My Name is Red

My Name is Red

Sultan Murat III is the ruler of the Ottoman Empire at the time the book is set. Of all the Ottoman Sultans, he is the most enthusiastic about miniaturist painting, and he commissions many books during his reign. The Sultan also commissions Enishte to oversee the creation of a secret book to celebrate the thousand-year anniversary of the Hegira, the Prophet Muhammad’s journey from Mecca to Medina, and to show off the splendor of the Ottoman Empire. Defying religious teaching, the Sultan requests that the book’s illustrations be created in the European style, which forces the miniaturists to choose between obeying Islamic law and the wishes of the Sultan (who is both a religious and political leader). The Sultan is described as being incredibly handsome, with a commanding presence. He dies four years after the book ends.
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Sultan Murat III Character Timeline in My Name is Red

The timeline below shows where the character Sultan Murat III appears in My Name is Red. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1: I Am a Corpse
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...wife and children are distraught. Before his death, Elegant was the best illuminator in the Sultan’s workshop and earned 900 silver coins per month. He worked on manuscripts because the Sultan... (full context)
Chapter 2: I Am Called Black
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...back to Istanbul in order to assist him with a “secret book” commissioned by the Sultan. Black walks through the city, marveling at how it has changed. He notes that inflation... (full context)
Chapter 3: I Am a Dog
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The dog tells the audience that the Venetian Doge (senior official) sent the Sultan’s daughter a female dog as a gift. The dog “is so spoiled she has a... (full context)
Chapter 4: I Will Be Called a Murderer
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...Allah has given them free will. The murderer asks Elegant if he realizes that the Sultan is “behind” Enishte’s work, and Elegant says nothing. The murderer asks Elegant to count twelve... (full context)
Chapter 5: I Am Your Beloved Uncle
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...house. Enishte and Black sit in Enishte’s workshop together, and Enishte tells Black that the Sultan has commissioned him to make a secret book. Enishte has arranged for the most talented... (full context)
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...could not stand on its own. However, two years ago Enishte visited Venice “as the Sultan’s ambassador,” and was stunned to find paintings displayed out of context of any story. One... (full context)
Chapter 6: I Am Orhan
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...explains that the miniaturists have been commissioned to create a Book of Festivities for the Sultan under the guidance of Master Osman. The miniaturists still call each other by the nicknames... (full context)
Chapter 7: I Am Called Black
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...Shekure, he was forced to leave Istanbul for 12 years. Meanwhile, Enishte explains that the Sultan wants to have the secret book finished in time for the one-thousandth anniversary of the... (full context)
Chapter 11: I Am Called Black
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...one of his most talented miniaturists, has been missing for six days, and that the Sultan has instructed other young masters—Stork, Olive, and Butterfly—to work from home. (full context)
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...the “survey” of their workshop, which was originally a ritual that took place during the Sultan’s visits, when the illuminators would show him their work-in-progress. Black finds the ritual sad now,... (full context)
Chapter 13: I Am Called “Stork”
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Once the story is over, Black stares at the picture of the Sultan that Stork is working on. Stork feels uncomfortable about the way Black is looking around... (full context)
Chapter 17: I Am Your Beloved Uncle
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...to reveal his smashed skull. Enishte immediately remembers a time 30 years ago when the Sultan’s grandfather decided to take Cyprus from the Venetians. Enishte was charged with going to Venice... (full context)
Chapter 20: I Am Called Black
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When Enishte and the Sultan decided to create the book, the Sultan insisted that the story remain an important part... (full context)
Chapter 25: I Am Esther
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...he can hope to marry her. Hasan asks about the book, and Esther responds: “Our Sultan is funding the whole project they say.” Hasan mentions other rumors about the book, including... (full context)
Chapter 29: I Am Your Beloved Uncle
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...They discuss the inkpot, and then Enishte explains that once the book is finished, the Sultan will lock it away and everything will continue as normal. They then discuss the appeal... (full context)
Chapter 36: I Am Called Black
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Black then sets off to the palace to inform the Sultan. He goes to the door of the Sultan’s Head Treasurer, where a number of royal... (full context)
Chapter 37: I Am Your Beloved Uncle
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...of the Head Treasurer and Commander of the Imperial Guard make it clear that the Sultan is extremely distressed by Enishte’s death. Enishte is infuriated to see the murderer among the... (full context)
Chapter 38: It Is I, Master Oman
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The Head Treasurer mentions the book and states that the Sultan thought Master Osman would be too busy to work on it. He adds that the... (full context)
Chapter 40: I Am Called Black
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...will seem insincere. At that moment, a royal page arrives and summons Black to the Sultan’s palace. On the way there, Black panics, fearing that he is about to be tortured.... (full context)
Chapter 42: I Am Called Black
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...these illustrations to the picture of the horses. Black suddenly notices the presence of the Sultan, who, along with the Head Treasurer has been listening to Master Osman’s words. The Sultan... (full context)
Chapter 43: I Am Called “Olive”
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...evening prayers, one of the Commander’s men arrives at Olive’s house and announces that the Sultan has called for a contest to see which miniaturist can draw the best horse in... (full context)
Chapter 44: I Am Called “Butterfly”
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Around the time of evening prayers, someone arrives at Butterfly’s house and announces the Sultan’s horse-drawing competition. Butterfly is happy to participate but frustrated that the horse must be drawn... (full context)
Chapter 45: I Am Called “Stork”
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...beautiful horse from all the varieties that exist in nature, but he understands that the Sultan doesn’t mean the most beautiful real horse but one that looks like an old Persian... (full context)
Chapter 49: I Am Called Black
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...the Commander of the Imperial Guard and his men. The Commander tells them that the Sultan is confident that they will be able to determine the murderer based on the horse-drawing... (full context)
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To Black’s surprise, the Sultan does grant them permission. As they enter the treasury, the Head Treasurer introduces them to... (full context)
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...transformation of their world into another.” At the time of evening prayers, one of the Sultan’s men opens the door to the treasury to usher Black and Osman out; however, Osman... (full context)
Chapter 50: We Two Dervishes
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...city,” which was soon invaded by the Ottomans; thus the painting ended up in the Sultan’s Royal Treasury. The dervishes point out that the hoja claimed that dervishes are “superfluous” members... (full context)
Chapter 52: I Am Called Black
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...will stay and stare at these books until he is forced to leave by the Sultan and Head Treasurer; however, Black realizes that Osman is now going blind. He asks Osman... (full context)
Chapter 57: I Am Called “Olive”
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...but Black says they will now search the dervish lodge for the portrait of the Sultan stolen at the time of Enishte’s murder. Olive accompanies them, even giving them a key... (full context)
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...of secret things, such as stolen money and “indecent pictures”—but not the portrait of the Sultan. Olive senses that this puts the two men at ease, and he asks the reader:... (full context)
Chapter 58: I Will Be Called a Murderer
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...that no longer exist. The miniaturists agree that it was a bad thing when the Sultan ordered them to start working from home. They discuss scenes they’ve painted as if they... (full context)
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...illustration. The murderer takes out the picture, yet—in the place where the portrait of the Sultan should be—there lies the murderer’s own face, situated “at the center of a vast world.”... (full context)
Chapter 59: I, Shekure
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...after young boys with the other miniaturists. In four years after the story ends, the Sultan dies, and is replaced by Sultan Mehmed, “who turned his back entirely on all artistry.”... (full context)