Increasingly, during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, publications appeared in the Ottoman Empire that took issue with traditional norms of gender and sexuality and advocated alternatives. They criticized arranged marriages and supported companionate unions, attacked polygyny, stressed the importance of a fulfilling sex life in which the wife is an equal partner entitled to gratification, acknowledged sexual attraction as legitimate and viewed the choice of a partner as personally empowering, and even hinted that sexual relations outside marriage were acceptable. Studies of such publications have tended to focus on writers, their thoughts, and the influences that shaped them, generally neglecting the institutional framework that enabled this surge of publications. Focusing on book publishing, this article seeks to document the emergence of Ottoman-Turkish print capitalism and reveal its role in the production of publications that challenged established ideas of personal relations between men and women.

You do not currently have access to this content.