(b. September 18, 1921, Vienna), political scientist who received the Vehbi Koç Award for education in 2012. She has gained recognition for her work on external migration and women in Turkey.
The daughter of Izmir businessman Mustafa Süleymanoviç and Baroness Elfriede Karwinsky from Hungary, she graduated from Izmir High School for Girls (1940) and Istanbul University Faculty of Law (1944). After working at Ulus newspaper during the years 1944 and 1950, she studied for a master’s degree at Minnesota University (1952-53). She was appointed as an academic assistant at Ankara University Faculty of Political Sciences (Mülkiye) in 1954, then became associate professor in 1958 and professor in 1966, when she founded the Chair of Political Behavior. Prof. Abadan Unat served in various academic and administrative roles throughout the 1970s and was a guest professor at Berlin, Munich, New York City, Denver and Georgetown Universities. She participated in a variety of conferences as expert consultant on migrant workers. She served on the Turkish National Commission for UNESCO. She was vice president of the International Political Science Association (IPSA) between 1967 and 1970. From 1978 to 1984, she was the president of the Turkish Social Sciences Association. In 1980, she represented Turkey at the United Nations World Conference on Women and was vice president of the Council of Europe Gender Equality Commission from 1978 to 1984. She sat in the Turkish Grand National Assembly as a senator appointed by the President of Turkey (1978-80). In 1981, she returned to the Faculty of Political Sciences. After retiring in 1989, she continued to lecture at Boğaziçi University and Istanbul University Women’s Research and Education Center.
As well as publishing numerous articles in French, German and English, Prof. Abadan Unat has also edited books in these languages. Her principal works are Halk Efkârı Mefhumu ve Tesir Sahaları (1957; Public Opinion, Concepts and Areas of Influence), Bürokrasi (1959; Bureaucracy), Social Change and Turkish Women (1961), Batı Almanya'daki Türk İşçileri ve Sorunları (1964; Turkish Workers in West Germany and Their Problems), Anayasa Hukuku ve Siyaset Bilimi Açısından 1965 Genel Seçimlerinin Tahlili (1966; 1965 General Election’s Analysis in the Light of Constitutional Law and Political Science), Göç ve Gelişme (1976; Migration and Development), Turkish Workers in Europe (1976), Türk Toplumunda Kadın (1979; Women in Turkish Society), Türk Dış Göçü 1960-84, Yorumlu Bibliyografya (1986; Turkish External Migration 1960-84, Annotated Bibliography), Women in the Developing World: Evidence from Turkey (1986) and Bitmeyen Göç: Konuk İşçilikten Ulus-Ötesi Yurttaşlığa (2002; Endless Migration: From Guest Workers to Transnational Citizenship). Prof. Abadan Unat published her memoirs in a book entitled Kum Saatini İzlerken (1997; Watching the Hour Glass) and co-edited the works of her first husband Prof. Yavuz Abadan under the title Kırım'dan Gelen Bir Aydının Seçilmiş Yazıları (Selected Essays of an Intellectual from Crimea) in 2017. The book Hayatını Seçen Kadın (The Woman Who Chose Her Life), based on her conversations with Sedef Kabaş was published in 2010.
Prof. Abadan Unat was granted the Vehbi Koç Award in 2012 for her “outstanding contribution in the field of education”. At the awards ceremony, Prof. Abadan Unat was acknowledged as someone who, “...had raised thousands of students and hundreds of academicians in the fields of political science and sociology, and was considered as an exemplary lecturer and ‘teacher of teachers’ for her leading work on women and migration. She was an instigator, manager and participant in many educational projects” and produced many firsts as a female political scientist.
Prof. Abadan Unat received the Mülkiye Alumni Association’s Grand Award in 2016, followed by the Sakıp Sabancı International Research Awards Jury Special Prize in 2017.