4 OF 8


But no matter how much Roxalena plotted, she could not alter kismet. She did not live to realize her dream of becoming the valide sultana. Nor did she live to see the twist of fate that set brother against brother , father against son. She would not see the struggle for the throne between Selim and Beyazit, which drove Beyazit to take refuge with the shah ofPersia. She would not see how Süleyman forced the shah to extradite Beyazit, and how he promptly assassinated him, as well as the shah and his sons.

Roxalena died in 1558. Her place was occupied by her daughter Mihri- mah and her granddaughter A ysha Humashah. Selim the Sot and his son Murad III both preferred women and pleasure to political matters. Their sisters, wives, and daughters took full advantage of the weak nature of the pair, dabbling in politics and securing important posts for their own hus- bands and sons. It was Mihrimah, rather than his sons, that Süleyman consulted on important issues. Roxalena had trained her daughter well.