Behice Hanım

Behice Hanım ( بھیجه خانم ; born Behiye Maan; 10 October 1882 – 22 October 1969) was the twelfth wife of Sultan Abdul Hamid II of the Ottoman Empire.

Early life

Behice Hanım was born on 10 October 1882 in Beynevid, Adapazarı, Sakarya Province. Born as Behiye Maan, she was a member of Abkhazian noble family, Maan. Her father was Albus Bey Maan, the grandson of Kats Bey Maan. Her mother was Nazli Hanım Kucba, an Abkhazian, daughter of Hacı Kuç Pasha. She had one brother, Rauf Bey, and four sisters, Atiye Hanım, Tasvire Hanım, Ihsan Hanım, and Nimet Hanım. She was the first cousin of Sazkar Hanım, ninth wife of Sultan Abdul Hamid II.


Behice's father came to know that Abdul Hamid was looking for a bride for his son, Şehzade Burhaneddin, and hence, brought her to the court, and presented her to the Sultan. However, Abdul Hamid was so taken by the beauty of the young girl that he asked her hand in marriage for himself. At first, Behice flatly refused to this proposal. However, at her father's insistence, she agreed. The marriage took place on 10 May 1900 in the Hünkar Kiosk of the Yıldız Palace. Behice was eighteen, while Abdul Hamid was fifty eight. She was given the title of "Fifth Fortunate".

A year after the marriage, on 22 June 1901, she gave birth to twins, Şehzade Ahmed Nureddin and Şehzade Mehmed Badreddin. Badreddin died at the age of two on 13 October 1903.

On 27 April 1909, Abdul Hamid was deposed, and sent into exile in Thessaloniki. She didn't followed him, and so remained in Istanbul. She settled with her son in Maslak Palace. After Thessaloniki fell to Greece in 1912, Abdul Hamid returned to Istanbul, and settled in the Beylerbeyi Palace, where he died in 1918.

Last years and death

In 1924, the imperial family was sent into exile. Behice went to Naples with her son. Her son later moved to Paris, leaving her here, where he died in 1945. After the death of her son her life became miserable. In March 1969, she was allowed to enter Turkey, where she died seven months later, on 22 October 1969. She was buried in Yahya Efendi Cemetery, Istanbul.


Behice Hanım and Abdul Hamid had two sons:
  • Şehzade Ahmed Nureddin (Constantinople, Yıldız Palace, 12 June 1900 – 2 June 1945, buried at the Islamic cemetery of Bobigny near Paris), married on 5 May 1919 in the Maslak Palace to Ayşe Andelib "Özerakin" Hanım (Adapazarı, Sakarya Province, 2 August 1902 – Dutluk Sokağı, Beşiktaş, Istanbul 15 July 1980), daughter of Hüseyin Hüsnü Pasha Akintsba, and Şadiye Hanım, and had issue:
  • Şehzade Mehmed Bedreddin (born and died in Paris);
  • Şehzade Mehmed Badreddin (Istanbul, Yıldız Palace, 22 June 1901 – 13 October 1903, buried in Yahya Efendi Cemetery);