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Talk: “Understanding Mehir through the Ottoman Realm” by Sema Keles Yildiz, Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Harvard University, April 18, 2023 @ 4:30 – 6:00 pm

April 18, 2023 @ 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm

The Center for Middle Eastern Studies is pleased to present

“Understanding Mehir through the Ottoman Realm”


Sema Keleş Yıldız
Faculty Member, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan University, Turkey

Marriage transactions have attracted the interest of many researchers from different fields for several decades. These transactions can be an instrument that can affect both the welfare of individuals and families and sometimes the distribution of wealth. In this talk, the subject of mehir (also called as mihr, mahr, or Islamic dower), which can be counted among these transactions, will be discussed. Within the scope of this talk, the theoretical framework of the mehir in Islamic and Ottoman law will be drawn and it will be tried to analyze the mehir in economic and social terms in Ottoman practice through the data obtained from the Ottoman Court Registers. In this context, the mehir will be discussed in terms of debt-credit relations, and the relationship between wealth and mehir amounts will be pointed out. In addition, some social and economic advantages of mehir that are claimed to provide for women will be tried to be tested through the Ottoman practice.

Sema Keleş Yıldız is an economic historian interested in Ottoman economic history, world economic history, and women in economic history. She received her BA degree in Economics from Uludağ University, Bursa in 2009. She started to work as a research assistant at Rize University in the Department of Economic History in 2010. She received her MA degree in 2013 with the thesis titled “Weaving in the Rize Economy during Ottoman Empire”, and she received her Ph.D. in Economic History with the dissertation titled “Social and Economic Life in Bursa in the First Half of the 18th Century” in 2019 from Marmara University. Yıldız worked as a research assistant at Marmara University during her graduate education between 2012 and 2019. She is a faculty member in the Department of Economic History at Recep Tayyip Erdoğan University. She is currently a visiting scholar at the CMES, Harvard, where she is doing her research on women in economic life in the Ottoman Empire and the United States of America.

Tuesday, April 18, 2023
4:30pm to 6:00pm

CMES, Rm 102
38 Kirkland St, Cambridge, MA 02138

Link: https://cmes.fas.harvard.edu/event/understanding-mehir-through-ottoman-realm
Contact: Liz Flanagan<mailto:elizabethflanagan@fas.harvard.edu>


April 18, 2023
4:30 pm - 6:00 pm
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