Gulhan Balsoy

Politics of Reproduction in Ottoman Society, 1838–1900

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Epidemics, migration and territorial losses led to population decline in early nineteenth-century Turkey. In response, Ottoman elites began a programme of population growth, based on increased birth rate and reduced infant mortality. Three policies were initiated to achieve this: the professionalization of midwives, a ban on abortion and greater medical care during pregnancy. Balsoy uses previously untapped archival sources to examine these developments, arguing that these changes caused reproduction to become a political experience.
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334 printed pages

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