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Valide Sultan (or Sultan Valide) (literally "Mother Sultan") was the title held by the mother of a ruling Sultan in the Ottoman Empire. The Turkish pronunciation of the word Valide is . The title is sometimes translated as Queen Mother, although the position of Valide Sultan was quite different.

The position was arguably the most important position in the Ottoman Empire, after the Sultan himself. As the mother to the Sultan, by the Islamic tradition ("A mother's right is God's right"), the Valide Sultan would have a significant influence on the affairs of the Empire. In particular, during the 17th century, in a period known as the Sultanate of Women, a series of incompetent or child sultans raised the role of the Valide Sultan to new heights.

Nurbanu Sultan was the Venetianmarker-born wife of Selim II, and the mother of Sultan Murad III of the Ottoman Empire and the de facto co-regent as the Valide Sultan in 1574-1583. Nurbanu managed the government together with the Grand Vizier Sokollu Mehmed Pasha and became the first Valide Sultan who acted as co-regent with the sultan in the Sultanate of Women. The most powerful of all Valide Sultans in the history of the Ottoman Empire was Kösem Sultan.

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