Revisionist history?

Wife of Turkish president claims Ottoman harems were “educational establishment” for women

Emine Erdoğan, wife of Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has drawn criticism for praising the harems of Ottoman sultans. The Guardian reports that during an official event on the Ottoman sultans of Ankara, Ms. Erdoğan asserted that the harem “was a school for members of the Ottoman dynasty and an educational establishment for preparing women for life.” Her remarks came one day after the president marked International Women’s Day by proclaiming in a speech that “a woman is above all a mother.”

Emine Erdogan (C)  and Turkish President Tayyip  Emine Erdogan (L). (REUTERS/Murad Sezer)

Emine Erdogan (C) and Turkish President Tayyip Emine Erdogan (L). (REUTERS/Murad Sezer)

The comments of both Erdoğans quickly came under fire. Thousands of women marched the streets of Istanbul to protest the president’s speech, and Ms. Erdoğan’s assessment of Ottoman harems were mocked on Twitter. According to The Guardian, Ozlem Kurumlar, a professor at a university in Istanbul, tweeted: “In the time of [Ottoman sultan] Murad III, books were the only thing that never entered the harem.”

Read the full story at The Guardian.

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