Gateway to Western Modernity: The Case of Turkish Women

in Hawwa
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Abstract

The Turkish Republic is accepted as one of the most advanced Muslim countries in regards to the emancipation of women, according to widely produced literature about the region. Turkey’s commitment to modernization is the underlying reason behind this premise. Women played a critical role as the symbols of westernization project at the center. I shed light on the women’s empowerment trajectory and examine the extent to which the republic kept up with its promise of emancipating women. A critique of this project from outside sources helps decipher the codes of failing to fulfill the expectations of the female population. I first discuss how the republic rendered women the symbols of modernization and the measures it took to secure this rendering. I then examine women’s empowerment in political, economic and social realms at various time intervals in history. I conclude with some of the current challenges before full emancipation of women in Turkey.

Gateway to Western Modernity: The Case of Turkish Women

in Hawwa

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References

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1

Alex Inkeles and David Smith“Becoming Modern,” in Development and Under-Development: The Political Economy of Global InequalityMichell A. Seligson and John T. Passe-Smith eds. (London: Lynne Rienner Publishers1998) 211.

3

Deniz Kandiyoti“Contemporary Feminist Scholarship and Middle East Studies,” in Gendering the Middle EastDeniz Kandiyoti ed. (NY: Syracuse University Press1996) 10.

4

Guity Nashat and Judith TuckerWomen in the Middle East and North Africa (IN: Indiana University Press1999) xxxiii.

5

Samuel HuntingtonThe Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order (NY: Touchstone1996) 47.

6

Lisa Taraki“The Role of Women,” in Understanding the Contemporary Middle EastDeborah Gerner and Jillian Schwedler eds. (London: Lynne Rienner Publishers2004) 338.

7

Dankwart A. Rustow“Modernization of Turkey,” in Social Change and Politics in Turkey: A Structural-Historical AnalysisKemal H. Karpat ed. (Leiden: E.J. Brill1973) 94.

8

Arnold Toynbee Kenneth KirkwoodTurkey (NY: Charles Scribner’s and Sons1927) 3.

9

Bernard LewisThe Emergence of Modern Turkey (London: Oxford University Press1961) xx.

10

Geoffrey LewisModern Turkey (NY: Praeger Publishers1974) 125.

11

Yesim Arat“The Project of Modernity and Women in Turkey,” in Rethinking Modernity and National Identity in TurkeySibel Bozdogan and Resat Kasaba eds. (Seattle: University of Washington Press1997) 97.

12

Mervat Hatem“Modernization, the State and the Family” in The Social History of Women and Gender in the Modern Middle EastMargaret L. Meriwether and Judith E. Tucker eds. (CO: Westview Press1999) 69.

13

Hugh PoultonTop Hat Grey Wolf and Crescent: Turkish Nationalism and the Turkish Republic (NY: New York University Press1997) 100.

14

James C. ScottWeapons of the Weak: Everyday Forms of Peasant Resistance (New Haven: Yale University Press1985) 304.

15

Valentine MoghadamModernizing Women: Gender and Social Change in the Middle East (London: Lynne Rienner Publishers2003) 92.

16

Bernard CaporalKemalizm ve Kemalizm Sonrasinda Turk Kadini (Ankara: Is Bankasi Kultur Yayinlari1982) 651.

17

Baskin OranAtaturk Milliyetciligi (Ankara: Dost Kitabevi1988) 187.

18

Mahmut GologluDevrimler ve Tepkileri 1924–1930 (Ankara: Basnur Matbaasi1972) 140.

19

Mahmut Gologlu Turkiye Cumhuriyeti 1923 (Ankara: Basnur Matbaasi1971) 84–85.

20

Ziya E. KaralAtaturk’ten Dusunceler (Istanbul: Milli Egitim Bakanligi1981) 70.

22

Rifat N. Bali“Ataturk’un Dine Bakisi,” Toplumsal Tarih DergisiNo. 153 (Eylul: 2006) (In this article Bali translated a report (no. 423 date: 3/17/1933) prepared by Charles H. Sherrill U.S. Ambassador to Turkey in 1932–1933).

23

Ian C. Dengler“Turkish Women in the Ottoman Empire,” in Women in the Muslim WorldNikki Keddie and Lois Beck eds. (MA: Harvard University Press1978) 230.

24

Ilbeyi OzerAvrupa Yolunda Batilasma yada Batililasma: Istanbul’da Sosyal Degisimler (Istanbul: Truva Yayinlari2005) 234.

25

Tezer TaskiranCumhuriyetin 50. Yilinda Turk Kadin Haklari (Ankara: Basbakanlik Basimevi1973) 27.

26

Faik Resid UnatTurkiye’de Egitim Sisteminin Gelismesine Tarihi Bir Bakis (Ankara: Milli Egitim Basimevi1964) 35–36.

27

John Riddle ed.TO SEE THE DAWN: Baku 1920–First Congress of the Peoples of the East (NY: Pathfinder1993) 129.

29

Deniz Kandiyoti“Women and the Turkish State: Political Actors or Symbolic Pawns?” in Women Nation and StateNira Yuval–Davis and Floya Anthias eds. (NY: St. Martin’s Press1989) 135.

31

Kumari JayawedenaFeminism and Nationalism in the Third World (London: Zed Books1986) 35–36.

32

Zehra Arat“Politics of Representation and Identity,” in Deconstructing Images of The Turkish WomanZehra Arat ed. (NY: Saint Martin Press1998) 24.

33

Ipek CalislarLatife Hanim (Istanbul: Dogan Kitap2006) 198.

34

Tulin Gunsen Icli“Cumhuriyet Doneminde Kadinin Sosyal Konumu,” Ataturk Arastirma Merkezi DergisiSayi: 56 Cilt: XIX (Temmuz: 2003) Turkiye Cumhuriyeti’nin 80. Yili Ozel Sayisi.

39

Susanne Fawler“Women still an untapped labor force in Turkey,” New York TimesMay 4 2011.

40

Yesim Arat“From Emancipation to Liberation: The Changing Role of Women in Turkey’s Public Realm” 107–123.

41

Nuket KardamTurkey’s Engagement with Global Women’s Human Rights (Hants: Ashgate Publishing Limited2005) 62.

45

Nilufer GoleThe Forbidden Mahrem: Civilization and Veiling (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press1996) 1.

47

LewisThe Emergence of Modern Turkey 272.

48

Helen SafaThe Myth of the Male Breadwinner: Women and Industrialization in the Caribbean (CO: Westview Press1995) 46.

49

Mervat F. Hatem“Egyptian Discourses on Gender and Political Liberalization: Do Secularist and Islamist Views Really Differ?” The Middle East JournalVol. 48. no. 4 (Autumn 1994): 661–676.

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