Şevkefza Kadın

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Şevkefza kadın
شوق افزا قادين
Şevk-efza Valide Sultan Hazretleri.JPG
Valide Sultan of the Ottoman Empire
Tenure30 May 1876 – 31 August 1876
PredecessorPertevniyal Sultan
SuccessorPerestu Kadın
BornPoti, Georgia
Died17 September 1889
Çırağan Palace, Ortaköy, Istanbul, Ottoman Empire
SpouseAbdulmejid I
IssueMurad V
Aliye Sultan
HouseHouse of Zaurum (by birth)
House of Osman (by marriage)
FatherMehmed Zaurum
MotherCemile Hanım
ReligionSunni Islam

Şevkefza Kadın[1] (died 17 September 1889; meaning "who cheers up"; Ottoman Turkish: شوق افزا قادین‎) was the fourth wife of Sultan Abdulmejid I of the Ottoman Empire. She held the position of Valide Sultan from 30 May 1876 to 31 August 1876, when her son Şehzade Murad ascended the throne as Murad V.[2]

Early life[edit]

Şevkefza Kadın was born in Poti, Georgia. Her father was Mehmed Bey Zaurum and her mother was Cemile Hanım, an Ubykh.[3]

She had been brought to Istanbul as a young child, where her father entrusted her to the imperial harem together with her sister. Here she was placed in the entourage of Nurtab Kadın, wife of Sultan Mahmud II. Her name according to the custom of the Ottoman court was changed to Şevkefza.[3]

According to Charles White, who visited Istanbul in 1843, Şevkefza was educated by Rıza Pasha's wife.[4]


Şevkefza married Abdulmejid in 1839. She was given the title of "Baş Ikbal". On 21 September 1840, a year after the marriage, she gave birth to her first child, a son, Şehzade Mehmed Murad. On 20 October 1842,[5] she gave birth to her second child, a daughter, Aliye Sultan in the Old Beşiktaş Palace. The princess died at the age of two on 10 July 1845.[6][7]

In 1843, she was given the title of "Dördüncü Kadın". In 1845, she was given the title of "Üçüncü Kadın", and in 1852, she was given the title of "İkinci Kadın".[6]

Charles White wrote about her that, "according to the assertion of the Istanbul ladies, bears away the palm of beauty from all her colleagues, but is not highly accomplished."[4]

When Bezmiâlem Sultan died in 1853, Şevkefza took courage of Abdulmejid's first wife, the childless Servetseza Kadın's affection for heir Murad and Abdulmejid's wish to see his son as the next Sultan, and rose in opposition to Pertevniyal Sultan and her son Şehzade Abdülaziz.[8]

Later years[edit]

On 30 May 1876, her son Murad ascended the throne as Murad V and she became the Valide Sultan.

Her son appointed her 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 Abdülaziz and his mother, the former valide sultan Pertevniyal Sultan, in the harem of Dolmabahçe Palace.[9]

After reigning for ninety three days, Murad was deposed on 31 August 1876 due to his efforts to implement democratic reforms in the empire, and they were imprisoned in the Çırağan Palace.

It is said that Şevkefza was never reconciled to Murad's deposition. On the night of the Ali Suavi incident, in 1877, When Murad's partisans tried to reinstate him on the throne, Şevkefza encouraged him to play his part. But Murad was too nervous and upset to head the conspiracy. Given his lack of leadership, the conspiracy never stood a chance of succeeding.[10]


In 1889, a swelling on Şevkefza's neck suddenly began to grow. Her illness lasted some three months, with periods of intense fever. Rifat Pasha made every effort to bring her illness under control, but despite all treatment he was not able to save her.[11] She died on 17 September 1889 at the Çırağan Palace, Ortaköy, Istanbul, and was buried in the mausoleum of the new ladies at the Yeni Mosque.[12][13][14]


Şevkefza Kadın had the following titles:

  • Baş Ikbal Şevkefza Hanım (1839 – 1843)
  • Şevkefza Dördüncü Kadın (1843 – 1845)
  • Şevkefza Üçüncü Kadın (1845 – 1852)
  • Şevkefza İkinci Kadın (1852 – 1876)
  • Şevkefza Valide Sultan (1876 – 1876)
  • Şevkefza İkinci Kadın (1876 – 1889)


Şevkefza Kadın and Abdulmejid had two children:

  • Sultan Mehmed Murad V, 33rd Sultan of the Ottoman Empire;
  • Aliye Sultan (Istanbul, Old Beşiktaş Palace, 20 October 1842 – 10 July 1845, buried in New Mosque, Istanbul);

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Uluçay 2011, p. 205.
  2. ^ Brookes 2010, p. 285.
  3. ^ a b Açba 2007, p. 28.
  4. ^ a b Charles White (1846). Three years in Constantinople; or, Domestic manners of the Turks in 1844. London, H. Colburn. p. 9.
  5. ^ Brookes 2010, p. 16.
  6. ^ a b Sakaoğlu 2008, p. 578.
  7. ^ Uluçay 2011, p. 221.
  8. ^ Sakaoğlu, Necdet (2007). Famous Ottoman women. Avea. p. 232.
  9. ^ İrtem, Süleyman Kâni; Kocahanoğlu, Osman S. (2003). Sultan Murad ve Ali Suavi olayı: Sarıklı ihtilâlcinin Çırağan baskını. Temel. p. 20. ISBN 978-9-754-10050-1.
  10. ^ Fanny Davis (1986). The Ottoman Lady: A Social History from 1718 to 1918. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 12. ISBN 978-0-313-24811-5.
  11. ^ Brookes 2010, p. 98.
  12. ^ Brookes 2010, p. 290.
  13. ^ Sakaoğlu 2008, p. 585.
  14. ^ Uluçay 2011, p. 206.


  • Uluçay, M. Çağatay (2011). Padişahların kadınları ve kızları. Ötüken. ISBN 978-9-754-37840-5.
  • Açba, Harun (2007). Kadın efendiler: 1839-1924. Profil. ISBN 978-9-759-96109-1.
  • Sakaoğlu, Necdet (2008). Bu Mülkün Kadın Sultanları: Vâlide Sultanlar, Hâtunlar, Hasekiler, Kandınefendiler, Sultanefendiler. Oğlak Yayıncılık. ISBN 978-6-051-71079-2.
  • The Concubine, the Princess, and the Teacher: Voices from the Ottoman Harem. University of Texas Press. 2010. ISBN 978-0-292-78335-5.
Ottoman royalty
Preceded by
Pertevniyal Sultan
Valide Sultan
30 May 1876 – 31 August 1876
Succeeded by
Perestu Kadın