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120 EDİB ADIVAR, Halide (1884–1964) Distinguished writer and novelist of late Ottoman and Republican Turkey; advocate of women’s rights and nationalism. Halide Edib was born in Istanbul in 1884 and brought up in an Ottoman mansion house, for the most part by her grandmother (a member of the Mevlevi sufi order). Her mother, Fatma Bedirfem Hanım, died of tuberculosis when Halide was a child. Her father, Edib Bey, a secretary of Sultan Abdülhamid II (1842– 1918), greatly admired the principles of the English education system and tried to have Halide educated accordingly. Halide attended the American College for Girls, a missionary school in Istanbul (becoming one of its first few Muslim graduates). She also received home tutorials in the Islamic sciences, as well as in the Arabic and Persian languages. After graduating in 1901, she married one of her tutors, Salih Zeki Bey (1863–1921), an eminent professor of mathematics and philosophy . The couple had two sons: Ayetullah and Zeki Hikmetullah. An intellectual woman of the Ottoman elite, Halide Edib had continuous social interaction with prominent male, and a few female reformers of the time. The nationalist clubs, or Türk Ocakları (Turkish Hearth), founded in 1911, functioned as cultural clubs for the Young Turks (revolutionaries who became the leading cadre within the Committee of Union and Progress, the party of the Constitutional Revolution). Halide Edib was among the few female intellectuals to participate in the activities of the Young Turks, contributing articles to the influential journals Vakit (Time), Akşam (The evening) and Tanin; signing her name Halide Salih. Just after the 1908 Young Turks Revolution, which ushered in the Ottoman Empire ’s ‘second constitutional period,’ Halide Edib fled to Egypt with her sons, fearing the counter-revolutionary reprisal (the so-called ‘31 March uprising’). In 1909, she went to England and visited Isabel Fry (1869–1958), an education reformer from a famous Quaker family in London with whom Edib shared ideas about women’s education and maintained an enduring friendship. The intellectually, socially and politically lively public discussions that preceded the 1908 Young Turk Revolution inspired Halide Edib to write. Although she belonged to 121 a literary canon of writers such as Ziya Gökalp, a leading proponent of Pan-Turanism (an extremist nationalist project to unite Turks living in different states), Edib critically acknowledged the failings of Pan-Turanism in her memoirs, especially after 1915. Halide Edib’s efforts to reconcile the philosophies of ‘East’ and ‘West’ can be observed with regard to the female protagonists of her novels Seviye Talip (1910) and Handan (1912). These were women admired by men for their highly educated and cultivated characters, usually contrasted with women of more conservative morals and manners. The theme of ‘forbidden love’ was transformed in her early novels into a renouncement of self in her later works: stories of virtuous women patriots related in Yeni Turan (New Turan, 1912), Ateşten Gömlek (Turkish ordeal, 1922) and Vurun Kahpeye (Strike down the whore, 1923) were mostly inspired by accounts of the War of Independence (1919–1922) against the occupation of Anatolia by the Allied Forces after World War I. Although she was critical of certain social practices in Muslim societies such as polygamy , Halide Edib maintained that Islamic law had, on the whole, been more favorable to women than Western law codes because it accorded property and economic rights to women. At the same time, she tried to explain the social and economic rationale for Islamic practices like polygamy, arguing that they kept men away from prostitutes and mistresses and legalized the position of the second wife and her children . Halide Edib had suffered personally from the polygamous marriage of her father , experiencing a divided reality of different ‘homes’ during her childhood years. Edib Bey had taken a second and third wife after the death of Halide’s mother and Halide Edib had four sisters: older sister Mahmure, from her mother’s first marriage to Ali Şamil Pasha; Nilüfer and Nigar Hanım, from her father’s second wife and stepsister Belkıs Hanım, as well as step-brother Said Bey, from her father’s third wife. When Halide Edib’s husband, Salih Zeki Bey—at that time director of Galatasaray Sultani (Galatasaray Lycee)—decided to take a second wife, the reality of polygamy in her own marriage came as a blow to Edib’s integrity and sense of self. Without hesitation , Edib divorced her husband in 1910, after...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9786155053726
Related ISBN
9789637326394
MARC Record
OCLC
868217084
Pages
698
Launched on MUSE
2014-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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