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An Economic and Social History of the Ottoman Empire by Halil Inalcik

By Halil Inalcik

This significant contribution to Ottoman background is now released in paperback in volumes: the unique unmarried hardback quantity (CUP 1995) has been generally acclaimed as a landmark within the examine of 1 of the main enduring and influential empires of contemporary instances. The authors supply a richly unique account of the social and monetary background of the Ottoman sector, from the origins of the Empire round 1300 to the eve of its destruction in the course of international struggle One. The breadth of variety and the fullness of insurance make those volumes crucial for an figuring out of latest advancements in either the center East and the post-Soviet Balkan global.

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9) This fascination is presented as characteristic of the consciousness of a ‘subject race’ and as typically Greek. Vaka Brown provides an account of the late Ottoman experience from the position of a minority population which demonstrates not only the difference of her experience from that of Muslim Turkish women such as Halide Edib, Zeyneb Hanım and Melek Hanım but that also shows the links between them. Her early friendship with Djimlah continued and the contrast between the ease of her friend’s house – where sweets abounded and school lessons seemed far away – became even more marked after the death of her father: … without the restraining influence of my father, work occupied all my waking hours, except when I went to Djimlah’s.

H A RE M TRAVELLERS 13 stereotypes that filled the minds of their readers before they even opened the book. Trying to illustrate how life in the harem was not quite as Europe imagined it, whilst also arguing for reform of the segregated system, brought Ottoman writers up against the prejudices of the West whose stereotypical assumptions survived with remarkable longevity despite the interventions of Western women travellers and writers. The West’s curiosity about harem life was first satisfied to any extent by the now famous letters from Constantinople of Lady Mary Wortley Montagu.

But the stereotype of the indolent, ignorant harem inmate was also a major concern to male writers in the late Ottoman and early Republican period who knew it determined how their whole society was seen by the West (see Chapter Two). Ottoman women publishing in the West joined with their male compatriots in wanting to correct Western misconceptions about Ottoman society but they also wanted (as did many men) to intervene in Ottoman gender relations. Their awareness of Western prejudices made it complicated for them to express their reservations about regional gender restrictions whilst also correcting assumptions about a way of life that was, by the turn of the century, rapidly becoming defunct.

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