user preferences

New Events

Greece / Turkey / Cyprus

no event posted in the last week
Recent articles by Hilal Elver
This author has not submitted any other articles.
Recent Articles about Greece / Turkey / Cyprus Religion

H εκκλησία ως τ... Apr 30 14 by Dmitri (republishing)

Παράσημα ντρ ... Oct 16 12 by eagainst

Ελλάδα 2012. Ο σκο&#... Sep 27 12 by Ευάγριος Αληθινός

Lawfare and Wearfare in Turkey

category greece / turkey / cyprus | religion | non-anarchist press author Friday April 11, 2008 15:28author by Hilal Elver Report this post to the editors

(Hilal Elver is a visiting professor of global and international studies at the University of California-Santa Barbara and an editor of Middle East Report.)

With war on its eastern borders, and renewed turmoil inside them, Turkey is transfixed by something else entirely: the desire of university-age women to wear the Muslim headscarf on campus, a seemingly innocent sartorial choice that has been forbidden by the courts, off and on, since 1980. At public meetings and street demonstrations, in art exhibits, TV ads, and dance and music performances, headscarf opponents argue vociferously that removing the ban will be the first step backward to the musty old days of the Ottoman Empire. A quieter majority of 70 percent, according to a recent poll, thinks that pious students should be allowed to cover their heads, perhaps because approximately 64 percent of Turkish women do so in daily life. There is almost no middle ground between the two poles: Even completely apolitical Turks have gravitated one way or another.

Headscarf opponents see themselves as following in the footsteps of founding father Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, who launched an ambitious program, beginning in the 1920s, to remake the heartland of the longest-lasting Islamic empire into a modern, Westernized nation-state. In the Kemalist camp are the majority of the officers in Turkey’s powerful army, as well as high court judges, opposition party leaders in Parliament, secular women’s organizations, business associations, many university presidents and professors, and the bulk of the mainstream media. They will stop at little to prevent what they perceive as the downfall of secular Turkey.

Proponents of lifting the ban also claim the mantle of history. In July 2007 elections, the Justice and Development Party (or AKP), made up of politicians with roots in a series of outlawed Islamist parties, retained its healthy parliamentary majority in one of the most decisive victories in the history of the Turkish multi-party system. The landslide came despite the disappointment felt by the AKP’s core constituency, the devout middle class, in the party’s failure to lift the headscarf ban at universities during its first term in office. To the surprise and perhaps the dismay of the secular opposition, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan carefully avoided the headscarf issue from 2002-2007, so as not to be seen as defying the will of the outspoken generals. Now that the Turkish public has endorsed its rule, and implicitly rebuked the army, the AKP feels justified in pleasing its electoral base.

The proscription of the headscarf is not black-letter law, but rather the Constitutional Court’s interpretation of the provisions for secularism and equality in the Turkish constitution. To lift the ban, Turkish politicians have tried multiple times to pass more specific laws or to amend the constitution, as the AKP succeeded in doing on February 9. Opponents of the headscarf have long relied on the courts to block such efforts. This time around, both sides have waged such “lawfare” with unprecedented vigor, bombarding not just the Constitutional Court, but also a host of lower courts, with claims and counter-claims. The chief prosecutor of Turkey, a staunch Kemalist, drastically upped the ante by asking the Constitutional Court to consider the extreme measures of closing down the AKP and banning Prime Minister Erdoğan and his top 69 colleagues, including President Abdullah Gül, from politics. On March 31, the judges agreed to hear the case, raising the prospect of a second “postmodern” coup in Turkey. Unlike the first of these in 1997, this coup would take place without the army’s direct involvement and would depose a party that, not even one year ago, was reelected by a significant margin.

Continues here:

Related Link:
author by Gul Guvenpublication date Fri Apr 11, 2008 20:08author email startarih at yahoo dot comauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

Have anybody noticed that the author has mainly used of the AKP-supporter periodicals?
The reader must know this is a biased view.
Islam is a faith that permeates through all aspects of daily life as well as of the state as soon as it finds any appropriate opening -so is the "turban" which is most apparent symbol of Islam in Turkey nowadays.
Allowing the turban only in the higher education is not an innocent means of freedom: it does not mean the freedom of thought at all -it clearly means the freedom of Islam's (the most permeating faith) spreading unretrievably into the public sphere (affecting thoughts, attitudes an behaviours) of the whole nation.
All I want to do is (by accomodating them with necessary information) the readers of this site have the right to decide whether this would be right or wrong -for the sake of genuine freedom in any country , even in Turkey!

This page can be viewed in
English Italiano Deutsch
Les victoires de l

Front page

Federasyon’a Çağırıyoruz!

Piştgirîye Daxuyanîya Çapemenî ji bo Êrîşek Hatîye li ser Xanîyê Mezopotamya

Les attaques fascistes ne nous arrêteront pas !

Les victoires de l'avenir naîtront des luttes du passé. Vive la Commune de Paris !

Contra la opresión patriarcal y la explotación capitalista: ¡Ninguna está sola!

100 Years Since the Kronstadt Uprising: To Remember Means to Fight!

El Rei està nu. La deriva autoritària de l’estat espanyol

Agroecology and Organized Anarchism: An Interview With the Anarchist Federation of Rio de Janeiro (FARJ)

Es Ley por la Lucha de Las de Abajo

Covid19 Değil Akp19 Yasakları: 14 Maddede Akp19 Krizi

Declaración conjunta internacionalista por la libertad de las y los presos politicos de la revuelta social de la región chilena

[Perú] Crónica de una vacancia anunciada o disputa interburguesa en Perú

Nigeria and the Hope of the #EndSARS Protests

How Do We Stop a Coup?

Aλληλεγγύη στους 51 αντιφασίστες της Θεσσαλονίκης

No war on China

Women under lockdown all around the world

Solidarity with the Struggle of North American People!

A libertarian socialist view of the capitalist and health crisis in the Americas

Para las Clases Populares del Mundo, Pandemia, Crisis, Todos los Tiempos son de Lucha

كل التضامن مع روج آفا

Nossa Concepção De Feminismo Na Perspectiva Do Anarquismo Organizado

Frente a la Pandemia Capitalista, Solidaridad entre los Pueblos

Corona – how are you?

© 2005-2021 Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by [ Disclaimer | Privacy ]