They explicitly violated the Islamic Principles
The Ottomans legalized “Homosexuality” before Europe,
in 1858 AD
Some of the Ottoman sultans were tyrannical, as some of them even went against human instinct, when they jumped to power in a moment of decline in the Islamic world and suddenly became rulers, in their hands lies the fate of Muslims, they believed that they could do what they wanted without history holding them accountable for their crimes.
One of the genuine facts about the sultans of the Ottoman Empire, is that they lived in secrecy and mystery, believing that no one would know what they were doing inside their palaces, and who were close enough to the Sultan and influencing the lives of millions of people? whoever dares to reveal this secrecy and mystery, his fate is to be put to immediate death, and how much the Ottoman family squandered the blood of some people for trivial reasons.
As time shall reveal the facts that many of the Ottoman sultans tried to withhold from the people, most of these facts that were discovered by or revealed to the historians and were written about, were traumatic, and often the scenes were more heinous than anyone ever imagined, the mystery and secrecy were nothing but a barrier to avoid discovering that the palaces of Ottoman family – in most periods of their rule – are nothing more than arenas in which immoral acts are engaged, aberrant parties are held where the human soul is insulted with the most basic despicable desires. Some may think that talking about these matters is a kind of denial by historians against the Ottoman Empire, but the truth is that historians found nothing in the palaces of the Turkish sultans, but vice and slavery.
The most prominent point presented in the historical sources is that some of the Turkish sultans had tendencies beyond just women. This appeared early in the Ottoman Empire, whose sultans worked to get close to the Bektashi Order, which allowed its top figures to be deviant as part of the Sufism rituals. On the other hand, the top figures of the Bektashi Order found that their proximity to the Turkish sultans would benefit them, so they considered the Ottoman family to be among the top figures of the Bektashi Order and permitted them what transgress human instinct, as a means of spiritual advancement and receiving spiritual assistance from heaven, in the worst types of exploitation of religion in the most distorted way.
After this manipulation, the Turkish sultans set out to establish an entire institution for such shameful purpose. It started during the reign of Sultan Bayezid I (1389-1403), who was known for his penchant for men and the participation of his minister Jandali Ali Pasha in organizing promiscuity parties in which boys were brought to Bayezid I, and many of these adolescent boys became – later – senior statesmen until a proverb spread within the Ottoman Empire that only those who were known in those disgraceful parties that violate common sense rise to positions.
The French writer, Philip Mansel describes in his book “Constantinople, City of the world’s desire” that the palace of the sultan in the Ottoman Empire was a self-standing world. As for the adolescent boys, they had to go through joining rituals and ceremonies, described by “Mansel” as when a new adolescent boy enters, he is to be left alone for three days without anyone talking to him until the chief of the Aghas informs him that he has joined the ranks of the Sultan’s servants.
As for the appearance of these adolescent boys, their hair was combed and divided into braids near their ears and they were treated like dogs tied with a leash around the neck, and if they violated a rule, they were severely beaten. As for the most handsome forty boys, they were chosen to serve in the Sultan’s private room, and their beds were distributed to the four corners of the room; in such place all the sins that violate common sense were committed.
These adolescent boys were then given names of flowers; such as, Narjes and Ward, all of which have feminine connotations, and they were forced to learn to play music, dance, put on cosmetics, and wear dance suits like women.
They forced the adolescent boys to wear women’s clothes.
Atviano Bonn, Italy’s ambassador to the Ottoman Empire during (1604-1608), reveals in his book, which was published in the middle of the seventeenth century AD, “Saray al-Sultan”, that the relationship of the Ottoman sultans with some adolescent boys did not go unnoticed. Sultan Mehmet al-Fateh (1444-1481) had a relationship with one of the adolescent boys, that relationship continued until people started whispering about it, but none of them could say anything for fear of being killed, despite that, “Al-Fateh” did not care about any whispers and his relationship continued.
As for the details of that relationship, it goes back to the year )1433( when Sultan Murad II managed to defeat the Emir of Serbia and took 70,000 captives, among whom were two sons of one of the leaders collaborating with the Emir of Serbia, whose names were “Flatobs” and “Radu the handsome”, and when Mehmet Al-Fateh took over, succeeding his father, he released “Flatobs” but he kept “Radu the handsome” and grew feelings for him, and a relationship developed between the two of them that lasted for many years, which led historians to describe Mehmet Al-Fateh as a person full of contradictions.
“Al-Fateh” was not satisfied with that, aside from his relationship with “Radu the handsome” he was choosing the most beautiful kidnapped children from Europe to work in his room, it even came to the point that he forced his adolescent boys to wear the veil after being possessed by jealousy over them, which indicates that, going against human instinct nature was prevailing in the Ottoman palace.
At a time when the whole world forbade homosexuality, and Islam forbade it with explicit and clear texts, it was Mehmet Al-Fateh who legalized immorality by abolishing the punishment of “sodomy”. He considered sodomy to be permissible with handsome boys, who were considered as a proof of the beauty of God’s creation!
Al-Fateh jealousy on his adolescent boys made him force them to wear veils
As for Murad IV (1623-1639), he was the weirdest among the Turkish sultans, not because he was not straight, but the fact that he claimed virtue and honor; so, he pursued after the coffee drinkers, prohibited it, and whipped the drinker, and he maintained his mustache in specific form in order to look strong and majestic. This was no more than an attempt to make up for what he felt missing, as historical documents revealed that Murad IV was in love with a boy named Musa Çelebi; and the Ottoman capital was aware of that and locals were making jokes about it in their private gatherings.
Salim II (1566-1574) who was known as a drunkard, took the same path; aside from his addiction to alcohol, he kept for himself about 1,500 of the most handsome adolescent boys and Aghas. He even gifted one of his adolescent boys a palace where they met periodically, at a time when millions of Muslims were starving due to poverty they sank in under the reign of the Ottomans, the reign of that drunkard in particular.
Some of the Ottoman sultans dealt with such violation of human nature with leniency, and homosexuality spread among the Turks in different periods of their history. Things took a general dimension in the Ottoman capital “Istanbul”, where homosexuality was implicitly supported, as if the poverty and oppression of the residents of the capital were not enough to drag them into this quagmire, by removing all obstacles and making homosexuality accepted in the society.
As a result, public baths and bars turned into dens, and their owners poked around slave markets promoted by the Turkish sultans, purchasing the most handsome boys, especially children coming from Europe.
This Ottoman phenomenon of violating human nature did not only affect people religiously, but also socially. Princess Fatima Sultan’s letter that she sent to her father, Salim I, complaining about her husband, Mustafa Pasha, who got dragged into homosexuality, saying, “Oh my father, the Sultan, I got fed up.” I married a person who cares for nothing but having sex with boys and spending his time with them; while me being treated less than a dog”. This message was considered by historians as the mouthpiece of many women in many periods of the rule of the Ottoman Empire after they felt threatened in view of the worsening of such violation to human nature.
As for AbdulMajid I (1823-1861), he went too far when, in the year (1858), the Sultan approved homosexuality by a decree “Ferman” that abolished any punishment for homosexuality, as it was of no effect or importance, but under this decree “Ferman” it became more official, places for that purpose were opened.
Under this law, the Ottoman Empire had preceded many European and Western countries in legalizing homosexuality. In Britain homosexuality was legalized among women in 1886, nearly 3 decades after the Ottoman Empire, and in Italy homosexuality was decriminalized in 1890, 32 years after the Ottomans decriminalized homosexuality. This legislation remained valid even after the foundation of the modern Republic of Turkey and up until this day, so the only thing in which the Ottoman Empire preceded the whole world was slavery and propagation of immorality and depravity.
- Philip Mansel, Constantinople… City of the world’s desire 1453-1924, translated by: Mustafa Kassem (Kuwait: Alam Al-Maarifa, 2015).
- Atviano Bonn, Saray Al-Sultan, translated by: Zaid Al-Rawadiya (Abu Dhabi: Kalima Project, 2014).
- Ahmed Abdel Rahim Mustafa, On the Origins of the Ottoman History, 2nd Edition (Cairo: Dar El-Shorouk, 1986).
- Legitimizing “homosexuality” . from the Ottomans to the Brotherhood – Okaz newspaper, Friday, July 10, 2020.