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Kara Mustafa

KARA MUSTAFA (d. 1683), Turkish vizier, surnamed " Merzifunli," was a son of Uruj Bey, a notable. Sipahi of Merzifun (Marsovan), and brother-in-law to Ahmed Kuprili, whom he succeeded as grand vizier in 1676, after having for some years held the office of Kaimmakam or locum tenens. His greed and ostentation were equalled by his incapacity, and he behaved with characteristic insolence to the foreign ambassadors, from whom he extorted large bribes. After conducting a campaign in Poland which terminated unfortunately, he gave a ready response to the appeal for aid made by the Hungarians under Imre Thokoly (q.v.) when they rose against Austria, his hope being to form out of the Habsburg dominions a Mussulman empire of the West, of which he should be the sultan. The plan was foiled in part by his own lack of military skill, but chiefly through the heroic resistance of Vienna and its timely relief by John Sobieski, king of Poland. Kara Mustafa paid for his defeat with his life; he was beheaded at Belgrade in 1683 and his head was brought to the sultan on a silver dish.

Another KARA MUSTAFA PASHA (d. 1643), who figures in Turkish history, was by birth a Hungarian, who was enrolled in the Janissaries, rose to be Kapudan Pasha under Murad IV., and after the capture of Bagdad was made grand vizier. He was severe, but just and impartial, and strove to effect necessary reforms by reducing the numbers of the Janissaries, improving the coinage, and checking the state expenditure. But the discontent of the Janissaries led to his dismissal and death in 1643.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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