Grasping history I / 2019

Akce of Cem Sultan

886 H. / 1481 Bursa
Obverse: Cem Sultan bin Mehmed han
Revers: Azze nasrühü düribe Bursa

The coins of Cem Sultan (23.12.1459 - 25.02.1495) are counted among the great rarities of Ottoman numismatics. The Prince reigned only for a few weeks after the death of his father Mehmed II., residing in Bursa. There he was praised as the new sultan on the 2nd of June 1481, after his brother Bayezid had already propagated himself as successor on the 21st of May. In order to enforce his claim, Cem Sultan also issued coins featuring his name in Bursa.


On 22 July 1481, Cem Sultan was defeated by his brother in a decisive battle near Yenisehir.

This marked the beginning of the path into exile, the course of which resembled an odyssey, while Cem Sultan repeatedly tried unsuccessfully to assert his claim. Another campaign took place with the support of the Mamluk Sultan of Cairo, Kasim Bey, the ruler of the Anatolian principality Karaman, deprived of power by the Ottomans, and a former commander of the Janissaries. After renewed defeats of his army eventful stays in Rhodes, France and Italy followed, where Cem Sultan tried to assert his interests in the intrigue of European and Ottoman politics.

The highly educated Ottoman prince also made a name for himself as a gifted poet. He was also said to have numerous affairs.

The silver Akce depicted here is characterised by a completely preserved and clearly legible legend, which is rarely the case for this coin type.