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What women practiced in Turkish harem?

The women who lived in the Ottoman harem, or "haremlik," were known as "odalisques" or "harem women." These women were generally recruited from non-Muslim regions of the Ottoman Empire or from neighboring countries, and were often selected for their beauty, intelligence, and social status. Many of these women were brought to the harem at a young age, and received a specialized education in various arts, languages, and customs.

The primary role of women in the Ottoman harem was to provide companionship and support to the Sultan, who was often isolated from the rest of society by the harem walls. This involved not only sexual companionship, but also emotional support, intellectual conversation, and even political advice.

In addition to their roles as companions to the Sultan, women in the Ottoman harem also performed a variety of other tasks. Some women were trained in various arts and crafts, such as embroidery, weaving, and calligraphy, and used their skills to produce beautiful works of art for the Sultan and his court. Others were involved in the administration of the harem, and were responsible for managing the daily affairs of the household, including food preparation, cleaning, and the supervision of other women.

Despite their seclusion, some women in the Ottoman harem were able to wield significant influence over the affairs of state. For example, the Sultan's mother, known as the Valide Sultan, was often a powerful political figure who could use her position to advance the interests of her family or her faction within the court.

Overall, the role of women in the Ottoman harem was complex and multifaceted, and cannot be easily reduced to a single set of practices or behaviors. It's important to approach the subject with sensitivity and to avoid perpetuating myths and stereotypes about these complex historical institutions.
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