To the market you don’t wear glitters

(photography by Allard de Witte, sharpness of the pictures is being worked on!)

There are headscarves and headscarves. Take a look at the market in Ürgüp, a medium size village in central Turkey. 



Habibe Akkaya (16): “The scarf I’m wearing now is from rather slippery material, so I’m wearing a tight cloth underneath to keep the scarf in place. I don’t want it to slip down all the time. But the cloth underneath is also decoration: I have these cloths in different colours and brown suits my outfit today. In Turkey, it’s not allowed to wear a headscarf to school. Luckily I live in the Netherlands and there it is not a problem. I wouldn’t go to school if I could not wear a headscarf.”



Birgül Fidana (38): “It’s quite warm today, so I’m wearing a cotton headscarf. I have synthetic ones as well, but really, I would get too hot with that today. I have many different scarfs, and today I wear it like women in this region wear it traditionally. This one is also good for the market. I mean, I have scarfs with glitters and nice embroidered sides, but they are for special occasions like weddings. To the market you don’t wear glitters.”



Ayşe Şen (45): “I am religious, but I also love Atatürk, the man that founded the Turkish republic. Atatürk separated state and religion and I think that’s very important in a democracy. So that’s why I wear this small hat with his picture on it, with the text ‘Atatürk we are with you’. I bought it at a big pro-Atatürk demonstration in Ankara a few months ago. By the way, I don’t wear the headscarf because I’m religious. It’s tradition here and I want to fit in.”



Nurten Kiziltepe (52): “More modern women don’t cover their mouth, but I do, just because I’m used to it. In the early days every woman did it like me. Now you also see a lot of religious headscarfs, they are much tighter. I am religious, but I mainly wear the scarf to hide myself from men. To be honest, I should not even have my picture taken and show myself this way. My husband would have never approved of it. But he passed away, so now it’s okay.”



Kezban Çetinkaya (55): “The greenish cloth underneath the scarf I also wear at home. It’s tradition, it’s just what you do, and I also wear it because it’s part of my religion. Whenever I go out, I put another cloth over the thin cloth I wear at home, and today I picked a white one. Not that I pick something else all the time, I just wrap something around my head and that’s it. Some women have tens of scarfs, I have only four” 



Esma Toker (18): “I’ve been wearing a scarf for about a year now. I read more and more about my faith, I talked to the imam in the Dutch town of Heerenveen, where I live, and then slowly slowly you move towards wearing a headscarf. Faith says you have to, my hair has to remain invisible. Occasionally I wear a hat instead of a scarf, but I like spending time in front of the mirror to play with the scarf till I think it looks beautiful. You know, this world is a test, and the more things you do that are part of religion, the more chance you have to go to heaven.” 



Gülcen Sarkaya (43): “I want to be accepted in the village where I live, so I wear this cloth. I wear it loose, and there’s no need to cover my neck. I am a modern woman and not very religious. My husband and I work in the wine industry: he makes wine and I sell it in our shop. Some people think it’s a funny or strange combination: a woman with a headscarf as saleswoman in a wine shop. But it’s not strange at all, it’s just how we earn a living.”



Fatma Özçelik (24): “The scarf has to cover all of the hair, so I wear a band underneath to make sure no hair comes out. The band also keeps the scarf in place, if I don’t wear it the scarf slips away all the time. I like to wear a scarf, but it’s also compulsory in Islam. The Koran says so, the prophet commands it. But I also like to look good. I have many different scarfs, so every day I can choose one that suits the rest of my clothes.”  

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