This paper discusses the views of Turkish journalist Sabiha Zekeriya Sertel (1895–1968) on prostitution and women’s participation in the paid labor force. By examining her ideas on these issues and on women’s legal rights as they appeared in her journal, Resimli Ay, the paper shows how Sertel analytically linked women’s economic dependence with ideologies of sexual honor that limited and controlled access to women’s sexuality. This led her to identify the origins of prostitution as economic, to oppose the licensing of brothels and the regulation of prostitutes by the state, to advocate the entrance of women into the labor force, and to inveigh against the legal and social exclusion of women from many areas of commercial activity. The paper describes how, through her commentaries, Sertel sought to influence social and legal reforms taking place in the new Republic of Turkey.

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