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Nuriye Ulviye Mevlan Civelek

Nuriye Ulviye Mevlan Civelek

Founder and owner of the first Muslim feminist magazine of the Ottoman Empire
"The purpose of feminism is to make sure that women and men alike live happier lives."

Date of Birth: 1893

Place of Birth: Hacı Oba Köyü, Gönen

Date of Death: 09/04/1964 1964

Place of Death: Kırıkhan

Burial Site: Asri Mezarlık, Antakya

Topics

Gallery

Nuriye Ulviye Mevlan Civelek Nuriye Ulviye Mevlan Civelek Nuriye Ulviye Mevlan Civelek Nuriye Ulviye Mevlan Civelek Nuriye Ulviye Mevlan Civelek

Field of Activity

Journalism
"One of the excuses of men who want to prevent women earning their own living is that they say women are not properly educated and have no experience. Do all tradesmen go to trade school? Do they have higher education? The truth is, most of them are illiterate."
(Ulviye Mevlan, "Kadınlar iş Bekliyor", Kadınlar Dünyası, No. 157, p. 2. Quoted in: Serpil Çakır, Osmanlı Kadın Hareketi, Istanbul, 2011, 3. Ed., p. 373.)
"When women appeared from different walks of life and demanded their rights, some men panicked. They were afraid that some of their earnings and power would slip away and go to the women. Surely this panic was a sign of weakness and lack of confidence.
I complained in the 164th issue of the magazine Women's World that women who worked for the post office were underpaid and needed a pay-rise. Some of the men felt threatened by my request. They thought that women would occupy all government jobs. Some men sent letters to our magazine and asked for help. Thus they clearly showed their weakness. We read those letters carefully and could thus better analyse and understand the male mind and soul. One of the letters really touched us. Being women, we felt pity and wanted to console this man.
The purpose of feminism is not only to improve women's lives, but to improve men's lives as well. Feminism wants make it possible for both sexes to live better and happier and more humane lives together.
Why shouldn't a woman, a future wife and mother, as talented, well-educated and intellectual as men, not be paid the same income as men? And why should she remain silent and passive instead of protesting for her rights to equal payment? It is this very passivity, my dear friend, which feminism cannot allow accept."
(Ulviye Mevlan, "Düşünüyorum ", Kadınlar Dünyası, 22 Mart 1918, no. 166, p. 2. Quoted in: Serpil Çakır, Osmanlı Kadın Hareketi, Istanbul, 2011, 3. Ed., pp. 373-374.)
The Magazine Kadınlar Dünyası (Women's World)
  • 1st issue:April 4th 1913
  • last issue:21th of Mai 1921
  • Circulation:over 3000
  • Owner: Nuriye Ulviye
  • Purpose of the magazine:
    I kept on thinking about how we could make changes in our submissive and useless lives. To move forwards I believe both practical and spiritual courage are necessary. We are now in an age of reform and enlightenment. I knew that to advance in society, we had to develop a modern personality, mind and soul. In this age of awakening, and with a new society based on advances in the social sciences, I decided to publish a magazine that would encourage women to take the necessary developmental steps.
    (Ulviye Mevlan with the signature of Kadınlar Dünyası, "Terakkiye Doğru", Kadınlar Dünyası, 1913, no. 5, pp. 2-3, quoted in: Serpil Çakır, Osmanlı Kadın Hareketi, Istanbul, 2011, 3. ed., p. 146.)
  • The aims of the magazine:
    To produce a magazine whose title would reflect feminist political demands.
    To edit a magazine entirely produced by women.
    To publish only articles written by women.
    To become the press voice of the Ottoman Society for the Defense of Women's Rights.
    To be a magazine for all women within the Ottoman Empire, without drawing cultural or ethnical boundaries.
    To be a magazine for women of all social classes.
    To give content to the term feminism.
    To formulate demands with regard to women's education and employment and to put them into practice. in accordance with this objective the magazine Kadınlar Dünyası achieved the opening of the Women's University Inas Darülfünunu on 12th September 1914. Women's path to university had been opened up. A further result of campaigns by the magazine was the appointment in 1913 of the first 7 Muslim women by the telephone office. Thus women had successfully fought for the right to hold civil service posts.
    To exchange views and experience with feminist movements outside the Ottoman Empire.
    To enable dialogue and solidarity among women on an international level.
"I'm Thinking"

Nuriye Ulviye Mevlan wrote an editorial on the second page of the magazine from the very first issue till the 166th without using her name. She signed her articles just as "Kadınlar Dünyası". She used her name Nuriye Ulviye for the fist time, in her column "I'm Thinking".

Four names, One woman

Nuriye Ulviye

In 1906 at the age of thirteen, Nuriye Ulviye was married to Hulusi Bey, who was older than her. After he died, she founded the magazine Women's World (Kadınlar Dünyası) on April 4th 1913 with the money she inherited. As owner of the magazine she used the name Nuriye Ulviye.

Ulviye Mevlan

Nuriye Ulviye started using the name, Ulviye Mevlan after the 108th issue. Her new husband was the journalist, politician and women's rights supporter Rıfat Mevlan. In 1923 she was divorced from him.

Nuriye Ulviye Civelek

She married Ali Civelek in 1925. After this, she either used Ulviye Civelek or Nuriye Ulviye Civelek. There is a library, Nuriye Ulviye Civelek Public Library in Hatay-Kirikhan dedicated to her memory.

Nuriye Ulviye Mevlan Civelek

On the Istanbul Women's Museum web page all her names are mentioned because of the importance and attributes of different periods of her life.

Awards

Memberships

Education

Contributions to Society

Founder of the Magazine Women's World (Kadınlar Dünyası) with her own means, 1913

Founder of the Ottoman Women's Rights Association (Osmanlı Müdâfaa-i Hukuk-ı Nisvan Cemiyeti), May 28 1913.
Founding purpose of the association: Reform in women's attire; employment of women; improvements in women's education

Specialty of the association: First women´s association registered according to Ottoman Laws

Family and Friends

  • Mother: Safiye
  • Father: Mahmut Yediç (farmer)
  • Daughter: Lütfiye Civelek
  • Niece: Nezihe Civelek
  • Marriage: Hulusi Bey (first husband), Rıfat Mevlanzade (second husband, journalist, owner of newspapers), Ali Muharrem Civelek (third husband, physician)
  • Freunde: Emine Seher Ali (woman-editor of the magazine Kadınlar Dünyası. until the 107th issue), Ruşen Bey (editor of the magazine Kadınlar Dünyası from Issue 107 to Issue 163), Aziz Haydar (Active feminist, writer for the magazine Kadınlar Dünyası, with her own money she founded a primary and middle school for girls and an advice centre for mothers), Emine Seher Ali (Active feminist, writer for the magazine Kadınlar Dünyas), Belkıs Şevket (Active feminist, writer for the magazine Kadınlar Dünyası, teacher for English, music and history, the first woman to fly in the Ottoman Empire), Mükerrem Belkıs (Active feminist, writer for the magazine Kadınlar Dünyası), Atiye Şükran (Active feminist, writer for the magazine Kadınlar Dünyası), Aliye Cevad (Active feminist, writer for the magazine Kadınlar Dünyası), Sıdıka Ali Rıza (Active feminist, writer for the magazine Kadınlar Dünyası), Safiye Biran (Active feminist, writer for the magazine Kadınlar Dünyası), Nimet Cemil (Active feminist, writer for the magazine Kadınlar Dünyası), Sacide (Active feminist, writer for the magazine Kadınlar Dünyası), Nebile Akif (Active feminist, writer for the magazine Kadınlar Dünyası), Mes'adet Bedirhan (Authoress and script-writer), Lia Hurşi (Rumanian woman journalist, member of the Ottoman Society for the Defence of Women's Rights, writer for the magazine Kadınlar Dünyası), Lucy Tomayan ( (Journalist, authoress, member of the Ottoman Society for the Defence of Women's Rights, writer for the magazine Kadınlar Dünyası ), Madame Dugué de la Fauconnerie (Member of the Ottoman Society for the Defence of Women's Rights, writer for the magazine Kadınlar Dünyası), Dr. Frieda Oscar (Member of the Ottoman Society for the Defence of Women's Rights, writer for the magazine Kadınlar Dünyası ), Berthe de Launay (Member of the Ottoman Society for the Defence of Women's Rights, writer for the magazine Kadınlar Dünyası), Fahr-ül Benat Süleymanova (Authoress, member of the ottoman Society for the Defence of Women's Rights, writer for the magazine Kadınlar Dünyası), Odette Feldmann (Reporter for the Berliner Tageblatt, member of the Ottoman Society for the Defence of Women's Rights, writer for the magazine Kadınlar Dünyası), Grace Ellison (Reporter for The Times, member of the Ottoman Society for the Defence of Women's Rights, writer for the magazine Kadınlar Dünyası), Dr. Amelie Frisch (Leading doctor at the Austrian-Hungarian hospital in Istanbul, member of the Ottoman Society for the Defence of Women's Rights, writer for the magazine Kadınlar Dünyası ), Meliha Cenan (Poetess), Yaşar Nezihe (Poetess)

Commemorative Projects

Street Name in Her Memory

A street named after her as "Nuriye Ulviye Civelek Sokağı" in Kırıkhan, Hatay

Library in Her Memory

There is a public library named after her in Hatay-Kırıkhan: "Nuriye Ulviye Civelek Halk Kütüphanesi". After Nuriye Ulviye Civelek died, her husband Ali Muharrem Civelek purchased the house in the Orthodox Christian Cemetary. He paid for its restoration and donated it to the city, provided that it was turned into a library

Nuriye Ulviye Mevlan Civelek Memorial

In December 4, 1965 the Women Solidarity Association (Kadınlar Dayanışma Derneği, Ankara) held a memorial service for Nuriye Ulviye Mevlan Civelek in Ankara.

Fountains and Commemorative Plaques

In the cemetery of Antakya Asri Mezarlıgı there is a fountain and a commemorative plaque in close proximity to each other to the memory of Ulviye Mevlan Civelek. The fountain was donated by her last husband Ali Muharrem Civelek. The commemorative plaque was placed near it on 15.4.1967 on the initiative of the Turkish Women's Council (Türkiye Kadınlar Konseyi).

International symposium
Gender Equality in Academia: International Best Practices Symposium
November 6th and 8th, 2014, Minerva Palas, Karaköy - Istanbul

The magazine Kadınlar Dünyası (Women's World) published by Ulviye Mevlan played a very important role in the demands for higher education. In celebration of the centenary of women gaining the right to university education in Turkey, Women's Museum Istanbul in association with the Sabancı University Gender and Women's Studies Forum hold the Gender Equality in Academia: International Best Practices Symposium to discuss policies, programs and best practices for gender equality in universities on an international level.

The symposium discussed programs, strategic concepts and successful practices developed in universities in Italy, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Norway, UK, Sweden, France and the United States to ensure gender equality and diversity. The Turkish examples of gender equality programs implemented in Ankara University, Mersin University and Sabancı University will be examined. Concepts developed by the foreign counterparts of TÜBİTAK to ensure gender equality in academia studied. The opening lecture of the symposium was given by political scientist Şirin Tekeli, who is a leading activist of the second-wave feminist movement in Turkey in the late 1980s. The closing lecture was given by anthropologist Emily Martin from New York University.

The symposium attempted to redefine university quality based on the gender factor, and is an contribution to the processes in Turkey to establish mechanisms for implementing, institutionalizing and protecting gender equality and diversity in Turkish universities, and towards making permanent, systemic changes in university policies.

Exhibition
100 Years Women at the University - Women's University 1914–1919
November 7th and December 21st 2014, Consulate General of Greece in İstanbul - Sismanoglio Megaro
The exhibition is curated by Meral Akkent.

The exhibition 100 Years Women at the University - Women's University 1914–1919 presented by the Women's Museum Istanbul sheds light on the story of women gaining access to university, the role played by the Kadınlar Dünyası (Women's World) magazine, the demands for higher education voiced in the magazine, the methods employed by women to acquire the right to higher education, women's allies in their endeavours, and the Women's University experience. The exhibition is a witness to a historical process shaped by women.

The issue of gender equality in academia is expanded to include diversity based on examples from the academic and administrative careers of women. A call is made to think on how close the current situation is to achieving gender equality and diversity in universities after a century of women acquiring the right to university education.

Further Reading

Sources

Quoted souces
  • Serpil Çakır, Osmanlı Kadın Hareketi, 3. Ed., İstanbul, 2011.
Source for visual images

Acknowledgments

The Istanbul Women's Museum is grateful to Serpil Çakır, Istanbul and Vasi Köse, Kırıkhan for their support in producing the Nuriye Ulviye Mevlan Civelek introductory page.

Translation into English: Meral Akkent, Erlangen, Germany, Emre Aslay, Chicago, İllinois, USA,
Editing: Lyndall von Dewitz, Oberasbach, Bavaria, Germany

©2012 Meral Akkent
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