Handali, Esther
(321 words)

Esther Kira Ḥandali (Esther Kyra), the wife of Elijah Ḥandali, was one of the best-known Jewish women to bear the title kira (Turk. dame, lady). These women exercised political influence through her contacts with women in the harems of four Ottoman sultans: Süleyman I the Magnificent (r. 1520– 1566), Selim II (r. 1566– 1574), Murat III (r. 1574–1595), and Mehmet III (r. 1595–1603). Esther was regularly admitted to the harem to sell jewelry, perfumes, and other items, and she also ran errands or performed services for the women outside the palace. Thanks…

Cite this page
Yaron Ben Naeh, “Handali, Esther”, in: Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World, Executive Editor Norman A. Stillman. Consulted online on 28 March 2017
First published online: 2010



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