Benevolent valide sultan (B. 1590 ?,
She put her stamp on history as a pleasant, elegant but persistent and passionate
woman. She had an important place in the sultanate hierarchy starting from the
year 1610, when she entered to the life of Ahmet I, until the year 1617 when
the sultan died. She even played the primary role in the enthronement of
Mustafa I, who was mentally deranged, in the place of the Prince Genç Osman.
After the dethronement of Mustafa I, whose sultanate lasted three months, and
the enthronement of Osman II (1618), she was sent to the
After the death of Murat IV (1640), she received the title valide sultan again with the enthronement of his only son alive, Prince İbrahim. She obtained again the sultanate regency and her personal power in the year 1648 with the title “Valide-i Muazzama”. After İbrahim I deceased as a result of a rebellion breaking out in Istanbul, Sultan IV. Mehmet, who was the grandson of Kösem Sultan, took his place.
In the beginning, the personal power of Kösem Sultan continued but later on, another woman showed up as the enemy of Kösem Sultan . A cutthroat competition between Turhan Sultan, who was the mother of Mehmet IV, and Kösem Sultan began. As a result of this competition, the Principle Lala Uzun Süleyman Ağa drew into a corner and stifled valide sultan, who was 62 years old, in a sudden attack he organized together with the room clerks on the night of 2nd September 1651.
After this event, the grand viziers (prime minister) from the family of Köprülü acceded and the impacts of the valide sultans (mothers of sultans) in the state politics were ended. With the death of Kösem Sultan, the aga sultanate of state within state has also ended. Kösem Sultan, whose valuable articles and jewelries in her house were plundered, was buried in the ground in the Mausoleum of Ahmet I in the yard of the Sultanahmet Mosque…
Kösem Sultan, who was known with her ambitious personality in the state government, was also known with her charitableness. Her annual income from her five big peculiars was hundreds of thousands of gold. Twenty chests of gold coin and her jewelries that she kept in and dedicated to the Büyük Vâlide Caravanserai were transferred to the state treasury. It was known that Kösem Sultan generously distributed these incomes. Moreover, she personally went to prisons and paid the debt of the debtors and saved them from prison. 200 poor people were benefiting from the charity business she founded with the name “Sadât Ulufesi”. She prepared the trousseau of the girls working at her service and after a while, she got them married to appropriate people.
At the top of the charity works that Kösem Sultan made constructed was the Çinili Mosque in Üsküdar, completed in 1640. The school, the fountain, the place to read Koran, the double bathhouse belonging to this mosque, the Anadolukavağı prayer room completed in 1623, the fountain next to Çinili mosque, the fountain in Şehremini, the fountain in Yenikapı, the fountain in Beşiktaş completed in 1645, the mausoleum of the religious man Abdülmecid Şeyhî Efendi in Eyüp can be counted among her charity works.
Kösem Sultan founded a foundation for
the aim of answering the need of water of hajis in pilgrimage, of helping the
poor people in Haremeyn and of making Koran read in this place. She also made
it constructed the Büyük Vâlide Caravanserai with a long tower in the hill of
Çakmakçılar in Istanbul. Valide Sultan had also other foundations in some
places including Euboea, Lesbos and
REFERENCE: İbrahim Alaeddin Gövsa / Türk Meşhurları (1946), Ana Britanica Ansiklopedisi (13. cilt, 1986), Büyük Larousse Ansiklopedisi (12. cilt, s. 7064, 1986), M. Çağatay Uluçay / Padişahların Kadınları ve Kızları (1992), Mücteba İlgürel / Türkiye Diyanet Vakfı İslam Ansiklopedisi (26. cilt, s. 273-275, 2002), İhsan Işık / Ünlü Kadınlar (Türkiye Ünlüleri Ansiklopedisi, C. 6, 2013) - Encyclopedia of Turkey’s Famous People (2013).