Şevkefza Kadın

Şevkefza Kadın
شوق افزا قادین
Valide Sultan of the Ottoman Empire
Tenure 30 May 1876 – 31 August 1876
Predecessor Pertevniyal Sultan
Successor Perestu Kadın
Born Vilma
c. 1825 (1825)
Poti, Georgia
Died 17 September 1889(1889-09-17) (aged 63–64)
Çırağan Palace, Ortaköy, Istanbul, Ottoman Empire
Burial Yeni Mosque, Istanbul
Spouse Abdülmecid I
Issue Murad V
Aliye Sultan
Full name
Turkish: Şevkefza Kadın
English: Shaukafza Qadin
Ottoman Turkish: شوق افزا قادین
House House of Osman (by marriage)
Father Mehmed Zaurum
Mother Cemile Hanım
Religion Orthodox Christian at birth, converted later to Sunni Islam

Şevkefza Kadın (c. 1825 – 17 September 1889; meaning "who cheers up"; Ottoman Turkish: شوق افزا قادین) was the Empress consort of Sultan Abdülmecid I of the Ottoman Empire. She held the position of Valide Sultan from 30 May 1876 to 31 August 1876, when her son Şehzade Murad ascended the throne as Murad V.[1] She was of Circassian origin.[2][3][4]

Early years

Empress Şevkefza Kadın was born in Poti, Russian Empire (present-day Georgia). Her father was Çerkes Mehmed Bey Zaurum and her mother was Cemile Hanım, an Ubykh.[2][5] She had an elder sister, Fatma Laleru Hanım.[2] Her family emigrated from the Caucasus to Istanbul, where she was delivered to the court of the Ottoman Sultan Mahmud II.

Empress Nurtab Kadın, wife of Sultan Mahmud II, took Şevkefza into her care. She was renamed and was given a thoroughly Turkish and Muslim education in the harem department of the Topkapı Palace. When she entered her fourteenth year, she was noticed by Abdülmecid I and he married her in 1839, at the palace. On 21 September 1840 Şevkefza gave birth to Şehzade Mehmed Murad, and in 1842 she gave birth her daughter Aliye Sultan, but died 1845 as infant. When Empress morher Bezmiâlem Sultan died in 1853, Şevkefza took courage of Abdülmecid's first wife, the childless Empress Servetseza Kadın's affection for heir Murad and Abdülmecid's wish to see his son as the next Sultan, and rose in opposition to Empress dowager Pertevniyal Sultan and her son Prince Şehzade Abdülaziz.

As Valide Sultan

On 30 May 1876, her son Murad ascended the throne as Murad V and she became the Valide Sultan. Her son appointed her reported chief ally, Damat Nuri Pasha, as Lord Pasha, after which Şevkefza and Damat were to have confiscated all the gold coins and jewelry hidden away by Abdülaziz and his mother, the former Empress mother Pertevniyal Sultan, in the harem of Dolmabahçe Palace.[6] After reigning for ninety three days, Murad was deposed on 31 August 1876 due to his efforts to implement democratic reforms in the empire, and they were imprisoned in the Çırağan Palace. It is said that Şevkefza was never reconciled to Murad's deposition. On the night of the Ali Suavi incident, in 1877, When Murad's partisans tried to reinstate him on the throne, Şevkefza encouraged him to play his part. But Murad was too nervous and upset to head the conspiracy. Given his lack of leadership, the conspiracy never stood a chance of succeeding.


Empress Şevkefza remained in good health despite her advanced years, until the year 1889 when the swelling on her neck suddenly began to grow and sent her to her bed. Her illness lasted some three months, with periods of intense fever. Dr. Rifat Pasha made every effort to bring her illness under control, but despite all treatment he was not able to save her. She died on 17 September 1889 at the Çırağan Palace, Ortaköy, Istanbul, and was buried in the Mausoleum of the Imperial Ladies at the Yeni Mosque.

See also


  1. "Sultan V. Murad Han". Republic of Turkey Ministry of Culture and Tourism. Retrieved 2009-02-06.
  2. 1 2 3 Açba, Harun (2007). "Bölüm 2: Sultan I. Abdülhamid Han Ailesi". Kadınefendiler: Son Dönem Osmanlı Padişah Eşleri (in Turkish) (1 ed.). Istanbul: Prolil Yayıncılık. p. 28.
  3. Turkish Historical Society XXXI. Türk Tarih Kurumu Osmanlı Tarihi Interaktif CD-ROM
  4. http://www.osmanli700.gen.tr/kesitler/anneleri.html
  5. İbrahim Pazan (2007). Padişah anneleri. Babıali Kültür Yayıncılığı. ISBN 978-9944-118-31-6.
  6. http://www.guide2womenleaders.com/womeninpower/Womeninpower1870.htm
Ottoman royalty
Preceded by
Pertevniyal Sultan
Valide Sultan
30 May 1876 – 31 August 1876
Succeeded by
Perestu Kadın
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