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The Headscarf ControversySecularism and Freedom of Religion$
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Hilal Elver

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199769292

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199769292.001.0001

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Understanding a Complex History

Understanding a Complex History

(p.41) 3 Understanding a Complex History
The Headscarf Controversy

Hilal Elver

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores the historical roots of the current political crises associated with the headscarf controversy, taking account of its social, political and legal ramifications. Attention will be devoted to the transformation of the Ottoman Empire into the Turkish Republic in the early 20th century; accompanying legal, cultural and political reforms that changed the society; a critical evaluation of the Turkish modernity project, stigmatizing part of the Turkish society while modernizing the other; and the connection between this modernization project and the current headscarf controversy. Finally the chapter analyzes the legal arguments of the Turkish legal establishment.

Keywords:   foundation of the modern nation state of turkey, modernization project and its criticism, legal history, reception of european legal system, islamic modernity, freedom of religion and turkish secularism, turkish constitutional court and judicial activism

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