Protests against dress code in Turkey
A security guard at Maçka Park in Istanbul last week told two women to leave due to their purportedly unacceptable attire. The incident prompted hundreds of women to demonstrate once again on the weekend against dress codes and violence against women. For some columnists the protesters are going too far, while for others they're not going far enough.
Facts are being ignored in this debate
The pro-government daily Star suspects that the media and the population are deliberately misrepresenting the incident:
“This matter is being gleefully flogged for all it's worth with the accusation that 'they're interfering with our way of life'. ... The fact is, however, that it's too simple just to ask 'Who are you to meddle with the clothes a woman chooses to wear?' Both the population and the Doğan-media group, and even the head of the company that employed the security guard, have opted for this convenient approach. Nevertheless the guard said: 'A woman with a baby in her arms came and complained about the girls' inappropriate behaviour and asked us to step in.' But this part of his statement is being completely ignored.”
Women, break out of your cages!
Women have put up with a sexist system for far too long, columnist Mine Söğüt writes in a rallying call in the opposition daily Cumhuriyet:
“For generations, you women have been bolstering this menacing system of double standards under the cloak of law, customs and tradition. … You are trapped in a cage that has been constructed around you by a shameless watchdog of moral standards. Even when the bars of the cage break, you are clever enough to repair them with your own hands. The cage has a door and it is standing wide open, but you won't break out. Every time something happens to you, you run onto the streets and call 'Don't interfere with what I wear'. But they will keep on interfering. … As long as you don't put the same energy you put into cleaning your homes into erasing this dirty mentality that tries to tell you to be ashamed of existing.”