No coffee in the morning? Divorce!
Yes, this is a very much legal and fully-fledged law in Arabia. There are many unusual divorce laws all over the world depending on the culture and history of the people, and it seems like coffee is a part of the list as well.
The Coffee History
Present-day scenario: Coffee for many is the necessary kick for starting a day and the caffeine present in it can make it quite addictive, even to the point of claiming for a divorce if not given the supply. The Turkish love for coffee began from the 16th century when in 1555 it was introduced in Constantinople (present-day Istanbul) and began the culture of coffee houses in the country. The drink that stimulated excitement and energy in whoever consumed it, from sheep to men, was the main reason why it became so popular.
Coffee originated in Ethiopia and the legends have it that it was flocks of sheep that discovered the mystery red berry that gave them a sudden boost when they consumed them. The shepherds having noticed this decided to give it a try themselves and found the berries to brew and taste.
However, in 16th century Constantinople, the beverage started to be made with the roasted beans and not the berries anymore. Its popularity gave way to the coffee-shop culture and encouraged them to be the social centers where men would conduct their gatherings and spend time conversing over coffee or just have a gala time.
It got imbibed into the Turkish culture so deeply that men would consider the possibility of a woman to be their potential wife by how she could brew coffee. There came a time when it even stirred the insecurities and doubts in the minds of the Sultanate (ruler) of the Ottoman Empire who covered all the distance to shut down all the coffee shops. He was concerned with the number of men gathering together and bonding and sharing their views over coffee and that it could come as a difficulty for him soon.
Coffee and the Turkish Women
Although coffee’s real hold over their society can be marked by the fact that its absence could stand as very real and understandable grounds for divorce and no, not for men, this law was in the favor of the women of the country. The otherwise strict women’s rights in Turkey saw a sudden hike when this law came to exist. According to it, if the husband failed to provide his wife with something as obvious (in their culture) and necessary, the woman could divorce him.
Not many such cases would’ve been found though where a woman would agree to leave her family and go to survive alone with all the meager rights she’s been blessed with.
Apart from Turkey, the law sees the light of acceptance in Saudi Arabia as well. This is a step forwards in giving more liberal rights to the most ignored part of their society, women.