Ayşe Hafsa Sultan should not be
confused with Hafsa Hatun who lived about hundred years before her, is the
daughter of last ruler of Aydınoğlu Principality Aydınoğlu İsa Bey and wife of
Yıldırım Beyazıt. Hafsa town in
Ayşe Hafsa Sultan became Sultana when Kanunî Sultan Süleyman came to the throne in 1520. She is the first mother of a sultan who was called as sultana. She remained a sultana for fourteen years. Although the final times of this period collided with the time of Hürrem Sultan, wife of Kanuni who had a great influence in the palace, it is known that Kanuni often asked her opinion and attached importance to her ideas.
The social complex (mosque, primary
school, bath house and madrasah) built in Manisa in 1522, which was known well
with its hospital, that specialized in the treatment of psychological diseases,
was built by Ayşe Hafsa Sultan. Besides she built a prayer room in Urla whose income she left to
the social complex in
Manisa. The Ottoman Caravanserai in Marmaris had its epigraph Caravanseraih dated
1545 but it was remembered with Ayşe Hafsa Sultan’s name. There are sources,
which claim that this caravanserai was built in the same time with Marmaris
Citadel within the
Yavuz Sultan Selim who was a poet in the same time and used the pen name “Selimî’’wrote the following famous lines for his wife Ayşe Hafsa Sultan:
“Şirler pençe-i kahrımda olurken lerzan
Beni bir gözleri ahuya zebun etti felek”
(Even lions were trembling under my paw / Destiny made me to a slave of a beautiful girl with eyes like a gazelle’s)
The “mesir paste” which was produced mixing 41 sorts of spices by the famous physician of that period, Merkez Efendi, in order to cure Ayşe Hafsa Sultan from a disease is produced since about 500 years. Ayşe Hafsa Sultan who saw the remedial effect of the paste ordered that this paste is produced each year in the same period and distributed to people. Upon this, mesir paste was prepared each year on the day of Nawruz mixing 41 sorts of spices and distributed to people from the minarets of Sultan Mosque in Manisa to people, which was built by Ayşe Hafsa Sultan.
During the first years of Kanunî Sultan Süleyman’s rule a Venetian ambassador Pietro Bragadin wrote in his letters that Hafsa Sultan was a very beautiful woman at the age of 48 and she was respected and loved by her son, the sultan.
Ayşe Hafsa Sultan passed away on the
19th of March 1534 during the rule of her son Kanunî Sultan
Süleyman. She was inhumed to her tomb near to Sultan Selim Mosque in