Gender in the Honky Tonk as a Space of Representation: The Film Dutturu Dunya

Gender in the Honky Tonk as a Space of Representation: The Film Dutturu Dunya

Meltem Yılmaz Bilecen (Sivas Cumhuriyet University, Turkey)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 15
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-0128-3.ch015
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This study was prepared to investigate the gender roles in honky tonk organization, which has an important place in the bureaucratic structure of Ankara and can be considered as the place of representation against the representations of space, specifically in the film Dutturu Dunya. The film Dutturu Dunya was shot at a time when the new realism movement started in Turkish Cinema and found personality with Zeki Ökten. In the film, Ulus, Bakanlıklar mounted for the representation of the space and Hıdırlıktepe which is an extension of the representation space and described as the slum area are used as the main place. In the study, the gender roles are explained based on space fiction and dialogue of the film. It was seen as a result of the analysis that unlike the common opinion, not only the body and labor of woman working in honky tonk but also body and labor and labor exploitation of men were realized. The matter distinguishing male and female workers is that honky tonk is a place where woman goes astray but man somehow earns his living.
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People not only experience the space but also think and dream through it. Therefore, the space does not only shape the present social world (experienced and understood as a meaningful life condition), but also shapes other possible social worlds that can inspire action and express collective dreams. (Stavrides, 2010:11)

After Ankara became the capital of the Republic, it is known that new missions are attributed to the city both socially and politically and these missions bring new openings to the people living in the capital, which has become the showcase of the Republic, for changing their understanding of entertainment as well as their work and home life. It is known that during the first years of the Republic, the ways of planned urbanization were sought with Lörcher and Jansen’s Plans; on the other hand, places defined as places of memory by Pierre Nora (2006) began to be established in order to form the urban culture and entertainment sense and ballroom and theater halls were opened to transform the urban identity. It is expressed in the work of Yakup Kadri Karaosmanoğlu (2009:109) entitled “Ankara” presenting a section from the period when Ankara Palas, which was opened to host visitors coming to Ankara, hosted ball and similar events and was welcomed by the people of the city.

It can be said that the first periods of the republic, which included not only the efforts of building a city but also a nation defeated by the squatting and then to the habits of the population who were not urbanite but living in the city as well as their cultures they adapted to the city after the 1950s. Ankara which was the capital of the bureaucracy at that time was also the capital of honky tonks1 when it comes to the 80s. Honky tonks whose content videos are viewed by million times in Youtube and the music type produced there are also listened by millions of people all over the country constitute an important unplanned part of Ankara. Honky tonks can be considered as a counter-position against the personality of the city, as well as the traditional one’s transformation and emergence in a new area. It can even be asserted that the urban personality prevails over the personality of the city in spite of all the planning efforts. As stated by John Urry (1999), urban personality is shy, standoffish, and tired (1999,20). However, honky tonks removed the distance between a man, who had not seen any female body other than his wife and who had lived only in a place close to their family members, and the “female figure”, allowed him to meet on common ground with the people whom he did know and who were not from the same location, brought him to the outside world and adapted a traditional entertainment type such as the drinking party with dancing girls (oturak alemi) performed only in fests or in weddings into daily life and removed him from the negative characteristics of the city for a while. Even though the role of women in honky tonks which can be asserted to serve as a therapy mechanism for men and is a masculine place is described as essential, ultimately, honky tonk is a place where the woman “falls”.

In this study, Ankara Honky tonks which completely symbolize the social transformation with their location, presentation, content and entertainment concept contrasting with the bureaucratic and planned urban identity of Ankara were investigated through the honky tonk symbolic film “Dutturu Dunya” and the gender roles in honky tonk as a sector were tried to be identified over the film.

The main reason for the selection of this film is that the film which is still aired in national television channels today has been aired in many TV channels with different belonging structure and ideological orientation and it has been watched by many different audiences. For this reason, it serves for the spreading and acceptance of certain judgments about honky tonk.

The film “Dutturu Dunya” which was directed by Zeki Ökten in 1988, whose script was written by Umur Bugay, and whose starring characters were Kemal Sunal (Mehmet) and Jale Aylanç, becomes more meaningful when considering that Zeki Ökten is an important name of the New Reality Movement in Turkish Cinema (Yakın: 2009).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Honky Tonk: Honky tonk is a place where men go for fun and women “fall” into and only work. In short, women are not the costumers of this space. In this respect, the production, distribution and marketing of entertainment for men is carried out. It is not possible to draw this meaning from the definition made.

Women: Woman laborers working in honky tonk. Hostesses, belly dancers, players: artists.

Men: Man laborers working in honky tonk. Waiter, musician, cloakroom attendant, barmen.

Gender: Gender roles shaped by social norms.

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