Fatma Sultan (daughter of Ahmed III)

Fatma Sultan
Born circa 1704
Istanbul, Ottoman Empire
Died 3 January 1733
Istanbul, Ottoman Empire
Spouse Silâhdar Ali Pasha
Nevşehirli Damat İbrahim Pasha
House House of Osman
Father Ahmed III
Mother Emetullah Kadınefendi
Religion Islam

Fatma Sultan (circa 1704 - died 3 January 1733), was an Ottoman princess, daughter of Ahmed III and consort to Grand Vizier Nevşehirli Damat İbrahim Pasha. She is considered to have been politically active and exerted influence on the affairs of state during the late Tulip era (1703–1730).

Marriage to Ali Pasha

At the age of five, Fatma married Silahdar Ali Pasha, on 13 May 1709. The marriage gifts of Silahdar Ali Pasha were kept at the Sofa Koşku. The grand admiral who was assigned as the best man of the bridegroom, the bridegroom himself, the steward of the grand vizier, and the steward of the bridegroom arrived at the Sofa Koşku rather silently by way of the Imperial Gardens. Then they accompanied the gifts, nahıls, sugar gardens and various other ritualistic items that were transported from the Sofa Koşku, via the Imperial Gardens, through the Demirkapı, passed by the grand vizier’s palace, and reentered the Imperial Palace from the Imperial Gate. The best man of the bridegroom, the steward of the grand vizier, and the steward of the bridegroom arrived together with the marriage attendants carrying trays.

The ceremony was exciting and engaging for Istanbuliotes. They first watched the transfer of Fatma’s trousseau. Fatma was formally taken to the waterfront palace, of her grandmother at Bahariye, further down from Eyüb, at the far end of the Golden Horn. The procession, again led by top dignitaries, left the Imperial Gate, passed through Soğukceşme, and under the Alay Koşku, arrived outside the gate of the grand vizier’s palace, turned and went uphill to Divanyolu. It then proceeded along this ceremonial route to reach Sarachane by way of Vezneciler, passed by the medrese of Fatih Sultan Mehmed and the Buyuk Karaman Carşusu, marched through Edirnekapı, went all the way through Otakcılar, and reached the Queen mother's Palace. In a minor mishap, a group of attendants from the naval arsenal carrying nahıls, that is to say, symbols of fertility and good fortune in the form of sugar gardens, could not make it through narrow streets as part of the procession. They stopped in the vicinity of the Şengul Hamamı, and brought the nahıls after the evening prayers, probably by another route.

The pasha symbolically entered her chambers because the bride had not yet reached puberty. In 1713, Silahdar Ali became Grand Vezir but was unable to exercise his marital rights as in 1716 he perished in the battle at Peterwardein with the Austrians. Fatma Sultan was married very young but, as was tradition with Ottoman princesses,[1] did not live with her husband until several years after the marriage.

Marriage to Ibrahim Pasha

She married secondly on 21 January 1717. The marriage was consummated on 18 February 1717. She had a son, Mehmed Bey with him.

She was described as having had a large political influence on both her father, who left the ruling to her husband, and on her husband, the Grand Vizier. Some sources regard her as the real ruler of the later part of the Tulip era. She was said to have assisted the Marquis de Villeneuve, French ambassador to the Ottoman Empire from 1728–1741, in favor of an Ottoman policy benefitting to French interests during the Russo-Austrian-Turkish War (1735–1739).[2] She has been referred to[3] as the last de facto female ruler of the Ottoman Empire.[4] The couple spent several happy and affluent years during the notorious for its splendidness and lavishness Tulip Age (Lâle Devri) which became the symbol of the reign of Ahmed III. The yeniçeri mutiny of Patrona Halil (1730) put an end to the family life of Fatma – the yeniçeris deposed her father, Nevşehirli İbrahim was executed and the family property was confiscated. During her lifetime she founded waqfs in the capital bequeathing mülk properties she had received from her father.

Death and burial

She died on 3 January 1733, and was buried buried in the New Mosque, Istanbul.


  1. Alev Lytle Croutier: Harem
  2. Alev Lytle Croutier: Harem
  3. Alev Lytle Croutier: Harem
  4. Alev Lytle Croutier: Harem

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