Independent and cutting-edge analysis on Turkey and its neighborhood

 

The continuing stalemate in the headscarf controversy in Turkey stems from a mutual distrust about the way the concepts of secularism, democracy, and religious freedom are understood. Both Kemalist secularism, which defends the headscarf ban for the sake of protecting the secular regime, and liberal secularism, which opposes the ban for the sake of protecting the freedom of religion of Sunni Muslims, are short of offering a truly secular perspective that can come to terms with patriarchy in both its secular and Islamic varieties. This article argues that this impasse caused by fears about either top-down Islamization or secularization can be overcome only when women’s rights and freedoms at large become the main concern for all parties in the debate.
 
 
CONTRIBUTOR
Umut Azak
Umut Azak

Dr. Umut Azak is an Associate Professor in the International Relations Department at Okan University in Istanbul, Turkey.

From the Desk of the Editor Since the founding of the Turkish Republic, competing conceptions of Turkish identity have existed. Among many examples, the role of Islam has been contested, Kurdish and Turkish nationalisms have clashed, and various identity-based movements have ebbed and flowed, shaping political cleavages. National identity contestation has also spilled over into Turkey’s relationship with its Western...
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