Bezmiâlem Sultan

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Bezm-i Âlem Sultan
Bezmialem'in mührü.jpg
Seal of Bazm-î Âlem Valide Sultan
Valide Sultan of the Ottoman Empire
Tenure 2 July 1839 – 2 May 1853
Predecessor Nakşidil Sultan
Successor Pertevniyal Sultan
İkinci Kadın of the Ottoman Empire
Tenure 1832 – 1 July 1839
Üçüncü Kadın of the Ottoman Empire
Tenure 1822 – 1832
Born Suzanne (Suzi)
1807
Caucasia, the Ottoman Empire
Died 2 May, 1853 (aged 45–46)
Dolmabahçe Palace, Constantinople
Burial The tomb of Mahmud II at Divanyolu Street in Constantinople
Spouse Mahmud II
Issue Abdülmecid I
Religion Islam, previously Christianity or Judaism

Bezmiâlem Sultan (fully Devletlu İsmetlu Bezmiâlem Valide Sultan Aliyyetü'ş-Şân Hazretleri; 1807 – 2 May 1853) (Bezm-î Âlem or Bazim-î Âlam, meaning "feast of the world") was the second wife of Ottoman Sultan Mahmud II, and the mother of Sultan Abdülmecid I of the Ottoman Empire.

Her origins

The theories about the origin of Bezmiâlem are:

  • Majority of sources however note that she is either a Georgian Jew or Christian Georgian.[1][2][3][4]
  • Alan Palmer writes that she was Georgian (perhaps Georgian Jew) but gives no original name.[5]
  • Captain Charles White, a Briton who spent three years in Istanbul and knew Ottoman society well, in the 1840s mentioned that Besma Allem, mother to the reigning monarch Abdülmecid I, was a Georgian slave and was purchased and educated by Esma Sultan, a sister of Mahmud II.[6] She was most probably an adoptive daughter of Esma Sultan like Rahime Perestu Sultan.

Life

She is said to have been buxom and a bath attendant before entering the imperial harem. She had a beautiful face and extraordinary white and beautiful hands. She was married to Mahmud in 1822. As mother of Sultan Abdülmecid I, she was Valide Sultan from 1839 to 1853.[7][5] One source says Mahmud II died of alcoholism, rather than tuberculosis, and she is reported to have convinced Abdülmecid I to destroy his father's wine cellars.[8] She was thirty one and was still young enough to despise and mistrust the elder non statesman who had made himeself minister. She advised her son to allow Husrev to incur the odium of seeking terms from Muhaamd Ali but urged him to resist the Grand Vizier's attempts to advance his nominees to important offices of the state. Abdülmecid duly played for time, awaiting Reșid's return from England before taking any major decisions on policy. His mother had given sound counsel. So shrewd was her judgement of men and their motives that the Valide Sultan continued to influence the choice of ministers until shortly before her death fourteen years later. Bezmialem also recommended Reşid to Abdülmecid because she believed he understood what Mahmud had been seeking to achieve in his reform programme.

She was popular and respected as Valide Sultan and she also exerted political influence: it is noted, that her son and his ministers consulted her on the affairs of state. Like other influential Ottoman women, she was a patron of arts and architecture. Among notable structures she commissioned are Kasr-i Dilkusa (Dilkusa Summer Palace) in the Yıldız Palace complex, Bezm-î-Âlem Valide Sultan Fountain, and Dolmabahçe Mosque in Istanbul. Her burial place is located at Divanyolu Street inside The tomb of Mahmud II in Istanbul.

See also

Further reading

References

  1. Bezmi Alem Valide Sultan, Gürcistan Dostluk Derneği
  2. Bezmiâlem Valide Sultan, Bezmiâlem Vakıf Üniversitesi Tıp Fakültesi Hastanesi
  3. The Private World of Ottoman Women by Godfrey Goodwin, 2007, p.157
  4. Bozbora, Nuray (1997), Osmanlı yönetiminde Arnavutluk ve Arnavut ulusçuluğu'nun gelişimi, p. 134<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. 5.0 5.1 Palmer, Alan, The Decline and Fall of the Ottoman Empire, p.106. Barnes & Noble Publishing, 1992. ISBN 1-56619-847-X
  6. Oriental Panorama: British Travellers in 19th Century Turkey By Reinhold Schiffer, Published by: Taylor & Francis, Ltd., 1999, p.191
  7. Padişah anaları: resimli belgesel tarih romanı. Öz Yayınları. 1977.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. http://www.guide2womenleaders.com/womeninpower/Womeninpower1800.htm
Ottoman royalty
Preceded by
Nakşidil Sultan
Valide Sultan
2 July 1839 – 2 May 1853
Succeeded by
Pertevniyal Sultan