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11. Women’s Representations in Ottoman Cartoons and the Satirical Press on the Eve of the Kemalist Reforms (1919–1924)

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Chapter Summary

Reforms undertaken by Kemal Atatürk on behalf of women's emancipation in the first years of the Turkish Republic are well known: incentives to discontinue the use of the veil; efforts to extend the education and literacy of girls; the adoption of the civil code which led to equality of the sexes under the law and outlawed polygamy; and the right to vote and serve in office on the local level in 1931 and on the national level in 1934. Women always occupied a privileged place in the Ottoman satirical press. Analysis of the cartoons and satirical press of the period leading up to the Kemalist reforms makes evident the important place that the debate on the emancipation and freedom of women occupied in public opinion. Such analysis thus furthers our understanding of gender history of the period and shows that women became the center of attention and of society's gaze.

Keywords:Kemalist reforms; Ottoman cartoons; satirical press; women emancipation



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