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Merzifonlu Kara Mustafa Pasha was an Ottoman military leader and grand vizier who was a central character in the empire's last attempts at expansion into both Central Europe and Eastern Europe.

In 1683, he launched a campaign northward into Austria in an effort to put a final end to more than 150 years of war. By mid-July, his 100,000-man army had besieged Vienna (guarded by 10,000 Habsburg soldiers), following in the footsteps of Suleiman the Magnificent in 1529. By September, he had taken a portion of the walls and appeared to be on his way to victory.

But on September 12, 1683, the Austrians and their Polish allies under King Jan Sobieski took advantage of dissent within the Turkish military command and poor disposition of his troops, winning the Battle of Vienna with a devastating flank attack led by Sobieski's Polish cavalry. The Turks retreated into Hungary, never again to threaten Central Europe.

The defeat cost Mustafa his position, and ultimately, his life. On 25 December 1683, Kara Mustafa was executed in Belgrade at the order of Mehmed IV. He suffered death by strangulation with a silk cord, which was the method of capital punishment inflicted on high-ranking persons in the Ottoman Empire. His last words were, in effect, "Make sure you tie the knot right." Mustafa's head was presented to Mehmed IV in a velvet bag.

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Merzifonlu Kara Mustafa Pasha was an Ottoman military leader and grand vizier who was a central character in the empire's last attempts at expansion into both Central Europe and Eastern Europe.

In 1683, he launched a campaign northward into Austria in an effort to put a final end to more than 150 years of war. By mid-July, his 100,000-man army had besieged Vienna (guarded by 10,000 Habsburg soldiers), following in the footsteps of Suleiman the Magnificent in 1529. By September, he had taken a portion of the walls and appeared to be on his way to victory.

But on September 12, 1683, the Austrians and their Polish allies under King Jan Sobieski took advantage of dissent within the Turkish military command and poor disposition of his troops, winning the Battle of Vienna with a devastating flank attack led by Sobieski's Polish cavalry. The Turks retreated into Hungary, never again to threaten Central Europe.

The defeat cost Mustafa his position, and ultimately, his life. On 25 December 1683, Kara Mustafa was executed in Belgrade at the order of Mehmed IV. He suffered death by strangulation with a silk cord, which was the method of capital punishment inflicted on high-ranking persons in the Ottoman Empire. His last words were, in effect, "Make sure you tie the knot right." Mustafa's head was presented to Mehmed IV in a velvet bag. More

 
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