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Turkish women architects in the late Ottoman and Early Republican era, 1908-1950
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This article examines the public status and educational background of Turkish women architects from 1908 to 1950. Writings on the history of architecture in Turkey, as in the West, have focused on heroic male figures. Key works produced before the late 1970s used data gathered mainly from Arkitekt, the first Turkish architectural magazine, whilst a second generation of Turkish architectural historians has preferred to investigate state and private archives. It is impossible to find a mention of women as architects in either bodies of work, although their contributions are indeed evident in the pages of Arkitekt. This article aims to fill some of these gaps in the highly gendered history of modern Turkish architecture by identifying and examining women's work as architects in Turkey in the first half of the twentieth century. It also explores the relationship between the women's liberation movement, the discipline of architecture, and modernization ideology associated with the Turkish Republic. It argues that women architects, who undertook important private commissions and were permitted to enter public competitions as anonymous entrants, did not encounter overt discrimination until the 1940s. Nevertheless, forms of indirect discrimination across the period served to silence women in the pages of the architectural press and to occlude them from key public commissions and offices.