Seal of Bezm-i Âlem
Caucasia, Ottoman Empire
|Died||2 May, 1853 (aged 45–46)
Dolmabahçe Palace, Constantinople
|The tomb of Mahmud II at Divanyolu Street in Constantinople|
|Ethnicity||Georgian (perhaps Georgian Jew) or Russian Jew|
|Known for||Valide Sultan|
|Religion||Judaism or Ortodox Christian, subsequently converted to Islam after her capture|
|Parents||The daughter of Leon|
Bezmiâlem Sultan Kadınefendi (1807 – 2 May 1853) (Bezm-i Alem or Bazim-i Alam, meaning "feast of the world") was the second consort to Sultan Mahmud II, and mother of Sultan Abdülmecid I of the Ottoman Empire.
Some claim that she was a Russian Jew originally named Suzi (thus referred to as "Rus Yahudisi Suzi"), the daughter of Leon. Majority of sources however note that she is either a Georgian Jew or Christian Georgian. Alan Palmer writes that she was Georgian (perhaps Georgian Jew) but gives no original name. Captain Charles White, a Briton who spent three years in Istanbul and knew Ottoman society well, in the 1840s mentioned that Besma Allem, mother to the reigning monarch Abdülmecid I, was a Georgian slave. As mother of Sultan Abdülmecid I, she was Valide Sultan from 1839 to 1853. One source says Mahmud II died of alcoholism, rather than tuberculosis, and she is reported to have convinced Abdülmecid I to destroy his father's wine cellars.
She was popular and respected as Valide Sultan and she also exerted political influence: it is noted, that her son and his ministers consulted her on the affairs of state. Like other influential Ottoman women, she was a patron of arts and architecture. Among notable structures she commissioned are Kasr-i Dilkusa (Dilkusa Summer Palace) in the Yıldız Palace complex, Bezm-î-Âlem Valide Sultan Fountain, and Dolmabahçe Mosque in Istanbul. Her burial place is located at Divanyolu Street inside The tomb of Mahmud II in Istanbul.
- Ali Kemal Meram, "Padişah anaları", 1977 p. 399 (Turkish)
- Bezmi Alem Valide Sultan, Gürcistan Dostluk Derneği
- Bezmiâlem Valide Sultan, Bezmiâlem Vakıf Üniversitesi Tıp Fakültesi Hastanesi
- The Private World of Ottoman Women by Godfrey Goodwin, 2007, p.157
- Palmer, Alan, The Decline and Fall of the Ottoman Empire, p.106. Barnes & Noble Publishing, 1992. ISBN 1-56619-847-X
- Oriental Panorama: British Travellers in 19th Century Turkey By Reinhold Schiffer, Published by: Taylor & Francis, Ltd., 1999, p.191
2 July 1839 – 2 May 1853