Women's rights organizations and Turkish state in the post-2011 era: ideological disengagement versus conservative alignment

Koyuncu B., Özman Erkman A. A.

TURKISH STUDIES, vol.20, no.5, pp.728-753, 2019 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 20 Issue: 5
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/14683849.2018.1539622
  • Journal Name: TURKISH STUDIES
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.728-753
  • Keywords: Women's rights organizations, gender equality in Turkey, gender justice, conservatism, authoritarian state, CIVIL-SOCIETY, TURKEY, DEMOCRACY, POLITICS, AKP
  • TED University Affiliated: Yes


In this article, we aim to explore the shift in the relationship between the state and women's rights organizations (WROs) in Turkey in the post-2011 period, which was evinced in rising tensions between gender equality and gender complementarity discourses. We argue that, in the process of the vernacularization of global and/or international gender norms in Turkey, the conservative gender policy of the government corresponded to the endorsement of 'gender justice,' a particularistic approach formulated with reference to Islam. As such, the vernacularization of universal gender norms opened the way for the state in Turkey to solidify its legitimacy by instrumentalizing social divisions, marginalizing opposition WROs, and aligning with government-oriented organizations.