Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures

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Household Forms and Composition: Turkey
(1,466 words)

European travelers often described Ottoman Muslim households as patriarchal extended families having large numbers of slaves and servants. They focused their descriptions on harem life, polygynous marriages, and concubines. They degraded Muslim women, seeing them as sexual objects who were kept strictly inside the harem. This Orientalist perspective was adopted by the modernizing elites in Turkey, who criticized family life in their writings. Only during the last two decades have serious studies…

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Özbay, Ferhunde, “Household Forms and Composition: Turkey”, in: Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures, General Editor Suad Joseph. Consulted online on 25 February 2024 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1872-5309_ewic_EWICCOM_0090g>
First published online: 2009

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