Handan Sultan

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Handan Sultan
Tomb of Sultan Mehmed III - 14.JPG
The türbe of Handan is located next to that of Mehmed III in the courtyard of Hagia Sophia
Valide Sultan of the Ottoman Empire
Tenure 22 December 1603 – 26 November 1605
Predecessor Safiye Sultan
Successor Halime Sultan
Born Helen[1]
Died November 26, 1605(1605-11-26)
Istanbul, Ottoman Empire
Burial Tomb of Ottoman Sultan Mehmed III
Spouse Mehmed III, Ottoman Sultan
Issue Ahmed I, Ottoman Sultan
Religion Islam
previously Greek Orthodox Christian

Handan Sultan (fully Devletlu İsmetlu Handan Valide Sultan Aliyyetü'ş-Şân Hazretleri; ca. 1574 – 26 November 1605[2])(Handan meaning "Joyful") was the mother of the Ottoman Sultan Ahmed I and his Valide Sultan from 22 December 1603 until 26 November 1605.


She was originally a Greek named Helen; she persuaded 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 Sultan.[1][3]

During the first two years of the reign of Sultan Ahmed I, she was the Vâlide Sultân, being his mother.

The contemporary historian Ibrahim Pecevi questioned her wisdom. Leslie Peirce points out that Ahmed I tended to disregard her advice.[4] 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 Valide Sultans. Her salary was only 1000 akçes even though she acted as the co-regent as the Valide Sultan during the first two years of the regency of her son Sultan Ahmed I while the grandmother Safiye Sultan was receiving 3000 akçes during the same period.

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 throne.

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Further reading[edit]


  1. ^ a b Meram, Ali Kemal (1977). Padişah Anaları: Resimli Belgesel Tarih Romanı (in Turkish). İstanbul: Öz Yayınları. p. 244. OCLC 8825122. 
  2. ^ Houtsma, Martijn Theodoor, ed. (1987). E.J. Brill's First Encyclopaedia of Islam, 1913–1936. Leiden; New York: E.J. Brill. ISBN 978-90-04-08265-6. [page needed]
  3. ^ İnal, Günseli; Özdem, Filiz; Işın, Mary; Semiramis Arşivi (2005). Semiramis: Sultan'ın Gözünden Şenlik [Festival Through a Sultan's Eyes] (in Turkish). İstanbul: Yapı Kredi Yayınları. p. 27. ISBN 9789750809286. 
  4. ^ Peirce, Leslie Penn (1993). The Imperial Harem : Women and Sovereignty in the Ottoman Empire. Studies in Middle Eastern history. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-508677-5. [page needed]
Ottoman royalty
Preceded by
Safiye Sultan
Valide Sultan
22 December 1603 – 26 November 1605
Succeeded by
Halime Sultan