Friday, 28 November 2008

Famous Faces: Merve Kavakci

The GW Hatchet recently profiled Turkish politician Merve Kavakci, who was prevented from taking her Parliamentary oath and stripped of her citizenship because she wore hijab:

At first glance, professor Merve Kavakci doesn't appear to have much in common with the Pilgrims. She is a Turkish Muslim, not an English Puritan. And instead of landing at Plymouth Rock in the Mayflower, she landed at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport in a jumbo jet.

But like the Pilgrims we celebrate this week, Kavakci, who has a doctoral degree in political science, came to the United States seeking religious freedom.

In 1980 the Turkish government imposed a ban on the headscarves worn by many Muslim women. Kavakci's mother - a professor who wears the headscarf like 69 percent of Turkish women - was left with a difficult decision. It was her headscarf or the job.

"I saw my mother having to choose between her religious convictions and her career," said Kavakci, who teaches in the Elliott School.

Read the rest of her story here.


Anonymous said...

Hi there,
I really appreciate your time and efforts. This article is pretty good. A couple of weeks ago I came across an interesting video on you tube and today when I checked your blog and saw the picture of this clicked my mind and i instantl thought of the video...the lady here in this article was speaking about her experiences in the video. I thought it would be a good idea to share the video with you and here is the link.



Random Moniker said...

That's terrible to hear about, although I've heard of more cases of this. I'm not Muslim, but it's really a shame when secular governments want to ban elements of religion that really aren't hurting anyone. This is particularly true of a country that is predominantly Muslim. Turkey seems to have an identity crisis.

Anyway, just wanted to say, wonderful blog. I can finally point out to people that Muslim women don't have to wear "boring" clothes, and that you don't have to bare everything to be fashionable.

M.J. said...

Hey!! Wasn't this the lady boo'd out of the turkish parliment?! I saw the video and was in tears. I couldn't believe such disgusting, degrading treatment towards another human being. I'd formerly been in love with Turkiye only to feel all that ebb away after reading more about her. So awful and horrible :(

Saliha said...

Thanks for the article. In Turkey there's a latent form of hatred towards women in 'modern-day' hijab, which means hijab worn for religious (and some say political) rather than cultural reasons. Secularists say women like Kavak├ži are hypocrits. "If they're really that pious they shouldn't draw that much attention and should stay at home. Only modern, independent, hijab-less women have the right to get an education or to have a job." As a daughter of Turkish parents, even I was raised with that political conviction, but now I understand how stupid and narrow-minded this attitude is.

aisha akova said...

her website


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