Conservative Women in the First Period of Halide Edip Adivar's Novel
Halide Edip Adıvar’ın İlk Dönem Romanlarında Muhafazakâr Kadınlar

Author : Erdem Dönmez
Number of pages : 127-148


As a concept emerging in the processes of change, conservatism is a way of thinking that is based on accommodating to certain principles rather than a radical opposition to change. Non-Western societies that implement modernization through imitation beyond their own experiences struggle to synthesize the conflicts between their traditional values and innovations transmitted from the West with a conservative approach. It is possible to argue that Turkish modernization starts with such an attitude and extends to today. As a female intellectual who witnessed the greatest breaks throughout the transition from Ottoman Empire to Turkish Republic, Halide Edip Adıvar who was born in 1884 struggled to find a solution in every field to the conflicts of Turkish society that was then in the process of rapid westernization socially and politically. Halide Edip, who gained a conservative identity in terms of upbringing, began writing in the period when the perception of women changed and interpreted modernization as an issue especially regarding the transformation of women. While she brought up issues such as individualization of women and their participation in social / political life with modernization, on the other hand, she aimed to establish an ideal East-West synthesis with the view that the renewed woman should also maintain her traditional roles in the family. Halide Edip, who fictionalized the female characters of the early novels in this line, tried to shape the perception of women that changed with modernization. In this study, by considering the women characters in the novels named Raik’in Annesi, Seviyye Talip, Handan and Yeni Turan which developed in Halide Edip's women-centric stand, the relationship between conservative thinking and the idealized women of the author will be evaluated and it will be discussed that to what extent the changing woman after the westernization can be individualized at what points this process is in the conflict with the tradition.


Turkish modernization, conservatism, Halide Edip Adıvar, novel, new woman.


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