Roksolana – Hurrem Sultan
Suleiman the Magnificent was just a toy in the hands of this woman. She became one of the cruelest rulers.
Even in her lifetime there were a lot of rumors and gossips. According to some sources, Roksolana was Russian. However, some historians think she was Ukrainian, the Frenchmen assure that she was French, Italians – that she was Italian and so on.
The main events of this woman’s life remained in documents, legends, memoirs of Europeans who visited the court of the Sultan. It is known that she was 15 years old when she appeared in the Sultan’s harem. The young red-haired girl was not only beautiful, but also cunning and insidious.
The Sultan had more than three thousand girls in his harem. Roksolana was lucky. She was instructed to look after the five-year-old throne heir Mustafa. The 26-year-old Sultan came to his son, saw a new girl and liked her. After their first night Roksolana became his favorite. When she gave birth to Sultan’s son, she could freely leave the harem and palace.
Some people believed she gave Sultan a love drink.
The sultan had a wife, Gülbahar, who gave birth to three sons. The sultan was afraid that she could poison his favorite and there was an army of servants to try food prepared for Roksolana.
Roksolana wanted the sultan to make her his third wife. The wedding took place in 1530. The Sultan married a woman from a harem! It was nonsense. Turkish military and judges hated Hurrem and her children.
Roksolana was good at state affairs, controlled the treasury, was interested in trade, executed and pardoned. For Suleiman she was beloved woman, mother of his children (three sons and a daughter), faithful friend and wise counselor.
The first victim of Roksolana was Vizier Ibrahim, who was strangled by the order of the Sultan. When her daughter was twelve years old, she was married to Rustem Pasha, who was already over fifty. He was the tutor of Mustafa, Gülbahar’s son and heir to the throne. Roksolana knew everything about Mustafa thanks to her daughter. Soon she told the sultan that the prince had close relations with the Serbs and was plotting against his father. So Mustafa, his brothers and children, the grandsons of the Sultan, were strangled with a silk cord. Gülbahar went mad with grief and soon died.
Later Roksolana gave the most terrible order – to kill two of her sons. The younger son was saved by the warning of a faithful man: he managed to hide in Iran. But, in addition to the sons of Roksolana, nearly forty sons of the Sultan, born by other wives and women from harem, were killed.
So, Hurrem Sultan cleared the way to the throne. But Roksolana failed to see how her son ascended the throne, becoming Selim II. She died peacefully from a cold. Her son ruled the Ottoman Empire for only eight years. He was known as Selim the Sot.