[THE DECLARATION OF THE TURKISH WOMEN ASSOCIATION SIGNED BY ITS FOUNDER - EARLY TURKISH FEMINIST LEADER] Kadin Birligi beyannâmesi. [i.e. The declaration of Turkish Women's Association], with autograph letter on verso signed 'Nezihe Muhiddin'
[THE DECLARATION OF THE TURKISH WOMEN ASSOCIATION SIGNED BY ITS FOUNDER - EARLY TURKISH FEMINIST LEADER] Kadin Birligi beyannâmesi. [i.e. The declaration of Turkish Women's Association], with an autograph letter on verso signed 'Nezihe Muhiddin' sent to Maklube Hanim she addressed as "My [female] saint".
NEZIHE MUHIDDIN [TEPEDELENGIL], (Turkish women's rights activist, suffragette, journalist, writer and political leader, the founder of the first party of the Republic of Turkey, "Kadinlar Halk Firkasi" [i.e. Women or Women's People Party] in July 1923), (1889-1958)., Ahmed Ihsan ve Sürekâsi., Istanbul, [c. 1926].
Original printed paper. Two postal stamps on the front bottom side. (21x15 cm). In Ottoman script (Old Turkish with Arabic letters). 1 p. On the verso, Nezihe Muhiddin's autographed manuscript gives a list and written to Lady Maklube that she should distribute the things in the list to the members as "Maklubecigim, Kerime Hanim'a 10 aded 3 liralik... verip... aldim azîzem.” 8 lines. After signature, an extra autograph note. Extremely rare document and signature.
This declaration shows the aid made by the association in nine articles followed by a short introduction on the aim of the association. It states that women who want to join the association can come to the association's headquarters on Mondays and complete their membership procedures. At the end of the paper, it's written the address of the paper.
"KHF" was founded for the political and social rights of women by Nezihe Muhiddin. Due to the political situation during the time, it was not recognized officially by the modern Turkish state. Nezihe Muhittin's activism and her struggle for improving the status of Turkish women reveal themselves overwhelmingly in the foundation of The Women's Political Party and The Turkish Women's Association. Just after the foundation of the Turkish Republic, with the leadership of Nezihe Muhittin, a handful of educated women, who were active participants of the Ottoman-Turkish Feminism, initiated to form a Women's Political Party which would consist of women and stand only for gaining equal political rights for women. Ottoman-Turkish Feminism differs from the Western First Wave Feminism in the way it deals with gaining equal rights for women. Although it was affected by the First Wave Feminism that emerged in the West, the Ottoman-Turkish Feminism did not attract much attention to political rights since it was not an appropriate time for such a demand because of the intricacy of a social and political milieu in the Ottoman Empire. However, after the War of Independence and the foundation of the Turkish Republic, demanding equal political rights for women turned out to be a crucial agenda of the last phase of the Ottoman-Turkish Feminism that is Republican Kemalist Feminism. With the coming of the Republican regime, elections became significant for the constitution of the parliament. For that reason, it can be said that the appropriate political milieu to demand equal political rights emerged after the foundation of the Turkish Republic. The Women's Political Party was founded on 15 June 1923 in Istanbul. The first aim was to gain the political rights of women. According to Muhittin, the Women's Political Party aimed at gaining women's political and social rights and defending women's rights in the parliament. In this respect, the Women's Political Party is a political organization that stands uniquely for gaining equal rights for women. After writing the statute of Women's Political Party, the founders of the party applied to the parliament. After waiting for eight months, from May 1923 to January 1924, founders were informed by the ruling party, Public Party, that the Women's Political Party's program was improper and it was not an appropriate time to constitute such a party. Afterward, the Women's Political Party was reorganized under the roof of the Turkish Women's Association on 7 February 1924. According to Nezihe Muhittin, the government did not allow to formation of a Women's Political Party because of the fact that women did not have political rights for that time being. After the founders of the Turkish Women's Party were informed that the ruling government did not allow the foundation of a political party unique to women, they changed the second article of the statute. The second article of the statute referred to gaining the political rights of women. Instead of this article, the founders wrote that the 'association has no relation with politics' and changed the name of the foundation to "The Turkish Women's Association".