56. Today in 1920s Turkey: 4 February 1924 (The Ugly Husband)

Cartoon by Ramiz (Gökçe), published in Akbaba, 4 February 1924, no. 122, page 2.

The superficial flapper girl with excessive material aspirations is a type that is so frequently featured in Turkish cartoons of this period it is quite possible to designate these works as a genre of their own. These types of cartoons usually display similarities in style characterized by a flat surface treatment, calligraphic line, and graphic arrangement of shapes. Central to every cartoon in this genre is the female body decked out in the latest (and sometimes skimpiest) fashions.

Selfishness, deception, ignorance, single-mindedness, and an acute lack of empathy describe the types of women represented in these cartoons. The present cartoon’s text reveals the economic reasons behind the marriage of one of the women. When confronted by her companion with the accusation that her husband is ugly, rather than attributing her “bad choice” to something immaterial like love or positive personality traits, the woman concedes that she only married him out of necessity, in order to have her own space away from the crowded house of her father. To each her own.

— Don’t take offense [but] your husband is rather ugly!
— There were no rooms left in my father’s home!..

— Darılma ama, kocan pek çirkin!
— Babamın evinde oda yoktu ya!..

Entire page, Akbaba, 4 February 1924, no. 122, page 2. Atatürk Library, Istanbul.

Originally published at https://steemit.com on February 4, 2017.



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Yasemin Gencer

Yasemin Gencer

I am an independent scholar of Islamic art and civilization specializing in the history of Ottoman and modern Turkish art and print culture.