Feminist Armenian Women Commemorated in Turkey Parliament


ISTANBUL (Agos) —Selina Dogan, a member of Turkey’s parliament representing the CHP (Republican People’s Party), last week commemorated Armenian writers and thinkers Elbis Gesaratsyan, Sirpuhi Düsap, Zabel Asadur, Zabel Yesayan and Hayganus Mark, who are considered as the first feminists of Turkey, in the parliament.

Dogan said on the occasion of March 8, International Women’s Day, there are many words uttered but problems remain. “This means that either the way we discuss this issue is not right or we are not sincere,” she noted.

Saying that others and minorities are forgotten in the history of women’s struggle in Turkey, Dogan added: “While Halide Edip is naturally commemorated with respect, her contemporary, Zabel Yesayan, with whom she exchanged letters, is ignored. While dear Sabiha Sertel has the place she deserved in the feminism history of this country, nobody remembered her contemporary, Elbis Gesaratsyan. While Nezihe Muhiddin, who struggled for enfranchisement of women and whom I respect deeply, was making feminist history, her counterpart, Hayganus Mark, who published a women’s magazine for 14 years, is not remembered at all.”