Handan Sultan

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Handan Sultan
Apartments Valide Sultan Topkapi March 2008pano.jpg
Born Helen or Helena[1]
Died 26 November 1605
Ethnicity Greek[1][2]
Known for Vâlidā Sultâna
Religion Greek Orthodox Christian, subsequently converted to Islam after her capture
Spouse(s) Ottoman Sultan Mehmed III
Children Ottoman Sultan Ahmed I
Ottoman Sultan Mustafa I
Sultanahmed Mosque was built during the regency of Handan Valide Sultan's son, Ahmed I.
The son of Handan Sultan, Ahmed I.
Sultanahmed Camii (Blue Mosque) erected by the order of Ahmed I, the son of Handan Sultan, is the only mosque ever built in Ottoman Empire with six minarets. (The entrance)
Blue Mosque, built by Handan Sultan's son, is the largest structure of the Ottoman History (Interior View).

Handan Sultan or Devletlu İsmetlu Handan Valide Sultan Aliyyetü'ş-Şân Hazretleri (Daulatlu Ismatlu Handan Validā Sultâna 'Aliyāt ûsh-Shân Hazrātlāri) (ca. 1574 – 26 November 1605[3]) was the mother of the Ottoman Sultan Ahmed I and his Valide Sultan from 21 December 1603 until 26 November 1605. Born Helena,[1][2] she was ethnically Greek.[1][2]


According to some other sources, she was also the mother of Ottoman Sultan Mustafa I.[4] She prevailed upon her son Ahmed I to save the life of Mustafa I by making him abolish "the law on the immediate execution of the brothers of the Ottoman Sultans" upon his accession to the Ottoman throne. The law was initially put into effect by Fatih Sultan Mehmed for the purpose of preventing probable fighting among the Sultan's brothers who were the potential claimants to the Ottoman throne.

The Executive Authority of Handan Valide Sultan[edit]

During the first two years of the reign of Sultan Ahmed I, she was the Vâlidā Sultâna, being his mother. The contemporary historian Ibrahim Pecevi questioned her wisdom. Leslie Peirce points out that Ahmed I tended to disregard her advice.[5] While respecting the tradition that A mother's right is God's right, he ingeniously circumvented her will. She did not manage to receive either influence or economic funds as had the two previous Vâlidā Sultânas. Her salary was only 1000 akçes even though she acted as the co-regent as the Vâlidā Sultâna during the first two years of the regency of her son Sultan Ahmed I while the grandmother Sâfiyā Sultâna were receiving 3000 akçes during the same period.

Further reading[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Ali Kemal Meram, Padişah Anaları, Öz Yayınları, 1977, p. 244. (Turkish)
  2. ^ a b c Günseli İnal, Filiz Özdem, Mary Işın, Semiramis Arşivi, Semiramis: Sultan'ın Gözünden Şenlik, Yapı Kredi Yayınları, 2005, p. 27. (Turkish)
  3. ^ E.J. Brill's First Encyclopaedia of Islam, 1913–1936, Martijn Theodoor Houtsma, 1987[page needed]
  4. ^ Yavuz Bahadıroğlu, Resimli Osmanlı Tarihi, Nesil Yayınları (Ottoman History with Illustrations, Nesil Publications), 15th Ed., 2009, page 245, ISBN 978-975-269-299-2
  5. ^ Imperial Harem : Women and Sovereignty in the Ottoman Empire 1993, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-508677-5[page needed]
Ottoman royalty
Preceded by
Safiye Sultan
Valide Sultan
22 December 1603 – 26 November 1605
Succeeded by
Mahfiruz Hatice Sultan