HAREM, AND THE OTTOMAN WOMEN
penchant for women correlates with the increase in harem population.
As he increased his harem size, he required more furs and jewels
and thus dipped further and further into the State treasuries in
order to support his extravagent tastes. His many concubines and
favourites also meant that an increase in stipends was necessary,
as befitted their role in his pleasures.
The general increase in harem women population also meant that
the total amount of stipends required increased. The growth of the
harem population follows a roughly parallel pattern with the harem
expenditures. The increased spending caused a strain on the state
treasury as the Sultan was spending increasing amounts of time in
the harem rather than leading the Janissaries on conquest of infidel
Other factors that led to the diminishing of state income were
the lack of campaigning or Ghazi (warfare on "infidels"-
non-Muslim lands); the overall inflation of the economy, and the
increase in bribery and corruption of state officials.