Turkey - Istanbul

by Kimp 27. May 2012 03:42

Photo Blog

In 300 AD Constantinople conquered Turkey and the Eastern Orthodox religion was created. That lasted until 1300 when the Muslim Ottomans from eastern Turkey conquered the city of Constantinople and converted it to Islam.
For the next 600 years a single family of Ottoman Sultan's ruled Turkey. They were able to keep the rule in the same family, because they devised a full proof method of producing male heirs. Training the military and keeping all of the power within the family.
The key to producing male errors was in the rules of the Harem. An Ottoman Sultan was allowed to have up to four wives, who were all picked by his mother. However, many only had one or zero, because all of the influence that the wives had, over the ruling of the Ottomans. Then his mother and wives would pick 4 favorites (girl friends of the Sultan), from amongst the concubines (servants). Mom controlled which wife the Sultan spent time with, but from the layout of the palace, it looked like the Sultan didn't have to go through mom to spend time with a favorite. Favorites were supposed to practice birth control, but they often bore one of the Sultans children, after which, they were moved into the wife section of the palace.
The Sultan would give his wives very lavish gifts. They usually sold those gifts and bought real estate or businesses. When a Sultan died, his mom and wives were given a house and a nice pension. The brothers of the new Sultan, were either killed or imprisoned to prevent competition or foul play.
When WW I started, Turkey was still in Medieval times. They took the side of the Axis powers. They lost the war, some of their land was given up, and their country was occupied in the west by Europeans, and in the east by the Russians. They were the only country after WW I to have enough resistance strength, to force all of their occupiers out, and regain some of their land from the Europeans, the Armenians and the Russians.
After WW I, one of Turkeys generals named Mustafa Kemal Ataturk took control of Turkey. Araturk favored the Allies before WW I, but was overruled and had to fight against the Allies. After WWI he lobbied for democracy and gained enough control to put up a resistance. He was given dictatorial power over the democracy, but he kept democracy intact, and started a movement to modernize Turkey. They remained neutral during WW II and although they struggled with democracy for a long time, democracy persevered. Today, Turkey has a very large and powerful military. The second largest in NATO behind the US.
Turkey has come a long was in the last 90 years, yet it still needs some Human Rights improvements, before the European Union would consider it. Arranged marriages are a thing of the past, and women's rights started here in the 1930's. However, I still didn't see many women in the work force in Istanbul. Almost all establishments have male waiters and male service staff. I enjoyed my time in Istanbul and will probably be back, since there is a lot more ground to cover. As well, I would like to go further east in Turkey.



Add comment