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Hayganuş Mark (Markar)

Hayganuş Mark (Markar)

Editor of the Hay Gin (Armenian Woman), the longest running women's magazine of the Ottoman women's movement.
"I totally believed feminism was a cry for justice."

Date of Birth: 1885

Place of Birth: Ayazpaşa, Istanbul

Date of Death: 1966

Place of Death: Istanbul

Burial Site: Şişli Armenian Cemetery, Istanbul



Hayganuş Mark (Markar) Hayganuş Mark (Markar) Hayganuş Mark (Markar) Hayganuş Mark (Markar)

Field of Activity

"I felt that I was weighed down by huge responsibilities while the rights sufficient to meet these responsibilities were not given in return. I believed deep within me that feminism was a cry for justice, but to merely ask for it would have been childish. I had to reach out and take my rights with my own hands. I believed in my power, and Dzağig was born."
(Hayganuş Mark)

In 1905 Hayganuş Mark was asked to transform the Dzağig (Flower) into a women's magazine. She worked for two years as the magazine's editor with the motto: "[Publishing] Only With Women and For Women." In Dzağig magazine she wanted to include women writers' work only, but when she could not find enough women writers, she asked men who would agree to write under female pseudonyms.

"When I first arrived in Izmir, first Istanbul and then the Aegean shores were also introduced to the first active Armenian feminist woman."
(Hayganuş Mark)

Between 1907 and 1909, Hayganuş Mark and her husband, Vahan Tosigyan, published Arsaluys (Dawn) and Artzakank (Echo) newspapers in which they created pages for women.

"Write and be happy"
(Hayganuş Mark)

1919 founded Hayganuş Mark her own feminist periodical Hay Gin (Armenian Woman) and was till forced closure in 1933 the editor of of this newspaper. Hay Gin was a women's biweekly and Hayganuş Mark described the magazine as one in which "in general all subjects pertaining to women will be discussed."

Advocacy and Policy Engagement

In the Ottoman Empire era the Education Council of Armenian community would regulate education of the Armenian community while Judgement Council of the community would regulate marital, family and inheritance matters of the community members. Hayganuş Mark fought for the inclusion of women in these councils and indeed within the administrative ranks of the Armenian community. In Hay Gin magazine, she explained the necessity for these demands. She argued convincingly before the Education and Judgement Councils about the inclusion of women in these councils. She refused the women's junior membership, insisting upon a full membership, and nominated herself as a candidate.

"Since there are no articles about women in the entire administrative regulations of the [Armenian]1876 Canon Law, then by the same token there can be no article providing for a "junior member"among the definitions of council membership. The Canon law says any individual [who is] a member of the [Armenian] community older than 21. Since nobody can exclude women from the'membership of the community', it is obvious that women's membership is not against our laws as proclaimed."
(Hayganuş Mark)
Book of Hayganuş Mark

Dzulutyan Baheres (Tembellik Anlarımdan) [From my Idle Moments], a book of poetry translated from Turkish to Italian, 1921.


(No information available)


(No information available)


Esayan Armenian High School, Istanbul

Contributions to Society

Hayganuş Mark was a part-time teacher at Surp Pırgiç Armenian Hospital in Yedikule, Istanbul.

She also taught Armenian at Nigogosyan Girls School in Istanbul.

As the president of the literary board for Azkanıver Hayuhyatz Ingerutyun (National Women's Association), she attempted to open schools for girls in Anatolia.

Family and Friends

  • Mother:Yebrakse Topuzyan
  • Father:(Van'lı) Markar
  • Marriage:Vahan Toşigyan (journalist)
  • Friends:Zabel Asadur (1885-1926, pseudonym: Sibil, feminist activist, poet, Authoress teacher), Ann Stis (Secretary general of International Feminist Women's Association)

Commemorative Projects

(No information available)

Further Reading


Quoted Sources
  • Melissa Bilal, Lerna Ekmekçioğlu, Belinda Mumcu, "Feminizm: Bir Adalet Feryadı" Hayganuş Mark'ın (1885-1966) Hayatı, Düşünceleri ve Etkinlikleri Üzerine Bir Çalışma, Toplumsal Tarih Dergisi Üniversite Öğrencileri Tarih Yarışması, October 2000.
  • Kadın Eserleri Kütüphanesi ve Bilgi Merkezi.
  • See the "Further Reading" section
Source of Visual Images
  • Aras Publishing, Istanbul
  • Kadın Eserleri Kütüphanesi ve Bilgi Merkezi, Istanbul


The Istanbul Women's Museum is grateful to Aras Publishing in Istanbul for the visual images in the Hayganuş Mark introductory page.

Translation into English: Emre Aslay, Chicago Illinois, USA
Editing: Judith Cederblom, Seattle, Washington, USA

©2012 Meral Akkent
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