers and sought alliances to protect the empire’s interests.

Mehmed V faced challenges from nationalist movements.

During his reign, Sultan Mehmed V faced increasing challenges from nationalist movements within the empire. These movements sought to assert independence and create separate states, leading to further fragmentation of the Ottoman territories.

He introduced various reforms to modernize the empire.

Sultan Mehmed V implemented several reforms aimed at modernizing the Ottoman Empire. These reforms included improvements in education, infrastructure, and the justice system, as well as efforts to promote industrialization and technological advancement.

Mehmed V witnessed the Armenian Genocide.

One of the darkest chapters in the history of the Ottoman Empire occurred during Sultan Mehmed V’s reign – the Armenian Genocide. The empire systematically persecuted and killed hundreds of thousands of Armenians, resulting in a massive loss of life and displacement.

He remained neutral during the Balkan Wars.

Amid the conflict and tensions of the Balkan Wars, Sultan Mehmed V chose to adopt a stance of neutrality. The wars, which took place between 1912 and 1913, had a significant impact on the balance of power in the region and further weakened the Ottoman Empire.

Mehmed V was the last Ottoman Sultan to exert significant authority.

With the end of his reign, Sultan Mehmed V marked the last era of significant authority and power for the Ottoman Sultans. The empire would go through a rapid transformation in the years following his death, leading to the emergence of modern Turkey.

He died in Istanbul in 1918.

Sultan Mehmed V passed away on July 3, 1918, in Istanbul. His death came during a turbulent period for the Ottoman Empire, as the war continued to rage and internal conflicts intensified.

Mehmed V had a conservative approach to governance.

Sultan Mehmed V was known for his conservative approach to governance. He upheld traditional values and customs and sought to preserve the Ottoman Empire’s Islamic heritage and cultural identity.

He faced pressure from the Young Turks movement.

During his reign, Sultan Mehmed V faced opposition and pressure from the Young Turks movement, which advocated for constitutional reforms and a more secular government. This clash of ideologies reflected the ongoing tension between modernization and traditionalism within the empire.

Mehmed V was a patron of the arts and sciences.

Despite the challenges faced by the empire, Sultan Mehmed V maintained an interest in the arts and sciences. He supported various cultural initiatives and contributed to the development of Ottoman architecture, literature, and music.

His reign marked the end of an era.

Sultan Mehmed V’s reign marked the end of an era for the Ottoman Empire. It was a period of immense change, turmoil, and decline, ultimately leading to the empire’s collapse and the birth of modern Turkey.


Sultan Mehmed V was a truly fascinating historical figure, known for his unique personality and contributions to the Ottoman Empire. From his reign as Sultan to his involvement in World War I, Mehmed V left a lasting impact on the region and the world. His love for the arts, his diplomatic efforts, and his commitment to modernization are just a few aspects that make him an intriguing subject of study. Whether it was his passion for calligraphy or his role in shaping the future of the Ottoman Empire, Sultan Mehmed V continues to captivate historians and enthusiasts alike.


1. When did Sultan Mehmed V rule?
Sultan Mehmed V ruled from 1909 until his death in 1918. He succeeded his brother, Sultan Abdulhamid II, and was the 35th Sultan of the Ottoman Empire.

2. What were Sultan Mehmed V’s contributions to modernization?
During his reign, Sultan Mehmed V implemented a series of reforms aimed at modernizing the Ottoman Empire. He focused on improving education, infrastructure, and the military, as well as promoting industrialization and technological advancements.

3. What role did Sultan Mehmed V play in World War I?
During World War I, Sultan Mehmed V initially declared the Ottoman Empire’s neutrality but later aligned with the Central Powers. However, his influence over military decisions was limited, and much of the decision-making power rested with the government and military leaders.

4. What were Sultan Mehmed V’s interests and hobbies?
Sultan Mehmed V had a keen interest in calligraphy and was known for his skill in this art form. He also enjoyed music, literature, and poetry. His passion for the arts helped him foster cultural development and promote Ottoman artistic traditions.

5. What legacy did Sultan Mehmed V leave behind?
Sultan Mehmed V’s reign marked a transitional period for the Ottoman Empire. His efforts to modernize the empire and uphold its traditions influenced its trajectory in the early 20th century. Despite the challenges he faced, Sultan Mehmed V’s reign is remembered for his commitment to progress and his role in shaping the empire’s future.