• First Language: Turkish

  • Subjects:  Women’s Studies

  • Journal Section: Research Article

  • Authors: Özden Melis ULUĞ

  • Dates: 1 January 2015

The situation of women’s taking their husband surnames upon marriage is regulated by Article 187 of the Turkish Civil Code. This article plays a key role in reproducing hegemonic masculinity by providing the possibility of reconstructing the paternalistic system through men. Article 187 of the Turkish Civil Code legitimizes both the domination of men over women and existing gender roles by reproducing masculinity institutionally. Men who get married within the borders of heterosexual norms draw the lines of masculinity by “including” women in their families. As both the identity of women and children are defined solely on the basis of men’s identity, masculinity is reproduced with the help of the state. Thus, Article 187 of the Turkish Civil Code facilitates the continuation of dominance of men over women. On the other hand, a woman who has built a career before her marriage has to rebuild her career after marriage with a different surname, constituting a disadvantage for women in terms of gender equality. In this article, I aim to question and criticize Article 187 of the Turkish Civil Code in the context of reproduction of masculinity and gender inequality. In addition, the privileged position of men will be questioned. Finally, possible strategies to combat this inequality will be discussed in the light of court cases that have concluded in favor of women.

Article 187 of the Turkish Civil Code, marriage, hegemonic masculinity, gender inequality, woman identity

Özden Melis ULUĞ