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A Woman Timar Holder in Ankara Province During the Second Half of the 16th Century

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image of Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient

This article, in essence a microscopic study of an area around Ankara deals with a long lasting family quarrel about a Timar property (associated with military service during wartime) focusing on the question of hereditary rights for women. The family involved can be traced back almost two hundred and fifty years: in the sixteenth century they were modest Timar holders, but had once belonged to the wealthy ahi-patricians of Ankara. The remarkably rich archival material also allows us to track the different structures of the Timar in course of time. The development of the court proceedings reveals that the legal position was not unequivocal, especially concerning the succession rights of women during this period. The final decision in favour of Şakire, the heroine of the story, is primarily examined in the article in the context of social changes during the 16th century, when succession rights of women in rural as well as in urban strata of society underwent alterations. The picture which emerges is that of continuous change in the social status of Muslim-Turkish women, a status which too often has been regarded as static and unchangeable.

Affiliations: 1: Bonn


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