Turhan Hatice Sultan bigraphy, stories - Monarchs

Turhan Hatice Sultan : biography

1627 - 1682

[[Yeni Mosque in Eminönü, Istanbul, (Her construction was begun during the regency of Safiye Sultan and completed by Turhan Hatice Valide Sultan, the mother of Sultan Mehmed IV ).]]

Turhan Hatice Valide Sultan, Devletlu İsmetlu Turhan Hadice Valide Sultan Aliyyetü'ş-şân Hazretleri (1628? – 1683), was one of the hasekis ("favourite concubine") of the Ottoman sultan Ibrahim I (reign 1640-1648) and the mother of his successor, Mehmed IV (reign 1648-1687). Turhan Hatice is prominent for the regency of her young son and her building patronage.

Royal patronage

Leslie Peirce sees the year 1656 as a turning point in Turhan’s life. By providing the grand vizier with “unlimited” authority, Turhan limited her own power on the political stage. However, she channeled her energies into other areas of life. Turhan began to build.

Her first building project began in 1658. Perhaps in answer to the Venetian threat, the Valide built two fortresses at the entrance to the Dardanelles. The fortresses, one on the European side and the other on the Asian side, can still be seen today. This project put Turhan in the same league as Mehmed the Conqueror and other sultans who built fortresses in the same area.Thys-Senocak, p.109

However, Turhan’s greatest accomplishment would be built in the capital of the empire, Constantinople. Yeni Mosque has an interesting story. The initial construction was started by one of Turhan’s predecessors, Safiye Sultan. She had chosen the commercial quarter of the city, Eminonü as the location of the mosque. This area was inhabited by non-Muslims. By building a new mosque in Eminönü, Safiye wanted to Islamize the area.Thys-Senocak,p.186 To build on this site meant that land had to be appropriated from the local non-Muslim residents, an act that had not gone smoothly.Thys-Senocak,p.189-192 In the year 1597, the first stones were laid. At the death of Safiye’s son, Mehmed III, the construction of the mosque stopped as she was no longer the Valide. The construction was abandoned for 57 years and in 1660 the area was damaged by fire.Thys-Senocak,p.195-196 The mosque received a second chance when Turhan decided to complete what had been started by Safiye Sultan. After its completion in 1665, the complex contained not only the mosque, but also a school, public fountains, a market and a tomb.Peirce,p.206 According to Peirce the Yeni Mosque. gained the distinction of being the first imperial mosque built by a woman.Peirce,p. 206 The mosques in this list are only those of the sultans.

Turhan was the last woman to wield such great power as to act as a regent to a young son.Peirce,p.258 As women were not seen in public in the Ottoman Empire, it was through her patronage of building that Turhan showed herself to her subjects. To defend the entrance to the Dardanelles, Turhan built two fortresses and thus became the guardian of the empire.

Turhan Hatice, Valide Sultan and regent to her young son, Mehmed IV, died in 1683. She was buried in the tomb of the Yeni Mosque. She lies alongside her son and her descendents.Peirce,p.207

Notes

Valide and Regent

With the death of her rival, Turhan became the Valide Sultan. As a regent, Turhan wielded great power. She accompanied her son the sultan to important meetings and on several occasions spoke from behind her curtained sitting place. Due to her inexperience, Turhan relied on other members of the government to advise her on political matter. This is evident from her correspondence to the grand viziers.Peirce, p.253

Turhan’s regency was marred by at least two factors: the war with the Venetians for the island of Crete, and the financial crisis that arose from the high expenses of waging war. Weak grand viziers did not improve the situation. However, in 1656 Köprülü Mehmed Pasha was appointed to the position of grand vizier. His condition upon accepting the post was that he be given greater authority than his predecessors.Peirce,p.255-256 Thus, Turhan transferred her political power to that of the grand vizier.

Living octopus

Living octopus

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