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Morality TalesLaw and Gender in the Ottoman Court of Aintab$
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Leslie Peirce

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780520228900

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520228900.001.0001

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Fatma’s Story: The Dilemma of a Pregnant Peasant Girl

Fatma’s Story: The Dilemma of a Pregnant Peasant Girl

(p.350) (p.351) Fatma’s Story: The Dilemma of a Pregnant Peasant Girl
Morality Tales

Leslie Peirce

University of California Press

This chapter describes a court case in Aintab involving a pregnant peasant girl named Fatma. It explains that Fatma was unmarried and that it was obvious that she was implicated in some manner in the crime of illicit sex, or zina. The chapter suggests that Fatma's attempts to deal with her pregnancy raise questions about the advantages which the local court might offer to such a woman. It considers her story within the shifting terrain of economic recovery and its consequent effects on young people's ability to make marriages, of legal reform and its repercussions among the residents of a large village, and of the subtle but perceptible changes in the culture of the Aintab court that affected her dilemma.

Keywords:   court case, Aintab, zina, pregnancy, economic recovery, marriages, legal reform, culture

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