Feminist movement and law-making in Turkey: a critical appraisal from 1998 to 2018

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Between the late 1990s and early 2000s, Turkey witnessed an era of reform generally known as the era of ‘Europeanisation’. Since the late 2000s, it has experienced a de-Europeanisation and authoritarian transformation. This study explores the ways this changing political context has affected the feminist movement’s influence on law-making. It adopts a chronological approach starting with the achievements of the movement before the turn of the century and ends with an examination of its impact since the Justice and Development Party (AKP) assumed government. It is based on a range of sources, including 17 semi-structured interviews with leading NGOs and activists. The study contributes to existing scholarship by establishing a clear timeline for feminist advocacy in law-making, and providing activists’ interpretations of challenges or potential areas of success. The study concludes that while the capacity of the feminist movement to influence law-making has been significantly restricted in recent years, there is a women’s alliance fighting to protect earlier achievements in domestic law.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2-27
Number of pages26
JournalWomen's History Review
Issue number1
Early online date2 Dec 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2021


  • Turkey
  • gender equality
  • feminist movement
  • law
  • Europeanisation
  • de-Europeanisation
  • authoritarianism


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