The Economy and Morality of Elopement in Rural Western Turkey


In rural western Turkey, villagers use cultural and Islamic values of economic egalitarianism and care for the less fortunate to critique exploitation. They argue that cultural Islamic values of community and mutual assistance clash with the monetarization of kin relationships. In considering two ethnographic cases, I show how the community interprets daughters’ struggles at the time of their marriage. When daughters make a move to separate from the natal household, their family’s economic survival is threatened. To contain the loss of income, fathers attempt to delay daughters’ marriages and daughters sometimes elope to solve the problem. This paper is about how the villagers analyze these events via their notions of morally correct behavior.1


morality, Islam, Turkey, elopement, weaving

How to Cite

Hart, K., (2010) “The Economy and Morality of Elopement in Rural Western Turkey”, Ethnologia Europaea 40(1), p.58-76. doi:

Publisher Notes

  • This article was previously published by Museum Tusculanum Press.



Kimberly Hart (Indiana University)



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This article has been peer reviewed.

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