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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.

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From the Desk of the Editor During the COVID-19 pandemic, individuals and governments across the globe have been reminded of the value of human life and the delicacy of human psychology. Societies have been forced to conform to governments’ speedy decisions to prevent the spread of the virus, and individuals—from the most vulnerable to the most well-off —were forced to self-isolate. The isolation...
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