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The Jewish-Muslim mixed marriages: self-identifications and experiences of Jewish-Muslim couples and their children in contemporary Turkey

Yıldıztekin, Bürin
This thesis explores Jewish-Muslim mixed marriages with a particular focus on the mixed couples’ and their children’s self-identifications regarding religion and their experiences in a predominantly Muslim country, Turkey. By adopting a qualitative research design, in-depth interviews were conducted with 9 Jewish-Muslim mixed couples and 3 children in Istanbul and in Izmir. In addition, an official from the Turkish Jewish Community and an active member of the community were interviewed to determine the general perception of the Turkish Jewish Community regarding mixed marriage. The Jewish-Muslim mixed couples’ self-identifications with their Jewish and Muslim cultures and heritages reveal the importance of understanding individuals’ self-perceptions about their own identities since their self-perceptions cannot be understood by primordial ascriptions. The children of these mixed couples’ self-identifications provide important insights into the issue of the relative attractiveness of Jewish and Muslim identities in Turkey. The Jewish-Muslim mixed couples’ and their children’s experiences in the private and public spheres reveal significant aspects of being Jewish, being mixed-married and being a child of a mixed marriage in a predominantly Muslim country, Turkey.