THE IDENTITY CONSTRUCTION OF SELMA EKREM AND HER APPROACH TO ?THE OTHER? IN UNVEILED

Abstract

Author(s): Ahmet Duran ARSLAN

Selma Ekrem (1902-1986) is the grandchild of Nam?k Kemal and the daughter of Ali Ekrem, two important figures of the late Ottoman literary and political life. Certainly, the names of Nam?k Kemal and Ali Ekrem will be familiar to those interested in literature and history. However, it is difficult to say that Selma Ekrem’s recognition level is so high. She, who went to America and continued her life there until her death, had also a writing adventure. Her autobiographical text, which she compiled from her childhood/first youth memoirs, and wrote in English, were successively printed four times in the United States with the name of Unveiled and attracted great attention. The work has a historical value since it contains certain unique information about the socio-cultural and political atmosphere of the period. In this study, the miscellaneous questions will be addressed to the mentioned text in the frame of the concepts of “identity” and “other”, and the text will be analyzed in the context of these notions. The concepts of “self-orientalization/internalized orientalism” of Gönül Pultar and “Ottoman orientalism” of Ussama Makdisi will be the basic theoretical sources to be used in the analysis process of the text. At the end of the study, it is planned that Selma Ekrem’s self-representation, identity construction and approach to “the other” will be placed on a more transparent ground.

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