Harem Habibati: Queen Mama I

valide-sultan 

You hold the most honored female position in Ottoman family structure.

You are addressed by all – men and women alike – as ‘ippetlu‘ (she of highest dignity), ‘devetlu‘ (she of supreme authority), and of course, ‘valide‘ (mother).

 

These monikers belong, not exclusively to you, but to every mother in every Ottoman family. In fact, ‘Mother‘ may well be synonymous with ‘Goddess,’ for it is the most exalted position for a woman in the Ottoman family.

However, you, ippetlu, are even more exalted.

Your dignity and authority exceed that of every mother throughout the vast Ottoman territories. Indeed, your ‘mother’ card trumps all. For you, devetlu, have borne the son who now rules the Empire. You are the mother of the new Sultan.

You are the Valide Sultan.

In all the land, there exists no other woman of your status.

Continue reading