A scorching sun is beaming down on the palace. It seems as if the lawn would catch fire if it weren’t for the shade of the ancient plane trees. The branches of the lilacs and the laburnums, loaded with mauve and yellow florets respectively, are tangled together on the iron railings. The rose bushes planted next to the bannisters of the garden steps are ripe with hundreds of roses. When the air cools somewhat in the evening, the perfume of these roses intensifics and wafts across the garden.
It is the year 1484. The almond-shaped eyes of Gülbahar Hatun, widow of Sultan Mehmet Khan, the Conqueror of Istanbul, are wet with tears. She sits in the shade in a corner of her garden as she-rereads the letter she has written to her son Sultan Bayezid who is preparing for war against Bogdan Voivod:
“My hero, my son, the light of my eyes. I miss you terribly. I haven’t seen your sweet face for more than forty days. You’ll be gone to war soon and I must hug you. My Sultan, forgive the unease of a worried mother, but you are my everything!”
Gülbahar Hatun financed many benovolent institutions in Edirne and Tokat out of her own pocket. Noteworthy is one of the conditions she imposed on the shelter for the poor that she founded in Tokat: “ Students, poor people and their guests will be served breakfast and dinner free of charge. The feed of their animals will also be supplied.” Gülbahar rests in peace in her mausoleum located near Fatih Mosque.