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In Turkey, from headscarf to 'immorality' ban

The headscarf, once a symbol of Turkey's struggle for freedom, is now normalized, but other symbols appear in its stead.
Police arrest a demonstrator on September 10, 2013 during clashes in Istanbul. Turkish police fired tear gas and plastic bullets at thousands of people who gathered in Istanbul on September 10 to protest the September 9 death of a 22-year-old demonstrator in the southeastern city of Antakya.  AFP PHOTO/BULENT KILIC        (Photo credit should read BULENT KILIC/AFP/Getty Images)
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For many in the West, the Islamic headscarf (hijab) that many conservative Muslim women wear is a symbol of oppression. They assume that these women must be wearing this unusual headdress because their husbands, fathers, brothers and others must be forcing them to do so. Even when the headscarf is worn willingly, it is taken by some feminists as the sign of an internalized misogyny — a "false consciousness" into which Muslim women were drawn by patriarchal men.

While both of these arguments might have some merit in certain contexts, in the Turkish context, the headscarf has rather become the symbol of something that most Westerners would hardly associate it with: freedom.

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