Charity activities were important ways of participating in social lifeand becoming visible in society for Ottoman women. Ottoman royal women madetheir names memorable via Vak?fs by sponsoring the construction and reparationof both religious buildings like mosque, mescit and cult centers and publicfacilities such as soup kitchens, hospitals and fountains. By the 19thcentury, women reached a high level of public physical visibility and mobilityas members of an aid society. Especially after the Young Turk Revolution of1908, there was an increase in the number of women’s societies. During theBalkan Wars and the First World War the number of women’s aid societiesincreased, and their field of activity expanded through branches established invarious cities in empire.
The other women’s associations which were establishedfor different purposes also organized charitable activities or supported theaid campaigns during the wars. All these activities increased the visibility ofOttoman women in public space. There are some stuabout the visibility of the Ottoman women in sociallife and the women’s aid societies, Leyla Kaplan’s book, titled as Cemiyetlerde ve Siyasi Te?kilatlarda TürkKad?n? 1908-1960.1 EbruBoyar and Kate Fleet’s edited book OttomanWomen in Public Space2and Nicole Van Os’s Phd Thesis Feminism,Philanthropy & Patriotism: Female Associational Life in the Ottoman Empire3can be given as specific researches. Other than these works, some chaptersof the books of ?efika Kurnaz4 andSerpil Çak?r5provide information about Ottoman women’s aid societies. Ottoman women’s aid societies with their activities and their impacts onthe visibility of women in public space will be examined in three chapters inthis thesis. In the first part general information about the social life of theOttoman woman will be given.
In the second section women’s aid societies andtheir charitable activities will be mentioned and in the final chapter,visibility of Ottoman women in public space will be examined. 1 Leyla Kaplan, Cemiyetlerde ve Siyasi Te?kilatlarda TürkKad?n? 1908- 1960. (Ankara: Atatürk Ara?t?rma Merkezi Yay?nlar?,1998). 2 Ebru Boyar& Kate Fleet, Ottoman Women in PublicSpace. (Leiden: Br?ll, 2016). 3Nicole Van Os, “Feminism,Philanthropy & Patriotism: Female Associational Life in the Ottoman Empire” (PhD Thesis, Universiteit Leiden,2013).
4?efika Kurnaz, Cumhuriyet Öncesinde Türk Kad?n? 1839-1923, 2nded. (Ankara: T.C. Ba?bakanl?k Aile Ara?t?rma Kurumu Ba?kanl??? Yay?nlar?,1991). 5 Serpil Çak?r,Osmanl? Kad?n Hareketi (?stanbul: Metis Yay?nlar?, 1993).