They called her Şirin, which means sweetly-charming,because this Circassian, rose-faced beauty was as gentle and king as she talented and courtly. She was a great fan of poetry, particularly the flowing rhymes of Mevlana Celaleddin Rumi and the lramian poet Sadi, which she studied every morning kneeling in front of her reading desk, eommitting the timeless verses to memory.In 1482 she married Sultan Bayezid with a mutual love that was meant tol ast forever.

One year later, in a soft spring night of 1483, Istanbul slumbers under a bright full moon.Şirin Hatun cannot sleep.She walks througt the rose and violet perfumed garden-paths with her favorite odalisque in tow.She leans on a marble column.Her gaze wonders across the Bosphorus to the blinking lights of Üsküdar that shine among the centuries-old, tall and leafyplane trees.Her pomegranate-red dress reflects an anxiety in her soul that cannot be diminished by yhe golden satin jacket,nor the priceless emerald of her ring nor any of all the ofter extravagant frills due her station in the palace as the Emperor’s wife.

She is perturbed and confused.Her palms are wet, her ears are buzzing,her eyes begin to tear.She is ashamed to admit it, but she is jealous of her Sultan husband. She falls to her kness, dragging the odalisque with her.”Pray with me,” she mutters,”so Bayezid can hear us and be mine,onlt mine…”