Duygu Asena

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Duygu Asena (April 19, 1946 in İstanbul – July 30, 2006 in İstanbul)[1] was a Turkish journalist, best-selling author and activist for women’s rights.[2]

Life and career[edit]

She was born in Istanbul, Turkey in 1946. Her grandfather was Atatürk's personal secretary.[3] After finishing Kadıköy Private College for Girls, she graduated from Istanbul University with a degree in pedagogy. Then, she worked for two years in the children’s clinic of Haseki Hospital and in the children’s home of the Istanbul University as a pedagogue.

Duygu Asena began writing in 1972 with her first column published in the newspaper "Hürriyet". Between 1976-1978, she was employed as a copywriter in an advertising agency. In 1978, she became editor-in-chief of a publishing house, and in this position she was responsible for the creation of several women’s magazines such as Kadınca, Onyedi, Ev Kadını, Bella, Kim and Negatif.[2]

From the 1980s onwards, Duygu Asena became a leader of movement for women’s rights and status in Turkey with her publications in the media. She wrote about marriage, inequality and violence against women. Previously, she had lost her job because she had fallen in love with a colleague at an associated newspaper. She realized that a Turkish man would never have been fired under similar circumstances.[2]

Her first book “Kadının Adı Yok” ("The Woman Has No Name"), sharply criticizing the oppression of women and marriage without love, was published in 1987, and became a top seller. However, the book was banned at its 40th edition in 1998 by the government because it was found obscene, dangerous for children and undermining marriage. After two years of lawsuits, the ban was lifted, and her book was filmed the same year by director Atıf Yılmaz and featured by Hale Soygazi. Translations of her book were released in Germany and the Netherlands.[2] It became a best seller also in Greece. Her second book “Aslında Aşk da Yok”, which can be considered as the continuation of her first book, was also translated in foreign languages and published abroad. All of her subsequent books became best sellers.

Between 1992 and 1997, she presented a TV program in the state owned channel TRT 2. Her occupation as a columnist started in the newspaper Milliyet and continued later in Cumhuriyet and Yarın. Duygu Asena played also in three movies "Umut Yarıda Kaldı" ("The Hope is Broken"), "Yarın Cumartesi" ("Tomorrow is Saturday") and "Bay E" ("Mr. E").

Duygu Asena died of brain cancer, which she had been battling for two years in İstanbul's American Hospital. She was buried in Zincirlikuyu Cemetery.[1]


  • Kadının Adı Yok (The Woman Has No Name), 184 pp., 1987, 59th edition 2004, ISBN 975-506-122-3 (also in Greek and Italian)
  • Aslında Aşk da Yok (Actually, There Is Also No Love), 192 pp., 1989, 40th edition 2004, ISBN 975-506-128-2
  • Kahramanlar Hep Erkek (Heroes Are Always Men), 160 pp., 1992, 23rd edition 2005, ISBN 975-506-108-8
  • Değişen Bir Şey Yok (There Is Nothing Changed), 118pp., 1994, 43rd edition 2004, ISBN 975-325-000-2
  • Aynada Aşk Vardı (There was Love In the Mirror), 360 pp., 1997, 22nd edition 2004, ISBN 975-325-456-3
  • Aslında Özgürsün (Actually, You Are Free), 276 pp., 2001, 21st edition 2004, ISBN 975-6612-14-2
  • Aşk Gidiyorum Demez (Love Does Not Say ‘I Am Leaving’), 208 pp., 2003, 14th edition 2003, ISBN 975-293-083-2
  • Paramparça (Torn In Pieces), 157 pp., 2004, 14th edition 2006, ISBN 975-293-205-3
German language
  • Die Frau hat keinen Namen (The Woman Has No Name), 174 pp., 1992, Piper, München, ISBN 3-492-11485-7
  • Meine Liebe, Deine Liebe (My Love, Your Love), 215 pp., 1994, Piper, München, ISBN 3-492-11792-9
Dutch language
  • De vrouw heeft geen naam (The Woman Has No Name), 219 pp., 2005, de Kern, ISBN 90-325-1011-8
  • Eigenlijk ben je vrij (Actually, You Are Free), 222 pp., 2005, de Kern, ISBN 90-325-1006-1


  • 1988 - "People at the Summit" by Magazine "Nokta"
  • 1988 - "Best Author" by Bosphorus University for Kadının Adı Yok
  • 1995 - “Best Author" by Bosphorus University
  • 1998 - "75 Women in 75 Years" Award


  1. ^ a b Associated Press (2006-08-02). "Duygu Asena; Advocate for Turkish Women". Washington Post. Retrieved 2008-07-24.
  2. ^ a b c d Guler, Emrah (2006-08-04). "The name of the Turkish women". Turkish Daily News. Archived from the original on 2007-09-30. Retrieved 2008-07-24.
  3. ^ Ozdemir, Senay (2007-06-25). "Feminism, Turkish-style". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2008-07-24.

External links[edit]