Turkey's First Lady has called the harem of Ottoman sultans a "school" preparing women for life, the Euro News website reports today (March 11, 2016).
Westerners usually view a harem as the sultan's sexual playground -- filled with many women to satisfy a sultan's sexual desires -- but Emine Erdogan called it an educational institution for members of the Ottoman dynasty. She was speaking at an official event on Ottoman sultans in Ankara, Turkey's capital.
The sultans -- who ruled the Ottoman empire from the 15th to the 20th centuries -- had a harem at Istanbul's Topkapi Palace, which was turned into a museum after the birth of the Turkish Republic in 1923.
Emine Erdogan's comments came under fire on social media, just a day after her husband marked International Women's Day by saying he believed "a woman is above all a mother," which prompted street protests in Istanbul.