Nakşidil Sultan

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Nakşidil Sultan
Valide Sultan of the Ottoman Empire
Tenure 28 July 1808 – 22 August 1817
Predecessor Sineperver Sultan
Successor Bezmiâlem Sultan
Born Unknown
c. 1768
Died 22 August 1817(1817-08-22) (aged 49–50)
Constantinople, Ottoman Empire
Burial Türbe of Nakşidil Sultan, Fatih Mosque, Istanbul
Spouse Abdul Hamid I
Issue Mahmud II
Şehzade Murad
Saliha Sultan
Religion Orthodox Christian at birth, subsequently converted to Islam after her capture

Nakşidil Sultan (fully Devletli, İsmetli, Nakşidil Valide Sultan Aliyyetü'ş-şân Hazretleri; c. 1767 – 22 August 1817; meaning "Embroidered on the Heart"[1])[2] was the consort of Ottoman Sultan Abdul Hamid I and Valide Sultan to her son Mahmud II.

Controversy over identity[edit]

The husband of Nakş-î Dil Sultân, Caliph of Islam, Ghazi Sultan Abdul Hamid I, Abd Al-Ḥamīd-i evvel I, عبد الحميد اول, Khan in his royal robes.

There is a legend that she was the same person as Aimée du Buc de Rivéry, cousin of Empress Josephine, who went missing at sea at a young age: according to this myth, Aimée du Buc de Rivéry was captured by Barbary pirates and sold as a harem concubine, though there is no evidence of this.

Several older myths, dating back even to the early 16th century, already purported connections between the French and the Ottoman monarchies. These have been found to be politically motivated fabrications, intended to justify alliances between the two (supposedly related) monarchies. The Aimée-Nakşidil tale shows several distinct parallels to these older tales. In times of monarchy, the stories about abducted French princesses weren't repudiated by French officials to maintain good relations with the Ottoman inventors of the tales. In later times this and similar harem tales have been used in France to perpetuate a view of Turkey, the Middle East and the Islam in general as mysterious and despotic in nature, despite more accurate accounts available.[3]

Supposed facts[edit]

According to the Ottoman Chronicles, the mother of Mahmud II was known by the Turkish name Nakşidil (Nakshidil) and died in 1817; all the women of the sultan were given Turkish names when they entered the harem.

According to various scholars, she came from a family that had its origins in the Caucasus region. Fikret Saraçoğlu has found in the archives of the Topkapı Palace in Istanbul documents pertaining to her death and funeral.[4] Others like Necdet Sakaoğlu and Ibrahim Pazan traced these origins further and claim she was actually a Georgian. She was raised in the Ottoman palace and was given thoroughly Turkish Islamic education.[5][6]


Together with Abdul Hamid, Nakşidil had three children:

  • Şehzade Sultan Seyfullah Murad (22 October 1783 – 21 January 1786);[7]
  • Saliha Sultan (27 November 1786 – 10 April 1788);[7]
  • Mahmud II (reigned 1808–39).[7]

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]


  1. ^ Harem: The Favourites
  2. ^ "Images du patrimoine". Manioc. Retrieved 1 September 2010. 
  3. ^ Christine Isom-Verhaaren: Royal French Women in the Ottoman Sultans' Harem
  4. ^ Turkish Daily News
  5. ^ İbrahim Pazan (2007). Padişah anneleri. Babıali Kültür Yayıncılığı. ISBN 978-9-944-11831-6. 
  6. ^ Sakaoğlu, Necdet (2008). Bu mülkün kadın sultanları: Vâlide sultanlar, hâtunlar, hasekiler, kadınefendiler, sultanefendiler. Oğlak Publications. pp. 358–360. ISBN 978-9-753-29623-6. 
  7. ^ a b c Sarıcaoğlu, Fikret (2001). Kendi kaleminden bir Padişahın portresi Sultan I. Abdülhamid (1774-1789). Tatav, Tarih ve Tabiat Vakfı. pp. 17–18. ISBN 978-9-756-59601-2. 

External links[edit]

Ottoman royalty
Preceded by
Ayşe Seniyeperver Sultan
Valide Sultan
28 July 1808 – 22 August 1817
Succeeded by
Bezmiâlem Sultan