Gender and war during the late Ottoman and early republican periods:
Kutluata, Zeynep (2006) Gender and war during the late Ottoman and early republican periods:. [Thesis]
The complex relation between gender and war assumes various shapes depending on time and context. Focusing on this relation highlights not only women’s positioning against the army but also opens paths to see the wider structures and discourses on nationalism, militarism, citizenship, and gender. In this thesis, Black Fatma(s) of 1806, of the Crimean War, of the Ottoman-Russian War of 1877-1878 and of the War of Independence are examined to analyze the construction of discourse of women warriors in different periods of Ottoman and Republican history. Which periods witness a rise in the discourse of Black Fatma(s)? Who talks about them? Which group stresses which part of the story? Woman as a warrior is an exception in most societies both in the past and in the present, as far as we know. This thesis, focuses upon the meaning and the content of that exception when it appears. How is this exception represented? Why is there a need for such an exception? When does that need occur? Whom does that serve? Does this exception challenge the conventional patriarchal gender roles in wars? Or does that reproduce them? Moving from these questions, the problematic relation between army and women is discussed throughout the thesis. The ‘war’ of discourses on Black Fatma(s) still continues today. Therefore, Black Fatma(s) constitute a very rich field not only for understanding the historical development of gender system in the Ottoman and Republican periods, but also for understanding the current policies of different political positions on gender issues.
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