Nakşidil Sultan

Nakşidil Sultan
Valide Sultan of the Ottoman Empire
Tenure 28 July 1808 - 22 August 1817
Predecessor Ayşe Seniyeperver Sultan
Successor Bezmiâlem Sultan
Born (1768-12-19)19 December 1768
Died 22 August 1817(1817-08-22) (aged 48)
Constantinople, Ottoman Empire
Burial Constantinople
Spouse Abdul Hamid I
Issue Adoptive son Mahmud II
Religion Islam or Roman Catholic

Nakşidil Valide Sultan (fully Devletli, İsmetli, Nakşidil Valide Sultan Aliyyetü'ş-şân Hazretleri; 19 December 1768 22 August 1817; meaning "Embroidered on the Heart"[1])[2] was the consort of Ottoman Sultan Abdul Hamid I and Valide Sultan to her adoptive son Mahmud II.

Controversy over identity

The husband of Nakş-î Dil Sultân, Caliph of Islam, Ghazi Sultan Abdul Hamid I, Abd Al-Ḥamīd-i evvel I, عبد الحميد اول, Khan in his royal robes.

There is a legend that she was the same person as Aimée du Buc de Rivéry, cousin of Empress Josephine, who went missing at sea at a young age: according to this myth, Aimée du Buc de Rivéry was captured by Barbary pirates and sold as a harem concubine, though there is no evidence of this. According to Necdet Sakaoğlu, Nakşîdil Sultan was Georgian. The story that Nakşîdil Sultan was Aimée du Buc de Rivéry is false. Aimée du Buc de Rivéry died while she was returning to Martinique island in 1790.[3]

Several older myths, dating back even to the early 16th century, already purported to identify connections between the French and the Ottoman monarchies, but have been found to be politically motivated fabrications, intended to justify alliances between the two (supposedly related) monarchies. The Aimée-Nakşidil tale shows several distinct parallels to these older tales. In times of monarchy, the stories about abducted French princesses weren't repudiated by French officials to maintain good relations with the Ottoman inventors of the tales. In later times this and similar harem tales have been used in France to perpetuate a view of Turkey, the Middle East and the Islam in general as mysterious and despotic in nature, despite more accurate accounts available.[4]

Supposed facts

According to the Ottoman Chronicles, the mother of Mahmud II was known by the Turkish name Nakşidil (Nakshidil) and died in 1817; all the women of the sultan were given Turkish names when they entered the harem.

The woman who was valide sultan during the period from 1808 to 1817 was supposedly very western and French-influenced; she was said to have given the Sultan French lessons, sent an embassy to Paris, and reformed the harem by giving the women permission to go on picnics and boat travels along the coasts outside the palace.

See also

Further reading


Ottoman royalty
Preceded by
Ayşe Seniyeperver Sultan
Valide Sultan
28 July 1808 - 22 August 1817
Succeeded by
Bezmiâlem Sultan
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