The girls got into the harem in two ways: either they were captives captured in the Crimea and other lands, or Turkish women sold by their own parents. To be in the "house of happiness" was considered an enviable fate, and the girls were carefully examined before being accepted as the inhabitants of the harem.
Each slave underwent a training course that included not only dance, etiquette, music, writing and counting, but also the art of lovemaking. The most attractive of the girls - the prospective future wives of the Sultan - received deeper training. And they accepted Islam without fail.
The slaves in the harem were treated quite well: each received a daily salary, as well as gifts for each of the significant holidays. And in the event that a girl, having lived in the "house of happiness" for 9 years, did not attract the attention of the ruler, she was given the status of a free woman, supplied with a dowry and looked for a worthy spouse for her.
However, if during their life in a harem, the slaves broke the rules or behaved in an inappropriate manner, they were very severely punished.
The path from a slave to a favorite (a girl who spent the night with the Sultan at least once) was as follows: the Sultan sent some gift to the one of the concubines whom he wanted to see at home that night. After that, the girl was taken to the baths, dressed up and, accompanied by eunuchs, sent to the ruler's chambers.
Once at the door of the Sultan's bedchamber, the slave had to wait until her master went to bed, and only then could she enter. And upon entering, I crawled on my knees to the bed of the ruler, in order to then get up and lie down next to him. And if the Sultan liked the night spent with the concubine, he sent her gifts in the morning.
After that, the girl received the status of a favorite, moved to the upper harem, and if she became pregnant, then she became ikbal - “happy”. And having given birth, she could well become the wife of the sovereign.
They tried to choose black boys as eunuchs, because it was believed that whites tolerate castration worse and more often die after it. Black boys for a harem were often kidnapped in Africa and then sold to the Sultan's "house of happiness."
In the event that the child survived after castration, his wounds were treated with aromatic oils. And when the boy fully recovered, he was sent to be raised by adult eunuchs. And here he not only received a good education for that time, but also a new name - eunuchs were named after this or that flower.