Emetullah Rabia Gülnuş Sultan
|Emetullah Rabia Gülnuş Sultan|
Rethymno, Crete, Republic of Venice
|Died||6 November 1715
Istanbul, the Ottoman Empire
|Yeni Valide Mosque|
|Residence||Istanbul and Edirne|
|Known for||Valide Sultan/Last legal wife of a Sultan|
|Religion||Orthodox Christian, subsequently converted to Islam after her capture|
Emetullah Rabia Gülnuş Valide Sultan or Māh-Pāra Ummatullāh Rābi'ā Gül-Nûş Valide Sultan (fully Devletlu İsmetlu Emetullah Rabia Gülnuş Valide Sultan Aliyyetü'ş-şân Hazretleri; 1642 – 6 November 1715) was the favorite consort and later wife of Ottoman Sultan Mehmed IV and Valide Sultan to their sons Mustafa II and Ahmed III.
Râbi'a Gülnûş was born in the town of Rethymno, Crete in 1642, when the island was under Venetian rule; she was originally named Evmania Voria and she was an ethnic Greek, the daughter of a Greek Orthodox priest. It has been theorized that her distant paternal ancestry lies in the Venetian Verzzizi family.
The Ottoman army invaded the island during the Cretan War (1645–1669); she was captured as a very young girl when the Ottomans conquered Rethymno about 1646, she was taken as slave and was sent to Constantinople. She was given a thoroughly Turkish and Muslim education in the harem department of Topkapi Palace and soon attracted the attention of the Sultan, Mehmet IV. He was famous for his hunting expeditions in the Balkans and used to take his favourite to these expeditions. They had two sons both of whom became the future Sultans, Mustafa II (born 1664;died 1703) and Ahmet III (born 1673; died 1736). Ahmet was born in Dobruca during one of the hunting expeditions of Mehmed IV. Her rivalry with Gülbeyaz, an odalisque of Mehmed IV led to a tragic end. Sultan Mehmed had been deeply enamored of her, but after Gülbeyaz entered his harem, his affections began to shift, Gülnuş, still in love with the sultan became madly jealous. One day, as Gülbeyaz was sitting on a rock and watching the sea, Gülnuş slightly pushed her off the cliff and drowned the young odalisque. She became Valide in 1695 when her older son Mustafa II became the Sultan. She held the position during the reign of two sons. She did have some political importance. In 1703, she was asked to confirm and approve of the succession of her other son, Ahmed III, to the throne, which she also did. She was also the last Haseki Sultan in Ottoman history to be legally married to a Sultan.
She is also attributed to having advised her son to the war with Russia in 1711. In 1709, king Charles XII of Sweden settled in Bender within the Ottoman Empire during his war with Russia. He wished the sultan to declare war against Russia and form an alliance with Sweden. The sultan was rumoured to listen to the advice of his mother, who had a large influence over him. Charles sent Stanislaw Poniatowski and Thomas Funck as his messengers. They bribed a convert named Goin, formerly a Frenchman, who worked as a doctor in the palace. Goin arranged a meeting with the personal slave of the Valide, a Jewish woman, who they gave a personal letter to the Valide. They were also introduced to the Hungarian eunuch Horwath, who became their propaganda person in the harem. The Valide became intrigued by Charles, took an interest in his cause, and even corresponded with him in Bender. On 9 February 1711, Turkey declared war against Russia, as the sultan had been advised to by his mother, who convinced him that Charles was a man worth taking a risk for.
For 20 years, she was the influential Valide Sultan. She died on 1715 in Edirne during the reign of her son Ahmed III just before the start of the era of prosperity and peace called the Tulip (Lâle) Era by the Turkish historians. She is buried at a tomb that is open to sky, that is near the mosque she bequeathed to be built at Üsküdar on the Anatolian side of Istanbul, called the Yeni Valide Mosque.
- Verlag, K.G. Saur – Çıkar, Jutta R. M. (2004). Türkischer biographischer Index. Saur. p. 417. ISBN 3-598-34296-9. "Rabia Gülnus; Emetullah Rabia Gülnûş Sultan as wefl (c. 1642 (1052) - 6 November 1715)"
- "Sultan II. Mustafa Han". Republic of Turkey Ministry of Culture and Tourism. Retrieved 2009-02-06.[dead link]
- "Sultan III. Ahmed Han". Republic of Turkey Ministry of Culture and Tourism. Retrieved 2009-02-06.[dead link]
- Baker, Anthony E (1993). The Bosphorus. Redhouse Press. p. 146. ISBN 975-413-062-0. "The Valide Sultan was born Evmania Voria, daughter of a Greek priest in a village near Rethymnon on Crete. She was captured by the Turks when they took Rethymnon in 1645."
- Freely, John (1996). Istanbul: the imperial city. Viking. p. 242. ISBN 0-14-024461-1. "Rabia Gulnus a Greek girl who had been captured in the Ottoman invasion of Crete. Râbi'a Gülnûş was the mother of Mehmet’s first two sons, the future sultans Mustafa II and Ahmet III."
- Bromley, J. S. (1957). The New Cambridge Modern History. University of California: University Press. p. 554. ISBN 0-521-22128-5. "the mother of Mustafa II and Ahmed III was a Cretan."
- Library Information and Research Service (2005). The Middle East. Library Information and Research Service. p. 91. "She was the daughter of a Cretan (Greek) family and she was the mother of Mustafa II (1664–1703), and Ahmed III (1673–1736)."
- Thys-Şenocak, Lucienne (2006). Ottoman women builders. Ashgate. p. 46. ISBN 0-7546-3310-1. "The sultan appears to have been in no hurry to leave his prized concubine from the Ottoman conquest of Rethymnon, Crete – the haseki Emetullah Gulnus, and their new son Mustafa."
- Buturović, Amila; Schick, İrvin Cemil (2007). Women in the Ottoman Balkans: gender, culture and history. I.B.Tauris. p. 24. ISBN 1-84511-505-8. "Mahpeikir [Kösem Mahpeyker] and Revia Gülnûş [Rabia Gülnûş] were Greek."
- Freely, John (2000). Inside the Seraglio: private lives of the sultans in Istanbul. Penguin. p. 163. "Mehmet had by now set up his own harem, which he took with him in his peregrinations between Topkapi Sarayi and Edirne Sarayi. His favourite was Rabia Gülnûş Ummetüllah, a Greek girl from Rethymnon."
- Freely, John (2001). The lost Messiah. Viking. p. 132. ISBN 0-670-88675-0. "He set up his harem there, his favourite being Rabia Giilniis Ummetiillah, a Greek girl from Rethymnon on Crete."
- However some Turkish sources state that she was of Venetian origin. According to authoritative Turkish history books on lives of sultans, Emetullah Rabia Gülniş Sultan was of a Venetian family called Verzini which was settled in the city of Resmo (Turkish name for Rethymnon ). An example is Sakaoglu, Necdet (1999). Bu Mülkün Sultanlari. Oglak. pp. 303, 315. ISBN 975-329-299-6. "His mother was harem girl Rabia Gulniş who was of Venetian Verzini family settled in the city of Resmo in Crete."
- Narodna biblioteka "Sv. sv. Kiril i Metodiĭ. Orientalski otdel, International Centre for Minority Studies and Intercultural Relations, Research Centre for Islamic History, Art, and Culture (2003). Inventory of Ottoman Turkish documents about Waqf preserved in the Oriental Department at the St. St. Cyril and Methodius National Library: Registers, Volume 1 of Inventory of Ottoman Turkish Documents about Waqf Preserved in the Oriental Department at the St. St. Cyril and Methodius National Library, Rumen Kovachev. Narodna biblioteka "Sv. sv. Kiril i Metodiĭ.
- FATEMA MERNISSI (2013). Nasci num Harém. Leya. ISBN 978-9-892-32324-4.
- Fatema Mernissi (2011). The harem and the West, New storytellers. Giunti Editore. ISBN 978-8-809-76641-9.
- Jennifer Harding (2009). Emotions: a cultural studies reader. Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-46930-2.
- Herman Lindquist (in Swedish): Historian om Sverige. Storhet och Fall. (History of Sweden. Greatness and fall) 91-7263-092-2 (2000) Nordstedts förlag, Stockholm
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