Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures

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Slavery: Ottoman Empire
(1,541 words)

Slavery was deeply rooted and ubiquitous in the vast, centuries-old Ottoman Empire. Although generally only the wealthier elements of society could afford to own slaves (esir, abd, rıkk), slavery in numerous forms was practiced in every Ottoman province from the Balkans, Asia Minor, and the Caucasus to the Arabian Peninsula and North Africa. Ottoman armies and slave drovers of various nations supplied the Ottoman markets with white and non-white men, women, and children, whom they seized outside the empire's borders in th…

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Zilfi, Madeline C., “Slavery: Ottoman Empire”, in: Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures, General Editor Suad Joseph. Consulted online on 09 February 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1872-5309_ewic_EWICCOM_0278c>
First published online: 2009

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