Mahpeyker Kosem Valide Sultan

Birth: Mora (?) 1589 (?)
Death: İstanbul 3 September 1651

Wife of the 14th Ottoman Sultan Ahmed Khan I, mother of the 17th Sultan Murad Khan IV and the 18th Sultan Ibrahim Khan, as well as Prince Kasim, Prince Suleyman, Aise Sultan, Fatima Sul¬tan and Burnaz Atike Sultan. She was of Greek descent.

She married Sultan Ahmed Khan I in the year 1604 after his accession.
Mahpeyker Sultan’s effective political influence in Ottoman history corresponds to approximately thirty years between 1623 and 1651 during the reign of her sons and grandson. Undoubtedly, she played the great¬est role in dethroning Sultan Mustafa I in 1623, and enthroning her 12- year old son Murad IV. As her son was 12 years old then, she controlled the empire as she was appointed as the custodian of the sultanate.
Upon the death of her son Sultan Murad Khan IV in 1640, she acted as the unofficial custodian of the sultanate, once again, upon accession of her youngest son, Ibrahim, whose mental condition was poor. Kosem Sultan, who had significant influence on accession of her grandson Mehmed IV to the throne in 1648, was supposed to retire and move to the Old Palace but she took the role of sultanate custodian for the third time, as a unique example in the Ottoman history, when she assumed the title ‘Valide-i Muazzama (the Great Queen Mother)’ by not letting her bride Hadice Turhan Sultan to enjoy the ‘Valide sultan (queen mother)’ title. She was martyred on September 3,1651 at the age of 62 by the rebels and brigands in a rebellion at Topkapi Palace.

She was the founder of many establishments and foundations both in Turkey and abroad today.

As a very compassionate person, Mahpeyker Valide Sultan gave her helping hand to from the poor in her immediate vicinity to those in Mecca and Medina. She visited prisons, and bailed out those who were imprisoned due to debts. She found orphaned and homeless girls, and had them married by arranging their dowries. Though she was ac¬cused of plots and being a heartless person, the works she left behind show us she was pious, generous and quite philanthropic.

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