Anti-Political Experiences of Women in Local Politics in Turkey: An Arendtian Perspective

Senem Yıldırım


The question of “What is political?” is a problematization of drawing boundaries. In Arendt’s theory, the dichotomy of public versus private is important, as it draws the limits of what political is. In the mainstream reading of Arendt, political is essentially situated in the public sphere. The political could not survive within the confines of the private that hosts necessity and the concerns of the household. The one who is not free of necessity and concerns of the family could not act, i.e. could not become truly political in Arendtian sense. This paper employs this Arendtian conception of being political to question the ‘political’ experiences of women in local politics in Turkey. I argue that women in Turkish local politics are not involved decision making process and do not act in an Arendtian sense as they could never be free. Their “political” experiences are confined within the limits of the private sphere as they could only “act” within the contexts that affirm traditional gender roles of women, and even in their own discourses motherhood has the ultimate priority.

DOI: 10.5901/ajis.2013.v2n8p535

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Academic Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies ISSN 2281 3993(Print) ISSN 2281-4612(Online)

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