Mehmed III remains notorious even in Ottoman history for having his sixteen brothers strangled upon his succession. Mehmed III was an idle ruler, leaving government to his mother Safiye Sultan, the valide sultan. The major event of his reign was the Austro-Ottoman War in Hungary (1596–1605).
Mehmed III's armies conquered Erlau (1596) and defeated the Habsburg and Transylvanian forces at the Battle of Mezőkeresztes during which the Sultan had to be dissuaded from fleeing the field halfway through the battle.
Mehmed III's reign saw no major setbacks for the supposedly declining Ottoman Empire.