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Ottoman Woman:   Mahidevran Sultan (1498 - 1581)

Mahidevran was last concubine, whose career depended on her son’s career, but in the fight with another concubine - Hürrem, she lose.

Slave-concubine Albanian or Circassian origin, she appeared in Manisa among 17 women listed in the registry of the palace harem in Manisa. After the birth of Mustafa in 1515 she increased her status in palace. In 1521, Sultan Suleiman lost 9 year-old son Mahmoud and baby Murad (about 2 years). Mustafa was the eldest of all the heirs. In the same year born a Hürrem`s son - Mehmed.

According to Ambassador Pietro Bragadina: son Mustafa was the only joy for the mother, who lives with him in the palace in Istanbul in the early years of the reign of the sultan, his father. Mustafa was popular with the Janissaries. When he was 9 years (1524), the Venetian ambassador wrote that it shows significant progress in military affairs and Janissaries love him.Mustafa was sent in 1533 as the Governor in Manisa, where he showed himself a just ruler no less than his father. Mother accompanied him.During their stay in Diyarbakir, near the Safavids`s border in 1540, Bassano wrote that the mother is taking all measures to his vassals loved Mustafa.

After Manisa, Mustafa in 1542 transferred the Governor in Amasya.

Ambassador Bernardo Navazhero wrote in 1553 about the efforts Mahidevran about protect her son, she was taking all measures to avoid being poisoned every day and asked him to be careful. Son is very respected his mother.In 1553 Navazhero wrote about Janissaries`s love, their desire to see the 38-year-old Şehzade on the throne. But despite this, in 1553, Mustafa was executed for treason, in which he was accused. Until now, no evidence of his infidelity nor her refutation.Trevisano in 1554 wrote that Mahidevran sent a warning letter for son about Sultan’s plans to execute him. But Mustafa ignored her. He stubbornly refused to listen to his mother and friends.Until the end of her son’s life Mahidevran Sultan tried to protect her son from his rivals, she have network of spies for this.

In connection with the murder of Mustafa in 1553, Mahidevran along with ten her people been sent in Bursa. Because Kanuni Sultan Suleyman did not provide the necessary financial support, where she lived a very hard life for about ten years. She could not even pay for the house. As a result, she went to pay homage to the Sultan. The debt was paid, and was allocated a salary.Selim also helped Mahidevran Kadin, what was found confirmation in some written documents. Finally, in 1564 was bought a house (120,000 akche) in Gisare and thus Mahidevran Kadin got rid of the need to live in rented houses.Finally, she strengthened her financial position, Mahidevran had enough to make a donation for the care over the tomb of her son. The mausoleum was built by Mustafa`s brother - Selim. After her death in 1581, Mahidevran Sultan was buried in mausoleum of Mustafa.

@msleamichele “I don’t care.. What they’re going to say.. Let the storm rage on.. The cold never bothered me anyway…” 

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