Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Finding #diversity in the #Ottoman Empire

In #Wikidata everybody is more than welcome to work on the subjects that they consider relevant. There is so much to do that everybody can be the king of his hill. As you gain more experience, it becomes obvious that a previous approach may not really be that good. The information about the Sultans of the Ottoman Empire could do with improvement.

Indicating that the sultan was the sultan is elementary, adding relevant qualifiers makes it informative. One other bit of information that is really important is identifying the mother of each sultan. All these women are known as the "valide sultan" and they were among the most influential people in the Ottoman empire.

Their influence was obviously theirs because in Islam going to paradise relies heavily on having parents and particularly a mother that is happy with their offspring. It follows that learning about the women in the Ottoman empire will shed light on many connections. As a sultan had several wives and concubines in his harem there was no lack of offspring. The future for most of the boys was bleak; many died at the time when one of the brothers ascended to the throne. Many of the girls were married off and strengthened the position of their husband and became really influential as mothers themselves.

These women were well educated. Their position is in a marked contrast with how some perceive Islam should treat women. It is well worth to highlight this aspect of the Ottoman treatment of women.

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