THE OTTOMAN WOMAN THROUGH KONSTANTIN BAZILI’S POINT OF VIEW

Ufuk BİRCAN

XIXth century is a period of great importance for Turkey - Russia relations. It is the period when a number of works of Russian authors appeared about Turkey and nations living in Turkey as result of their travels to Ottoman Empire. A close interest in Turkey, driven by wars between two countries, resulted in many works devoted to Istanbul and Turkey. The goal of this article is to analyze the observations on Ottoman women and their place in social life, expressed in "Constantinople Essays" – the travel-writing work, written in the first half of XIXth century by Konstantin Bazili (1809-1886), a famous Russian orientalist and diplomat. This work reflects all sides of Ottoman life based on personal observations and experiences of the writer. The author, who realized very well an interest of Russian society in Constantinople and great Ottoman Empire, gives interesting images with very fine details on Ottoman life. This work serves as an encyclopedia of daily life of the capital of Ottoman Empire for Russian diplomats in Turkey. The topics and themes of Bazili's works have been repeated by Russian writers of later periods. This work provides to Russian reader a unique possibility to dig into Turkish life, learn very interesting sides of this life and understand the psychology and values of the society depicted.

Keywords: Ottoman Women, Russian Literature, Imagology, Konstantin Bazili