Alime Sultan

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Alime (Âleema) Sultan
عالمہ سلطان
Front view of Hagia Sophia, April 2013 3.JPG
The burial place of "Alime (Âleema) Sultan" is located inside the Hagia Sophia Mosque, Istanbul
Born Altun-Şah
c. 1576
Caucasus, Ottoman Empire
Died c. 1623
Istanbul, Ottoman Empire
Resting place
Hagia Sophia Mosque, Istanbul
Residence Istanbul
Ethnicity Abkhazian
Known for Valide Sultan
Religion Islam
Spouse(s) Ottoman Sultan Mehmed III
Children Ottoman Sultan Mustafa I
Parents Akuc Bey

Alime (Âleema) Sultan (fully Devletlu İsmetlu Alime Valide Sultan Aliyyetü'ş-Şân Hazretleri; Ottoman Turkish: عالمہ سلطان, c. 1576 – c. 1623 [1]) (Alime meaning "learned, cultured or wise") was the wife of Ottoman sultan Mehmet III and the mother of Mustafa I of the Ottoman Empire. She was de facto co-ruler as the Valide Sultan from 22 November 1617 to 26 February 1618 and 19 May 1622.

The husband of "Alime (Âleema) Sultan", Mehmed III.
Interior view of the Hagia Sophia, where the burial place of "Alime (Âleema) Sultan" is located
Styles of
Reference style Devletlu İsmetlu Alime Valida Sultânā Aliyyetü'ş-Şân Hazretleri
Spoken style Davlatlū Esmatlū Âleema Valida Sultânā Âleeyatū'sh-Shân Hāzratlaree
The son of "Alime (Âleema) Sultan", Mustafa I.


Alime Sultan was born in 1576 to an Abkhazian notable, Akuc Bey, originally named Altunşah.[2][3] She was married to Mehmed III in 1589. In 1591 she gave birth to her son Ottoman Sultan Mustafa I. She was the maternal aunt of Ottoman Sultan Osman II's mother Mahfiruz Hatice Sultan.[4] She was receiving 100 aspers a day during Mehmed's reign.[5]She also gave birth to a daughter who was married to the future Grand Vizier, Kara Davud Pasha.

First reign[edit]

When Mustafa ascended the throne in 1617 she became the Valide Sultan as well as a regent and wielded a great power.[5] She received 3,000 aspers although her mother-in-law Safiye Sultan was still alive.[5] While she, as the wife of Mehmed III, had suffered the same obscurity as Handan Sultan, she was clearly able to command greater status as Valide Sultan than her fellow consort had.[5] This was probably in large measure because she exercised power more directly, acting as regent for her mentally incompetent son as his mental condition unimproved and was a puppet controlled by her and her son-in-law, the grand vizier Kara Davud Pasha.[5] Later Mustafa was dethroned and his nephew Osman II ascended the throne due to Mustafa's mental conditions and was sent back to kafes and she was sent to the Old Palace.[5] However, she received only 2,000 aspers during her retirement to the Old Palace between her son's two reigns, during the first months of her retirement Safiye was still alive, perhaps a neighbour in the Old Palace, receiving 3,000 aspers a day.[5]

Second reign[edit]

But later on 18 May 1622 Osman was again dethroned and the rebels, meanwhile, broke into the imperial palace and freed Mustafa from his confinement and acclaimed him as his master. Alime once again returned from the Old Palace and became the Valide Sultan. Some of the janissaries consulted with her about the appointments to be made and it was in fact her son-in-law, Kara Davud Pasha, who now become the grand vizier. The faction committed to the cause of Mustafa and her could not feel secure while Osman II was alive. Their uneasiness was well grounded, since some of the rebels wished to spare Osman, hoping no doubt to make no use of him for their own ends at some future date. Kara Davud Pasha had recourse, therefore to the last extreme measure on 20 May 1622, Osman II was strangled in the prison of Yedikule at Istanbul.

Death and burial[edit]

She died in 1623 during the second reign of her son, Mustafa I. Her resting place lies in the Hagia Sophia Mosque, Istanbul.

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Peirce, Leslie P., The Imperial Harem: Women and Sovereignty in the Ottoman Empire, Oxford University Press, 1993, ISBN 0-19-508677-5 (paperback).
  • Yavuz Bahadıroğlu, Resimli Osmanlı Tarihi, Nesil Yayınları (Ottoman History with Illustrations, Nesil Publications), 15th Ed., 2009, ISBN 978-975-269-299-2 (Hardcover).


  1. ^ "Turkey: The Imperial House of Osman". Retrieved 18 February 2014. 
  2. ^ Börekçi, Günhan. "Mustafa I." Encyclopedia of the Ottoman Empire. Ed. Gábor Ágoston and Bruce Masters. New York: Facts on File, 2009. p.409.
  3. ^ Mahidevran Haseki ve Ailesi by Melike Chimay
  4. ^ Mahfiruz Hatice Valide Sultan by Melike Chimay
  5. ^ a b c d e f g Leslie P. Peirce (1993). The Imperial Harem: Women and Sovereignty in the Ottoman Empire. Oxford University Press. pp. 106–107. ISBN 978-0-195-08677-5. 


Preceded by
Handan Sultan
Valide Sultan
Succeeded by
Mahfiruz Hatice Sultan
Preceded by
Mahfiruz Hatice Sultan
Valide Sultan
Succeeded by
Kösem Sultan