I had the privilege of visiting Turkey recently and found myself marveling at the women. As a predominantly Muslim country, I assumed women wore head scarves, burkas or tesettür (a headscarf and light cover-all topcoat) even in warm climates. However, I was surprised to see women and girls dressed in mostly European styles while shopping, or enjoying an evening out with family and friends.
Until late 2013 the head scarf had been outlawed in Turkey in public buildings and universities. More recently the law has been relaxed, and a small percentage of women still wear them. Turkey is considered to be a more western leaninig, secular country. Therefore, in many areas European style prevails over traditional Muslim attire. It was easy to find women dressed in jeans and casual wear as well as skirts and dresses.
The point of departure for me came when entering a mosque for worship or observation. In this case, all women and girls were required to enter with a head scarf. Some mosques had scarves available and required women to use them if they do not bring their own. A fellow travel friend of mine liked her scarf so much that she donated money to the mosque to keep her scarf. If skirts were above the knee, an additional wrap was provided to cover them, creating a longer length.
In my experience I found that the Turkish people are quite accepting of most styles of dress, no matter your country of origin or cultural background. However, it is customary in the less urban areas for women to be dressed more modestly with sleeved tops, slacks or knee-length dresses or skirts.
What does your attire say about you?
This is an original post written for World Moms Blog by La Shaun Martin of shootiegirl.