Düriye Fatma Türe / Images of Istanbul Women in the 1920s

An abstract of the Dissertation of Düriye Fatma Türe for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy from the Atatürk Institute for Modern Turkish History to be taken October 2007

Title: Images of Istanbul Women in the 1920s

This study concerns the debates about the question of women that were ongoing in the popular press of Turkey in the 1920s and looks at the traces of these debates in obscene literature as a marginal branch of popular literature. The question of women was at the heart of all the predicaments and conflicts of the period. In popular literature it was mostly urban Istanbul women who were scrutinized to the last detail, from their biological responsibilities to their behavior in the public arena, down to their clothes and their relations with the opposite sex. It was believed that it was urban women above all who threatened the social order. Bearing in mind that the traditional faith-based patriarchal Ottoman social system began to disintegrate after the First World War to be replaced by a nationalist, modern and again patriarchal structure, the hypothesis of this dissertation is that the popular press sought to integrate women as individuals into the new social structure and define them according to common social perceptions. Women who defied society’s definition of the ideal woman were often depicted as heroines in popular obscene stories. While these stories offered a social fantasy in which society’s concerns and paranoia about women turned into reality, from another perspective, they also reflected the social disintegration after years of secrecy and seclusion and the excitement and awkwardness felt both by men and women from coexisting in the same environment.

Atatürk Ilkeleri ve Inkilap Tarihi Enstitüsü’nde Doktora Derecesi için Düriye Fatma Türe tarafindan Ekim 2007’de teslim edilen tezin kisa özeti

Baslik: 1920’lerde Istanbullu Kadin Imajlari

Bu incelemede 1920’lerin popüler basinindaki kadin sorunuyla ilgili tartismalar ele alinarak bu tartismalarda ortaya çikan sehirli kadin imajlarina ve bu imajlarin popüler edebiyatin marjinal bir alt kolu olan müstehcen edebiyattaki yansimalarina bakilmistir. Kadin sorunu, 1920’lerin Türkiyesi’nde, dönemin tüm ikilemlerinin ve çatismalarinin merkezindeydi. Popüler basinda en çok sehirli, Istanbullu kadinlar ev içi ve biyolojik sorumluluklarindan, kamusal alandaki davranis sekillerine, giysilerinden
karsi cinsle iliskilerine kadar mercek altina yatiriliyorlardi. En çok sehirli kadinlarin toplumsal düzen için tehdit teskil ettigine inaniliyordu. Geleneksel, inanca dayali ataerkil Osmanli toplum yapisinin Dünya Savasi’ndan itibaren çözülmeye basladigi ve yerini milliyetçi modern ve yine ataerkil bir yapiya biraktigi gözönünde bulundurularak, tezin ana savi, basindaki tartismalarin kadinlari bu yeni toplum yapisina entegre etme amaçli oldugu ve kadinlarin toplumun ortak algisiyla belirlenen rollerle sinirlandirildiklaridir. Toplumun ideal kadinlik tanimlarina uymayan kadin tipleri popüler müstehcen hikâyelerde kadin kahramanlar olarak tasvir edilmislerdir. Popüler müstehcen hikâyeler, bir yandan toplumun kadinlarla ilgili endise ve paranoyalarinin gerçege dönüstügü bir toplum fantezisini sunarken baska bir açidan ise yüzyillardir kaç göçe dayali bir yapidan sonra toplumdaki çözülmelerin, kadinla
erkegin artik daha rahat ayni ortamda bulunmalarinin heyecanini ve acemiliklerini de yansitirlar.