By Ömer Çaha

This paper emphasizes on the development of Islamic women’s movement in Turkey. The sources, values, dynamics and the discourses of the movement will be analyzed from the framework of arguments on social movements. It is obvious that each social movement proclaims an ideology which explains the need for change in the society’s institutions as well as an identity which differ its members from others.1 Through ideology and identity formation, a social movement encourages its members to develop a group consciousness and prepares them to challenge the state authority. As Paul Wilkinson brilliantly argued, a social movement’s commitments to change and raison d’etre of its organization are founded upon the conscious volition, normative commitment to the movement’s aims or beliefs and active participation on the part of the followers or members.2 Considering this discussion I will argue that the collective actions of Islamic women on the issues of “participation”, “rights”, “equality” and “identity” constitute a large part of mobilization process and challenge the roles given to women by the state elites and by traditional norms.


Ömer Çaha (Professor of Political Science) teaches at Yildiz Technical University, Department of Political Science and International Relations, Istanbul, Turkey.

He is the author of many books and articles on such issues as democratization, local governments, political behaviors, Islam and politics, civil society, ethnicity, women movement, Turkish politics etc. both in English and in Turkish.  He has written many books and articles including:

  1. Dancing at the Local: Women Organizations and Local Democracy, Ankara: Orion, 2012.
  2. Electoral Campaigns in Turkey, Ankara: Orion, 2011
  3. Civil Women: Women and Civil Society in Turkey, Ankara: Savaş, 2010.

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