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Nezihe Muhiddin Tepedelengil ( 1898 – 1958)

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Ece Eğridere

on 22 December 2014

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Transcript of Nezihe Muhiddin Tepedelengil ( 1898 – 1958)

Nezihe Muhiddin Tepedelengil ( 1898 – 1958)

Muhiddin then founded Türk Kadınlar Birligi (Turkish Women's Union). Türk Kadınlar Birligi continued to press for political equality. In 1927 the Union decided to promote a feminist male candidate to champion women's rights in parliament.
By that time Turkey had become a one-party state with no organised political opposition.After a meeting with Mustafa Kemal Atatürk in July 1927 the Women’s Union’s tentative candidate, Kenan Bey withdrew his candidacy, and the Union announced that it would not field any other candidate. The Women’s Union’s campaign for “rights to suffrage” was unsuccessful.
Nezihe Muhiddin (1889-1958) was one of the most prominent of the Ottoman Turkish feminists.She was born into the elite,modern family.
She was a strong advocate for women’s rights – both during the Ottoman period and in the early years of the Republic.
In her long career as writer, teacher and editor,wrote 20 novels, all of them published in newspapers and several journals.She wrote many article about women’s rights.
Muhiddin advocated for the repeal of the legal codes governing Islamic divorce and polygamy. She stressed that all barriers for woman to education, professional and working life had to be removed. She asked that:
“Why is it that the Turkish woman is equal in the eyes of the law and like any
other citizen must pay taxes, yet does not have the right to vote and be elected to office?”
In May 1923, even before the founding of the Republic, Muhiddin and a group of
activists applied to establish a Women’s Party, to pursue the political and social rights of women. Their application was refused.

Then the Turkish Women’s Union, a nongovernmental association under Muhiddin’s leadership, was set up and continued to press for political equality.
This was not yet the end for Nezihe Muddidin.

In August 1927, all Women’s Union’s activities were temporarily suspended.Muhiddin and others resigned and the Union distanced itself from direct political involvement.

Government implemented intentional accusations and oppressions to her. Because of her views opposed government, Kemalist regime did not support her. Because Muhiddin and her ideas were coming from Ottoman mind, they couldn’t sort together with new regime.

After 1927, Nezihe Muhiddin forced to retire. She was in “silence”period anymore,and she interested more with literature.
Nezihe Muhiddin, forgotten in a mental institution in Istanbul, died in 1958.

In a conclusion;
Nezihe Muhiddin is an forgotten figure by state because of her political situation.Until 1980’s, there is almost nothing about her, even in media and academic area. Nezihe Muhiddin was one of most important figures, due to her wills about women rights,during early period of Ottoman Women Movement (1868-1908).However,her story ended up with disappointment and depression.
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