Women’s Rights and Gender Equality in Turkey| The Image of Turkish Women as the Antithesis of the Ottoman Past: Representations of Women in the Newspapers of the Early Republican Era

Esra Ercan Bilgiç


In the manufacturing of the Turkish national identity during the Kemalist single party era, the political discourse on women was shaped around the idea that unlike in the Republican regime, women’s roles in the public sphere were ignored in the Ottoman period. This article examines the framing of women in three mainstream newspapers between 1934 and 1937, on the basis of a data corpus collected from the archives with the keywords “Turkish women.” Using discourse analysis, the article illustrates how the newspapers were instrumental in imagining a new identity for Turkish women, reproducing a political discourse around it while continuously constructing a binary opposition between the past and the present. The findings show that the framing of Turkish women helped to promote the Kemalist regime’s official discourse of women’s emancipation and that temporal dimension around the representation of women came forward with regard to the function and contribution of the newspapers’ discourses in imagining the nation.


Turkish national identity, Kemalist era, press, gender, women

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