The present article investigates the identity, partial biography, and relations of Rukiye Hanım. She is recognized as the grandmother of three significant families who have been playing distinguished roles in politics and academics in Malaysia. Rukiye Hanım with her sister Hatice Hanım are believed to have been presented as concubines by Babussaade, the Palace in Constantinople, to Sultan Abu Bakar of Johor in the closing decades of the 19th century.

It is significant here to pin down that this article grew out of some concerns upon the discourse argued by circles around the relations of Rukiye Hanım. The present writers urge that the established discourse creates an imagined memory, explicitly or implicitly, borrowing the concept from Benedict Anderson, related to this lady. This article will provide some details on the concubine, Rukiye Hanım who seems to be the main actor to set aright imagined misconceptions. This research relies on primary data particularly from oral information of the living descendants of Rukiye Hanım. Besides, the present writers conduct comparative understanding of the secondary sources to re-examine the mainstream discourse upon Rukiye Hanım written in Turkish, Malay and English languages.

This research found that the concubines are not connected organically with the Ottoman Palace family, they are instead commoners and members of other nations. This sensational imagination has turned out to be a sort of historical fact structured by certain groups, both in Turkey and Malaysia, and it has been functionalized to establish historically the relations between modern Turkey and Malaysia.


Key Words: Rukiye Hanım, Ottoman State, Johor Sultanate, concubine, historical imagination.