Sultan Ibrahim of the Ottoman Empire was mentally damaged as a result of growing up in a gilded cage. Up until his terrifying demise, the empire trembled under his unsettling rule. Since he was Ahmed’s ninth son, he had very little chance of ever becoming king. Kosem Sultan, Ibrahim’s mother, was his covert weapon, nevertheless.

Ibrahim had a very high risk of being killed from the moment of his birth. Ibrahim’s father died when he was only two years old, starting a violent game of musical chairs that resulted in the removal of one sultan and the execution of another. When Murad IV, Ibrahim’s elder brother, finally ascended to the throne, some kind of stability was restore

But Ibrahim was unable to take pleasure in it. At the time, Istanbul was not a “City of Brotherly Love,” Sultans maintained sizable harems of concubines and fathered offspring by numerous women. Since most princes had different mothers, their relationship was not particularly strained.

After Murad IV was coronated, his other siblings including little Ibrahim were put in a luxurious cage known as “Kafes”. For the successors to the throne, this particular area of the Imperial harem served as a glorified jail. Ottoman princes were never permitted to leave this area while being constantly watched over.

In the Kafes, Ibrahim wasn’t alone. Murad threw his three half brothers in with him, but they began to be killed off one by one. Murad IV was a paranoid king who didn’t have faith in his brothers to support him. He had them all put to death throughout his 16-year rule, one by one until only young Ibrahim was left. Ibrahim was a weak child with serious mental health problems. So Murad didn’t see Ibrahim as a threat so left the youngster to rot in Kafes.

Ibrahim remained there, limited to the Kafes, becoming more and more irrational as time went on. After 16 years, his incarceration was finally over when Murad IV died of liver cirrhosis in 1640 at the age of 27.
To show Ibrahim that he was next to rule, Kosem Sultan had Murad’s remains delivered to the Kafes.

After his coronation, Ibrahim made every effort to govern, but he was plagued by several illnesses. He frequently experienced spells of physical weakness and terrible headaches. The majority of contemporary historians state that these symptoms were brought on by the trauma of his upbringing.

Other than that, Ibrahim had a voracious thirst for women. Ibrahim fit the definition of a predator in every way. He kept a large number of concubines/forced slaves in his harem. He allegedly developed feelings for the Grand Mufti’s attractive daughter and he sought her hand for marriage. The Grand Mufti was aware of the nature of Ibrahim and he didn’t want his daughter to be involved, so he denied but forgot how cruel Ibrahim was. Ibrahim didn’t react well to rejection. In his fury, he ordered to bring Grand Mufti’s daughter. She was brought to the harem, where Ibrahim raped her for days and returned her to her father, and, continued with his regular concubines.

Ibrahim reportedly enjoyed gathering his harem’s virgins regularly. He would tell them to strip, then charge through them while neighing like a horse, ravishing them one by one. He would instruct them to kick and struggle against him, which was even more insane.

The mad sultan was a chubby Chaser as well.  One source claims that the man once spotted a young cow in a field and the animal sent him into a fit. To sate his lust, he requested that anyone who knew a woman formed in just that way send her to Istanbul right away.

He was fortunate to find what he was looking for. Sivekar Sultan was an Armenian woman weighing 330 pounds. She was everything Ibrahim had ever desired. She quickly rose to the top of the harem. Sivekar made Ibrahim feel very secure at her fingertips, so she let the power get to her head.

In a popular tale, Sivekar Sultan reportedly informed Ibrahim that one of his concubines had been “compromised by an outsider,” but she claimed to be unaware of any more information. Ibrahim demanded details about this enigmatic traitor. But no amount of questioning managed to provide a name.

Ibrahim ordered one of the most distressing acts in history.

Ibrahim ordered the killing, sacking, and dumping of his entire harem into the Strait of Bosphorus after no traitor came forward. 280 women drowned like animals as a result of an unproven accusation of betrayal. Strangulation wasn’t a decent enough death for a man of that caliber, but at least the wicked Sivekar received her desserts. She was later poisoned by Kosem Sultan as a result of threatening to take her place.


DISCLAIMER: The author is solely responsible for the views expressed in this article. The author carries the responsibility for citing and/or licensing of images utilized within the text.