Oddity of the Week: The Harem in Constantinople

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This week's Oddity takes you on an exotic journey through time and place.

The Harem in Constantinople

Is this photo real, or staged? We don't know. It's from around 1913, and shows some jolly people enjoying what looks to be a really good meal in comfortable surroundings. We'd like some souvlaki, please.

The title is 'Feasting in the Harem in Constantinople'. Now, we're pretty sure this picture is posed, but the furniture and costumes look pretty authentic to us. We couldn't swear as to whether any of the people involved were related to each other.

We're also pretty sure Hollywood had nothing to do with it. Hollywood tends to think ladies in harems ran around in skimpier clothing. This looks about right.

The one thing that's bogus: the word 'Constantinople'. No matter how much fun that is to say, the town's called Istanbul – unless you're Greek. Then you always call it Constantinopolis.

Excuse us, we're hankering for some feta and olives now. And, miss, could you pour some of whatever that is into a fresh goblet? We'd do it ourselves, but we've just got comfortable on these cushions.

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Dmitri Gheorgheni

26.11.12 Front Page

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