Using survey data gathered from nearly 400 women living in two Istanbul neighborhoods, this article explores issues of work, education, family and feminism. In addition to presenting the findings we argue that there is a continued gap between the ideal of the Republican woman and the actual practices of this group of Turkish women. The picture of these Turkish women that emerged from this survey is that of women still largely in the grips of an ideal born in the early days of the Turkish Republic. However, it also became clear that there also exist rifts between belief and practice in the lives of these women: they seem to believe in many facets of the Republican woman while at the same time the practices they engage in belie some aspects of this belief. Ultimately, it seems that in some respects they are in the process of constructing their own idea of a Turkish woman while at the same time some aspects of these women’s lives remain deeply bound by traditional notions of gender.

Author Biography

Mary Lou O’Neil, Graduate Program Director Department of American Culture and Literature, Kadir Has University Istanbul, Turkey.

Fazil Guler is the chair of the Department of International Business and Trade at Yeditepe University, Istanbul Turkey.