JEM SOLṬĀN (or ŠĀHZĀDA JEM) b. Edirne, 27 Ṣafar 864/23 December 1459; d. Naples, 29 Jomādā I 900/25 February 1495), Ottoman prince and poet. Jem Solṭān was the third and youngest son of the Ottoman Sultan Meḥmet (Moḥammad) II (r. 1444-46 and 1451-81). His mother, Čiček (Çiçek) Ḵātun (d. 1498), was one of the concubines in the harem. He was educated at the palace and, at the age of ten, was appointed governor of the district (sanjaq) of Kastamonu in the north of Turkey. When his elder brother Moṣṭafā died in 1474, Jem was sent to replace him as governor of the Qarāmān province in southern Turkey, where he created a cultural and literary environment.

When Meḥmet II died in 1481, Bāyazid (Bāyazid II, r. 1481-1512), Jem’s eldest brother, managed to arrive in Istanbul before Jem to ascend the throne. Jem was convinced that the throne should belong to him. Having defeated his brother’s army, he declared himself the ruler of Anatolia with the capital at Bursa in 1481. However, it became impossible for him to stay in Bursa because his army was defeated by that of Bāyazid II, and he first returned to Konya and then went to Cairo to seek asylum with the Mamluks. Mamluk Sultan Qāyit Bāy (r. 1468-96) sheltered Jem, who, with the help of Qāsem Beg (d. 1483) of the Qaramanids, went to try his luck in Anatolia once again. He was unable to defeat Bāyazid II, who had already firmly established his power. In 1482 Jem went to seek asylum with the Knights of the Order of St. John on the island of Rhodes with the aim of reaching Rumeli (the European part of the Ottoman Empire).

Within a brief time his freedom became more and more restricted, and he had to live almost like a prisoner. Pierre d’Aubusson (1423-1503), the 40th grandmaster of the Order of St. John, made an arrangement with Bāyazid II to bring Jem first to Villefranche and then to Nice. For more than six years Jem was sent from castle to castle in the south of France. In 1489 he was transferred to the Vatican. For a long time Jem stayed under the control of Pope Innocent VIII (Pope in 1484-92), who planned to use him for a crusade, but European monarchs did not support the idea. The French King Charles VIII (r. 1483-98) forced the Pope to send Jem back to France. Jem died on his way to France on 29 Jomādā I 900/25 February 1495 in Naples. After four years, his corpse was brought to Bursa where he was buried in the graveyard of the Morādiya Mosque in 1499.

Works. Four of Jem’s works have come down to us: the Persian divān (ed. Ṭoqmāq, 2001); the Turkish divān (facsim. ed. Ertaylan, 1951, pp. 67-254; ed. Ersoylu, Ankara, 1981, 2nd ed., 1989); Jamšid o Ḵoršid (Āyāt-e ʿOššāq; ed. Okur Meriç, 1997; ed. İnce, 2000), a Turkish translation of Jamšid o Ḵoršid by Salmān-e Sāvaji (d. 778/1376, q.v.) made by Jem in 1478 at Konya for his father Meḥmed II; and Fāl-e reyḥān-e Jem Solṭān (ed. Okur, 1992, pp. 219-22), a small work containing 48 couplets.

Jem’s Persian divān contains 2,415 couplets and has been recorded in four manuscripts (Bursa, Orhan Haraçcı Library, MS E. 6; Istanbul, Topkapı Sarayı Library, MS Revan 739; Istanbul, Süleymaniye Library, MS Fatih 3794; Istanbul, Millet Library, Ali Emiri Efendi, MS Manzum 328). After the first four parts of the manuscript of Orhan Haraçcı Library had been published in facsimile edition by Ismail Hikmet Ertaylan in 1951, the entire text came out in Tehran in 2001 as a critical edition made by A. Nāji Ṭoqmāq (A. Naci Tokmak). Though not a first-class poet but a specialist in classical Persian literature, Jem wrote powerful visionary poems. He was inspired by Persian poets such as Neẓāmi, Salmān-e Sāvaji, Ḥāfeẓ, and Jāmi (qq.v.), as well as by Turkish poets such as Aḥmed Pāšā, Šayḵi, and Nejāti Beg. Many poems express his loneliness and reveal a very romantic character. The quality of his Persian poems is considered to be better than that of his Turkish poems, and he was highly praised as a poet by compilers of poetic anthologies (taḏkera). There are many personal letters of Jem Solṭān written in Persian, which suggests that he had a special interest in this language.

Besides being a poet himself, Jem was also a patron for many other poets and writers, such as Saʿdi (Jem Saʿdisi), Sehāʾi, Ḥaydar, Laʾli, and Qandi. Some poets, like ʿAyni-e Termeḏi, Aḥmed Pāšā, Ḥamidi, and Qabuli, wrote poems for him. Shaikh Maḥmud Bayāti, who met Jem during the ḥājj, dedicated his work Jām-e Jem-āyin (Istanbul, 1912-13) to Jem, and so did Šāhedi, a civil servant under Jem in Konya, with his work Golšan-e ʿOššāq.



Works. Halil Ersoylu, ed., Cem Sultan’ın Türkçe Divanı, Ankara, 1981, 2nd ed., 1989.

Adnan İnce, ed., Cem Sultan, Cemşîd ü Hurşîd, Ankara, 2000. İ. Münevver Okur Meriç, ed., Cem Sultan, Cemşîd ü Hurşîd (İnceleme–Metin), Ankara, 1997.

ʿAbd-al-Raḥmān Nāji Ṭoqmāq [Abdurrahman Naci Tokmak], Šarḥ-e ḥāl-e Solṭān Jem wa tahqiq o taḥlil-e divān-e fārsi-e u, ed. Wahhāb Wali, Tehran, 2001.


Sources. Kenan Beşirov, “Gurbetnâme-i Sultan Cem. Giriş-inceleme-metin-sözlük,” M.A. diss., Istanbul University, Istanbul, 2001, pp. 9-35.

Aşıq Çelebi, Mešāʿir al-šoʿarā or Teẕkere of Aşıq Çelebi, facsim. ed. G. M. Meredith-Owens, London, 1971, fols. 67a-68a.

Faridun Beg, Monšaʾāt al-salāṭin, 2 vols., Istanbul, 1857-58, vol. I, pp. 290-94.

Fatih devrine âit münşeat mecmuası (Wien, Nationalbibliothek, H.O. 161), ed. Necati Lugal-Adnan Erzi, Istanbul, 1956, pp. 6-10, 18-19, 75-81, 87, 100.

A. Gallotta and G. Bova, “Venedik Devlet Arşivi’nde Osmanlı Şehzadesi Sultan Cem ile ilgili belgeler,” Turk. tr. Mahmut H. Şakiroğlu, Tarih ve Toplum 5/30, 1986, pp. 19-27.

Mustafa Ali Gelibolulu, Künhü’l-ahbâr’ın tezkire kısmı, ed. Mustafa İsen, Ankara, 1994, p. 151.

Ḥaydar Beg, Wāqeʿāt-e Solṭān Jem, ed. M. Arif, Istanbul, 1911-12, pp. 3-17, 23-32.

Ḵᵛāja Saʿd-al-Din Efendi, Tāj al-tawāriḵ, 5 vols., ed. İ. Parmaksızoğlu, Ankara, 1999, vol. III, pp. 100-3, 156, 186-89, 192-202, 207-23, 235, 273; vol. IV, pp. 114-15, 119.

Latifi, Latifi tezkiresi, ed. Mustafa İsen, Ankara, 1990, pp. 73-75.

J. Lefort, Topkapı Sarayı Arşivi’nin Yunanca belgeleri. Cem Sultan’ın tarihine bir katkı, Turk. tr. H. Gonnet, Ankara, 1981.

Moṣṭafā b. Jar-Allāh Bayāni, Tezkeret al-šoʿarā, ed. İbrahim Kutluk, Ankara, 1997, pp. 8-9.

Qınalızade Ḥasan Çelebi, Tezkeret al-šoʿarā, ed. İbrahim Kutluk, 2nd ed., Ankara, 1989, pp. 112-15.

Sehi Beg, Hašt Behešt, ed. Günay Kut as Heşt bihişt. Sehi Beg tezkiresi: inceleme, tenkidi metin, dizin (Hesht Bihisht: The Tezkire by Sehi Beg), facsim. ed., Cambridge, Mass., 1978, pp. 99-102.

Šekāri, Karaman Oğulları tarihi, ed. M. Mesud Koman, Konya, 1946, pp. 200-4.

İsmail Hakkı Uzunçarşılı, “Cem Sultan’a dâir beş orijinal vesika,” Belleten 24/95, 1960, pp. 457-83.


Studies. Aḥmad Sayyed al-Darrāj, “Jem Solṭān wa al-deblumāsiya al-dowaliya,” al-Majalla al-taʾriḵiya al-Meṣriya 8, 1959, pp. 201-42.

Sema Çakmak Alpun, “Sultan Cem Divanı’nın psikolojik tahlili,” M.A. diss., Fırat University, Elazığ, 2000.

Ahmet Refik Altınay, Sultan Cem, Istanbul, 2001. Anonym., “Cem Sultan,” Türk Dili ve Edebiyatı Ansiklopedisi II, Istanbul, 1977, pp. 34-35.

F. Babinger, Sultan Mehmed der Eroberer und seine Zeit, Munich, 1959, pp. 184, 330-37, 445-46, 466.

M. Cavid Baysun, Cem Sultan. Hayatı ve şiirleri, Istanbul, 1946, pp. 13-69, 71-97.

Idem, “Cem. Cem Sultan,” İslâm Ansiklopedisi III, 1964, pp. 69-81.

W. Björkman, “Der Aufenthalt des Prinzen Cem in Ägypten 1481-1482 und seine politische Bedeutung,” in A. Zeki Velidi Togan’a Armağan, Istanbul, 1955, pp. 71-76.

Bursalı Meḥmed Ṭāhir, Osmanlı mü’ellifleri, 3 vols. and index, Istanbul, 1914-28, vol. II, pp. 122-23.

G. E. Corretto, “Cem Sultan a Roma,” Erdem 12/35, 2000, pp. 419-50.

İlhan Çeneli, “Sultan Cem ve dört şiiri,” Türk Kültürü 9/128, 1973, pp. 28-30.

Dāneš-nāma-ye adab-e fārsi, vol. VI: Adab-e fārsi dar Ānātuli wa Bālkān, ed. Ḥasan Anuša, Tehran, 2005, pp. 280-82.

İsmail Hikmet Ertaylan, Cem Sultan, Istanbul, 1951, pp. 12-91, 111-37.

Semavi Eyice, “Sultan Cem’in portreleri hakkında,” Belleten 28/145, 1973, pp. 1-45.

Idem, “Sultan Cem Türbesi,” Diyanet Vakfı İslâm Ansiklopedisi VIII, 1993, pp. 286-87.

Elhāma Meftāḥ and Wahhāb Wali, Negāh-i be ravand-e nofuḏ wa gostareš-e zabān wa adab-e fārsi dar Torkia, Tehran, 1995, pp. 211-39.

R. S. Hattox, “Qāyitbāy’s Diplomatic Dilemma Concerning the Flight of Cem Sultan (1481-82),” Mamluk Studies Review 6, 2002, pp. 177-90.

Halil İnalcık, “Djem,” EI2 II, 1965, pp. 529-31.

Idem, “A Case Study in Renaissance Diplomacy: the Agreement between Innocent VIII and Bayezid II on Djem Sultan,” Journal of Turkish Studies 3, 1979, pp. 209-30.

Ahmet Kartal, “Osmanlı medeniyetini besleyen kültür merkezleri, edebî açıdan (XI. asırdan XVI. asrın sonuna kadar Türk Edebiyatı ile Fars Edebiyatının münasebetleri),” Ph.D. diss., Gazi University, Ankara, 1999, pp. 391-92.

Cemal Kurnaz, “Cem Sultan’ın Oğuz Han Mersiyesi bir mersiye mi, üç gazel mi?” Türk Dili 530, 1996, pp. 315-20.

Günay Kut, “Sultan Cem. II. Edebî Yönü,” Diyanet Vakfı İslâm Ansiklopedisi VII, 1993, pp. 284-86.

Münevver Okur, “Cem Sultan’ın yeni bulunan Fâl-i Reyhân-i Cem Sultân isimli eseri,” Tarih ve Toplum 16/96, 1991, pp. 24-27.

Idem, Cem Sultan. Hayatı ve şiir dünyası, Ankara, 1992, pp. 54-55, 61, 219-22.

Cahit Öztelli, “Cem Sultan’ın yeni bulunan Cemşîd ü Hurşîd Mesnevisi,” Türk Dili 26/248, 1972, pp. 124-28.

Moḥammad-Amin Riāḥi, Zabān wa adab-e fārsi dar qalamrow-e ʿOṯmāni, Tehran, 1990, pp. 165-67.

Mahmut H. Şakiroğlu, “Sultan Cem,” Diyanet Vakfı İslâm Ansiklopedisi VII, 1993, pp. 283-84.

Şerafettin Turan, “Barak Reis’in Şehzade Cem meselesi ile ilgili olarak Savoie’ye gönderilmesi,” Belleten 26/103, 1962, pp. 539-55.

İsmail Hakkı Uzunçarşılı, Osmanlı tarihi, 5th ed., vol. II, Ankara, 1988, pp. 108-9, 140-43, 161-79, 455-56.

Muammer Yılmaz, Talihsiz Şehzâde Cem Sultan, Kayseri, 1981, pp. 9-39.

Zaynab Saʿd Abu Sana, “Divān al-Amir Jem: derāsat adabiya,” Majalla kolliyya al-adab Jāmeʿa al-Qāhera 61/1, 2001, pp. 315-82.

(Osman G. Özgüdenli)

Originally Published: December 15, 2008

Last Updated: April 13, 2012

This article is available in print.
Vol. XIV, Fasc. 6, pp. 623-624