Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures

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Virginity: Turkey
(1,035 words)

Cultural discourses on virginity in Turkey posit that the virginity of an unmarried woman is a primary condition of her worth and her family's honor. So powerful is the identification of girls and virgins that girl is linguistically iconic with virgin: instead of the precise term, bakire, the more common usage is simply kiz, “girl.” A bride's virginity might be publicly proclaimed through the customary practice of displaying a sheet stained with blood on the wedding night, or a gynecological report affirming that the hymen is intact. To ward off poten…

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Parla, Ayşe, “Virginity: 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_0209h>
First published online: 2009

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