Emine Semiye Önasya

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Emine Semiye Önasya
Born (1864-03-28)28 March 1864
Istanbul, Ottoman Empire
Died 1944 (aged 79–80)
Istanbul, Turkey
Pen name Emine Vahide
Occupation Novelist, columnist, essayist
Nationality Turkish
Subject Women's rights
Relatives Ahmet Cevdet Pasha (father)
Fatma Aliye (sister)

Emine Semiye Önasya (28 March 1864-1944), mostly known as Emine Semiye and Emine Vahide, was a Turkish writer, activist, and early feminist.

Early life and education[edit]

Emine Semiye was born in Istanbul on 28 March 1866.[1] She was the second daughter of Ahmet Cevdet Pasha and sister of Fatma Aliye.[2][3] Her mother was Adviye Rabia Hanım. Emine Semiye studied psychology and sociology in France and Switzerland for seven years.[1][3] She was one of the first Ottoman Muslim women educated in Europe.[3]


Beginning in 1882, Emine Semiye worked as a Turkish and literature teacher in Istanbul and in other provinces.[3] She served as an inspector at girls’ schools and an assistant nurse at Şişli Etfal Hospital.[1] Her writings on politics and education were published in the newspapers such as Mütalaa (in Thessalonica) and Hanımlara Mahsus Gazete ("Newspaper for Women" in English) after the declaration of constitutional monarchy in 1908 (see Second Constitutional Era).[1] She also wrote a math textbook entitled Hulasa-i Ilm-i Hesap in 1893.[4] Her most-known novels are Sefalet (1908) ("Poverty")[5] and Gayya Kuyusu ("The Pit of Hell").[1]

Emine Semiye, together with her older sister Fatma Aliye, was a significant figure for the Ottoman women movement.[6][7] She established several charity organizations to help women.[2] She always struggled for women's rights. She became a member of the progressive Committee of Union and Progress and later, the Ottoman Democratic Party.[1] In 1920, she was named a member of the governing board of the Turkish Press Association, which had been called the Ottoman Press Association until that year.[8]

Personal life and death[edit]

Emine Semiye lived for a long time in Paris. She married twice.[3] Her first husband was Mustafa Bey. The second was Reşit Pasha. They divorced later.[3] She had a two sons; one from each husband. Their names are Hasan Riza, son of Mustafa Bey and Cevdet Lagaş, son to Reşit Pasha.[3] She died in Istanbul in 1944.[3]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Emine Semiye". Ministry of Culture (Turkey). Retrieved 28 August 2012. 
  2. ^ a b "Emine Semiye" (in Turkish). Kitap Yurdu (Book Land). Retrieved 28 August 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Karaca, Şahika (2011). "Modernleşme Döneminde Bir Kadın Yazarın Portresi: Emine Semiye Hanım (A portrait of a woman author in modernisation period: Emine Semiye)". Bilig. 57: 115–134. Retrieved 28 August 2012. 
  4. ^ Livezeanu, Irina (2007). Women and gender in Central and Eastern Europe, Russia, and Eurasia. AWSS. p. 226. 
  5. ^ "Sefalet - Emine Semiye". Alternative Books. Retrieved 28 August 2012. 
  6. ^ Kurnaz, Şefika. "Fatma Aliye’nin Emine Semiye’ye Bir Mektubu (A letter of Fatma Aliye to Emine Semiye)". ASOS Index. Retrieved 28 August 2012. 
  7. ^ Elif Bilgin (October 2004). "An analysis of Turkish modernity through discourses of masculinities" (PhD Thesis). Middle East Technical University. Retrieved 23 November 2013. 
  8. ^ Nur Bilge Criss (1999). Istanbul under Allied Occupation, 1918-1923. Boston: Brill. p. 24. Retrieved 23 November 2013.  – via Questia (subscription required)