Book on Ottoman seraglio introduced
ISTANBUL - Anatolia News Agency
‘Harem ve Cariyelik’ has been prepared to answer questions about the seraglio. AA photo
A new book titled “Harem ve Cariye” (Seraglio and Concubinage) was introduced Sunday at a press conference held at Istanbul’s Dolmabahçe Palace.
Turkish Parliament Speaker Cemil Çiçek said the book was prepared because visitors to the palace asked many questions about the sultan’s private quarter, the seraglio.
“Since the issue of concubinage is highlighted even in television series recently, people are curious about it. The issue of the seraglio is not only about private life, but it is an important institution about the state administration. We have prepared this book to explain the issue better because we are responsible for the palaces. I hope there will be more publications about this issue in the near future,” said Çiçek.
National Palaces Scientific Committee Chairman İlber Ortaylı said the book was written to answer questions about the concept of seraglio in the Ottoman era.
When asked if it was right that concubines were thrown into the sea in a carryall, Ortaylı said, “The killing of sultans’ sons were exaggerated in the period of Mehmet III and Murat III. Murat III had to kill his five brothers because there were separatist movements in Anatolia and his brothers were involved. This situation caused protests and rumors. Throwing concubines into the sea in a carryall is an exaggerated rumor, too.”
Beylerbeyi Palace Deputy Director Cengiz Göncü said the book was one of the efforts to reveal the rich cultural and historical heritage of palaces and mansions.