This article examines Turkey’s veil ban policy, which has been in place since the 1980s. The dilemma is whether Muslim-veil bans impinge on the rights of expression and religion at both national and international levels or, whether states may legally justify a ban on the basis of secularism and women’s rights. Even though the idea of freedom “from religion” in Turkey has been closely linked to the European notion of secularism during most of Turkey’s republican history, more recently, secularism and veil bans in Turkey and in the West have been construed quite distinctly. This shows an increasing gap between European and Turkey’s politics and values.

Author Biography

Adriana Piatti-Crocker is Associate Professor at the University of Illinois, Springfield and is a comparative politics scholar on Latin America and gender and politics. Piatti-Crocker edited a book on diffusion on gender quotas in Latin America (Peter Lang, 2011) and co-edited a book on Same-Sex Marriage in the Americas (Lexington, 2010). She has published several articles and case-studies on gender quotas in Argentina, Latin America, and Afghanistan, and more recently has focused on veil bans in Turkey and Western Europe.

Laman Tasch is an instructor at the Columbia College (Chicago, IL). She grew up in the Soviet Union, received her master’s degree in sociology from the Middle East Technical University (Ankara, Turkey) and doctoral degree in political science from the Northern Illinois University (DeKalb, IL). She published several articles about conditions of ethnic and religious minorities in Russia and Turkey and rights of women in post-conflict societies. Currently she is working on the issues of minority women in Western Europe.