Waves of feminism in Turkey: Kemalist, Islamist and Kurdish women's movements in an era of globalization

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Diner C., Toktaş Ş.

Journal of Balkan and Near Eastern Studies, vol.12, pp.41-57, 2010 (SSCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 12
  • Publication Date: 2010
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/19448950903507388
  • Journal Name: Journal of Balkan and Near Eastern Studies
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.41-57
  • Police Academy Affiliated: No


This paper has two goals. One of them is to discuss how women’s movement in Turkey has evolved as a political movement after the 1980s whose founding epistemes were challenged and questioned by rising Kurdish nationalism and Islamism. Hence, we can talk of a Kurdish feminism and Islamist feminism within the spectrum of women’s movement in Turkey. This can be observed easily with the rising number of women’s organizations with different political agendas and priorities. One of the tasks of this paper will be to show how hegemonic Turkish feminism has been influenced and evolved with the rise of other identity politics. In other words, it can be argued that through out the 1990s the feminism in Turkey has come to be a movement which opposes, resists, and pressures the Turkish state. It negotiates with the state to pursue its political goals as it interacts with foreign women’s organizations or international institutions such as the EU and the UN. The second goal of this paper is to discuss the effects of the flow of funds from world societal, supra-national and inter-governmental organizations to support projects that aim “empowerment” of women in Turkey. We will analyze how this international support influences the political character of Turkish feminist movement. The effects of the professionalization of feminism can be observed with the increasing number of organizations, projects and personnel funded by these international organizations