In this study, we try to find out that what kind of understanding and approach towards “religion” Halide Edib Adıvar (1882-1964) put forward in her novels. As known, with the Rescript of Gülhane, Turkish society went into the effort of westernization in almost all areas of life and this effort has continued until today. In this process, all attempts for westernization and modernization brought about many changes and discussions, both material and spiritual. The values of the East and the West have caused conflicts in almost every segment of the society, especially among the intellectuals. The core of these conflicts is always known to be a conflict between religion and modernism. Intellectuals who think and write about our westernization process in general, especially with the Rescript of Gülhane, have come up with different approaches and ideas about the need for modernization and the attitude towards religious rules and institutions. It is well known that the main theme of many literary works produced in this process is the “East-West” conflict. As an intellectual and artist Halide Edib Adıvar is among the ones who are involved in various ideological, social, cultural changes and discussions during the Second Constitutional Period and Republican Period. In Halide Edib’s novels, “religion” has an important role in forming and preserving our national identity in the period of westernization and constant change of Turkish society. However, this understanding of religion comes out as a unique interpretation that is close to the “heterodox” understanding with its secular, loving, and reasoning orientations embracing every human being.
Key Words: Westernization, East-West Conflict, Religion, Halide Edib ADIVAR