Carla de la Vega

Honour, Heels and Headscarves: Real-Life stories of Women from Istanbul

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ISBN: 9788461660582
Publisher: Carla de la Vega
Publication Date: 2014-07-31
Number of pages: 224
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They are out to kill Zelal. She has been hiding in Istanbul for the past few days because if her husband’s family find her, they will put an end to her life. Her crime: getting a divorce. This case is just one among many so-called honour crimes that are common in Turkey. Meanwhile, Sennur, a woman in her twenties, devises ways of getting into Bosphorous University in an Islamic headscarf, despite the fact that they are banned in all of Turkey’s educational institutions. This young woman skirts legislation by wearing an outlandish beach hat. Her friends even resort to wigs. All of them wish to follow the religious precepts set down in the Qur’an, the very same principles which mean that Sennur has never kissed her boyfriend, even though she has been going out with him for over two years. That is not a view shared by the Turkish women with long, flowing hair, impeccable manicures, sky-high heels and the shortest of skirts, who swing their hips on the dance-floors of Istanbul’s nightclubs. Ayse, 26, is not wearing the skimpiest of outfits, but it is a while since she lost her virginity. Rashel is a 60 year-old Sephardic Jew who, in what was once Constantinople, expresses herself, even today, in that offshoot of the Spanish language known as Ladino. Her life in this Muslim-majority country has been tremendously difficult. She is delighted to have grown old. Men leave her alone now. Her beauty has ruined her life. Through the real-life stories of these four Turkish women, in " Honour, Heels and Headscarves", journalist Carla de la Vega delves into the current situation of women in Turkey; a country in constant struggle between the Islamic traditions of the East and the imported secularism of the West.

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