Istanbul, founded under the name of Byzantion on the Sarayburnu promontory around 660 BC, the city grew in size and influence, becoming one of the most important cities in history. 

After its reestablishment as Constantinople in 330 AD, it served as an imperial capital for almost 16 centuries, during the Roman/Byzantine (330-1204), Latin (1204-1261), Palaiologos Byzantine (1261-1453) and Ottoman (1453-1922) Empires.

Istanbul was instrumental in the advancement of Christianity during Roman and Byzantine times, before the Ottomans conquered the city in 1453 AD and transformed it into an Islamic stronghold and the seat of the Ottoman Caliphate. Under the name Constantinople, it was the Ottoman capital until 1923. The capital was then moved to Ankara and the city was renamed Istanbul.

Yes, this author has visited the harem dancers at Kervansaray's, as evidenced by the Intro Video, in downtown Istanbul and he thoroughly enjoyed it. 

Historically, he Imperial Harem of the Ottoman sultan, which was also called seraglio in the West, was part of Topkap? Palace. It also housed the Valide Sultan, as well as the sultan's daughters and other female relatives. Eunuchs and servant girls were also part of the harem. During the later periods, the sons of the sultan lived in the Harem until they were 12 years old.

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