Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures

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Spirit Possession: Turkey
(1,078 words)

Women in Turkey may counteract social expectations and male dominance through bodily crises, conceptualized as spirit possession (cincilik, baygınlık, bayılma). Bodily crises in this sense are not only a manifestation of local Islam, but also of a female counterhegemonic potential to express the unspeakable.

Spirit possession is a multiply contested concept in Turkey: whereas urban Kemalists probably would deny its very existence, Orthodox Muslims respect cin as created by God and mentioned in the Qurʾān, but reject the idea of encountering them in everyday l…

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Strasser, Sabine, “Spirit Possession: Turkey”, in: Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures, General Editor Suad Joseph. Consulted online on 28 September 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1872-5309_ewic_EWICCOM_0206g>
First published online: 2009

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