Turkey’s foremost feminist artist uses only her first name, Canan. She dropped her surname in protest at a law that gives her ex-husband the right to stop her using it. There is much else she has dropped: she often appears in her works naked as a challenge to Turkish society as it becomes increasingly conservative.
These are turbulent times for Turkey – a raging conflict in Syria, a rekindled civil war between Kurds and the state in the southeast, bombs going off in major cities and a huge migration crisis. At the same time the government is cracking down on dissent, with journalists and lecturers arrested regularly on terrorism charges.
So it’s probably a difficult time for an outspoken social rebel. I find the artist in the Rampa gallery, a discreet Istanbul basement next to an underground car park, which is showing her latest work.