Turkey's first lady praises the Ottoman harem

 
Turkey's first lady praises the Ottoman harem
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If you had any doubts that Turkey is moving away from secularism and heading for hardcore Ottoman islamism again.

The wife of Turkey's president has described the harem of the Ottoman era as an "educational establishment that prepared women for life," reports say.

Emine Erdogan was speaking at an official event on Ottoman sultans in Ankara, say Turkish TV stations.

Her comments came a day after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said a woman was "above all a mother" in a speech to mark International Women's Day.

Family members, servants and concubines all lived in the imperial harem.

The sultans who ruled the Ottoman empire had a harem at Istanbul's Topkapi Palace, which has been a museum since 1924.

The sultan spent his domestic life in the harem, where his wives lived, as well as female family members and concubines, who numbered into the hundreds.

Male staff were eunuchs.

Mrs Erdogan said the harem was a school for members of the Ottoman dynasty.

Traces left by harem women in the empire's six centuries of history could be "an inspiration", she said, according to Turkish media.

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