Öteki metinler, öteki kadınlar : Ermeni harfli Türkçe romanlar ve kadın imgesi
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The first instances of the novel genre in Turkish literature were written in the Tanzimat period by Armenian-Ottoman authors. Despite having been written in Turkish, these works were printed in the Armenian alphabet. Akabi Hikâyesi, the first of these novels, was written by Vartan Paşa and published in 1851. According to the “Bibliography of Works Published in the Old Script” compiled by the Turkish National Library, the second novel to be published was Hovhannes Balıkçyan’s Karnig, Gülünya ve Dikran’ın Dehşelu Vefatleri Hikayesi, in 1862. Six years later Hovsep Maruş’s Bir Sefil Zevce became the third. To this day, neither of the latter two books has ever been published in the roman characters of the official modern Turkish alphabet. This thesis explores why these two hitherto-neglected works deserve to be studied as an integral part of Turkish literary history. According to established theoretical approaches, a work ought to be located and appraised within the literary tradition of the language in which it was written, without regard to the various alphabets in which it may have been published or any ethnic identity or religious persuasion ascribed to its author. This is the view defended in this thesis. Besides constituting the first domestic specimens of a genre originally foreign to the Ottoman Empire, these works hold the distinction of being the first to assert that Ottoman society’s stereotypical image of the woman needed to change. While there exists an extensive scholarly literature on the image of the woman presented in the first Turkish novels of Arabic script, there has been no study of the image of the woman in the first Turkish novels of Armenian script. Examining the latter novels’ revisionist image of the woman through their portrayal of the position of the woman in marriage, in the public sphere, and in the family, this thesis investigates why the Turkish literature’s first Armenian-Ottoman novelists adopted and championed this new image of the woman.
KeywordsTurkish novels published in Armenian scripts
image of women in literature