Istanbul is in the midst of tulip madness: April, 1728. The tulip, emblem of the Ottoman Empire, has lent its name and comely shape to an entire Age.Every spring, tulips in every colour of the rainbow are in season anda re grown religiously all over the capital. Tthe Tulip Age is celebrated in Topkapi Palace where an entire hall is dedicated to it. Tulips, painted on its walls, are reflected in mirrors giving an illusion of endless tulip gardens as seen from a distance.
Sultan Ahmet III’s beautiful daughter Zeynep is only fifteen. She is stretched out on the blues satin sofa, sfamed by abundant bouquets of tulips. She is to be married this day to Mustafa Pasha. She murmurs a little prayer, her rosy lips quivering. She is anxious to become his beloved and hear him whisper “my whit dove” as he kisses her. Mihrişah Valide Sultana, Zeynep’s mother, walks into the room in a swish of velvet and pearls, accompanied by several odalisques. They dress the bride-to-be in her White silk, rose-embroidered wedding gown which embrsces her youthful body, clinging seductively to her budding womanhood. A cone-shaped tiara is placed on her chestnut hair and a veil is attached to it with a diamond brooch. They adorn her with many golden necklaces and tulip-shaped earringd was a grand and lavish affair that led to a long and happy marriahe.
The Sultana fınanced the building of many fountains in various corners of the capital and an elegant mosque in Sirkeci Soğuk Çeşme which she named after herself.