Young Girls from the Middle Ages


Daughter of Sultan Mehmet II

gevrehanGevrehan was the only daughter of the Ottoman Sultan Mehmet II. She was probably born sometime after 1450.

In 1453, her father conquered the city of Constantinople and renamed it Istanbul. In the newly named city, he started many colleges and universities. Education and justice were very important to the sultan. He also allowed other religions, such as Christianity, in his empire.

Gevrehan had four older brothers. Her brother, Bayezid, became the sultan when their father died in 1481. It is likely that Gevrehan and her family lived in the Eski Saray Palace that once stood in Istanbul. Gevrehan would have lived with the other women in the Harem.

She lived during an exciting time. There was much trade and business in the city of Istanbul. The Ayasofya (or Hagia Sophia), formerly a Christian place of worship, was transformed into a mosque. Her father was very tolerant of other religious practices and allowed Christians to continue their worship. Great changes were occurring in Istanbul during the time that Gevrehan was growing up.

A Maiden of Islam

Islam is a religion based on the teachings of the prophet Muhammed, who lived in the 7th century. Islam means “submission,” and Muslims submit or give themselves to God. Muslims refer to God as Allah. Islam is a religion of peace and Muslims are to be generous and care for others Today, in the religion of Islam, women can choose to wear a head covering to show their devotion to Allah. Gevrehan would have worn a head covering, too. Muslims are called to pray five times each day. Fajr is the prayer before sunrise. The daytime prayer, zuhr, happens around noon. Next is asr, which is the afternoon prayer. Maghrib is said before sunset and Isha is said at night.

  • Bağlama

    The saz (or Bağlama) is a stringed instrument played in Turkey and other countries. As part of her study of music, Gevrehan might have learned to play the saz.

  • Mecca door

    The door marking the direction of Mecca, the holy city of Islam.

  • Hagia Sophia

    The Hagia Sophia in Istanbul. It was a basilica, or large church, in the city of Constantinople. It became mosque -- a Muslim house of worship -- under Gevrehan's father's rule of Istanbul.

  • Topkapi Palace

    This is the Topkapi Palace in Istanbul. Gevrehan's father had the Palace built.

  • Hagia Sophia

    At the top of this picture is calligraphy like Gevrehan might have seen in the Hagia Sofia.

  • Inside the Sultan's Palace

    Here is one of the rooms inside the Harem of the Sultan's Palace.

  • Whirling Dervishes

    Whirling Dervishes were Muslim men who whirled as part of their worship of Allah. Today, the Dervishes whirl mostly to entertain tourists.


creative child toy bank logos