This thesis examines late Ottoman women's periodicals published between 1895 and 1914 (Hanımlara Mahsus Gazete, Demet, Kadın, Mahasin and Kadınlar Dünyası) in order to analyse the gendered representations of Ottoman-Turkish modernisation and the relationship between Muslim Ottoman women's agency, a reconsideration of Islam and a reconstructed nation.The women's press functioned as a platform in which both female and male reformers of the late Ottoman period sought to create a type of social subjectivity and agency for women. In this way, women were not only addressed but also addressed themselves as members of a national community, and became subjects of the Ottoman modernisation project. The aim of this thesis is, firstly, to examine the ways in which they responded to the challenges of modernity; secondly, to analyse the trajectory of Muslim Ottoman women in relation to their integration into modern nationhood as different to that of men, and thirdly, to represent shifting notions of Islam, gender and Ottoman modernity.The majority of existing scholarship up to date has employed the periodicals as historical sources in order to trace an Ottoman feminism, and much of the research up to now has been descriptive in nature with a few exceptions. Therefore, there is a specific gap in terms of the contextualisation of the periodicals in relation to nation formation. Furthermore, scholarly attention has been often paid to the post-1908 period, which has been commonly referred to as a milestone with regard to women's rights and increasing political activism. This preference overlooks the significant processes of gender-based discussions in broader terms. In this context, this thesis contributes to the exploration of women's agency, an interpretation of modernity and a vision of nation through the lively discussions regarding the reconstruction of gender roles, education, Islam, dress and cultural identity. This study aims to bridge the Hamidian and the Second Constitutional periods by focusing on the continuities of these important themes alongside specific changes in considering the particular historical and ideological parameters of the times.
- Late Ottoman, Ottoman women, nation, nationalism, journalism, periodical