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Until the 1980s Turkey prided itself on the womens emancipation that the Kemalists had delivered But in the past two decades women have become critical of the Kemalist project of modernity and its effects on women The military intervention of September 1980 repressed both the radical Left as well as the radical Right in Turkey as it aimed to de-politicize society Despite the domestic repression of the early 1980s Turkey was increasingly tied to the outside world as a result of globalization The increasingly intensifying links with the Western world allowed a second wave of feminism to trickle into the country Meanwhile domestically an opportunity opened for those who began to call themselves feminists when pre-1980 political actors on the Left and the Right were persecuted17 These women encroached upon the public space that had been monopolized by the state as they organized to expand their opportunities and solve their gender-based problems They demanded substantive equality beyond formal guality expressed their needs to be in control of their own sexuality and protested domestic violence In the process they expanded and strengthened Turkeys nascent civil society The women who helped liberate the public realm in the cost l980s were mostly a heterogeneous group of middle-aged middle-class professionals who were influenced by one another as they positioned and defined themselves in relation to one another A fundamental cleavage among the women of this period was between secular and Islamist women Over time both groups were separated into numerous other divisions Within the secular camp the most prominent division grew between the women who called themselves radical feminists and those who considered themselves Kemalist feminists
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