Crisis of Women’s Rights in Turkey during the AKP regime

by Meltem Keskin

In the context of “Teaching the Crisis – Geographies, Methodologies, Perspectives”, Summer School, September 2-14, 2013, Institute for European Ethnology, Humboldt-Universität Berlin
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Since the foundation of the Turkish Republic in 23 April 1923, Turkey gave a struggle to emancipate women. Especially in the early years of the Republic a reconstruction of the newly formed Turkish society was also a fight to liberate women and open them new spheres and opportunities of modern life. With the adaption of the Civilian law of the Swiss Code in 1926 equal citizenship was defined. In 1934, Turkey was one of the first countries who gave the right to vote to women. This was the important step towards a new image of women regarding their status in the society. In December 1985 the UN Convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women was signed and it was another milestone in the emancipation of Turkish women. The negotiations with the European Union and therewith the possibility of being a candidate member of the EU made Turkey also to reform and expand and implement women’s rights.  The pre- candidate conditions of being EU member is a long road which can be used as a frame to reorganize reshape and redefine the social, political and economical conditions and opportunities of women.

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