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14. Hayriye Melek (Hunç), a Circassian Ottoman Writer between Feminism and Nationalism

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Chapter Summary

This chapter seeks to understand the involvement of Hayriye Melek in feminism and in the communal/national cause. It examines the dialectical relation between these two spheres, which we may understand as intertwined or as distinct. It introduces this figure, to give the reader a sense of her life and works. Melek threw herself into work for North Caucasus associations that had reappeared in Istanbul after the end of World War II, with the development of a multi-party system and the beginning of the Cold War. Melek developed an analysis central to her body of work, articulating intersection of the author's cleareyed feminism and her engagement with nationalism. In the first part of "Firar," in a section entitled "Kadin meselesi" Melek develops a critique of the alienation within Ottoman Muslim culture as a result of Western cultural influences. In her works Hayriye Melek examined the ideas of evolution and revolution.

Keywords:Circassian national cause; evolution; feminism; Hayriye Melek; nationalism; North Caucasus; Ottoman Muslim culture; revolution



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