In 1475, as Yusuf was eight years old, the two of them fled their home city of Bursa in the middle of the night and went to Constantinople where they settled. There, Nalan worked for the vendor Bekir bin Salih, cooking pastries in the city's Baazar, while the young Yusuf was their delivery boy. As his mother struggled to make a decent living for the two of them, Yusuf used his agility to become a skilled pickpocket.
In April 1480, Nalan decided that it was time to give Yusuf some answers about his father after witnessing Yusuf and his friends' activities. She gave her son his father's hidden blade, that was returned to her by the Brotherhood after her husband's death. She soon revealed to Yusuf that his father too fought against those seeking to dominate others and intended his son to do so when the right time come.