Özge Ertem / The Republic’s Children and Their Burdens in 1930s and 1940s Turkey: The Idealized Middle-Class Children as the Future of the Nation and the Image of

The Republic’s Children and Their Burdens in 1930s and 1940s Turkey: The Idealized Middle-Class Children as the Future of the Nation and the Image of 'Poor' Children in Children’s Periodicals

This study aims to contribute to highlighting some mainstream perceptions of the Turkish nation-state about its children from 1930s till the middle of the 1940s in the light of themes
from children’s periodicals. This paves the way to distinguishing the specific meanings and burdens attributed directly to children in the specific political context of nation-state
formation with their own dilemmas. By this, it is aimed to illuminate significant images and values that were wished to be instilled onto children’s minds regarding both the political
discourse dimension about public issues and the private dimension of their daily lives at home. This illumination results in distinguishing a hidden duality.The ideal and virtuous
middle-class child of a truly Republican nuclear family with its gendered terms in the stories is represented especially from the 1930s towards 1940s. The essentialized, culturalist
definitions and metaphors of the newly established nation-state and the Republic in the 1930s Turkey in the periodicals targeted the imagination of this child and tried to establish a
dialogue with it. The narratives about “poor children” on the other face of the coin, intensified in the 1940s with the hard socio-economical conditions caused by the Second World War
conditions in Turkey. The question of “poverty” in this respect was perceived just as a moral issue devoid of any socio-political meaning. This study tries to shed light on the ways
through which the hidden duality between these idealized middle-class children and 'poor' children as mostly objects of pity, sometimes object of exclusion, were narrated, portrayed and visualized in the children’s periodicals.

1930’lar ve 40’larin Türkiye’sinde Cumhuriyet Çocuklari ve Yükleri: Çocuk Dergilerinde Ulusun Gelecegi Olarak Ideallestirilen Orta Sinif Çocuklari ve Yoksul Çocuk Imgesi

Bu çalisma, çocuk dergilerinde geçen kimi temalarin isiginda, 1930’larda ve 1940 baslarinda Türkiye Cumhuriyeti’nin, çocuga dair temel algilarina isik tutmayi amaçlamaktadir. Ulusdevletlesme sürecinin sosyal-tarihsel baglaminda Cumhuriyet düzeninin en çok rastlanilan tema ve metaforlarini, direk olarak çocuklara yönelen yayinlar isiginda incelemek; çocuklara
yüklenilen temel anlam ve rolleri ayirdetmek açisindan özel önem tasir. Çalismadaki temel amaç, hem kamusal siyasi söylem baglaminda hem de aile ve ev yasantisina odaklanan
söylemde çocuga yüklenen imaj ve degerlere isik tutmaktir. Bu sayede, dergilerdeki temel bir çeliski de açiga çikmaktadir: Orta-sinif çocukluk ile “yoksul” çocukluk arasindaki ikilem.
1930’lardan 1940’larin baslangicina kadar, çocuk dergilerinde daha çok, çekirdek aile özellikleri gösteren ve toplumsal cinsiyetçi normlari da içeren standart bir Cumhuriyet
ailesinin erdemli çocugu temsil edilmekte ve ideallestirilmeye çalisilmaktadir. Yeni kurulan ulus-devletin ve Cumhuriyetin tözcü, kültürcü algi ve metaforlari temel olarak bu ideal ortasinif
çocuga seslenmekte ve onu muhatap almaktadirlar. Ama öte yandan, 1940’lardan itibaren,