Maidservants on the throne of the Sultanate!!
The influence of the Haremlik or the kingdom of women, which spread widely during the three centuries inside the sultan’s palaces before the end of the Ottoman rule, was not an exceptional case that could not be built upon when reading the Ottoman political scene. Rather, it was one of the important foundations in the mechanisms of power transfer, those foundations that placed women in an important position on the way to the throne.
In order to understand the structure of the Ottoman rule and to work on analyzing and examining it systematically in the court of history and in a fair way, it is necessary to understand the materialistic nature that characterized the Ottoman rule, especially with their monopoly on the financial resources and the huge capabilities that were available to the Sultanate. This is in addition to their reliance on the policy of poverty and miserliness on the peoples they occupied and the control over money and capabilities and transferring them to their pockets and palaces to meet the costly life of luxury and the requirements of “uncontrolled” lust that spread like fire between sultans, princes, ministers and leaders.
During the centuries of their rule, the ruling elite in Istanbul turned into slaves of lust and captives under the control of money, slaves and maidservants. This confirms that the Europeans’ description of the Ottoman Empire as a “sick man” before the end of its rule was very accurate.
The sultans surrendered to their lusts, and became captives to the struggle of the maidservants, their plans, and their quest for power at their various levels (mothers – wives – concubines – mistresses). They were led by the beautiful European women in particular who were enslaved when they were young. When they grew up, they turned the matter, captivated the sultans and controlled them, to the extent that they became puppets in their hands, managing them as they wanted.
Those female slaves who came from the prisons of European captives and entered the hierarchy of ruling, were able to gradually infiltrate the places of power in the Sultanate, until they reached the throne itself. Sometimes they ruled in agreement with senior statesmen, aghas, and influential leaders, or on their own at other times.
Many sources say that some of the “harems” of the sultans kept their Christian religion. During the years of the rule of their husbands or sons, they were able to protect their mother countries and facilitate projects that serve those countries, based on their position close to the decision making. These are only some features that indicate the ability of those who were able to approach the center of power and authority. We can add to this the exclusive correspondence with neighboring countries, which are prerogatives that are supposed to be exercised only by the ruler himself.
The strange thing is that despite the Ottoman sultans claiming to love Arabs and their religious affiliation and their claim to defend the sanctities, their racism forced them not to marry Arab women, so that they would not become mothers of the sultans, preserving the purity of their foreign blood – as they imagined it – so that it would not be mixed with Arab blood. This confirms what many people have said that the sultans and the Ottoman ruling family used to see the Arabs as tribes that are inferior to them, while they saw the Europeans as their equals, and therefore they married them.
The struggle for the throne, including its concubines and women, with its bloody conspiracies that lasted for centuries was reflected in the palaces of the Ottoman rule. The matter began with the construction of cages for princes in which all those who threaten the authority of the “Sultan” – even if it is just a possibility – are placed in them and live in them until they die. This was what weakened the Ottoman Empire until it finally collapsed.
These actions were not exceptional and incorrect behaviors by one of the sultans, but rather an exclusion mechanism adopted and issued by the sultan’s firmans to deal with all potential threats under the pretext of protecting the throne. All those savage ideas that resulted in the killing of brothers, sons, fathers and mothers, as well as allies, were imposed by those maidservants on the weak husbands.
The Ottoman palace turned into a house of death and terror. It was not easy to predict who would be the next sultan because no one would reach the throne except through a long road of blood, intrigue, assassination and bloody antagonism. Even the one who reaches the sole seat of the Sultanate in Constantinople among the nominated princes has paid the price in advance through the pain he has experienced and the incurable psychological diseases that accompanied him since his childhood, confined and threatened in cages and dark closed rooms, or his attempt to avoid the inevitable death and assassination by suffocation or throwing into the Bosphorus sea.