IN RESPONSE TO THE WESTERN IMAGE OF THE OPPRESSED TURKISH WOMAN: VOICES OF TURKISH POETS

Abstract

Author(s): Figun DINCER

This paper interprets reflections on women in some poems of the prominent Turkish poets such as Gülten Ak?n, ?ukufe Nihal Ba?ar, Naciye Baci, Ayten Mutlu, Mehmet Akif Ersoy, Naz?m Hikmet, Kul Figani, Basri Baba and Pir Hac? Bekta? Veli in response to the Western image of the oppressed Muslim woman in Turkey. A close examination of their poetic representations of women enables us to rethink the status of women in Turkish society within a poetic context. The subordination/oppression of women seems to be universal, and the female poets generally express this issue. However, in contrast, some male poets do not reflect women as oppressed or subordinated, but as having a great awareness of their existence, importance and value both in the family and society. From the religious perspective, unlike the female poets’ feelings, they defend women against the religious mistreatments and malpractices towards them. For example, Kul Figani, Mehmet Akif Ersoy, Basri Baba and Pir Haci Bekta? Veli re-emphasize the valuable statuses of women as stated in the holy book Quran. Nazim Hikmet’s voice for the position of women is explored in the rural domain. The aim of the present study is to show that while female poets have been addressing Muslim women’s issues in Turkey, there are also male poets who seem to be supporting women by arguing that they should be treated as equal based on religious, social and economic perspectives. In this respect, it can be suggested that the Western image of the oppressed Muslim women is confuted. The discussion will take place in two parts: a) perspectives of subordination/oppression of women by women poets and b) religious perspective on this issue.

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