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Emetullah Rabia Gülnûş Sultan

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Title: Emetullah Rabia Gülnûş Sultan  
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Subject: Ahmed III, Mustafa II, Mehmed IV, Rabia, Greek Muslims, Saliha Dilaşub Sultan, Saliha Sultan
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Emetullah Rabia Gülnûş Sultan

Emetullah Râbi'a Gülnûş Sultan
Born 1642
Rethymno, Crete, Republic of Venice
Died 6 November 1715
Ethnicity Greek
Known for Valide Sultan
Religion Orthodox Christian, subsequently converted to Islam after her capture
Spouse(s) Mehmed IV
Children Mustafa II, Ahmed III

Emetullah Râbi'a Gülnûş Sultan (1642[1] – 6 November 1715) was the wife of Ottoman Sultan Mehmed IV and Valide Sultan to their sons Mustafa II and Ahmed III.[2][3]


Râbi'a Gülnûş was born in the town of Rethymno, Crete in 1642, when the island was under Venetian rule; she was originally named Evmania Voria and she was an ethnic Greek.[4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13][14] The Ottoman army invaded the island during the Cretan War (1645–1669); she was captured as a very young girl when the Ottomans conquered Rethymno about 1646, she was taken as slave and was sent to Constantinople. She was given a thoroughly Turkish and Muslim education in the harem department of Topkapi Palace and soon attracted the attention of the Sultan, Mehmet IV. He was famous for his hunting expeditions in the Balkans and used to take his favourite to these expeditions. They had two sons both of whom became the future Sultans, Mustafa II (born 1664;died 1703) and Ahmet III (born 1673; died 1736). Ahmet was born in Dobruca during one of the hunting expeditions of Mehmed IV. She became Valide in 1695 when her older son Mustafa II became the Sultan. She held the position during the reign of two sons. She did have some political importance. In 1703, she was asked to confirm and approve of the succession of her other son, III. Ahmet, to the throne, which she also did.

She is also attributed to having advised her son to the war with Russia in 1711. In 1709, king Charles XII of Sweden settled in Bender within the Ottoman Empire during his war with Russia. He wished the sultan to declare war against Russia and form an alliance with Sweden. The sultan was rumoured to listen to the advice of his mother, who had a large influence over him. Charles sent Stanislaw Poniatowski and Thomas Funck as his messengers.[15] They bribed a convert named Goin, formerly a Frenchman, who worked as a doctor in the palace. Goin arranged a meeting with the personal slave of the Valide, a Jewish woman, who they gave a personal letter to the Valide.[15] They were also introduced to the Hungarian eunuch Horwath, who became their propaganda person in the harem. The Valide became intrigued by Charles, took an interest in his cause, and even corresponded with him in Bender.[15] On 9 February 1711, Turkey declared war against Russia, as the sultan had been advised to by his mother, who convinced him that Charles was a man worth taking a risk for.

For 20 years, she was the influential Valide Sultan. She died on 1715 in Edirne during the reign of her son Ahmed III just before the start of the era of prosperity and peace called the Tulip (Lâle) Era by the Turkish historians. She is buried at a tomb that is open to sky, that is near the mosque she bequeathed to be built at Üsküdar at the Anatolian side of Istanbul, called the Üsküdar Yeni Camii ( The New Mosque of Üsküdar ).

See also



Preceded by
Saliha Dilâşub Sultan
Valide Sultan
Succeeded by
Saliha Sultan

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