The status of the elite Muslim women in İstanbul under the reign of Sultan Abdulhamid II (1876-1909)

Date
1997
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Somel, Selçuk Akşin
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Bilkent University
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English
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Abstract

The study takes into consideration the status of elite Muslim women living in Istanbul under the reign of Sultan Abdiilhamid II (1876-1909) with relation to their education, marriage and divorce. Primary sources of various natures were consulted, such as archival material, along with the press and the literary works, i.e. the realistic novels written during that period, in order to give a complete picture of the issues in question. The study reveals that although the elite Muslim women were still confined to the traditional gender roles prevalent in an Islamic patriarchal society, the period — that was a gradual continuation of the novelties commenced by the Tanzimat — witnessed a considerable amount of progress related to women, especially in the field of education. It can be said that the reign of Sultan Abdiilhamid II was a link in the chain of events that led to the emancipation of Ottoman/Turkish women during the Republican period.

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Published Version (Please cite this version)