İstanbul Seyahat Rehberi

Harem

  • Harem was like a school where the women in the palace learned the art of diplomacy and the traditions of palace.

  • A section of Harem in Topkapi Palace.

  • Harem was an institution of education to bring up the women.

Harem means protected, sacred and honorable place in the dictionary. The expression of “Imperial Harem” in Ottoman State Organization contains not only harem but also palace school. Harem is another version of palace school for females. It is an institution of education to bring up the women.

Academy of high-grade women
That's why, harem can also be called as academy of high-grade women. There is a ranking system from concubinate which is the lowest level to mastership. While palace school prepares men to serve dynasty outside the palace as a means of personal service of the sultan in the palace; harem prepares women to take a role in the outside world as a means of personal service of the sultan and his mother in the palace.

There is no proof of harem legends
On the other hand in the 16th century, according to the researches from/by the court in Bursa, it is proved that the prejudices about polygamy are not true. Between 1545-1659 it’s proven in 114 cases of the 1516 that 92% of the men are monogamous, 7% of the men have 2 women and that less than 1% of the men have 3 women. There is no proof of harem legends or men with 4 women. According to the researches it has appeared that between 1521-1524 the women from İstanbul Üsküdar were partner in a company or even had the competence to provide credits.