USKUDAR GULNUS VALIDE SULTAN MOSQUE AND ITS GRAVETONES
Emetullah Gulnuş Valide Sultan, who was the mother of two Ottoman Sultans- Ahmet III & Mustafa II, was born in Crete Island. She was sold to Ottomans in early ages by slave traders and was educated in Topkapı palace in Harem section as concubine. She became pregnant from Ottoman Sultan Mehmet IV and was a favourite after giving two births later. When his first son Mustafa II was crowned in 1695 as a sultan , she became queen mother. His first son was removed from the crown after eight years and his second son Ahmet III reigned for 27 years. Emetullah Gulnuş Valide Sultan has been the queen mother for 20 years and he passed away in 1715 in Edirne palace. She was philanthropist so she ordered to be built kulliyes, mosques, fountains and charity houses for poor. She was noted for delivering food & helping to the poor therefore her nickname was “benovelent queen mother –takva valide sultan”. Gulnuş Valide Sultan Kulliye-complex was built between 1708 and 1711 by architect Kayserili Mehmet Aga who was the master architect called “ Lale Devri-Tulip Period “ in Baroque style. The Kulliye has a mosque, a fountain, a charity kitchen, some stores, a nursery school for kids and a graveyard with a mausoleum where the Quuen mother was buried. The fountain in the middle of the courtyard has a nice decoration units for ablution and the bird waterers built in 1780 AD. The mosque was surrounded with high walls seperated from main avaneu as the purpose of peaceful pray. The mosque has two storey and there is a sultan’s loge in the upper part where the Ottoman sultab used to pray in safe. It has two minarets on both sides calling Azan in five times a day. Gulnuş Valide Sultan was buried in her mausoleum when she passed away and her Tomb has been visited by millions of Muslims each year. It has an octagonal plan with a dome enclosured with metallic hoops in bronze color. The grave inscriptions The name of Allah & Ayatel-Kursi, a chapter fromn holy Koran, were engraved. In the middle of the mausoleum, the Queen mother’s Tomb with two gravestones are located bigger than orginal gravestone sizes. Şahide-the headstone- has nice calligraphic inscriptions telling her status with words of praise and the Ayak taşı-Footstone –has nice floral patterns. Both of gravestones make a charming look as if she was still an elegant lady. Gulnuş Valide Sultan Mosque graveyards became famous after her death and her fans were buried here. There are 56 graves & gravestones in total in this graveyards and 26 of them have the headgears belonging to males. Except the Queen Mother’s gravestones, the other main ones which are worth seeing are ; Mehemmed pasha-the chamberlain of Ottoman palace dated 1723 with Malami sect headgear, Reyhan Mehemmed Aga-the black eunuch of Harem section with Paşalı headgear dated 1748, Rukiyye hatun-treasurer woman- with a splendid floral pattern gravestone dated 1733 and Ahmet Hıfzı Pasha-the mayor of Ionnia city & commander of Ottoman corps in Ionnia region.