<b>The Headscarf Problem in Turkey in the Context of Discussions on Freedom</b>

Authors

  • Derda Küçükalp Uludağ University

Abstract

https://doi.org/10.12730/13091719.2013.42.87 Both supporters and opponents of the headscarf ban in Turkey refer to the freedom of the individual. This case makes it necessary to address the headscarf problem in the context of discussions on freedom. This study aims to evaluate the headscarf problem in the context of two approaches that we call `the enlightened perspective´ and `the liberal perspective.´ The enlightened perspective supports the headscarf ban in Turkey and is based on a particular interpretation of the idea of positive liberty. According to this interpretation, freedom means the manifestation of the rational self. Hence, people´s freedom is connected with the sovereignty of their true lifestyle. Because religion equals `the irrational,´ the religious lifestyle is a deviation from the true way of life. For that reason, the use of the headscarf, which is a sign of a religious lifestyle, in the public sphere is seen as a threat to the correct lifestyle. The liberal perspective addresses the demand for the abolition of the headscarf ban in the context of the individual´s freedom of belief. In this sense, it is possible to say that behind the liberal perspective´s assessments about the headscarf issue lies the idea of negative liberty. Negative liberty means the lack of any outer intervention or pressure that limits the individual´s choices and actions. The headscarf ban is a restriction for a woman who chooses a life in accordance with Islamic values and sees covering her body as a necessity for such a lifestyle. According to the liberal perspective, wearing the headscarf must be seen as a lifestyle choice and thus respected. Allowing this choice is a requirement for freedom.

References

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Published

2014-06-06

How to Cite

Küçükalp, D. (2014). <b>The Headscarf Problem in Turkey in the Context of Discussions on Freedom</b>. Ilahiyat Studies: A Journal on Islamic and Religious Studies, 4(2), 239–255. Retrieved from https://ilahiyatstudies.org/index.php/journal/article/view/188

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