Dossier: Women in Turkey

Elif Shafak (photo: picture-alliance/dpa)

Interview with Elif Shafak

"There is a lack of democratic culture in Turkey"

The Turkish writer Elif Shafak is one of the country's best-selling authors and one of the best known Turkish writers worldwide. In her books, she intertwines sensitive Turkish issues with cosmopolitan stories and Sufism. In this interview, she talks to Ceyda Nurtsch about how she plays with language, the role of fiction and the democratisation of TurkeyMore

Protests of the Cihangir Park Forum in Istanbul (photo: private copyright)

"Open Forums" in Turkey

New Forms of Participation

The Gezi Park protests have led to the emergence of local grassroots committees or "Open Forums" in many Turkish towns and cities. Their goal: To preserve quality of life in residential areas and foster political dialogue and development. A commentary by Ceyda Nurtsch from the "Open Forum" in the Istanbul neighbourhood of BeyoğluMore

Protests against Prime Minister Erdogan in Taksim Square in Istanbul (photo: Reuters)

Protests in Turkey

Erdogan Braces Himself for a ''Civilian Coup''

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan refuses to be cowed by recent demonstrations. He is planning huge rallies in Istanbul and Ankara this weekend as a show of strength and determination. He has also warned that his patience has run out. By Ayhan SimsekMore

Cover of the magazine ''Ala'', first edition

Islamic Fashion Magazine ''Ala'' from Turkey

Hijab and High Heels

Turkish public opinion is divided over the Islamic fashion magazine "Ala". Most of the objections emanate from the Islamist camp, which makes it all the more surprising to learn that most of the women who read the magazine are members of the new Turkish middle class, which is politically aligned with the Islamist-leaning AKP. By Marcel MalachowskiMore

Selen Lermioğlu Yılmaz (right) at an abortion rally in Istanbul, Turkey, on 17 June 2012 (photo: Fatma Kayabal)

The Turkish Women's Rights Activist Selen Lermioğlu Yılmaz

''The Government Is Trying to Intrude in People's Private Lives''

In May the Turkish government announced its plan to limit women's access to legal abortion, later dropping the item from the parliament's agenda after harsh reactions from society. While the debate was a divisive one, it did at least provide an umbrella issue beneath which women's groups rallied, says Selen Lermioğlu Yılmaz in this interviewMore

A woman wearing Burqa walking in front of 'freedom' graffiti (photo: AP)

Feminism, Colonialism and Islamophobia

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Treacherous Sympathy with Muslim Women

Ever since the attacks of 9/11, feminists in the West have increasingly used the theme of the oppression of women in Islam as justification for war and domination. This strategy of using this rhetoric of "saving the women" in the name of "civilization" is an old ploy used many times in the past by Western imperialists, writes Leila AhmedMore