A Step Too Far

While the “headscarf problem” is being solved in practice at universities, which will now allow them in classes, no such “opening” has occurred in politics where separate dual receptions have been the norm, one inviting politicians and uncovered wives, and one to which politicians could bring their covered wives, including the wives of the president […]

Where Will Educated Covered Women Work?

It now seems possible in practice for women who cover their heads to attend university. Richard Peres, an expert on discrimination law living in Istanbul, writes this essay about the problems Turkish women face AFTER they graduate. Where will they work? What can they do with their degrees? He discusses the discrimination faced by women […]

The Headscarf Is Now Allowed On Turkey’s Campuses

This post has been UPDATED. The AKP and now the opposition secularist Republican People’s Party (CHP) under its new leadership are both seeking a way to change the constitution to allow women who cover their heads to attend university, something that is presently banned. But it looks like YÖK (the Higher Education Council that sets […]

Repeat: Meaning Is In Our Heads, Not On Our Heads

This old shoe leather scrap of an idea keeps coming up again and again: The problem of banning headscarves from campus can be solved if the students simply tied their scarves differently! Here’s my response to this when the idea was debated two years ago. As I wrote in an Op-Ed for Zaman: Meaning is in our […]

New Poll On Religion in Turkey

Updating his 1999 social survey of Turkey, Sabanci University political scientist Ali Çarkoglu along with Ersin Kalaycioglu reported new research findings on religiosity in Turkey under the framework of the International Social Survey Program, or ISSP, which measures religious values from 43 different countries. Below are some excerpts. Click here for a news article in […]

Walk The Walk

Photos from Hurriyet For her column in Hurriyet (click here, in Turkish), Ayse Arman, a statuesque blonde, covered her head and, dressed in modest but  fashionable ‘tesettur’, walked all over secular Istanbul’s hot-spots with a similarly veiled friend, loitered in fancy shops, sat at sidewalk cafes and entered restaurants. Although she had expected resistance, nowhere […]

Islamist Men Are Marrying Uncovered Women

An interesting debate (click here): …Ahmet Hakan, a columnist for daily Hürriyet, made headlines last week by drawing attention to recent marriages between women who do not wear headscarves and Islamist men… “If conservative men do not marry headscarfed women, who is going to marry them?” Hakan asked, saying that Islamist men do not want […]

Survey Documents High Levels Of Intolerance, Conservatism, And Fear Of Outsiders

Prof. Yilmaz Esmer at Bahçesehir University in Istanbul has conducted a survey, based on face-to-face interviews with 1,714 people in 34 cities all over Turkey, that demonstrates deep divisions in society and a high level of intolerance toward anyone perceived to be different, and deep ambivalence toward the EU and women’s rights. (see note below […]

Where’s Michelle?

She skipped Turkey and went home to see her two daughters: (from Times Online) …A picture of her at the G20 summit in London, standing next to Emine Erdogan, the wife of the Prime Minister, Tayyip Erdogan, attracted mixed emotions [in Turkey]… since Mrs Erdogan’s Muslim headscarf is viewed with distaste by secular Turkey’s establishment, […]

Muslim Women Power List

From Nicole Pope’s column: (for full text, click here)  …Britain’s Equality and Human Rights Commission, in conjunction with The Times newspaper and Emel magazine, has just compiled a Power List of the UK’s most successful Muslim women. The aim of the exercise is to challenge public perceptions and raise the profile of the 100,000 Muslim […]