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Sultan Safiye History In English || Ottoman Empire

Safiye Sultan is a name of a woman who was the favorite consort of Murad III and mother of Mehmed III. She was one of the most powerful chief consorts and queen mothers in Ottoman history. Contrary to the previous chief consorts or queen mothers,

 Safiye Sultan’s story wasn’t about a great love, but a woman having a strong desire to govern. Her background is quite unclear, like every woman in the harem. While some argued that she had Venetian roots, some of them claimed she was Albanian  and a few says she was from Bosnia. 

Whatever her origins, it is clear that she didn’t come from a peasant family. Her further acts showed that she had strong courtier education and diplomatic sense. In 1563, she at the age of 13, came to the court as a present for the heir apparent. she became a concubine of Murad III, the eldest son of Prince Selim II. 

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On 26 May 1566, she gave birth to Murad’s son, the future Mehmed III, the same year when Suleiman the Magnificent died. As the mother of the oldest son, she had a bit power and freedom in the harem. Safiye remained as Murad’s only woman for several years. At this point, 


Safiye used her logic and accepted Murad’s other concubines without showing any jealousy. In 1583, after the death of Valide Sultan Nurbanu Sultan, She became the most powerful one in Harem. Having a strong desire to govern, 

She was not contended with harem, she began to intervene in the state affairs. Safiye Sultan did not only interfere in the Interior Affairs, but also in foregin affairs of the empire. she corresponded with European rulers directly. She received a golden coach from Queen Elizabeth I. 

She used to go around the city with her gorgeous coach and caused a scandal. At these times in Ottoman Empire, it was very odd to see a woman with a coach. 

The ambassadors knew of her fondness for gold and precious gifts, They benefited from this weakness and took out many of their work, and soon she became the richest women in the Empire. Safiye Sultan had very good relations with the Venetian ambassador who never forgot to send gifts and gold. In 1595, after the death of Murad III

When Mehmed III became new Sultan, and she became Valide Sultan, she became more active in internal affairs. She strengthened her position in the court. People appealed to her when the needed help, since they knew that how influential she was on the Ottoman Court, 

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Sometimes they would even throw themselves in front of her carriage for her helps. She was the most influential in terms of appointments and dismissals of everyone in the Empire, even the  Shaykh al-Islam and Grand Vizier. After becoming Wailed  

Sultan (Queen Mother) she continued to support Venice on foreign affairs. 

Safiye Sultan arranged the highest allowance ever for herself as queen mother. Although she enjoyed her allowance, Safiye Sultan was famous for her generosity and charity works. 

She gave money for the war expenses from her personal account to support her son. When Mehmed III went on the campaign of Eğri in 1596, he left a huge to her service she distributed alms to the poor  orphan and widows upon the fall of Eğri Castle. 

The most famous thing that she built was the New Mosque (Yani Mosque). She started the building process, The building process stopped after the death of Sultan Mehmed III, and she no longer remain the Valide Sultan. 

Safiye Sultan History

Later on, this construction was restarted by Turhan Sultan and It was finally finished in 1665. Safiye Sultan had a mosque and a fountain built in the village of Karamanlı, Üsküdar. 

She established a foundation in order to read the Quran in the tomb of Sultan Murad III. She ordered the construction of a mosque named Melike Safiye Mosque  in Cairo in 1610. 

She used to pay the debts of those who couldn’t pay it themselves and distributed alms to the poor during her journeys. In 1603, when Sultan Mehmed III upon a prediction from an astrologer decided to execute his eldest son Prince Mahmud , Safiye Sultan supported this execution. Later on, the same year, mother of Prince Mahmud was also executed. Tragedy struck in her life right after these executions; same year, 

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Her son died on 21 December, so she lost her title as queen mother and her role in the court. The new sultan exiled her to the old palace, but she continued to take her allowance. During her grandson’s reign, she couldn’t return the main court except for short visits. In 1619, while returning from a court visit, she suddenly fell ill inside her coach and died the same day. She was buried in Murad III’s tomb in Istanbul.         

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