Pertevniyal Sultan (Ottoman Turkish: پرتونیال سلطان, from the Persian compound پرتو + نيا partov-niâ, literally "Descended from Radiance"; c. 1810 – 26 January 1884), was a consort of Sultan Mahmud II, and valide sultan to their son Sultan Abdulaziz of the Ottoman Empire.
|Valide sultan of the Ottoman Empire|
|Tenure||25 June 1861 – 30 May 1876|
|Died||26 January 1884 (aged 74)|
Ortaköy Palace, Ortaköy, Istanbul, Ottoman Empire
|Religion||Sunni Islam, previously Orthodox Christian|
The origin of Pertevniyal Sultan is disputed. She was either a Kurd, or a Romanian, or a Circassian. She was the sister of Hoshiar Qadin, the consort to Ibrahim Pasha of Egypt, and mother of his son Ismail Pasha, Khedive of Egypt and Sudan from 1863 to 1879. She married Sultan Mahmud, and was given the title of "Ikinci Ikbal". She gave birth to Abdulaziz on 8 February 1830.
As Valide SultanEdit
The final illness of Sultan Abdulmejid I in 1861 started a spate of rumors that there was a group in the palace who wanted Murad to succeed to the throne instead of Abdulaziz. There seems to have been no truth in these allegations, but they nevertheless worried Abdulaziz and especially his mother, Pertevniyal. On the night when Abdulmejid died and the grand vizier, the kapudan pasha, and the commander-in-chief of the Army conducted Abdulaziz from the heir's suite to the ruler's suite in Dolmabahçe Palace, Pertevniyal thought they were taking him prisoner. They waited in the sultan's suite until the imperial cliques were ready, and then escorted Abdulaziz to Topkapı Palace, the palace of his forebears, to await the gathering of the council of ministers, some of whom had to be summoned from their homes up the Bosphorus. Pertevniyal, to reassure herself, followed him there.
Pertevniyal exerted some influence over her son. When Abdulaziz took his trip to Europe, Pertevniyal was anxious about him the whole time he was away. On his way home he stopped at Ruse, Bulgaria, where Midhat was governor, with the intention of a month and acquainting himself with the Balkan country. But Pertevniyal, a possessive and short-sighted woman, wrote him to come home immediately. Sultan of Turkey though he was, he obeyed his mother's command.
Pertevniyal contributed to the instability of her son's rule by meddling in affairs of state. Especially unwise was her alliance with Mahmud Nedim Pasha, the sycophantic grand vizier whose recklessness and incompetence led to further financial chaos. There was such an outcry against Mahmud Nedim that he finally fell from power in 1876 and was succeeded by Midhat Pasha, who did his best to get the Empire on a sounder financial footing. There was sum of 100,000 Turkish lira unaccounted for in the budget, and Midhat discovered that it had been appropriated by Mahmud Nedim.
Privately Mahmud Nedim disclosed that the money had not been spent by him but had gone to the palace, presumably to the valide sultan. Mahmud Nedim was exiled from the capital for a while, but with the valide's power backing was soon able to return. Midhat's efforts at financial reform were blocked, and he was replaced by Mahmud Nedim. Finally, when talk of Abdulaziz's deposition was in the air, Pertevniyal sent a harem ağa to Midhat requesting him to prepare a document giving his advice on how her son could save his throne. Midhat carefully composed such a document which was approved by the valide, but neither she nor anyone else had the courage at this point, with the sultan in a highly nervous state, to submit to him.
Visit of the Empress of FranceEdit
In 1868, Empress Eugénie of France paid a visit to the Ottoman Empire. She was taken by the sultan to his mother in the Dolmabahçe Palace, but reportedly, Pertevniyal became outraged by the presence of a foreign woman in her harem, and greeted the Empress with a slap in the face, almost provoking an international incident. The visit of the Empress, however, did leave a lasting effect by making Western fashion popular among the harem women.
She founded the Pertevniyal High School as well as Pertevniyal Valide Sultan Mosque in 1872. In the days when the Hejaz was part of the Empire, the Porte tried to improve the health situation there. Pertevniyal, built hospitals in the Harem-i Sherif, and young Turkish doctors went out from Istanbul to man them.
When Murad V ascended the throne after the deposition of Abdulaziz, he appointed his mother Şevkefza Kadın's 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 Pertevniyal in the harem of Dolmabahçe Palace. The sealed apartments of Pertevniyal were opened and from them eight chests of gold and four chests of debentures were removed. Eight porters were needed to lift each one of the chests with gold. It was said these eight chests contained 5,120 okkas of gold.
Midhat Pasha and the other ministers presumed that the former monarch's mother was one of those behind Hasan Bey's rebellion. So they transferred her to Topkapı Palace and cut off all her communication with the outside. Pertevniyal spent three full months moaning and wailing in the veritable prison of her rooms in Topkapı. A few times she sent word to Şevkefza, hoping that she would help put an end to her anguish, but Şevkefza was always afraid of anything that could stir up trouble.
Sultan Abdul Hamid II had loved Pertevniyal since he was a little boy. He was more devoted to her than to Perestu Kadın, who had raised him, and so as soon as he became Sultan his mind turned to the days of torment that Pertevniyal had passed in Topkapı Palace. He sent men to move her and her entourage to one of the villas in Ortaköy, thereby delighting her and repairing the injustice done her.
Pertevniyal was despondent after the death of her son. Her only pleasure and distraction lay in passing time by training young and lovely children, gathering them about her and finding consolation in the things they did and their sweet behaviour. Pertevniyal Sultan had another habit between the dusk and the night time prayer. She would prostrate herself in worship, weeping loudly as she cried out, "I forgive everything, only I seek justice for the blood of my son!" Afterwards in her room she would have the Quran recited and then have the children say "Amen".
- Sakaoğlu 2008, p. 534.
- Akyıldız, Ali (2016). Müsrif, Fakat Hayırsever: Pertevniyal Valide Sultan. p. 308.
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- Akyıldız, Ali (2016). Müsrif, Fakat Hayırsever: Pertevniyal Valide Sultan. pp. 343–4.
- Sakaoğlu 2008, p. 543.
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- Fanny Davis (1986). The Ottoman Lady: A Social History from 1718 to 1918. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 978-0-313-24811-5.
- The Concubine, the Princess, and the Teacher: Voices from the Ottoman Harem. University of Texas Press. 2010. ISBN 978-0-292-78335-5.
- Uluçay, M. Çağatay (2011). Padişahların kadınları ve kızları. Ötüken. ISBN 978-975-437-840-5.
- Sakaoğlu, Necdet (2008). Bu Mülkün Kadın Sultanları: Vâlide Sultanlar, Hâtunlar, Hasekiler, Kandınefendiler, Sultanefendiler. Oğlak Yayıncılık. ISBN 978-6-051-71079-2.
| Valide Sultan
25 June 1861 – 30 May 1876