Black clouds are being driven across the firmament bystormy winds. Stinging raindrops rattle the palace Windows. The walls of Valide Mehpare Sultana’s apartment are inlaid with florally designed tiles. Thick yellow velvet curtains hang on the windows. Mehpare, now in her forties, is as beautiful as a rose in full bloom. She draws the curtains and gazes out towards Topkapi Palace with teary eyes.
She closes her eyes and remembers her first days in the harem, where they renamed her Mehpare, meaning “ a slice of the moon”. Not long afterwards she married Sultan Mehmed IV and set out with him to tour the Balkan cities that were part of their empire. They visited Thessalia and lodged in Dimetoka Palace along with their one – year old son Mustapha.
She lived many years with all the honors befitting a queen and mother of the crown – prince, until in 1687 when her destiny changed catastrophically. Her husband was violently dethroned and imprisoned in Topkapi Palace and she became powerless.
The Sultana sighs with unbearable sadness, and rereads for the thousandth time her husband’s last and only letter:” Oh, my rose, my Mehpare, who must now wear black for her king and husband. I am alive but would he better off dead. I feel your deep sorrow as I cry in a corner of my cell. I am no longer. Sultan Mehmed, I am now a pitiable beggar, in the dark without you, my love, the bright moon of my cold nights.”
Mehpare Sultana dedicated herself to public works. She founded many institutions for the betterment of her people. Her memory is cherished to this day.