You are the Valide Sultan.
As the absolute sovereign of the harem, everything is regulated by you and implemented according to your design.
Since harem women cannot interact with the public, all contact with the outside world shall be conducted by harem eunuchs.
However, within the harem, your enormous staff is made up of women.
Your kethuda usta (head of administrative affairs) carries out your orders related to state, and your haznedar usta (personal assistant) sees that your orders are carried out within the harem household. Beneath these two women are at least a hundred other workers of varied capacity.
You wonder if that will be enough…?
Your resources are bountiful, now.
In fact, dear ippetlu (‘she of highest dignity‘), your salary as Valide surpasses that of the Sultan’s — an indication of the reverence your son holds for you, as well as a sign of the importance of your position.
Moreover, after the Sultan’s war conquests, he showers you with new lands and castles, making sure you always receive the most valuable real estate before gifting less choice real estate to the men in his administration.
You, in turn, parcel off this real estate to these very men for favors, information, and whatever other needs you and the harem may have.
Such are the means of power over men for a Valide, and her harem. Continue reading