Who could imagine that we had to fight for something just to get rid of it afterwards?

I’ve been following your platform for a while and I decided to write thanks to the #1yearchallenge spreading recently. My story has not finished yet. I’m a member of the legendary generation which played at the street during primary school years. My age is getting closer and closer to 40. I used to play at the street; and my mother used to throw me a headscarf when it was time that my father was coming back home from the work, for my father to see me like that. My aunt (paternal) was an only daughter and was not wearing a headscarf. Just to prevent me from becoming like her, daddy tried to take early precautions. I mean, I’ve always thought like this. He is a very good person. He always did what he could for us. He taught me to question and live without being in need of others. God bless him. My mother is very good as well. She reads, she likes to read a lot. She used to read the books I bought before me while I was at school. I can say that I own my love of reading to her.

I’m a member of the generation which are taught the evolution in the science class and the genesis in the religion class. I grew up as always confused. The seeds of questions which were sew back then are bearing fruits today. Actually, there was not pressure when I covered my hair. Actually, I was not a tough kid. I was obedient, I did what I was told and I always said yes. Even during my primary school years, I used to go to school with a scarf and take it off in the schoolyard, sometimes. And then the years of Imam Hatip came. We used to live in a big city then and because there was a high demand on Imam Hatip, I was sent to another city to a relative to study there. I came back to my parents’ house one year after. I started wearing headscarf as soon as I started Imam Hatip. Occasionally, I had a hard time especially whike choosing outfits and not being able to wear whatever I wanted to while I was playing. But, like I said, I did not oppose. It was my character.

My high school years were during the February 28th period. There were cameras in front of our school all the time. We used to gossip about which one of us got to be on the news. Childhood, right? I was one of the many who suffered from coefficient barrier. But I managed to get into a four year university program (not theology). It was hard to uncover my hair, so I resisted. I registered the school I won but did not go even to one class. There are two reasons of it. First, I felt uncomfortable because not wearing a headscarf felt like being naked. Together with that, to quit school for headscarf, to get compliments for it felt good. You think of yourself like a hero, like a mücahide (religious fighter). And second, most of the girls who went to Imam Hatips grow without even socializing. I didn’t know what to do. There were men in the class and I was confused about how to behave because we have never communicated until that age. I didn’t know how to control my feelings, even. I can say that those were the difficulties of living in a closed community.

I took an opportunity and went abroad. I met my husband there and got married. After that, we came back to Turkey. We had a daughter. When I said that our life has settled, my husband got arrested due to a slander about fetö. I have been living in this environment of pressure for always 3 years. Everything seems pointless. The mentality which said “Make your dead people get up from their graves and make them vote” in 2010 referendum, made the first blow to my headscarf. I was disgusted because the religion was blended in politics. The second blow was, in 2013 during Gezi Incidents, my headscarf was taken advantage of. During 17/25, the revelation of the ones who came into power by saying they were Muslims did not act respectedly, was the third blow. I became totally disconnected when unrelated people were thrown into jail on July 15th.

Actually the questioning started by the headscarf makes people question religious values too. I feel like they have taken my religion away from me and I am furious because of that. I have read almost every article here. Usually, our girls who were made to cover their hair without knowing anything are complaining about the stereotype the headscarf tries to put women in and the difficulty of it. They want to wear comfortably; they do not want to search for cardigans to go to the balcony. I respect them. I don’t have such dreams. I am disturbed by everyone who stares at me because of my headscarf sees my headscarf before my identity, my true self and my thoughts and put me in a stereotype. Because of the way the headscarf is wore you become a supporter of akp or a religious community. But you can never be just a person. Anyway, with the make up and tight clothing, it has lost its meaning. If the aim is not to attract the attention, you cannot wear hijab in a naked camp.

I am just going to join this struggle. Frankly, I am so tired that I don’t want to explain myself to anyone. Maybe, this will be my advantage and without accounting for, I will just break my chains and not look back. I appreciate your fav as a good luck. Who would say that at first we will fight for and then against of it?

(Image: Martine Ehrhart)


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