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Alexandra Anastasia Lisowska would not have allowed it: how they actually got divorced in the empire of Sultan Suleiman – the truth of the “Magnificent Century”

How did divorces actually work in the Ottoman Empire? Turkish The Magnificent Century series, in particular, imagines that it is enough to say the phrase three times “I’m getting a divorce!” and the marriage will be dissolved. But how true is this?

In the Ottoman Empire, family was important to devout Muslims, but marriage could be dissolved. Both spouses had the right to express their desire to divorce. True, there are some differences for men and women.

Photo: still from the TV series “The Magnificent Century” (dir.
Durul Taylan, Yamur Taylan, Yagiz Alp Akaidyn and others. Tim’s Productions, 2011 – 2014)

However, for a man it was enough to announce his desire and say the phrase “I’m getting a divorce! I’m getting a divorce! I’m getting a divorce!” in the presence of witnesses. The woman had to turn to the qadi and explain the reason for her reluctance to live with her husband.

Among the valid reasons for divorce were: violence by a husband against his wife, insolvency of a man, apostasy from the faith. But each of these cases had its own characteristics; it was necessary to prove the facts that the woman referred to.

Photo: still from the TV series “The Magnificent Century” (dir.
Durul Taylan, Yamur Taylan, Yagiz Alp Akaidyn and others. Tim’s Productions, 2011 – 2014)

For example, according to Islamic law of the Ottoman Empire, a husband was allowed to punish his wife only if she had a difficult temper. A man could hit his wife, but not hard and not in the face. For example, in the series “The Magnificent Century,” the fact that Lutfi Pasha hit his wife Shah Sultan became the basis for Pasha’s divorce and exile.

If a husband regularly beat his wife, she could complain to the qadi. The first time, the judge reprimanded the man, and when the woman applied again, the divorce occurred automatically without the consent of the spouse.

Photo: still from the TV series “The Magnificent Century” (dir.
Durul Taylan, Yamur Taylan, Yagiz Alp Akaidyn and others. Tim’s Productions, 2011 – 2014)

In the case of a complaint about a spouse’s sexual dysfunction, the woman could be denied her application. If a woman wanted to get a divorce for this reason, she had to record the fact of unsatisfactory intimacy immediately after the first wedding night. Otherwise, the qadi could give a probationary period for family reunification. By the way, this period could last a year. If the wife subsequently continued to want freedom, the couple divorced.

Women of the Ottoman dynasty had the right to divorce at any time, but dynastic marriages and divorces were always discussed with the padishah.

Photo: still from the series “The Magnificent Century” (dir.
Durul Taylan, Yamur Taylan, Yagiz Alp Akaidyn and others. Tim’s Productions, 2011 – 2014)

Remember, in the series, Mihrimah Sultan’s attempt to divorce Rustem Pasha was unsuccessful, since the family was against the dissolution of the marriage. This is the scriptwriters’ version; in reality, Suleiman’s daughter had a happy marriage.

If the initiator of the divorce was a woman, she could try to negotiate with her husband about a quick divorce on terms favorable to him. In this case, she could return the mahr to him, that is, the groom’s gift to his wife upon marriage. The woman could refuse part of the unpaid amount of mahr or return it completely to her husband. Under such conditions, the man quickly agreed to a divorce. If the divorce was initiated by the husband, then the mahr remained with the wife.

In addition, the ex-husband was required to cover his wife’s expenses for one hundred days after the divorce. This is due to the fact that a divorced woman could not immediately get married for three months. Part of the mahr was also returned if there was no intimacy between the spouses on the wedding night, and this led to divorce. If the wife wanted a divorce and forgave her husband the unpaid amount of mahr, then it was not repaid, but the couple was simply divorced.

Photo: still from the TV series “The Magnificent Century” (dir.
Durul Taylan, Yamur Taylan, Yagiz Alp Akaidyn and others. Tim’s Productions, 2011 – 2014)

By the way, a man could divorce his wife and then remarry her. In case of remarriage, the husband had to pay mahr again. Men were allowed to divorce the same woman three times. After the third divorce, the woman had to marry another man. This condition was supposed to curb people’s reluctance to get divorced multiple times.

Earlier it was reported that the star of “Ural Dumplings” Sokolov left his wife due to money problems. More details in material Public News Service.

Message Alexandra Anastasia Lisowska would not have allowed it: how they actually got divorced in the empire of Sultan Suleiman – the truth of the “Magnificent Century” appeared first on Public news service.

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