For many years Turkey has banned female students from wearing the headscarf - or hijab - in school.  To get around the ban, some Muslim girls and young women have left Turkey to attend high school and college in the U.S. and other countries where they are permitted to cover their heads in the classroom. Turkish television journalist Necla Demirci tells the story of two sisters, Sumeyye and Safiye Sideli, who came to New York as teenagers to complete their education.   In her conversation with Fi2W Executive Producer John Rudolph, Demirci also speaks with Mucahit Bilici, assistant professor of sociology at John Jay College, who studies Islam in America.


  • Nesli

    I just wanted to share my opinion as a woman living in Turkey. The headscarf became accepted at universities in Turkey last year. Just the following week in a small eastern city, a family sent their daughter to the school with headscarf. She was a primary school pupil probably about 7 or 8 years old. Her family said it was their “family culture” so they wanted her head covered. As we are taught, Islam doesn’t require women covered before their teenager time because they can’t make free desicions. Here we go, we also have this issue now. If this is the family culture only, of course these little girls won’t know any other way to live. Could it be freedom? What about human rights? This is only one point. For many other reasons I found your program very restricted. Because the headscarf is more like a political symbol in today’s Turkey rather than a religious symbol. Maybe you should make some news about this. For instance, who defends the rights of non-muslims/atheists in Turkey? How tolarated are this muslim population about the “others”? Then you may get to the point about the political view that the headscarf represents…

    Jun 30, 2011 at 4:24 am