European Stability Initiative - ESI - 17 July 2018, 06:14

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Ayse Bohurler
Ayse Bohurler
"There are veiled women who listen to Jazz, go to open-air festivals and to restaurants where also alcohol is served. The preferences aren't based anymore on what people wear, but on personal and cultural taste."

Ayse Bohurler is a journalist, one of the most successful Turkish female intellectuals despite wearing a headscarf, and (in 2001) a founding member of the current AKP. She is still today a member of the AKP's highest party board and was among the 71 AKP politicians whom the Turkish Chief Prosecutor in 2008 sought to ban for five years from political life based on his accusation was that she was working against the secular order:

"Within the AK Party, among the founders and in its highest board, there are liberal, more nationalist and in addition to religious people - many people who do not have anything to do with religion. …
What secret agenda should we have? Introducing the Sharia in Turkey? It does not make any sense to expect this from a party which is very liberal, adapted to the capitalist system, acts fully within the democratic framework, works within the secular law system and has brought the country closer to EU standards."

As a journalist Bohurler produced many documentaries with her production company Agency, including "Behind Walls", a 10-part series about women in 13 different predominantly Muslim countries. Recently she made a documentary for the Frankfurt book fair about Turkish literature. She runs her production company with a friend; her colleagues are all women, but none wears a headscarf. According to her, the

"co-existence of veiled and non-veiled women, of religious and non-religious people, reflects Turkey at its best."

Ayse Bohurler

October 2008

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19 October 2008, 00:00