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Fellows 2017


Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München

Bucerius Pre-Doctoral Grant

Women's Prisons and Women Prisoners in the Late Ottoman Empire: An Analysis of the Ambivalent Imprisonment Practices (1840-1919)


This project sketches a broad framework in the late Ottoman prison system and prisoners' institutional, legal, spatial problems. It struggles with the Ottoman approach towards women prisoners in terms of their gender roles, social ranks, fertilities, motherhood, sexuality, and discriminative prison policy. The main aim of this research is to focus on special imprisonment practices and most importantly the ways of perception of women inmates. Even if they shared some of the same woeful conditions suffered by men, female prisoners were, in addition, subject to abuses like rape, coercion, discrimination, and sometimes special attention in the Ottoman prisons just because of their femininity and vulnerability. Briefly, this project aspires to consider the original roots of women prisoners' ambivalent roles within the concept of gendered criminality theories. This study also enables us to give insights on the comparison of the practices of Ottoman and European women's prisons.

Gizem Sivri is a Ph.D. candidate and an assistant lecturer at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University in the Middle and Near Eastern Studies Department. Her project is supervised by Prof. Christoph Neumann. She is also a Ph.D. fellow at Gerda Henkel Stiftung. She holds a Master’s Degree in Modern Turkish History from Boğazici University (2017) and a Bachelor’s Degree in History from Istanbul Bilgi University (2014). She gives lectures on the social and political history of Late Ottoman Empire and the Middle East. Her research interests focus on women’s criminality, prison modernization, history of penology and criminology, history of criminal justice in the late Ottoman Empire and in the Middle East.

2020: Sivri, Gizem, “Hapiste Kadın Olmak: Osmanlı İmportorluğu’nda Kadın Suçluluğu ve Kadınların Hapsedilmesi (1840-1919)”, Feminist Tahayyül, Vol 1, Issue 1. Jan.2020

2019: Sivri, Gizem, “The Politics of Women Imprisonment within the Discussion of the Ottoman Prison Reform (1840-1919)”

2018: Sivri, Gizem, “The Politics of Women’s Imprisonment in the Late Ottoman Empire (1840-1918): Imams’ Houses as Spatial Place and Detention Question of Women Inmates”, CISST& TCPS International Conference on Alternatives to Imprisonment 24-25 November 2018, Conference Book, Istanbul: TCPS Kitapliği, December 2018

2017: Sivri, Gizem, “Osmanlı’da Kadın Mahkûm Olmak: Kadınları Mahkûm Etme ve Denetleme Pratikleri Üzerine Bir Değerlendirme, 1840-1919”, Toplumsal Tarih, Vol. 283, July 2017, 84-91  

Dicle Koğacıoğlu Article Awards 2019 (Third Prize), “Hapiste Kadın Olmak: Osmanlı İmparatorluğu’nda Kadın Suçluluğu ve Kadınların Hapsedilmesi (1840-1919)”

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