A Political Survey in the Process of the Last Ottoman Parliamentary Elections: Should Right of Election be granted to Turkish Woman?

Tuna S.

CTAD-CUMHURIYET TARIHI ARASTIRMALARI DERGISI, cilt.12, sa.23, ss.25-50, 2016 (ESCI İndekslerine Giren Dergi) identifier identifier

  • Yayın Türü: Makale / Tam Makale
  • Cilt numarası: 12 Konu: 23
  • Basım Tarihi: 2016
  • Sayfa Sayıları: ss.25-50


Elections, which could be regarded as historical, before the last opening of Ottoman Parliament in 12 January 1920 were conducted in accordance with the temporary election law which was accepted in 2 August 1908 with a decree dated 7 October 1919 and an ordinance dated 19 October 1919. According to the referred law, women were not allowed to participate in the elections. On the other hand, a debate on the election right of Turkish women was raised with a survey held by Vakit newspaper starting from 20 October 1919. Leading educational institutions of the period, various women organizations and some popular figures among women attended the survey that intermittently continued until 1 November and ended with an article in 4 November 1919. The most important question asked under the scope of survey was relevant to the necessity of the female suffrage in general and particularly the necessity of the participation of Turkish women to the elections. Apart from these, questions concerning the conditions of parliamentary elections and the possibility of election of Turkish women as a deputy. Participants openly responded the questions and it is clearly understood that there had been a consensus on the idea that women should participate to the elections. On the other hand, some negative opinions were also given by taking the actual conditions and education levels of women into consideration. While conditions such as education level, age and life experience were emphasized concerning the suffrage, Halide Edib [Adivar] came into prominance among the women who were considered as deputies.