A good many Armenian evangelicals played a very decisive role in the defence of the Armenian population in the cities of Van, Ourfa, Shabin-Karahissar, Mousa Dagh and Aintab.
The Aleppo College, until a decade ago a junior college, is really a continuation of Central Turkey College originally established in 1876 in the Cilician town of Aintab.
As a result, a substantial part of Peirce's study represents a microhistory of the region of Aintab (today's Gaziantep in southeastern Turkey) over a brief, contiguous group of court records dating to 1540-41.
However, Peirce lets the broader political context of Ottoman rule take a back seat to the local conditions under which the court of Aintab would operate several decades after the city's incorporation into the Empire.
After examining the various ways in which the people of Aintab used (or failed to use) the Islamic court during this critical period, Peirce argues that Ottoman actors utilized multiple strategies in interacting with the court.
She frames the various aspects of the functioning of the court in Aintab through the cases of three women; Ine, Haciye Sabah, and Fatma.
Over the course of several chapters, Peirce goes on to illustrate the strategies of various women (and men) who appeared in the court records as they sought to defend their honor, manage their property, and react to increasing imperial attempts by outsiders to manage more closely the affairs of the local communities in Aintab and its surroundings.