Architectural Patronage on the Trail of a Political Project: a Rereading of the Queen Mother Mihrisah’s Building Activities
A. Hilâl Uğurlu
Keywords: Queen Mother Mihrisah, Selim III, building activities, new order
Queen Mother Mihrisah, who has always been in a close relationship with her son and endorsed his "modernization" project in every way, also supported his agenda with her building activities. Yet, contemporary scholarship depicts her as "a religious and charitable Queen Mother" and the relevant academic studies accordingly focus on her complex in Eyup and the various water structures she commissioned in Istanbul. However, Mihrisah's architectural patronage should not be treated independently from the political agenda of Selim III, of which she was one of the foremost supporters. The fact that Queen Mother Mihrisah was the patron of the mosques, baths, and fountains built inside most of the military barracks in Istanbul, excluding the Uskudar Barrracks, supports this view. In this study, the architectural activities and the patronage of Queen Mother Mihrisah will be examined in the context of her endorsement of Selim III's political project.