Islamist Women and Feminist Concerns in Contemporary Turkey Prospects for Women's Rights and Solidarity Yeim Arat "Until the lions claim their own history, the hunter stories will always praise the hunters."1 This is the African proverb that the headscarved Islamist lawyer Sibel Eraslan used to preface an article she contributed to a secular feminist collection of essays. Eraslan was one of the most important names behind the success of the Islamist Refah (Welfare) Party in Istanbul, in the 1994 municipal elections.2 As a religious woman writing her own story, she thus underlined the significance of what she was doing, namely, rewriting women's history from the perspective of headscarved women and seeking legitimacy in the process. She had been a prominent leader, a "lion" in this struggle, and she was now ready to write the "lion's history." Her essay was part of an important collection in which two secular feminist editors traced feminism in Turkey in the 1990s. Sibel Eraslan was influenced by and in dialogue with these feminists, as her story attested. Lions and hunters had some shared histories. Eraslan's struggle was part of a larger sociopolitical movement to shape a more religious, conservative Turkey within the parameters
Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies – University of Nebraska Press
Published: Oct 22, 2016
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