25 October 2007
ESI in Washington - Women, Islam and the Future of Turkish Democracy

The Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington D.C. hosted a lecture by ESI senior analyst Nigar Goksel about the changing situation of women in Turkey. Her key points included the socio-economic changes Turkey has experienced since the 1980s, the history of the women’s movement, regional discrepancies in the changes, and the rising prominence of Islam.

She pointed out that while women have been a key voting base for the Islamist parties (Welfare, then AKP) and helped to mobilize voters, they were not well incorporated into the party. The impact that the changing women’s situation has had on democracy in Turkey is the increased ability of feminist groups to successfully lobby government leaders.

During Q&A, Goksel discussed the headscarf issue. She suggested that it is such an issued because by wearing it women are seen as rejecting Ataturk’s dress code and by extension the whole Republic.

ESI report: "Sex and Power in Turkey. Feminism, Islam and the Maturing of Turkish Democracy"

About us
Photo credits
Alan Grant is an Irish photographer who travelled extensively in the Balkans and other countries and regions of the world. Thanks to him, ESI is able to show fascinating pictures of the Balkans: the facades of Tirana, the painted mosques of Travnik, the fabulous old houses of Plovdiv and the spectacular blue of water - dark in the Bay of Kotor, emerald in the river valleys of Bosnia, deep blue in Ohrid, twinkling in the Aegean Sea and on the Bosporus.

You can find out more about Alan Grant on his websites:
Jonathan Lewis lives between London and Istanbul. He moved to London and spent many years studying photography and now specialises in photojournalism, documentary photography and commercial work for a wide variety of private and commercial clients in the UK, Europe and Turkey. His work has appeared in a number of magazines and publications and is used on the ESI website as well.

You can find out more about Jonathan Lewis on his website www.jonathanlewisphoto.com