10Murad IV, Ottoman Empire
Murad IV ruled the long-lived Ottoman Empire for 37 years. Born Murad Oglu Ahmed I in Constantinople on July 27, 1612, he reigned during the decline of 630-year old Turkish kingdom. Ahmed I, Murad IV's father died in 1618 when he was only five-years old. After the death of
Ahmed I, Mustafa I, his uncle, became king. His reign did not last long, and Murad IV ascended to the throne at the tender age of 11. Kösem Sultan, his mother, ruled through him until 1632 when he took complete control of the empire. During these years, the empire began to decline. Strong, both physically and mentally, the young king excelled in archery, javelin throwing, and wrestling. These skills played a role when Murad IV took control of the empire with an iron fist at the age of 20. He banned tobacco and alcohol, closed coffee and wine shops, ordering the execution of anyone who violated the new laws. To ensure enforcement by a military that had fallen into disarray, he ordered the strangulation of over 500 of the force's leaders. The brutal sultan executed over 20,000 men in Anatolia. In 1635, following a loss in jousting to his brother Bayezid, Murad ordered his death. In 1638, the Ottoman's invaded Bagdad, killing over 30,000 soldiers and 30,000 civilians on the sultan's orders. Two years later, in 1940, cirrhosis of the liver took the life of the Conqueror of Baghdad.