The debate over the ban on women wearing headscarves in Turkey has served as a central symbol for Turkey’s soul, torn between secular and religious identities. This essay explores the multifaceted narratives of Turkish secular and religious groups that have supported and opposed the ban on women wearing headscarves on government property. Progressing from nationalism literature and image framing in public policy, the essay applies quantitative and case study analysis to reveal how the re-framing of the headscarf debate—via narratives of inequality, secularism, religious freedom, modernity, and education—evolved across political coalitions to redefine issues and alter policy outcomes.
About the Authors:
Aeshna Badruzzaman is a PhD Candidate and Lecturer in Political Science at Northeastern University. She focuses on development-oriented policy and the interaction between non-governmental organizations and government institutions in South Asia.
Matthew S. Cohen is a PhD Candidate and Lecturer in Political Science at Northeastern University. His research focuses on the Middle East and on emerging security threats, with a focus on cyber-security policy.
Sidita Kushi is a PhD Candidate and Lecturer in Political Science at Northeastern University. She specializes in mixed-methods designs and researches contemporary security and economic crises, particularly as they impact the transatlantic sphere.