• First Language: Turkish

  • Subjects:  Women’s Studies

  • Journal Section: Research Article

  • Authors:Ezgi Sarıtaş

  • Dates: 26 May 2019

In this article transforming discourses on female homosociality will be examined to be
followed by an analysis of Fatma Aliye’s Refet (1898). During late nineteenth and early
twentieth centuries, Ottoman-Turkish male intellectuals were associating female homosociality
with ignorance, backwardness and female homoeroticism while women were defining a new
understanding of friendship through borrowing elements from hetero-romantic love and
companionate marriage, male friendship and patriotic camaraderie as well as kinship and
household bonds. Fatma Aliye defined a female public sphere based on women’s friendship
that made escaping from heterosexual marriage possible. This sphere was in continuity as well
as in conflict with hiearchical female bonds. In Refet, where male characters are almost
nonexistent, a female friendship based on learning and education and spiritual bonding is

female friendship, female homosociality, Fatma Aliye, Late Ottoman period

Ezgi Sarıtaş