Nezihe Muhiddin (1889-1958)

Nezihe Muhiddin was born in Istanbul in 1889. Between the years of 1911 and 1944, she had 17 novels, 300 stories published. She is one of the front-runners in Ottoman feminism. She believed that for a nation to rise, the women of that nation had to rise at first. She demanded equal rights for women as citizens and had put equal pay for equal work priority for her agenda. Muhiddin did not only fight for the equality of women in public sphere, she also had the need to get involved with politics in early Republican era of the new Turkish Republic. For this goal, she initiated the first party of the Republic to be established: National Women’s Party. The aim of the Party is to obtain women’s political and social rights, to defend these rights in the Parliament and to raise the status of women. Nevetheless, The National Women’s Party could not fully operate. Back then, Kemalists knew that women should be liberated from the shackles of tradition, but Ataturk knew that there is a risk for major change on the status on women in Turkey. However, Muhiddin and her friends did not give up and established The Turkish Women’s Union. She had a lot of impact on women’s suffrage in Republic of Turkey to be obtained.