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Matthew L. Keegan


This article traces the emergence of compilations of a particular kind of legal riddle in the 8th/14th century, with special reference to the compilation of Ibn Farḥūn (d. 799/1397). Ibn Farḥūn’s riddles could be solved only by someone with detailed knowledge of Islamic positive law (furūʿ), and he argues that they are both an appropriate form of restful entertainment and a kind of competitive pedagogy. At the same time, Ibn Farḥūn derived novel legal opinions on the basis of his riddles, which demonstrates that jurists used hypothetical, imaginative situations to derive new rulings. The article also traces the origins of furūʿ-based legal riddles in the more diffuse tradition of Islamic riddling and in the adab tradition of riddling.

Baudouin Dupret, Adil Bouhya, Monika Lindbekk and Ayang Utriza Yakin


In most Muslim-majority countries, the legislators who drafted family law codes sought to produce a codified version of one of the many Islamic fiqh schools. Such is the case, from West to East, for Morocco, Egypt, and Indonesia. There are situations, however, in which the law remains silent. In such cases, judges must turn to fiqh in order to find appropriate provisions. It is up to judges to interpret the law and to locate the relevant rule. In this process, judges use new interpretive techniques and modes of reasoning. After addressing institutional and legal transformations in Morocco, Egypt, and Indonesia, this article focuses on the domain of family law. We examine cases that illustrate how judges seek a solution in the body of fiqh when asked to authenticate a marriage. In conclusion, we put forward an argument about how judges who are required to refer to fiqh deal with this matter within the context of positive, codified, and standardized law. We argue that the methodology and epistemology adopted by contemporary judges, the legal material on which they draw, and the means by which they refer to this material have fundamentally altered the nature of legal cognition and of law itself.

Boycotting Neo-Ottoman Cool

Geopolitics and Media Industries in the Egypt-Turkey Row over Television Drama

Marwan M. Kraidy


In the 2000s, Turkish-Arab relations warmed up, and the rising popularity of Turkish television dramas in the Arab world was part of an overall ‘zero-problem with neighbors’ realignment initiated by Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development party (AKP). However, Turkey’s involvement in the Arab uprisings complicated this rapprochement. The Turkish government, given their doctrinal proximity, supported the Muslim Brotherhood governments that were elected in Tunisia and Egypt, and then entered the fray of the Syrian uprising against the regime of Bashar al-Assad. After the Egyptian military deposed the elected president and Muslim Brotherhood leader Muhammad Morsi in a June 2013 coup, Egypt-Turkish relations deteriorated, as manifest in the Egyptian media industry boycott of Turkish television dramas. In this paper, by examining Arabic-language, mostly Egyptian primary sources, I analyze the geopolitical, economic and media dimensions of the Egyptian boycott of Turkish productions from Egypt’s perspective, and cast a new light on state-media relations in the Arab world and the interaction between media industries and shifting geopolitics.

Does Journalism Exist in Turkey?

Constraints on and Struggles in the Field of Journalism in the Post-coup Context

Altug Akin


In this article, I analyze the post-coup media and communications environment in Turkey with a particular focus on the practice of journalism, which is becoming increasingly complicated. Following an approach that considers both the constraints imposed on journalism and struggle for news-making, this study represents an attempt to better comprehend the most recent condition of the field of journalism in Turkey, where both producing the news and making sense of the news have become increasingly arduous endeavors. In order to study the structural constraints and struggles of journalists and news organizations, I deploy Pierre Bourdieu’s field theory as a theoretical framework to scrutinize the current situation of journalism in Turkey.


Media, Politics and Culture in Turkey, the Middle East and Beyond

Altug Akin and Bilge Yesil