Stories to Encourage Respect for Parents in the Ottoman Morals and Manners Books

Araz Y.

MILLI FOLKLOR, no.100, pp.99-109, 2013 (AHCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2013
  • Journal Name: MILLI FOLKLOR
  • Journal Indexes: Arts and Humanities Citation Index (AHCI), Scopus, TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.99-109
  • Keywords: Ottoman family, parents, mother, children, stories
  • Dokuz Eylül University Affiliated: Yes


This essay is to comprehend the relationship between the parents and their children, and on which values and perceptions the relationship is built via analyzing certain stories taken from books on morals and manners. Besides encouraging and warning children about acting respectfully towards their parents, these stories employ the relationship between the parents and their children at different levels. Islamic-Ottoman law regulates parents-children relationship on mutual rights and responsibilities. The stories not only put emphasis on this aspect of the relation but also present love, respect and compassion as parts of this relationship. As a result of the "miraculous" connection beginning from the womb, the stories bring mostly the relationship between sons and their mothers forward. That is why fathers -despite having a respectful place- do not appear often in the stories. On the other hand, daughters are kept in the background because they are regarded as "guests" who will leave the home sooner or later. According to the stories, the children ought to serve their parents when needed, please them, satisfy their needs and never act against their words. Acting this way, the children would partly pay their parents back for their care when they were little. A considerable part of the stories, despite being based on religious sources, have eventually met with various local stories and become an important part of the tradition, and hence have been reproduced by being transmitted from generation to generation for centuries. The question of how much the response was between the stories and the daily life needs to be researched into. Yet, it is crystal clear that these stories lead the dimension of perception of the relationships between individuals.