Anti-veiling campaigns and local elites in Turkey of the 1930s: A view from the periphery

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Women’s un/veiling has been an issue of controversy in Turkey since the late Ottoman Empire. However, beginning in the second half of the 1920s and especially with the advent of organized anti-veiling campaigns in the mid-1930s, it became a battleground on which various actors came to debate the issues of religion, secularism, modernization and women’s role in society under the new republican regime. As such, it can be argued that the anti-veiling campaigns of the formative years of the republic have constituted the historical context within which the meanings of veiling and unveiling have been contested in Turkey until today. Yet, despite their significance, we know strikingly little about the details of the anti-veiling campaigns. The discourse of the secular Kemalist elite in Ankara on creating a new and modern (therefore unveiled) Turkish woman has received more attention than the specific content, implementation and consequences of these campaigns.1.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAnti-Veiling Campaigns in the Muslim World
Subtitle of host publicationGender, Modernism and the Politics of Dress
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages27
ISBN (Electronic)9781134652983
ISBN (Print)9780415711388
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes


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