Please note that I have changed my name from Canan Senol to CANAN.

I was born in 1970 and named Canan Şahin in accordance with Turkish Civil Law’s clause numbered 321, which is “If the mother and father of the child are married, the child will carry the surname of the family, if they are not the child will carry the surname of the mother.”

I have entered Marmara University Faculty of Economic and Administrative Sciences, Department of Business Administration as Canan Şahin in 1987, and graduated in 1992 as Canan Senol.

I got married in 1991, and in accordance with Turkish Civil Law numbered 743’s 153rd clause, which says that “a woman who gets married carries her husband’s surname”, I got my husband’s surname and my name is changed into “Canan Senol.”

In 1997 an amendment was made to the 153rd clause of Turkish Civil Law, that opened the possibility for the woman to carry her older surname, prior to her husband’s surname, but only if they are used together. Therefore, even if the commonly accepted family surname is still the husband’s surname, if a woman prefers, she would have also the options to use her father’s surname if she was a single before the marriage, her earlier husband’s surname if she was a widow, or adopter family’s surname if she was adopted, together with and prior to her husband’s surname.

I have entered Marmara University Faculty of Fine Arts, Department of Painting as Canan Senol in 1994, and graduated as Canan Senol. I have also continued my professional life as an artist, and produced my artistic works as Canan Senol.

In 2010, I have decided to divorce my husband. Initially, I was not thinking about changing the surname “Senol”, as I got used to live with this surname for 20 years. I am known by this name, I signed many of my artistic works by this name, and my name is referred as Canan Senol in many books. Until the time, I have learned the laws about the surname::

The 173rd clause of Civil Law numbered 4721’s Second Book is as follows, “In case of divorce, the woman keeps the personal condition she achieved through the marriage; however, she will start to carry her older surname before marriage. In case she asks to keep her surname from the marriage, and if it is proven that keeping this surname will be beneficial to the woman, and it will not do any harm to the husband, the judge will decide that she will keep her husband’s surname. In case these conditions change, the husband may ask this permission to be removed.”

This is the favor of “father” Government to his son “the husband”. I refuse to use this surname that depends on the permission of the husband and the government. I reject to get this permission. I am bored and fed up with facing with permissions and impositions in every stage and field of my life. The surname that was forced to be used while getting married, is turning into the permission of the government and the gift of the husband when getting divorced. I renounce the “benefits” the surnames will provide me, and I renounce surnames.

From this day on, I want my name to be recorded just as “CANAN”. In this day, which we celebrate the 100th year of International Laborer Women’s Day, I am struggling to become the pure CANAN.

CANAN, 2010