Kosem Sultan - The Last Influential Female Ruler of the Ottoman Empire

Kosem Sultan - The Last Influential Female Ruler of the Ottoman Empire

We are searching data for your request:

Forums and discussions:
Manuals and reference books:
Data from registers:
Wait the end of the search in all databases.
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.

Kosem Sultan was a woman who refused to be just another widow on the Ottoman court - instead she became a real ruler of the empire. Her decisions made such an impact, that after her death noblemen in her country decided to never allow a woman to become so powerful again.

At the beginning of the 17th century, sultans ruled the Ottoman Empire . They were still trying to maintain traditions from the Golden Age which began with Suleiman the Magnificent. After Suleiman died in 1566, his son Selim II, grandson Murad III, and great grandson Mehmet III took their turns on the throne.

Following Mehmet, his son Ahmed sat on the throne. With the support of his mother, Handan Sultan, he became the ruler as most of the other possible successors were murdered. Historical records describe the funeral of 19 of the dynasty’s members . Only two boys survived. One of them was Ahmed’s brother and future sultan, Mustafa I.

The second one was a son of Murad III and Safiye Sultan, who decided to send her son out of the palace to save him. Officially, he was buried with his other brothers, but in fact his coffin was empty. As Ahmed grew up, he was aware of his roots and power, and he hoped to eventually become as significant of a sultan as his great grandfather.

  • Serbia and the Ottoman Empire: The Loss and Recuperation of Independence
  • Silver Treasure Hidden During a 17th Century Bulgarian Uprising Uncovered

The Woman with a “Moon-like Face”

Life in Topkapi palace was full of danger, but as almost everyone does, Ahmed sought out love. He wanted to have a person beside him whom he could trust and would make him feel safe. He found this person in a woman who was a slave from Bosnia or Morea in the Peloponnese.

Portrait of Mahpeyker Kösem Sultan, the wife of Ottoman Sultan Bahti Ahmed I. ( Public Domain )

According to legend, she was born as Anastasia, but she received the Turkish name Mahpeyker, meaning ''moon-like face'' in Persian. She was very beautiful and intelligent, but some historians believe that she was also very manipulative. Ahmed called her Kösem, meaning ''sheep leading the herd'' (or shepherd).

Kösem was kidnapped from her family home but became one of sultan Ahmed I’s favorites. With time, she advanced to become more influential than Safiye Sultan, Ahmed’s powerful grandmother whose history started on the court of Suleiman the Magnificent, and Handan Sultan. In the future, her incredibly bright mind, political skills, and charisma allowed Kösem to take the role as regent and ruler of the impressive empire.

Death of a Sultan – The Fight for the Throne Begins!

Ahmed is said to have died from typhus in November 1617, however some historians believe that he was poisoned. It is possible that the one who killed the sultan was very close to him - it could have even been his beloved wife. Before he died, Kösem bore him at least five sons. However, another of the sultan’s favorites, Mahfiruz, was the mother of the oldest of his sons– Osman. After years of peace in the court, the fight for the throne began.

Ahmet I.

When she became a widow, Kösem was only 28 years old. Sources say that following her husband’s death she focused on her and her sons’ wellbeing. It’s unknown if she wanted to become a ruler of the Ottoman Empire, or her aim was just the protection of her children and to support them in their succession.

However, during the six years following Ahmed’s death, she lived in the so-called Old Palace, far away from Topkapi Palace . The throne was in the hands of Mustafa I (who lost power, but survived) and Osman II. A few years later, fate smiled on Kösem.

Portrait believed to be of Kösem Sultan and her son Murad or Ibrahim. ( CC BY SA 4.0 )

Kösem was a Regent for Two Sultans

Kösem returned to the political game in 1623. When she took her power back, she was stronger than ever before. It seems that due to her plotting with the support of Mustafa I’s mother, Halime Sultan, Osman was killed by the Janissaries. Through their actions, Kösem was back in Topkapi as Valide Sultan and a regent (naib-i-sultanat) with her son - sultan Murad IV. At the same time, Halime and her son Mustafa, who struggled with a mental illness, lived through the power change.

As a Valide Sultan (mother of the sultan, who rules the harem ) and a regent, Kösem showed a different face. She became a powerful ruler, easily as strong as any male sultan. Murad IV was unable to rule the empire throughout his reign. Even after 1632, when she stopped acting as the regent, Kösem still carried the real power.

After Murad’s death in 1940, she decided to sit on the throne for her other son – Ibrahim. He was Kösem’s last surviving prince and they ruled together for the next eight years. On August 8, 1648, Ibrahim was dethroned and imprisoned. His successor was Mehmed IV, Ibrahim’s son with Turhan Hatice Sultan. Ibrahim was executed on August 18, 1648. The new Valide Sultan was Turhan, who wanted to stop her mother-in-law’s power forever.

An Eighteenth Century painting of a Valide Sultan by Jean Baptiste Vanmour.

Her Hunger for Power Led to Kösem Sultan’s Demise

Kösem died because of her strongest desire - power. She was murdered by a woman who served Turhan Hatice Sultan. After years of domination, Kösem was killed in the same way as she had done away with so many others. Turhan blamed Kösem for Ibrahim’s death and she wanted to end her rule to protect Mehmet. She was afraid that Kösem Sultan would try to become the regent once again.

  • Hurrem Sultan, the Cheerful Rose of Suleiman I and a Powerful Woman of the Ottoman Empire
  • Mimar Sinan - A Genius Architect for the Ottoman Empire

Murder of Kösem Sultan. ( Public Domain )

During her lifetime, Kösem (and all of the six sultans who ruled in this period) destroyed the palace’s budget. Kösem had no mercy for her political enemies, but she seemed to care for the poor people who asked her for help. Her husband Ahmed's name was remembered through the centuries for to the impressive Blue Mosque, which was built to his orders.

After Kösem’s death, influential pashas decided that no other woman should be able to rule the Ottoman Empire. It was the end of an influential period for women in Topkapi Palace (started by Hurrem Sultan in the first half of the 16th century). Turhan was a regent with Mehmet IV, but she never became as important politically as Kösem. However, she apparently had no ambitions to do so either.

Mehmet IV.

Nowadays, Kösem Sultan is a main character in many movies and novels. She is portrayed as a loyal wife and mother and a powerful woman whose life looked like one big battle to dominate Topkapi. It seems that she was stronger and a more radical politician than many women in history.

She was more than a delicate decoration to accompany the sultan, Kösem was a forceful figure dressed in a female kaftan.

Kösem Sultan

Kösem Sultan (Ottoman Turkish: كوسم سلطان ‎, IPA: [cœˈsæm suɫˈtan] ) (c. 1589 [1] – 2 September 1651 [2] ) – also known as Mahpeyker Sultan [3] [4] (Turkish pronunciation: [mahpejˈkæɾ suɫˈtan] from the Persian compound ماه پيكر Māh-peyker meaning "moon framed") – was an Ottoman sultana and regent who effectively ruled the Ottoman Empire from September 1623 to May 1632, and then later from February 1640 until her death in September 1651. She became one of the most powerful and influential women in Ottoman history as well as a prominent and controversial figure during the era known as the Sultanate of Women. [5]

Kösem Sultan achieved power and influenced the politics of the Ottoman Empire when she became haseki sultan as favourite consort of Ottoman Sultan Ahmed I (r. 1603–1617) and valide sultan [3] as mother of Murad IV (r. 1623–1640) and Ibrahim (r. 1640–1648), and grandmother of Mehmed IV (r. 1648–1687).

Kösem lived in the Ottoman Empire as a courtier during the reign of six sultans: Ahmed I, Mustafa I, Osman II, Murad IV, Ibrahim, and Mehmed IV. After her death, she was known by the names "Valide-i Muazzama" (magnificent mother), "Vālide-i Maḳtūle" (murdered mother), and "Vālide-i Şehīde" (martyred mother). [6]

Kosem Sultan - The Last Influential Female Ruler of the Ottoman Empire - History

Alternately argued as the reason for the decline of, or the reason for the longevity of the Ottoman Empire, the Sultanate of Women was a 130 year period in which the Ottoman Empire was ruled by the Valide Sultan--or the Sultan's mother--either in place of or alongside the Sultan. It started with the marriage of Suleiman the Magnificent to Hurrem Sultan, whom we have discussed before, and ended with the death of Turhan Sultan in 1683.¹ This century was filled with sultans who were children or mentally incapacitated, and marked the shift from the Empire's expansion to its settling into a period of peace and prosperity.

Turhan Hatice Sultan, the most powerful of the
Valide Sultan's
The was, largely in part, due to the women of the Harem who did the actual ruling. Harem's are often painted as dens of lust and depravity, but that couldn't be farther from the truth. The harem was where the women of the Sultanate lived, including the Sultan's wives, concubines, mother, and sisters. It was also a place of assassinations, political machinations, and governing. Any foreign entity looking to treat with the Ottomans needed to go through the Harem first, and the Sultanas wielded tremendous influence. If you think that the women of the Ottoman Empire were delicate, repressed flowers, veiled and shut off from power, hold on to your hats--you're in for quite a ride.

The Valide Sultan exercised such great power in part because of the Islamic belief in the importance and power of mothers. The Prophet Mohammed's statement that 'Heaven lies under the feet of mothers' was taken very seriously, and as such the Sultan frequently put his mother in charge of the harem. It was the Valide who oversaw the running of an enormous household, and picked the women who would be going to her son's bed. She managed the thousands of people who worked in the palace, and ensured the safety, security, and tranquility of the palace.

Mihrimah Sultan, the second Valide Sultan of the Sultanate
of Women
The Valide wasn't confined to the domestic sphere, however. It was the Valide Sultan who negotiated with foreign ambassadors, and mediated between the sultan and religious leaders. The Valide served as regent in times of need, and she frequently counseled with the Pashas. She reached out to, and maintained relationships with foreign leaders. It was said of Hurrem, and the Sultana's after her, that if you wanted to gain an audience with the sultan, you had to go through his Valide.

It wasn't just religious belief that handed these women such power. A Valide Sultan could be weak and pushed aside the same as a Sultan. The Valide's who held power, and the Valide's of the Reign of Women were skilled politicians and stateswomen, capable of running a vast empire.

As mentioned, the Sultanate of Women started with the marriage of Hurrem Sultan to Suleiman the Magnificent in 1531. Hurrem was Suleiman's Haseki Sultan--or official wife--not the Valide Sultan, and was the only Sultana to exercised great power as Haseki.² Hurrem kicked off the Reign of Women by being one of the first Sultana's to maintain diplomatic and personal relationships with foreign monarchs. In addition to maintaining diplomatic relations, she was also known for her building and public work projects--another large part of being Valide Sultan. Hurrem was Suleiman's closest adviser, and he frequently deferred to her in matters of state.

Ottoman Empire map
Hurrem, unfortunately, never lived to be Valide Sultan, as she predeceased Suleiman. She was 'replaced' (as much as any beloved wife can be replaced) in Suleiman's confidences by their daughter Mihrimah. Mihrimah is another noted sultana from the era. She rode with Suleiman on his campaigns--touring and conquering. Like her mother, Mihrimah maintained diplomatic relationships with foreign monarchs, and because of her travels she was well known by even common people in foreign countries. When Suleiman died her brother, Selim II, installed her as Valide Sultan, making Mihrimah the first of the great Valide Sultans.

There were eight women who ruled during the Sultanate of Women, and we'll undoubtedly discuss each of them in their own 'Damn, Girl' post, but for the sake of brevity we'll only mention the most notable following Mihrimah here.

Nurbanu Sultan, wife of Selim II, Mihrimah's brother, was noted for her wisdom and intelligence. Like Hurrem, she was Selim's adviser during his life (though not as close an adviser as Mihrimah.). She was Selim's favorite wife, and it was understood that her son Murad--later Murad III--would become sultan. At the time of Selim's death Murad was away from Istanbul, leaving him vulnerable to a coup. She hid Selim's corpse in an icebox in the harem for twelve days, and didn't tell anyone he had died until Murad had arrived in the capital. Following her son's investiture, Nurbanu continued to more or less rule the empire through, and sometimes in spite of her son.

Selim II
Kosem Sultan was Valide Sultan for 62 years, and saw the reign of six different sultans, and was the regent for three of them. Her eldest son--Murad IV--and her grandson--Mehemed IV--were both too young to rule when they came to the throne, and her second son--Ibrahim--was mentally ill. As regent, Kosem oversaw all matters of the empire, and attended cabinet meetings from behind a screen. She assisted in the installation and removal of sultans (she had her son Ibrahim deposed and executed), and helped clear out the corruption of the palace.

Kosem's daughter-in-law, Turhan Hatice Sultan, was the last of the great Valide Sultans. After Kosem's death in 1651, she served as regent for Mehemed IV. Turhan was, by far, the most powerful of the Valide Sultans. Not only did she listen to cabinet meetings from behind a screen like Kosem, but she also spoke from behind the screen, taking an active part in cabinet meetings. After her son reached the age of majority she continued to co-rule the empire with her son's consent. She was instrumental in modifying the government structure of the Ottoman Empire, which gave the Grand Vizier more power.

Kosem Sultan
Following Turhan's death the power of the Valide Sultan began to die out. The increasing of the power of the Grand Vizier was in part responsible for this, but the larger part was the fact that the sultan following Mehemed--Suleiman II--didn't want to share power.

These women rose to prominence because of the weakness of the Sultan's at the time. Following Suleiman the Magnificent, the sultans became increasingly incompetent until the situation came to a head with Ibrahim. Rather than allowing the empire to crumble, the Valide Sultans took control of the empire, and saved the empire's collective turkey bacon. The 130 years that marked the Sultanate of Women were years that saw great prosperity and political stability for the Ottoman Empire. This was largely in part because of the remarkable women who ruled.

¹Given that the Ottoman Empire would survive for a little more than 200 years after the death of the last great Sultana, I think that the 'women-ruined-the-ottoman-empire' theory is easy to disprove.
²The Haseki Sultan held much less power, despite being the sultan's wife. It was only through becoming the mother of a sultan that a women could hold such power. Hurrem Sultan, and her daughter Mihrimah are notable exceptions.

41. A Mom Not to Be Messed With

Ibrahim did have a leg up over his half-siblings thanks of his mother, Kösem Sultan. Kösem was the “haseki sultan”—that is, the official favorite concubine—of Ahmed I. She exerted great power during and after the reign of Ibrahim’s father, bearing most of the Sultan’s children and running the harem. Such a formidable mother would be invaluable—and dangerous—for Ibrahim’s political career.

Raillife Dergisi

Kosem Sultan - The Last Influential Female Ruler of the Ottoman Empire - History

Can you tell more about Kösem political decisions? I mean, while she was regent. What she has done to the empire. ( Orders that we know, reforms, her conflicts and friendships with another politics of her time).

As Peirce said in The Imperial Harem, Kösem worked with the other statesmen during her regency for Murad IV:

This can also be seen in her extensive correspondence with the Grand Vizier, the other cornerstone of power:

It is interesting to note, however, that when Kösem started out as regent, it seemed that she had different expectations about her role:

Curiously, when she becomes regent to Mehmed IV, she&rsquoll be able to go to the audience hall. Famous is that episode in which she chastised both Grand Vizier and Şeyhülislam. Is it because at that point she was almost 60 and therefore could not be ordered around or had she hijacked the audience hall and just went there because she wanted to? I cannot answer to this question but in her second official regency she did sit down in the audience hall and listened behind a screen.

In sum, her partners in ruling the empire were the Grand Vizier and men tied to her through the damad link, mostly Lâdikli Bayrâm Paşa and Çatalcalı Hasan Paşa:

When Kösem&rsquos regency started, the Ottomans lost Baghdad to the Safavids. Numerous campaigns were organised to re-take the city but they were all unsuccessful until Murad IV himself re-conquered it in 1635. This meant that all the commanders sent to Baghdad were later dismissed because of their failure.

Moreover, Abaza Mehmed Paşa was still rebelling against the government over the assassination of Osman II. Although the culprits were either dead or not in power anymore, he refused to surrender and swear fealty to the sultan. Again, the Grand Vizier and other commanders were sent to capture him but they failed.

Adding to this, the Imperial treasury was almost empty because of the frequent successions between 1617-1623. This is because at every accession, the new sultan was supposed to buy an &ldquoaccession donative&rdquo to the janissaries. The divan had decided not to pay it on Murad&rsquos accession - because it had been only months since Mustafa I&rsquos second accession to the throne - but Kösem didn&rsquot agree and instead had it paid. The viziers were not very happy with her decision LOL

And since when it rains it pours, in 1625 the plague broke out in Istanbul, killing roughly 140.000 people. In 1628, it was Murad himself who fell sick Kösem feared for his life and it is said that he was bedridden roughly a year. The Venetian ambassador thought that he suffered from epilepsy.

Finally, in 1628 Abaza Mehmed Paşa was captured by the new Grand Vizier - and chief of the Janissaries - Boşnak Husrev Paşa, who was, therefore, tasked with recapturing Baghdad. The campaign was a disaster: the Ottoman army was defeated in September 1630 and Husrev Paşa was dismissed at the beginning of 1632. As his successor had been the same Hafiz Ahmed Paşa who had been a favourite of Kösem&rsquos (and who had in the meantime become a damad), the army rebelled.

The riots of 1632 were a very serious threat to Murad IV and Kösem as well. They both lost favourites and Murad IV was even threatened to be deposed for one of his younger brothers. At this point, Kösem relinquished the power to her son, who became sole ruler of the empire.

Kosem Sultan - The Last Influential Female Ruler of the Ottoman Empire - History

Kosem was a very controversial Sultana. What was her real character?? I couldn't find that what was her position during Murad IV's reign?? Some said that she introduced men to Murad so that he isn't influenced by ladies and wives. Is it true?? What was her role in Ibrahim's reign?? How exactly was she greedy for power from capturing Ibrahim and Mehmed's reign that Turhan became her enemy?? Did her greed ended her life?? or it was a political war that chose one?

Was she particularly controversial though? Kösem was appreciated by her contemporaries. Venetian ambassadors all described her quite positively, even when she was just a consort. What is always highlighted, I have noticed, is her prudence and wisdom:

This is how Özlem Kumrular describes her in her book Kösem Sultan: iktidar, hırs, entrika

I don&rsquot understand what you mean by position in Murad IV&rsquos reign. She was first regent of the sultanate and then just valide sultan. After she left the regency, Venetian ambassador Alvise Contarini said that:

I have already talked about this but that she supplied boys to Murad IV to keep him from getting influential consorts is a myth that has somehow entered Ottoman historiography. Murad IV had - according to Evliya Celebi - 32 children so he certainly had consorts. That they weren&rsquot influential is because of Kösem&rsquos overbearing presence as regent first and valide sultan after.

Again, I have talked about this countless times: she did not steal Turhan&rsquos position during Mehmed IV&rsquos reign and during Ibrahim&rsquos people were almost relieved that she was again ruling behind the scenes because Ibrahim was not good at ruling. On Ibrahim&rsquos deposition, Kösem was offered the regency because Turhan was too young:

Is the famous painting of Kösem Sultan breastfeeding authentic?

Kösem Sultan was a woman of the Ottoman harem who served as Haseki Sultan (chief consort) and then Valide Sultan (queen mother) to several rulers. Given the youth and/or weakness of the sultans she served, she was often the de facto leader of the Ottoman Empire during this time.

There is a painting (below), allegedly depicting Kösem breastfeeding an infant Ottoman prince, which is famous enough to be, at the time of writing, the profile picture on her Wikipedia page. I'm curious about the authenticity of this painting, more specifically:

  • Is it likely that the painting actually depicts Kösem Sultan?
  • If not, is it likely that it depicts another woman of the Ottoman harem?
  • Was the breastfeeding drawn from life, or is this most likely a bit of artistic license on the part of the painter?

I can think several factors which might count against the painting's authenticity:

    identifies the painting as one of a series 'painted for Hans Ludwig Graf von Kuefstein, either during or more probably immediately after his embassy to the Ottoman Court in Istanbul in 1628.' The same page also states, 'It is impossible that the depictions of Turkish ladies were painted from life'.
  • The Ottoman establishment was prepared to go to some fairly extreme lengths to preserve of the virtue of the harem women:
    • Very few intact males were allowed even to set foot in the harem.
    • Penis-shaped vegetables - cucumbers in particular! - were banned from the harem kitchens.
    • The harem women were only permitted to listen to professional musicians from behind a screen, so that the male musicians would not be able to look at them.

    I can however, think of several factors which might count for the painting's authenticity:

    Royalties similar to or like Kösem Sultan

    The Sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1603 until his death in 1617. Noteworthy for marking the first breach in the Ottoman tradition of royal fratricide henceforth Ottoman rulers would no longer systematically execute their brothers upon accession to the throne. Wikipedia

    Turkish television sequel to the 2011 Turkish television period drama Muhteşem Yüzyıl. Captured and sent to the harem of Sultan Ahmed I. Wikipedia

    Ottoman princess, daughter of Sultan Ahmed I (reign 1603–17) and Kösem Sultan, half-sister of Sultan Osman II (reign 1618–22) and sister of Sultan Murad IV (reign 1623–40) and Sultan Ibrahim (reign 1640–48) of the Ottoman Empire. Known for her many politically motivated marriages. Wikipedia

    Period of extraordinary political influence exerted by wives and mothers of the Sultans of the Ottoman Empire. This phenomenon in the early modern period, approximately between the years 1533 and 1656, began during the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent with his marriage to Hürrem Sultan (also known as Roxelana). Wikipedia

    List of Consorts of the Ottoman sultans, the wives and concubines of the monarchs of the Ottoman Empire who ruled over the transcontinental empire from its inception in 1299 to its dissolution in 1922. Used as an honorific for women in the Ottoman period, roughly equivalent to the English term Lady. Wikipedia

    Ottoman princess, the daughter of Sultan Ahmed I (r. 1603–1617) and Kösem Sultan. Wikipedia

    Ottoman princess. The daughter of Sultan Ahmed I (r. Wikipedia

    The title held by the "legal mother" of a ruling sultan of the Ottoman Empire. First used in the 16th century for Hafsa Sultan , consort of Selim I ((r. Wikipedia

    The sultans of the Ottoman Empire (Osmanlı padişahları), who were all members of the Ottoman dynasty (House of Osman), ruled over the transcontinental empire from its perceived inception in 1299 to its dissolution in 1922. Area from Hungary in the north to Yemen in the south, and from Algeria in the west to Iraq in the east. Wikipedia

    List of the biological mothers of Ottoman sultans. There were thirty-six sultans of the Ottoman Empire in twenty-one generations. Wikipedia

    The title used for the chief consort of an Ottoman Sultan. In later years, the meaning of the title changed to "imperial consort". Wikipedia

    The haseki Sultan (favorite consort) of Murad III and Valide Sultan of the Ottoman Empire as the mother of Mehmed III and the grandmother of Sultans: Ahmed I and Mustafa I. Also one of the eminent figures during the era known as the Sultanate of Women. Wikipedia

    Concubine of Ottoman Sultan Ahmed I (r. 1603–17) and mother of Sultan Osman II (r. Wikipedia

    The Sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1618 until his regicide on 20 May 1622. Born at Topkapı Palace, Constantinople, the son of Sultan Ahmed I and one of his consorts Mahfiruz Hatun. Wikipedia

    The Transformation of the Ottoman Empire, also known as the Era of Transformation, constitutes a period in the history of the Ottoman Empire from c. 1550 to c. 1700, spanning roughly from the end of the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent to the Treaty of Karlowitz at the conclusion of the War of the Holy League. Characterized by numerous dramatic political, social, and economic changes, which resulted in the empire shifting from an expansionist, patrimonial state into a bureaucratic empire based on an ideology of upholding justice and acting as the protector of Sunni Islam. Wikipedia

    Ottoman princess, daughter of Sultan Ahmed I (reign 1603–17) and Kösem Sultan, half-sister of Sultan Osman II (reign 1618–22), and sister of Sultans Murad IV (1623–40) and Ibrahim (reign 1640–48) of the Ottoman Empire. Influential great-aunt, Gevherhan Sultan was the eldest daughter of Sultan Ahmed I. Wikipedia

    The Sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1640 until 1648. Born in İstanbul, the son of Ahmed I by Valide Kösem Sultan, an ethnic Greek originally named Anastasia. Wikipedia

    Consort of Sultan Mehmed III, and the mother of Sultan Mustafa I and the Valide Sultan as well as a regent of the Ottoman empire. She had four children with Mehmed: Şehzade Mahmud, Mustafa I, and two daughters. Wikipedia

    Haseki Sultan of the Ottoman Sultan Ibrahim (reign 1640–48) and Valide Sultan as the mother of Mehmed IV (reign 1648–87). Prominent for the regency of her young son and her building patronage. Wikipedia

    The wife of Sultan Ibrahim of the Ottoman Empire. Given the title of "Eighth Haseki". Wikipedia

    Kosem Sultan – Wanita Paling Berkuasa Dalam Sejarah Uthmaniyyah

    Pada abad ke-17, Seperti adat-adat kebiasaan pertukaran pemerintah yang dijalankan sistem Monarki.

    Apabila Sultan Suleiman mangkat pada 1566. Secara teknikal takhta akan diturunkan kepada pewaris yang sah iaitu kepada anaknya Sultan Selim II, kemudian kepada cucunya, Sultan Murad III. sehingga pada cicit, Sultan Mehmet III mengambil alih tampuk pemerintahan empayar tersebut bagi menyambung legasi kegemilangan Uthmaniyah sejak dimasyurkan Sultan Suleiman supaya empayar tersebut dapat diperkukuhkan.

    Seterusnya setelah kemangkatan Mehmet III, kekuasaan empayar disambung oleh anakanda baginda, Sultan Ahmed I. apabila meningkat dewasa, Ahmed I terkenang dan menyedari akan leluhur dan peranan sebagai Ulil Amri, Baginda berharap agar dapat menjadi seorang Sultan yang hebat seperti datuknya.

    Wanita Berwajah Indah Ibarat ‘Bulan Purnama’

    Ahmed I berasa tidak selamat dan sering rasa terancam atas pelbagai faktor keselamatan walaupun baginda tinggal di dalam Istana Topkapi. Maka timbul niat baginda mencari pasangan untuk tinggal bersama, Baginda ingin mempunyai seseorang yang dapat berada di sampingnya yang boleh dipercayai dan boleh membuatnya merasa selamat. Kemudian baginda menjumpai seorang hamba wanita untuk dijadikan peneman hidup.

    Sekaligus meningkatkan taraf mobiliti sosial beliau daripada seorang hamba sehingga bergelar baginda Sultanah.

    Menurut sumber, wanita harem/gundik tersebut berasal dari Bosnia, pendapat lain mengatakan bahawa kemungkinan berasal dari suatu tempat terletak di Greek.

    Dilahirkan dan nama asal diberikan sebagai Anastasia tetapi ditukar kepada Mahpeyker setelah berkahwin dengan Ahmed I, dan menerima pengaruh nama dari Turki yang membawa maksud ‘wajah seperti bulan’ dalam bahasa Parsi. Selain itu nama beliau turut dikenali sebagai Kosem Sultan, jadi dalam penulisan ini kita kenali beliau sebagai Kosem Sultan sahaja.

    Oleh itu, terdapat takdir yang menentukan yang menarik perhatian Ahmed I dalam menilai keperibadiannya sehingga baginda terpikat dengan karakter wanita ini yang digambarkan sebagai seorang wanita bijak dan menawan.

    Sementara itu, di sebalik perwatakan beliau sebagai seorang wanita yang bijak, Sejarawan turut percaya bahawa Kosem Sultan mempunyai kebolehan manipulatif.

    Seiring berjalannya waktu, Kosem Sultan maju untuk menjadi lebih berpengaruh daripada Safiye Sultan, iaitu nenek kepada Ahmed I yang sejarahnya bermula dari Istana Suleiman. fikirannya yang sangat cerdas, kemahiran berpolitik serta berkarisma memungkinkan Kösem mengambil peranan sebagai penguasa empayar yang mengagumkan.

    Kemangkatan Sultan – Kemelut Merebut Takhta

    Ahmed I meninggal dipercayai dijangkiti demam tifus pada November 1617. Namun sebilangan sejarawan percaya bahawa baginda m-ti diracun.

    Tak mustahil jika boleh berlaku pemb-nuhan yang dilakukan orang terdekat, bahkan boleh jadi isteri tercintanya. disebabkan faktor ancaman perebutan kuasa ini juga mendorong Mehmet III memb-nuh 19 orang adik-beradik baginda yang lain supaya baginda terus memegang kuasa.

    Sebelum kem4tian Ahmed I, Kosem mencadangkan agar kelima anaknya menyambung pemerintahan Uthmaniyah. Namun Kosem harus bersaing merebut takhta dengan bekas isteri suaminya, Mahfiruz yang merupakan ibu kepada Sultan Osman II.

    Dalam pada itu, tidak ada sumber jelas menerangkan jika terdapat keinginan Kosem menjadi pemerintah empayar Uthmaniyah, sasaran beliau hanya untuk melindungi dan memberi sokongan kepada zuriatnya untuk meneruskan pewarisan takhta.

    Bukan asing lagi kalau Sultan mempunyai ramai isteri dan gundik. Risiko kebarangkalian untuk berlaku perebutan kuasa sangat tinggi, tetapi cara Kosem berfikir dalam merampas kuasa amat luar biasa. Paling tidak anak-anaknya harus memegang kuasa secara absolute.

    Maka ‘Game of Thrones’ pun bermula. Kosem mempunyai perancangan tersendiri walaupun harus menunggu dari tahun ke tahun sehingga memakan masa hampir 6 tahun selepas kem-tian Ahmed I.

    Pada masa itu, Empayar Uthmaniyah berada di tangan Mustafa I(adinda Ahmed I) walaupun tak lama oleh kerana kehilangan kuasa seterusnya digantikan Osman II dan malangnya tidak lama kemudian baginda m-ti dib-nuh.

    Kosem menjadi Pemangku Raja Untuk Dua Sultan

    Memang hebat percaturan permainan politik Kosem Sultan, Perancangan Kosem membuahkan hasil apabila baliau membuat perancangan plot pemb-n-han bersama ibu Mustafa I, Halime Sultan untuk menjatuhkan Osman II, Baginda akhirnya m-ti dib-nuh tentera elit Janissaries dan pada 1623 Kosem berjaya merampas kuasa dan kembali ke Topkapi.

    Sekembalinya ke Topkapi, bermula lah Kosem sebagai Pemangku Raja kepada anak-anaknya, Murad IV dan Ibrahim.

    Sementara disebelah pihak yang tewas pulak sedang berjuang bergelut dengan kesihatan mental akibat perubahan kuasa.

    Kosem Sultan menjadi pemerintah yang sangat berkuasa dan lebih berkuasa berbanding Sultan lelaki yang lain. Sedangkan anakanda sendiri, Murad IV tak mampu memerintah dengan baik.

    Gila Kuasa Menuju Kem4tian Kosem

    Terlalu obses pada berkuasa bakal menghancurkan Kosem, Kosem akhirnya m4ti dib-nuh oleh Turhan Sultan iaitu isteri kepada Ibrahim I dan atas perasaan tak puas hati lalu menuduh Kosem punca kem-ti-an Ibrahim I.

    Pada masa kini, Kösem Sultan adalah watak utama dalam kebanyak filem dan novel. Dia digambarkan sebagai seorang isteri dan ibu yang setia dan seorang wanita yang kuat dalam hidupnya. Nampaknya dia lebih bijak dan radikal berpolitik daripada banyak wanita dalam sejarah.


    Kösem made charities and donations both for people and ruling class in the state. She visited the prisons every year, paid the debts of imprisoned people, supplied the trousseaus of daughters of poor families and servant girls trained by her, wedded them and won their confidence. She had Çinili Mosque and a school near it constructed in Üsküdar in 1640 and she also had the small mosques and fountain of the Valide madrasa of Anadolu Kavağı, fountain in Yeni Kapı, Valide Han mosques, fountains in Beşiktaş and Eyüp and Valide Caravanserai in Çakmakçilar Yokuşu built. It is also known that she had also laid fountains built outside the city of Istanbul. [31]

    She financed irrigation works in Egypt and provided relief for the poor people of Mecca. Kösem was renowned for her charity work and for freeing her slaves after 3 years of service. When she died the people of Constantinople observed three days of mourning.

    Watch the video: Sultanate of Women. Power