ISSN: 0041-4255
e-ISSN: 2791-6472

Ali Efdal Özkul

Keywords: Divorce, muhalaa, talak, tefrik, bedel-i hul', Şer'i Sicil Cyprus


There are several sources that provide information about family life in Cyprus during the Ottoman period. In bi-communal (Muslim & non-Muslim) countries like Cyprus, family life displays variations. Despite taking place rarely, there had been bicommunal marriages allowed under Muslim law at the time. Although there are not many marriages being recorded in the Ottoman registers, there are records of divorces. During the 18th century, there were three types of divorces (talak, muhalaa and tefrik), muhalaa (negotiated divorce)being the most popular one during the first half of the century. In certain negotiated divorces, it was common knowledge recorded in the registers that women had compensated men under bedel-i hul'(khul)to persuade them to get a divorce. Irretrievable breakdown of marriage was the main reason for divorce in court. One of the reasons why some of the divorces became court cases was because of mehr-i müeccel disagreement. When the divorce was finalised, mothers would generally take the children and fathers had to pay nafaka and kisve baha to help support the children. When Nicosia registers are analysed, it is possible to say that there is more information on the cases of divorce recorded during the 18th century when compared to other periods; some of which took place between non-Muslim couples. Such registers provide a great deal of important information to do with Cypriot family life at the time.