Yavuz Aykan

On Freedom, Kinship, and the Market. Rethinking Property and Law in the Ottoman Slave System

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Ottoman; Slavery; Kinship; Islamic Jurisprudence; Legal Fiction.

This article focuses on domestic slavery, kinship, and the early modern market in 17th-century Ottoman Istanbul. By drawing on the notarial registers ("sicils") kept by the legal courts of Istanbul as well as on jurisprudential ("fiqh") works, this article dismantles the interplay amongst notions of freedom, kinship, and the economic value not only of slave bodies but also of their labour, which could be detachable from the body as an object of commercial contract. While grappling with these questions, the article also unravels the fictional capacity of Islamic jurisprudence in fabricating kinship ties between the master and the slave. Hence, this article aims at exploring the servile component of the market and the social in 17th-century Istanbul.

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