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The Politics of the Female Body in Contemporary Turkey: Reproduction, Maternity, Sexuality

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Book by Hilal Alkan (Anthology Editor), Ayse Dayi (Anthology Editor), Sezin Topçu (Anthology Editor), Betül Yarar (Anthology Editor), 2021 Bloomsbury Publishing

In Turkey, the Justice and Development Party government has introduced new regulations about reproductive rights, and shifted family and gender policies. Women’s central role in reproductive and domestic work was swiftly reaffirmed, and abortion and IVF were newly debated. Taking Turkey as the case study,this is the first book to examine the various ways neoliberal modes of governing women’s bodies interact with conservative and authoritarian measures.

The contributions focus on reproduction, maternity and sexuality, to explore the three main areas of governmental interventions into the female body. Topics for discussion include: the expansion of IVF and egg markets, the privatization of gynaecological and obstetrical care, differential treatment of poor and ethnic minority women’s fertility/sexuality, and women’s multiple responses to these shifts. While focusing on Turkey, the book presents analytical tools applicable under rising authoritarianisms and conservatisms worldwide.

Table of Contents

Illustrations
Contributors and Editors
Acknowledgements

Introduction: Changing Regimes of Governing Women’s Bodies in Contemporary Turkey
Hilal Alkan, Ayse Dayi, Sezin Topçu and Betül Yara

Part 1: Governing the reproductive body: Emerging markets and contested moralities

1. Neoliberal Health Restructuring, Rising Conservatism and Reproductive Rights in Turkey: Continuities and Changes in Rights Violations
Ayse Dayi and Eylem Karakaya

2. Crafting moral agency in transnational egg donation: The case of Turkish egg donors
Burcu Mutlu

3. ‘Fantastic microscopic hair of uterus’: Navigating reproductive trajectories, biomedical bodies and renegotiation of heterosexual femininities and masculinities
Nurhak Polat

4. Feeling like a ‘Misfit’: Kurdish women’s entangled reproductive experiences in Turkey
Safak Kiliçtepe

Part 2 Governing the maternal body: Between biomedical power and neoliberal healthcare

5. Banning caesareans or selling ‘Choice’?: The paradoxical regulation of caesarean section epidemics and the maternal body in Turkey
Sezin Topçu

6. Monitoring pregnancies: The politics and ethics of reproductive health surveillance in Turkey
Seda Saluk

7. Egg-freezing narratives of women: Between medicalization and marketization
Azer Kiliç

8. Tactics of women up against obstetrical violence and the medicalization of childbirth in Turkey
Selen Göbelez

Part 3 Governing the sexualized body: Neoconservatism, authoritarianism and counter strategies

9. Misogynist Body Politics under the AKP Rule in Contemporary Turkey Esra Sarioglu

10. Disciplining pious female bodies/sexualities in the authoritarian times of Turkey: An analysis of public moral discourses on the ‘Süslümans’
Betül Yarar

11. Guiding the female body through the Alo Fetva hotline: The female preachers’ fatwas on religious marriage, religious divorce and sexual life
Burcu Kalpaklioglu

12. Positioning the critical pious self vis-à-vis authoritarian populist body politics: Limits of feminist dissent in pious women columnists’ narratives in Turkey
Didem Ünal

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