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Ottoman Age Notables... Kara Mustafa Paşa, strangled and beheaded for his failure to take Vienna in 1683
Ottoman Age Vizier

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Encyclopedia of the Ottoman Empire
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Sultans and Concubines and Eunuchs, oh my...!

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Ottoman Empire Index
or the
Encyclopedia Sources Page.

Term Meaning Comments

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In Mecca, the most important place of pilgrimage for Muslims. Believed by Muslims to be the place where Abraham (Ibrahim) prepared to sacrifice Isaac (Ismail, Ishmael). One of the 5 Pillars of Islam is that good Muslims should go at least once in their lifetimes -- if they are able and can afford it -- to visit the holy shrine of the Ka'ba.
(Sometimes seen as " kadi " -- with a dotted-i.)
An Islamic judge who administers both the şeriat and the kanun, he is chief administrator of a kadılık  
kadıasker4.0 The highest judicial authority of the empire after the şeyhülislam; there were two kadıaskers, one for Rumelia and one for Anatolia.  
  • A kadı's administrative and judicial district; sub-division of a sancak
  • The office of kadı
kadın4.0 A 'favorite' who gives birth to a son.  
kadın efendi4.0 Woman (modern usage). This term corresponded to the title of 'lady' at the Palace.
Kadınlar Dairesi4.5 Correction The suite of the Chief Kadın and of the kadınlar.  

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A 17th Century Ottoman Galley-ship
Amire stockyard -- İstanbul
(painterly rendition)58

A galley-warship.

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Ottoman Galley-ship
(builder's drawing)58

kafes4.0 An apartment in the Palace in which a royal prince was secluded. Literally means 'cage'; where heirs to the throne were raised at the Palace -- in the years after the reign of Süleyman, The Magnificent.

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One of Süleyman The Magnificent's finest,
which really needs to be seen at the palace museum
to be appreciated...

A fitted robe that reaches to the feet, with very full sleeves which may be long or short, depending on the weather. The standard costume of the sultan (and other palace dwellers) when he was at leisure.
KafkasyaEd. 5.0
  1. The Caucasus, Caucasia
  2. Caucasian, of the Caucasus
kahveci usta4.0 A coffee steward.  
kahya bey4.0

Kahya bey in uniform.90
The grand vizier's agent in military and political matters. Same as kethüda bey.  
kahya kadın4.0 A female superintendent of the novices (acemiler) in the Palace harem.  
kalenderi4.0 A name sometimes given to itinerant melamı dervishes.  
kalfa4.0 Older servants...  

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The great man himself in a kalpak c.1920

Winter headgear. Made of fur or heavy velvet and perhaps embroidered with pearls, resembles somewhat the shape of a fez -- but the fez is 'hard' compared to the more malleable kalpak.

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A 'kalyon' from the fleet of Selim III58

A galleon,
an Ottoman man o' war.
Galleon-sized warships were first incorporated into the Ottoman navy during the reign of Bayezid II. During that time, Ottoman galleons measured between 43 and 64 zira in length -- and were of the 1500 to 2000 ton 'class'.
But when Selim III ascended the throne, the Ottoman Navy improved by leaps and bounds -- to match the best of Europe...
Names and statistics of some of the galleons built
during the time of Selim III
Name of ShipShip's crew
No. of
Year builtShipyard name
1. SELIMIYE1200 62 1796İstanbul
(Sea Falcon)
(Sea Hunter)
(Sea Rampart)
(Sea Peacock)
(Good News)
(Wind of Victory)
(Sea Lion)
(Sea Dragon)
(Sea Ornament)
(Light of Victory)
(Mark of Victory)
(Sea Tiger)
(Sea Conqueror)
(Victory [at] Sea)
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Ottoman galleons square off in Mediterranean encounters against
Western forces during the 16th Century (left)
[in the time of Kapudan Paşa Barbarossa when Suleyman the Magnificent was sultan]
and in the 18th Century (right)
[in the time of Kapudan-i Derya Küçük Hüseyin Paşa when Sultan Selim III reigned]...
kalyon defterdarı The kalyon (galleon) bookkeeper -- who worked for the kalyon clerk.  
kalyon katibi The kalyon (galleon) clerk -- who provided ships supplies and kept accounts.  
kalyoncu başçavuşu

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A 17th Century sea-going Ottoman top sergeant58

A non-commissioned officer serving on an Ottoman kalyon (galleon) -- equivalent in rank to a sergeant-major.  
kalyoncu kulluğu Military service in the Ottoman navy.  
kalyoncu tüfekçisi A marine soldier -- serving with the Ottoman navy.  
KamaniçeEd. 5.0
(also Kaminiec, Kamenic)
[also, Kamenets-Podolski]
City in Ukraine, 12 miles north of Khotin. Stands on a bluff on a small tributary of the Dniester River.Ottoman-age history:
A major church city with cathedrals and monasteries dating from the 14th century; became chief town of Podolia 1434; suffered much in 15th and 16th centuries from invasions of Tatars, Moldavians, and Ottomans; came under Ottomans in 1672, restored to Poland in 1699, and annexed to Russia in 1795 -- where it remained until modern times.50
kantar4.0 a measure of weight; 56.499 kg  
kanun a secular law or laws issued by the sultan, as distinct from the şeriat... a secondary meaning of kanun, in English, is 'Zither-like instrument'...
kanun-i osmanı the legal code of the Ottoman sultans; also see kanun...  
Kanunî Süleyman or
Kanunî Sultan Süleyman
the Turkish name for Sultan Süleyman, the Magnificent  
kanunname4.0 A code of laws; a collection of sultanic laws, as distinct from the şeriat.  
kapı ağası

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a Chief White Eunuch...16

Chief of the 'white eunuchs'.  
kapıcı A guard, doorman. Also see The 700 Club of Essential Turkish.
kapıcı başı4.0
  • Head-gate keeper of the Palace.
  • A commander of a unit of Palace gatekeepers.
kapıcilar kethüda4.0
  • The lieutenant of the gatekeepers.
  • The second-in-command of the Palace gatekeepers.
  • Slave of the Porte.
  • A devşirme.
  • A slave employed in the military, administrative or Palace service.
kapudan (kaptan) paşa [pasha] Same as kapudan-ı derya.  
kapudan-ı (kaptan-ı) derya4.0
  • The 'Admiral of the Sea'.
  • The 'Grand admiral of the Ottoman Navy'.
  • The 'Minister of the Marine'.
[Merzifonlu] Kara Mustafa Paşa
b. 1634 d. 1683
Ed. 5.0
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Sadrazam Kara Mustafa Paşa (1634-1683)65

Click the following link for a well-researched article on the Paşa, by LPT friend and site supporter, Peter Davis from Coventry...Ed. 5.0

Grand Vizier who served ignominiously under Sultan Mehmed IV from 1676 to 1683.

A contemplative Kara Mustafa...68
"Black Mustafa" was possibly the most flamboyant, egotistic, corrupt, and ambitious militarist (and politician) the Ottoman Empire ever produced. He also had a modicum of talent, but it didn't save him from being executed for his disastrous failures during the second Vienna campaign.
Kara Mustafa was born in Merzifon --
in the Anatolian province of Amasya, the son of a sipahi cavalryman by the name of Oruç Ağa (who died a hero during a siege of Baghdad). The 'orphaned' lad was raised in the household of Köprülü Mehmed Paşa and even married the Paşa's daughter. While his father-in-law was Grand Vizier, Kara Mustafa rose quickly in the Ottoman system and in 1660 AD, became beylerbeyi of Silistre Province (along the banks of the Danube River, in modern-day north-east Bulgaria). In 1661, he attained the rank of vizier and became beylerbeyi of Diyarbakır (southeast Turkey). That same year his brother-in-law, Köprülü Fazıl Ahmet Paşa (who was the son of Köprülü Mehmed Paşa) became Grand Vizier -- and Kara Mustafa became kapudanı derya. About that same time, he also became sadaret kaymakanı -- so when Sultan Mehmed IV embarked on campaign to Uyvar (a fortress city in northern Erdel [Transylvania, Romania]) with Fazıl Ahmet Paşa in tow, 'Black Mustafa' stayed at home in İstanbul. But, he joined the sultan's campaign against Poland (Lehistan) and took part in negotiations that led to the favorable treaty with the Poles on 18 Sept 1672, signed at Buczacz (Bucaş).
Later, when Köprülü Fazıl Ahmet Paşa died prematurely of dropsy in 1676, Sultan Mehmed IV (in a move he would sorely regret) appointed Kara Mustafa to the post of Grand Vizier. At first things went 'well'. For openers, Kara Mustafa divorced his first Köprülü wife and married the Sultan's daughter. And in 1678, he had a significant military success when he re-captured the fort at Çehrin (or Cehrin) in disputed Cossack lands on the western bank of the Dnieper River in Ukraine -- with the aid of Crimean Khan Murat Geray. The action had become 'necessary' after the opportunistic Cossack leader, Hetman Doroshenko had enlisted Russian support against his former Ottoman allies in 1677 -- and the Russians (under the military leadership of Russian Prince Romodansky) had taken control, subsequently, of the fort. (Originally, the Ottomans had sent a different Ottoman surrogate, the Crimean Khan Selim Giray and his Uzbeki 'assistant' Şeytan Ibrahim Paşa to save Çehrin -- but they had been repulsed.) As a result of his famous victory (which coincides neatly with the beginning of the First Ottoman-Russian Wars [1677-1700]), Kara Mustafa seemed to be living up to his 'promise' -- in Sultan Mehmed's eyes.
But that victory appears to have been Kara Mustafa's military career highlight. And after the three lackluster years that followed (which saw the Russian conflict grow), Kara Mustafa's restlessness led to delusions of grandeur -- and he laid plans to march on Vienna (to prevail where even the great Suleyman the Magnificent had fallen short). Placing the city under siege (in July 1683) for the second (and last) time in Ottoman history, Kara Mustafa (an avowed anti-Christian) came tantalizingly close to victory. But at crucial moments of the raging battle (and, finally) he failed utterly to capture that center of Christendom -- and was forced to retreat in disarray. He limped (in tears of frustration and anger, they say) with his remaining force to Belgrade and, in an astounding display of chutzpa, began preparing to attack Vienna again! But his opponents at court intervened -- and the Sultan had him strangled and beheaded.
After Köprülü Fazıl Ahmet Paşa (the reigning Grand Vizier) died in 1676, most people expected Ahmet's brother (Mustafa Zade) to succeed him. So, it caused a stir when Sultan Mehmed IV named Kara Mustafa to the Grand Vizierial post. It's been reported that Sultan Mehmed was blind to Kara Mustafa's faults because of Kara Mustafa's lavish gift-giving and because of his impressive and 'robust' lifestyle -- a lifestyle that included provision for a harem of 1500 concubines, and an equal number of lesser female slave-girls. They say it took nine-hundred black eunuchs -- just to watch over 'the flock'!

Kara Mustafa's appointment as Grand Vizier interrupted the 'dynastic rule' of the highly competent (often ruthless) Köprülü family of Grand Viziers -- begun in 1656 with the appointment of Mehmet Köprülü, when he was already 80 years old!

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A European artist's rendering
(with Latinized titles)
of the haughty Grand Vizier,
before his fatal failure...74

The execution of Kara Mustafa Paşa -- Belgrade 1683
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Kara Mustafa Paşa's demise  from
"The Diary of Ahmet Ağa" 65

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Another 'artistic rendition' of the execution of
Kara Mustafa Paşa70


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Karagöz (right) and Hacivat in deep discussion...4.0

The name by which Turkish shadow theatre is known is also the name of its most famous character, Karagöz. He and his 'friend' Hacivat wowed Ottoman audiences with their audacious political banter.
Less known is the fact that they may have invented Turkish Tongue Twisters. Click to hear a celebrated tongue twister (To paint or not to paint?) that has been credited to Hacivat.
A public entertainment, and a means by which commoners were (usually) permitted uncensored criticism of the Ottoman regime(s).
Karakollukçu An Ottoman policeman.

Uniformed Ottoman policeman.90
Karun4.0 A very rich man mentioned in the Koran. Supposed to have been in 'the same league' as Croesus.
Karun is used as a comparative reference for the character Hacı Mehmet, a rich butcher, into whose servitude 'Big Ali' submits himself after he is wrongly accused of robbery -- in Ömer Seyfetten's story of "Blood Money".
Kasım Ağa The Royal architect between 1623 and 1651; probably worked on the Baghdad Kiosk for Murad IV in 1639.  
Kasım Paşa, Cerrah See How Kasımpaşa got its name...  
Kasım Paşa, Evliya See How Kasımpaşa got its name...  
Kasım Paşa, Güzelce See How Kasımpaşa got its name...  
Kasım Paşa, Rumeli Beylerbeyi See How Kasımpaşa got its name...  
Kasımpaşa, İstanbul See How Kasımpaşa got its name...  
kaza4.5 1) A jurisdiction of a kadı.
2) An administrative unit corresponding to the kadı's jurisdiction in a province.28

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Janissaries with their cooking cauldrons...8

A cauldron. When the Janissary troops turned their cooking cauldron upside down, it signaled their revolt!

When the acemi Grand Vizier Ibrahim (1523-1536) was learning the ropes, his teacher Celal-zade Mustafa Bey (who had been a scribe for the former Grand Vizier, Piri Mehmed Paşa) wrote, "If the business related to 'religious law' we'd send it to the 'kazasker', if it was about property issues, we'd assign it to the 'defterdar'. If it was a thing that should be discussed more or that clearly belonged to the Grand Vizier's court, then Celal (myself) would take up writing materials, and the Grand Vizier (Ibrahim) would issue subsequent orders based on 'his' written decision."54

Chief military judge and high official in the hierarchy of the Muslim Judiciary The titular rank of the kazasker was 'kazasker payesi'. The functions (and rank) of the kazasker were known collectively as 'kazaskerlik'. And the 'Divan' held Fridays to discuss legal matters was called the 'kazasker divanı'.
kazakEd. 5.0cossack 
kebab, kebap traditional skewered-meat dish  
Kerem ile Aslı Kerem and Aslı -- star-crossed lover-protagonists portrayed in the ancient Turkish folktale of the same name. The story is a variation of one found earlier in Mecnun and Leyla and later in Romeo and Juliet.The folktale, which has been told throughout Anatolia and Azerbaijan since the dawn of the Ottoman Empire, concerns Kerem (aka Aşık Kerem, aka Ahmet Mirza -- the son of a Turkish Shah named İsfahan) and Aslı (Kara Sultan), the daughter of an Armenian monk (who was also the local Finance Minister). No sooner had the two young people met than they fell in love. But the monk, who was dead-set against the relationship because of the couple's religious differences, way-laid his daughter and carried her off to parts unknown -- with Kerem and his friend Sofu in hot pursuit. The friends traveled endlessly, searching high and low throughout Eastern and Central Anatolia -- playing the saz and singing Turkish folksongs along the way, to pay for their bed and board. Finally, the friends caught up with the monk and his daughter in Halep. But just as the young lovers were about to be joined in matrimony, the monk persuaded his daughter to don a magic shirt, which (when she breathed a romantic sigh) burst into flames, and burned the tragic pair to a crisp.144
kervan caravan 
kervansaray an inn for passing caravans,
a caravanserai
  • A steward, agent, representative of an organization to the government.
  • The deputy of a beylerbeyi or other provincial governor.
  • The representative to the government of a city quarter.
  • A senior officer of a craft guild, representing the guild to the government.
  • A supervisor in charge of Palace staff and the running of various Palace departments.
  • The head or member of the governing body of a military, professional or social group, elected by the group and certified by the local kadi or the sultan.
kethüda beyEd. 5.0Minister of the Office for Home Affairs. 
KhotinEd. 5.0
(Also seen as Hotin, Chotin, and Chocim)
A former military post in the SW Ukraine -- located at a much-used crossing on the right bank of the Dniester River across from the Podolya region.Ottoman-age history: Was the scene of an Ottoman defeat in 1621 by Poles under Chodkiewicz and Stanislaw Lumbomirski and again in 1673 by John III Sobieski. In 1730, it was seized by Russia and, in 1812, it was incorporated with Bessarabia in the Russian Empire. Under Romania after 1918 until the collapse of the Ottoman Empire...50
kıl Literally, 'Slave'. See also, kul. A term of great honor for the full range of the Sultan's 'slaves'.
kılıçEd. 5.0
  1. A sword.
  2. A registered timar unit which could not be divided into smaller units or assigned in parts.
KırımEd. 5.0
  • The Crimea
  • Crimean, of the Crimea.
Russian Krym, also spelled Krim. Now an autonomous republic, in southern Ukraine -- lying between the Black Sea and Sea of Azov. During the quarter-century after the fall of Constantinople (in 1453), Mehmed II (the Conqueror) undertook a series of campaigns or expeditions in the Balkans, Hungary, Walachia, Moldavia, Anatolia, the island of Rhodes and Otranto in southern Italy. During that time he also brought the Crimea under Ottoman control and it remained an Ottoman vassal state until 1783 when it was annexed by Russia (subsequent to the Küçük Kaynarca Treaty of 1774) during the reign of Abdülhamid I.66
kışlak4.5 Winter pasture land.  
Kız KulesiEd. 5.0 Maiden's Tower, also known as Leander's Tower (after the Greek legend of Hero and Leander). A tower (which is used as a lighthouse in modern times), located on a rocky outcrop (of one of the small 'Princess Islands') at the western entrance to the Bosphorus, just offshore Üsküdar.
The original tower was built in the 12th Century by the Byzantine Emperor Manuel Comnenos (1143-1180), who used it as a firm foundation for a chain to close off the Bosphorus to foreign sea traffic. A well-known legend about the tower relates to Constantine's beautiful daughter (or, in a competing legend, to a beautiful daughter of an un-named sultan). When a fortune teller predicted that she would die of a snake-bite, the emperor built the tower in which his daughter could live safely. But the tragic day came when a snake, hidden in a basket of grapes, bit her and she died.12
kızılbaş4.0 Literally means 'red head'.
1) a member of one of the semi-political, shiite sects in Anatolia.
2) A member of a sect in central and eastern Anatolia, mostly of Turkoman origin, following heterodox beliefs, often rebellious against the centralist and orthodox Sunni policy of the Ottoman state.26
Folklore has it that these sects inter-married and indulged freely in incest.
kızlar ağası

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the Chief Black Eunuch17

The Chief Black Eunuch. The highest ranking of the black eunuchs. Black eunuchs began rising to influence during the reign of Süleyman, The Magnificent; and from 1574 until 1908, some of the most powerful men in the Empire, the Chief Black Eunuchs, were African.
Kızlarağası Dairesi Apartment of the chief of the black eunuchs.  
kil Clay. Used for cleaning the hair.
Kiler Koğuşu Dispensary.  
kilerci usta Person in charge of the dispensary.  

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A proto-typical Christian kilise (church)...71

A Christian church.
Compare with cami.
Kolluk zabiti

Uniformed Ottoman policeman90
An Ottoman police officer.  
Koran See Kuran  
köçek (also, köçekçe)

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18th Century Köçeks 4

Troupes of young 'dancing boys' -- female impersonators who flourished during the 18th and 19th Centuries, at the same time as the Çengi 'dancing girls'. These passive bisexual boys often acted as catamites to the highest local or foreign bidder. The Köçeks danced provocatively in groups of 30 or more -- in a wide variety of public entertainment venues, including bars and teahouses; they also performed privately for the Sultan and his friends; in his book 'Çenginame' (1759) Enderunlu Fazıl bey describes the most famous female (and some male) oriental dancers of his day.
See also marjinalleri...
köçek oyunu Traditional dance performed by male youths dressed as women.  
[Mahpeyker] Kösem Sultan
(Also seen as Kiusem, Koisem, or Kieuzel Sultan)
b. 1585 - 1651

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to view image enlargement..

Historically accurate depiction of Kösem Sultan...75
Ali Kemal Meram says that [Mahpeyker] Kösem Sultan was the daughter of a Bosnian priest -- and that her original Christian name was Anastasya.29 Another source confirms her birthplace but claims her father was a Bosnian Beylerbeyi -- who delivered his daughter to the Darüssaade Ağa as a gift to the Palace, when she was just 15.75
She was tall, had a beautiful face and body -- which she used to good effect when it came time to charm her co-conspiritors. And of these, there were many -- throughout the reigns of six sultans.

This prominent figure during the 'Reign of Women' was the 'wife' of Sultan Ahmet I -- and the mother of Sultan Murat IV and Sultan Ibrahim (The Crazy).
She also mothered Fatima Sultan and Ayşe Sultan -- whom she used as marrying-pawns to foster her political ambitions.
She was a bitter rival of Mahfıruz Sultan (one of Sultan Ahmet I's other less-favored wives)...
Kösem Sultan stepped up her wily ways after the death of her husband Sultan Ahmet I...and was initially successful in subverting the ascendance of Osman (Mahfıruz Sultan's son) -- when she prevailed in bringing Sultan Mustafa I (Ahmet I's brother) to the throne. But when Mustafa I proved so unsuited to the task, the Chief Black Eunuch plotted his downfall -- and Osman II became Sultan. Not surprisingly, one of the new Sultan's first acts was to ban Kösem Sultan to the Old Palace.

In 1662, when Osman II failed to read the angry mood of the Janissary Corps, he was deposed (and later assassinated) -- and Mustafa I took the throne again. One of his first acts was to free Kösem Sultan and she began immediatley to consolidate her position. When Mustafa I once again failed to perform, the Empire fell into crisis. Disaster was averted at the last moment when Mustafa I stepped down and Sultan Murad IV ascended (with his mother, Kösem Sultan cheering from the sidelines). The Empire was rejuvenated during Murad IV's reign (1623-1640) and Kösem prospered accordingly -- though Murad was smart enough to limit her influence at Court. But when Murad IV died, she made the mistake of forcing the ascendance of her incompetent son Ibrahim (so that she might regain the power that Murad IV had denied her). Ibrahim's reign was an unmitigated disaster, and when his passions and crazes became public knowledge it gained him the moniker "Crazy Ibrahim" among the masses. The Empire's fortunes went steadily downhill, and when Ibrahim refused to get rid of his corrupt Grand Vizier Ahmet Paşa, the Janissaries revolted and deposed the Sultan in favor of his own 6-year-old son, Mehmed IV. In captivity, Ibrahim raised such a raging ruckus that the şeyhulislam had him strangled by order of a fetva. Afterwards, a fierce rivalry grew between Kösem Sultan and Turhan Hatice Sultan, Sultan Mehmed IV's mother. The Empire once again slid into crisis. Kösem Sultan tried to save herself and her followers by plotting to poison the young sultan -- and to replace him with his mad cousin Süleymen. But Turhan Hatice Sultan learned of the plot and thwarted it with the help of the palace black eunuchs and the sultan's personal guard. In the process, Kösem Sultan was strangled to death...
Historically accurate depiction of
Kösem Sultan's demise...75

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The Story of Kösem Sultan's Demise...
"As her son, the imprisoned Ibrahim, still tried to get back his lost throne and the Sipahis demanded his death, the şeyhülislam yielded, and amid the blasphemies and curses of the wretched Ibrahim, the bowstring ended his miserable life.
Now more than before did Kösem see her power slipping away, but she decided to make one last effort by plotting with the Ağa of the Janissaries, whom she had won over to her side, to depose Mehmed IV and put Suleyman his cousin, on the throne in his stead.
At first everything went well. The Ağa collected troops, and the Grand Vizier, being surprised at night, was obliged to feign agreement with their plans. But, he asked leave to go to the Seraglio to call the Divan, and once he was safely inside, the doors were locked and the rest of the night was spent in arming all available troops and barricading the Palace. Turhan Sultan was awakened, and an oath of allegiance was taken to serve and defend the young Mehmed IV, who was still but a child. The mufti declared by a fetva that Kösem Sultan must die, and a decree was drawn up by the Vizier and signed by the trembling hand of the young Sultan. It was now the hour of Tuhan Sultan's triumph, and a search was made in Kösem's suite without result. At last the wretched old woman was discovered hidden in a clothes-chest and dragged out to her fate. Every atom of respect was forgotten in the terrible scene that followed. Her earrings and bracelets were torn off her, the money she scattered on the ground as bait was ignored, her rich robes were torn in a thousand pieces, and in spite of all orders her oppressors had received to respect the body of their Sultan's grandmother, the hapless woman was stripped of her clothes and dragged by the feet naked to the gate of the harem known as the Gate of the Aviary. There she was strangled, and her partisans were killed later. Turhan Sultan was now in command of the situation, but was wise enough to entrust the power of government to Mehmed Köprüllü, the first of three Grand Viziers of that surname who ruled the Empire so successfully. With the death of Turhan (1687?), the Reign of Women was virtually ended, and hopes for the Empire began to revive. [sic]"
Kubbealtı The Government Council Chamber in the Palace, in the 'Second' Palace Courtyard Mehmed II, The Conqueror began the practice of 'eavesdropping' on Council meetings from a screened portal (that backs onto the harem) in the wall of the Kubbealtı.
KûfiThe Kufic (also, Cufic) script of Arabic writing.
An early form of Arabic writing used for making fine copies of the Koran. (Arabic Al Kafah, a town in south-central Iraq where such copies of the Koran were made.)79
kul4.0 A 'slave' of the sultan, educated in the Palace and in the service of the state. To be called the sultan's slave was considered a great honor.
Kuran (Qur'an, Quran, Koran)

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Page from a richly illustrated Koran,
captured by Selim I, The Grim in the early 16th Century...18

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Opening 'Chapter' of the Holy Koran

The Holy Koran. The Ottoman Empire was an Islamic State whose law was based on the Koran. Almost all languages spoken by Muslims have translations of the Koran in them. The first known 'European' translation was into Latin in 1543, "before the development of the modern European vernaculars." However, because the holiness of the book is closely connected to the Arabic language it's written in, translations of it are considered 'not holy' -- for use only as instructional tools. Of several well-known English translations is one by A. Yusuf Ali (1937). In Ali's introduction, he notes the "the amount of mischief done by English versions of non-Muslim and anti-Muslim writers." It is hard to judge what effect such versions have had on Western thinking about Islam. But we tend to agree with Thomas Lippman who wonders out loud [Understanding Islam, Meridian Books], for example, about the fact that Edward Gibbon, in preparing his Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, used George Sale's 18th Century translation of the Koran -- itself based on the 17th Century Italian Marracci version, which was aggressively hostile to Islam and which even contains a chapter entitled "A Refutation of The Qu'ran"! The Koran is not 'equivalent' to the Christian Bible. According to Muslim belief, The Holy Koran is the direct word of God as 'dictated' to Mohammed (Muhammad). In that respect, the Koran is much closer in concept to the revelations of Paul, who had an "abundance" of "visions and revelations of the Lord" -- which sent him off to preach the Gospel in Europe. In it's Arabic original, the Koran's compilers arranged the chapters (Sura) generally in order of length, the longest coming first and the shortest last. English translations offer several kinds of ordering including that length-oriented one, a rough chronological one, and ones that wish to "present the reader with an intelligible version of the Koran in contemporary English," in other words, in an order that suits the inclinations of the learned translator.
Koranic Rules Concerning Alcoholic Beverage Consumption
Is the Drinking of Wine or Other Alcoholic Libations
forbidden by Koranic decree?
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Lion's Milk
Raki (Rakı)-- Lion's Milk of Turkey

The notion that wine (and, by extrapolation, all other 'intoxicants') is forbidden to devout Muslims goes without saying. At least, that's what Teetotaling Muslim-fundamentalist Turkish Airlines flight attendents believe...

Or does it? A cursory search of the Koran turns up only one partial condemnation of wine, one 'general amnesty' on the subject, and three 'glorifications'. So how has it become a banned substance, in modern times?

In 'Sura' order (paraphrasing from the A. Yusuf Ali's well-known English translation), the wine references are:

1) Sura 2, 219... "They ask you concerning wine and gambling...Say to them, 'In them is great sin, and some profit for men, but the sin is greater than the profit.'"
[This (partial) condemnation doesn't go into details but acknowledges at least "some profit for men"...And, saying that wine has sin "in it" is quite a different thing than saying, unequivocally, that "wine is sinful". It's the difference between saying that an overdose of a powerful substance can harm a body, and that moderate amounts of the same substance can be efficacious.

2) Sura 5, 93... "No blame, in regard to what they ate, shall attach to those who believe in Allah and do good works..."
[The phrase "what they ate" has been interpreted to include "what they drank" also... So, this sentence seems to grant a general amnesty, because 'if you are a believer and are good person who does good deeds, then it doesn't matter what you ate or drank (including pork and wine, one must imagine). There's no sin in it.']

3) Sura 47, 15... "There is a parable of the garden which the righteous are promised. In it will be rivers of water incorruptible, rivers of milk of which the taste never changes; rivers of wine, a joy to those who drink, and rivers of honey, pure and clear."
[A glorification, if there ever was one...]

4) Sura 76, 5, 17, 21... "As to the righteous, they shall drink of a cup of wine mixed with kafur (camphor)...And they shall be given to drink there a cup of wine mixed with zanjabil (ginger)...Upon them will be green garments of fine silk and heavy brocade and they will be adorned with bracelets of silver; and their Lord will give to them to drink of a wine, pure and holy."
[Another glorification...]

5) Sura 83, 25-26... "[The righteous will be in bliss.] Their thirst will be quenched with pure wine, sealed with musk (for this, let all men emulously strive)..."
[A final glorification...]

Genii in the KoranEpitome of Evil -- The Bad Black Jinn

"Jinni is the singular of Jinn (as Genie is the singular of Genii), being created of fire. (In Turkish, the singular word is Cin.) The species of Jinn is said to have been created some thousands of years before Adam. According to a tradition from the Prophet Muhammad this species consists of five orders or classes; namely, Jann (who are the least powerful of all). Jinn, Sheytans (or Devils), 'Efrits, and Marids. The last, it is added, are the most powerful; and the Jann are transformed Jinn; like as certain apes and swine were transformed men. The terms Jinn and Jann, however, are generally used indiscriminately, as names of the whole species (including the other orders above mentioned), whether good or bad; the former term is the more common. [Iblis is Satan, their King.] 'Sheytan' is commonly used to signify any evil Jinn. An 'Efrit is a powerful evil Jinni: a Marid, an evil Jinni of the most powerful class. The Jinn (but generally speaking, the evil ones) are called by the Persians Divs; the most powerful evil Jinn, Narahs (which signifies 'males,' though they are said to be males and females); the good Jinn, Peris, though this term is commonly applied to females."59 4.5
Kuran Kursu A Muslim course at which children learn the Arabic alphabet and writing.  
Kurban Bayramı Religious holiday 'Feast of the Sacrifice'. This is the religious celebration when Muslims practice the ritual related to Abraham's (Ibrahim's) near-sacrifice of his son Isaac (Ismail, Ishmael) at God's bidding.
In Turkey, lambs are [still] slaughtered openly (by those who can afford them) and the meat is given to families of the less-fortunate. And the donators don't even get a tax deduction for their charitable donation!
Christians who once practiced the same blood-letting ritual, no longer do. It's too yukky for them. Plus, of course, they'd want that tax deduction...
See also Ka'ba.
kuşçu A raiser, trainer, or seller of birds. The famous 15th century mathematician and astronomer in Sultan Mehmed II's court was pseudo-named (Ali) Kuşçu...
Kuşhane Kapısı Gate of the Aviary. A gate leading from the Harem into the Third Court in Topkapı Palace.
kutb4.0 Means 'pole', the spiritual head of a mystic religious order.  
kutucu usta Literally means 'box-maker master or box-seller master'. Used to mean the 'Personal maid' of a concubine.
kuyumcubaşı The Chief Imperial Jeweler. The Ottoman Official responsible to oversee the jewel trade in İstanbul -- appointed by the Sultan.
külliye a building complex next to a cami -- which may include a türbe, a medrese, and buildings to house charitable activities Click next and follow the picture link to reach the Hüdavendigar Külliye (constructed in honor of Sultan Murat I).
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