century of light


When critics accuse Hürrem of manipulating and plotting against her harem rivals — Mahidevran, Grand Vizier Ibrahim Paşa, Şehzade Mustafa, and Grand Vizier Ahmed Paşa — they tend to overlook the fact that she had to fight for her own survival and the survival of her children in the very competitive world of the imperial harem, which was populated by hundreds of beautiful women and able men and ruled by the fratricide law. Hürrem was thus unjustly and harshly judged by her contemporaries for surviving and doing so brilliantly. Her rise from slave to sultana was not only the result of Süleyman’s love and benevolence, but also the result of her own intelligence, effort, and extraordinary political skill.


Signs (No. 39)

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