ISTANBUL—Selina Dogan, an Armenian member of the Turkish Parliament representing the Republican People’s Party (CHP) used the occasion of International Women’s Day on Wednesday to highlight Armenian women who contributed to Turkish society, reported the Agos newspaper.
Dogan named Armenian intellectuals Elbis Gesaratsyan, Sırpuhi Düsap, Zabel Asadur, Zabel Yesayan ande Hayganuşh Mark, who are considered as the first feminists of Turkey.
The member of parliament stressed that while many statements had been on the occasion of International Women’s Day, the absence of these prominent women gave her pause.
“This means that either the way we discuss this issue is not right or we are not being sincere,” said Dogan who argued that minority women were being forgotten in history of women’s struggle in Turkey/
“While Halide Edip is naturally remembered with respect, her contemporary Zabel Yesayan, with whom she exchanged letters, is ignored. While dear Sabiha Sertel has the place she deserved in the feminism history of this country, nobody remembers her contemporary Elbis Gesaratsyan. While Nezihe Muhiddin, who struggled for enfranchisement of woman and whom I respect deeply, was making feminist history, her counterpart Hayganush Mark, who published a women’s magazine for 14 years, is not remembered at all,” said Dogan.