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Mihrumâh Sultan

suleyman-mihrumah_s.jpg (7779 bytes)The only daughter of Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent by Hürrem Sultan, Mihrumâh Sultan was born around 1522. Süleyman adored his daughter, and complained with her every wish. Mihrumâh Sultan was well educated. She married Rüstem Paşa, Governor-General of Diyarbakır, who was shortly afterwards appointed grand vizier. According to Ottoman historians, Hürrem, Mihrumâh and Rüstem Paşa conspired to bring about the death of Şehzade Mustafa, who stood in the way of Mihrumâh Sultan’s influence over her father continued. Indeed her letters and other sources demonstrate that she took over her mother’s tomb in Süleymaniye.

The fact that Mihrumâh encouraged her father to launch the campaign against Malta, promising to build 400 galleys at her own expense; that like her mother she wrote letters to the King of Poland; and that on her father’s death she lent 50.000 gold sovereigns to Sultan Selim to meet his immediate needs, illustrate the political power which she wielded. She possessed a vast fortune, and the complex which master architect Sinan built for her on the waterfront at Üsküdar in 1540-48 is one of İstanbul’s foremost monuments and is a reflection of her charitable personality. The complex originally consisted of a mosque, medrese, primary school, mental hospital, and imaret, but the latter two buildings are not standing today. The endowments to provide revenue for the imaret give a good idea of its capacity. Mihrumâh Sultan also had a palace built for herself near the complex in Üsküdar. Another mosque built for Mihrumâh Sultan by Mimar Sinan at Edirne kapı represents the culmination of Ottoman single-domed mosques. With its abundant windows and graceful decoration, this mosque is reminiscent of a palace or köşk (pavilion). A fountain, medrese and hamam complete this mosque’s complex. Another of Mihrumâh’s social works was for repairs to the Ayn Zubayda water system at Mecca, its extension into the city, and the construction of cisterns and reservoirs. Her power and influence make Mihrumâh Sultan the most famous of all Ottoman princesses.