University of Basel

SIBA – A Visual Approach to Explore Everyday Life in Turkish and Yugoslav Cities, 1920s and 1930s

Female plea writer

Female plea writer, © Cengiz Kahramanenlarge


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Object:Female plea writer
Description:A lady in a coat with fur collar and cuffs and wearing a dark hat is sitting in front of a typewriter at a small table next to a wall. She is seen in profile, turning her head towards the camera with a stern look. She is holding something in her hands, and several sheets of paper are scattered in front of her. Opposite her sit two men: the one by the wall is barely visible, the other is wearing a jacket of coarse cloth and turning his head to the lady, cap in hand.
Comment:The photograph accompanied an article printed in Akşam on 1 February 1930. The woman is a plea writer (arzuhalci). Akşam claims that the number of female plea writers has grown with the introduction of the Latin alphabet and typewriters to Turkey. The article reads: ‘They (women) are believed to be working faster and more cleanly with the typewriter and enjoy a large clientele, so that their number is gradually growing’. Plea writers were numerous especially in the Yeni cami area. They either sat next to the park that belonged to the mosque or on its steps, waiting for customers.
Location:Istanbul, Yeni cami
Country:Turkey (contemporary)
Turkey (historical)
Creator:Şenol, Faik (probably)
Keywords:460 Labor
670 Law
560 Social Stratification > 562 Gender Status
Bibliography:Kadın arzuhalciler çoğaldı. Akşam, 1 February 1930, 1.
Copyright:Cengiz Kahraman
Archive:Cengiz Kahraman, Istanbul (Collection Private collection), Inv. No.: ARZUHALCI KADIN - DAKTILO
Editors:Joël László, Cengiz Kahraman, Nataša Mišković