Topkapi Sarayi ( the harem) - an unforgettable experience
In other times here was just silence. The silence was broken occasionally by mild whispers of women , by the chirping of the birds , or by the crystalline sound of some musical instrument.
But above all , was silence
Topkapi sarayi (the harem)
It is surprising the way we smile when we say certain words . Words like dreams , hope , miracle .Words like harem . Maybe the only explanation is the fascination that the harem has excited our imagination since the eighteenth century . The word harem describes a private space where women are kept closed away from public life . But of all harems on this earth , there is no other place as Topkapi Sarayi . Here more then anywhere else , every stone paved the endless alleys , has its own story . Stories full of blood , tears , murder , conspiracy and that bitter desire to be free.
Here in harem the sultan took his ease surrounded by his wives and concubines with his guardians black eunuchs , amused by his favourite pages , dwarfs and mutes.
In other times here was silence . The silence was broken occasionally by mild whispers of women , by the chirping of the birds , or the crystalline sounds of some musical instrument . But above all was silence . Because no other sound was not to interrupt the thoughts of the Sultan , the Ruler of the three empires , the Lord of the Lords , the Master of all believers and unbelievers necks .
In other times no man would have dared to step foot in the harem . Because if they dared to , soon as his head was placed in one sinister niches that guards the entrance of the palace .
Full of curiosity , my heart beating out of my chest . slowly going into harem.
The word it self means “Forbidden” in Arabic language . At least that is the explanation that a guide gives me in a hurry . I look at the endless alleys , full of tourists from all over the world running around and laughing loudly .I wonder for a moment what could be said the Sultan , the Ruler of three empires , is he saw his palace where the entry is forbidden to men , that is now defiled.
It was almost noon time and my guide has proposed a quick tour thought the splendor of the palace .We went in pursuit of a lot of rooms , bedrooms , baths , meeting rooms .
All of them were decorated in amazing colors , the walls were covered with ceramic tiles that were written with quotations from the Quran .
I asked the guide to take me in the harem’s graveyard . He refused saying it is noon already , but few dollars removed his objections . He warned me, that visiting the cemetery is forbidden , I can only look at it through the bars .
Strange , I thought , in no other place in this world , the word forbidden is said with such a naturalness.
I look over the thousands of tombstones , thinking that there are all stories that lying there covered with dust , some stories unknown to anyone , others are just guessed .
Then I turned left , turning my back to the sultans of the three empires , the Lords of all Lords , the Masters of all believers and unbelievers necks , leaving them to sleep in peace , surrounded by their odalisques , guarded by the great
Guardians of eunuchs and by the great Guardians of the guards .
I crossed the long paths back to the exit , surrounded by tourists who rush to the table , by children chased each other in play and by men who went with their wives laughing loudly .
In other times , I thought , here was just silence. The silence was broken occasionally by mild whispers of women , by the chirping of the birds , or by the crystalline sound of some musical instrument.
But above all , was silence .