Nakşidil Sultan

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Nakşidil Sultan
Valide Sultan of the Ottoman Empire
Tenure 28 July 1808 - 22 August 1817
Predecessor Ayşe Seniyeperver Sultan
Successor Bezmiâlem Sultan
Born Unknown
c.1768
Caucasus
Died 22 August 1817(1817-08-22) (aged 48)
Constantinople, Ottoman Empire
Burial Constantinople
Spouse Abdul Hamid I
Issue Adoptive son Mahmud II
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.1768 – 22 August 1817; meaning "Embroidered on the Heart"[1])[2] was the consort of Ottoman Sultan Abdul Hamid I and Valide Sultan to her adoptive 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.

The woman who was valide sultan during the period from 1808 to 1817 was supposedly very western and French-influenced; she was said to have given the Sultan French lessons, sent an embassy to Paris, and reformed the harem by giving the women permission to go on picnics and boat travels along the coasts outside the palace.[citation needed]

She also was not, as is often stated, the 13th wife of Abdul Hamid I and recorded mother of Mahmud II.[4] According to various scholars, she came from a family that had its origins in the Caucasus region. Dr. Fikret Saraçoğlu has found in the archives of the Topkapı Palace in Istanbul documents pertaining to her death and funeral.[5] 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.[6][7]

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