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Abstract


A BEGUM OR MEHD-İ ULYA IN THE AQ QOYUNLU PALACE: SELÇUKŞAH BEGÜM
In several periods throughout Turkish history, in a triangle of force, power and greed, the royal women, begums, sultan as played active roles sometimes by siding with thes over eign, sometimes in the fight forthe throne, in diplomatic political crises, in the council of state, in charity works. One of these women is Selçukşah Begüm who was reported as the sultan’s wife and as the sultan’s mother in written history under such names as Begüm, Mehd-i Ulya etc. She is a real female figure who achieved in changing the course of history with her actions in Iran and the Near East in the 15th Century. She succeeded in occupying a central position in AqQoyunlu government first as sultan’s wife and then as sultan’s mother when political stability was not yet maintained in the country and when frequent attempts were stil made so as to consolidate the state apparatus and tostreng then the governance system. Selçukşah Begüm who was engaged with AqQoyunlu government for approximately more than 35 years was occasionally disliked by certain royal elites in view of her decisions, practices and intrigues, and she was even refer red to as the calamity, disaster, hyena in this regard in historical resources. On the other hand, she was every sooften highly admired and respected by certain groups, particularly by tribal chiefs. This study specifically addresses theis sues such as ascendancy of AqQoyunlu Selçukşah Begüm in AqQoyunlu government, her influence on her husband Uzun Hasan, her sons Halil and Yakûb, her intrigues in the palace, her greed, her dubious death, her benevolence, her interest in Sufism whereas, generally, the study analyzes her biography and activities so as to set an example of the active role played by be gums and royal women in the changing balance of power in AqQoyunlu palace administration.

Keywords
AqQoyunlu,Selçukşah Begüm, Mehd-i Ulya, Woman, Sultan Yakûb


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