Sinem In The House
Hijab, niqab, jilbab - having witnessed the debates all over our 'sceptred isle', sparked by Jack Straw's well-meant words at an ill-advised time (mind you, I think it was about time the debates started) over the last few weeks, we have all got enlightened in the use of multifareous terms defining multifareous inventive forms of covering one's body.
One side of the argument claim that women should be given the right and freedom to cover up as they wish within their religious and traditional beliefs and stopping them from doing so is just as bad as labelling young women who are dressed in little more than nothing as 'sluts'; the other side of the argument suggest the use of the veil in any of its various forms is an obstacle in the process of integrating in a multicultural society as it creates a barrier in social life, defying the very essence of multiculturalism which can only be established through integration without barriers.
The debate has now moved onto faith-schools and whether they can feasibly carry on admitting students of one faith. The controversies which emerged as a result of one woman's refusal to take off her hijab and decision to take her case to the employment tribunal against her employer *- ironically, a Christian faith school, seem set to continue for a while longer.
As a result, today's post is the two ladies, foreign and alien on a beach full of people in their bikinis, speedos and thongs, yet very much a part of Turkey's paradoxical street scenes - topless girls and veiled ladies, late night clubs with alcohol and coffeehouses in the Islamic parts of town where alcohol is strictly prohibited. One clear-cut difference in Turkey is the French style secularism embraced since the very day it was established as one of the various reforms by Ataturk in a bid to 'Westernise' the new republic of Turkey.** Hence, although eighty odd years later, some women have resorted back to the old ways of the Islamic Ottoman Empire by donning the veils, they are still few and far between in many parts of the country, hence look alien, like the two ladies on the beach, amidst the crowd, looking more conspicuous, ironically, despite their attempt to look inconspicuous.
For more information of Alanya, visit: http://www.about-turkey.com/tourism/alanya.htm
Words and photography by Sinem
P.s. Sinem & I are off in London today, she off to the library to do some work on her Phd (poor girl) and me, to a Photoshop seminar with Bert Monroy (lucky me) The things I do for my art LOL
"Ars longa, vita brevis"
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