Sultanate of Women

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The Sultanate of Women (Turkish: Kadınlar Saltanatı) was the nearly 130-year period during the 16th and 17th centuries when the women of the Imperial Harem of the Ottoman Empire exerted extraordinary political influence over state matters and over the (male) Ottoman sultan, starting from the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent.[1] Many of the Sultans during this time were minors and it was their mothers, the Valide Sultans, or their wives, the Haseki Sultans, who effectively ruled the Empire.[2] Most of these women were of slave origin, which was often the case in general for consorts of Ottoman sultans.

Powerful sultanas during the period[edit]



  1. ^ P. S. Garbol (29 December 2009). The Women's Sultanate. Xlibris Corporation. p. 12. ISBN 978-1-4535-1607-2. 
  2. ^ John Freely (2011). A History of Ottoman Architecture. WIT Press. p. 15. ISBN 978-1-84564-506-9. 


  • İlhan Akşit. The Mystery of the Ottoman Harem. Akşit Kültür Turizm Yayınları. ISBN 975-7039-26-8
  • Leslie P. Peirce. The Imperial Harem: Women and Sovereignty in the Ottoman Empire. Oxford University Press (1993). ISBN 978-0-19-508677-5

External links[edit]