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Kemal Bilbaşar, who is one of the social realist writers of Turkish literature, entered the world of literature with the story genre. In 1941, he produced his first novel titled Etrafımızdaki Duvar; he wrote a total of twelve novels including ten books and two feuilletons. Although he touched personal subjects in his first two novels, he gravitated towards social issues in his later novels. His 1966 novel Cemo brought Bilbaşar to fame and enabled him to be awarded with the Turkish Language Association's Novel Prize. Following the positive reception of Cemo, he wrote a novel titled Memo in 1969, which is regarded as the continuation of Cemo. These two novels describe the state of Eastern Anatolia in the foundation years of the Republic based on historical facts. The state of the period and geography in question pre-land reform, the tyranny of squirearchy and peasantry are told in these novels within the atmosphere of the love affair between Cemo-Memo-Senem. While the writer describes the social, political and cultural atmosphere of Eastern Anatolia at the aforementioned period through a representation of Tunceli by placing the characters Cemo, Memo and Senem at the forefront, he directly reflects the perspectives of the local residents on women. On the other hand, he adopts a critical stance towards the role of women in social gender inequality. In the present study, the role of women in the novels Cemo and Memo will be evaluated with an emphasis on social gender inequality and the attitude of Bilbaşar towards this issue will be discussed.

Kemal Bilbaşar, Social Gender, Cemo, Memo.

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