Contemporary and Independent The Transformation of Female Identity in Turkey from the Tanzimat to the Republic


Since the beginning of the 20th century when the identities of men and women were reconstructed as a social category, modern states have been directed to produce new gender policies in the processes of nationalization through the slogan of modernizing and liberating the female body. In the experience of the Republic of Turkey, this has also similarly been mobilized as the driving force of social reform by constructing a new female identity in order to reach the targeted new social order. Since the Tanzimat Era, the transformation of the female identity that had occurred at the center of Westernization movements and had been attributed to a lofty mission was followed in the Republic period by more concrete and radical steps carried out by the state. In this context, an essential part of the deep-rooted reforms implemented during the early Republic period was the ideal of the contemporary and independent Turkish woman. This article addresses the transformation of the female identity that took place at the center of Westernization efforts from the Tanzimat and the role and mission imposed upon women in the process of establishing the Republic of Turkey in terms of the modern nation state and secularist policies.


Tanzimat Era Turkish Republic woman identity secularism public sphere Turkish Modernization