Friday, January 7, 2011

A Movie About The Hijab Ban in Turkey

Today I would like to share with you a short film that was filmed by Zumrut Cavusoglu. Zumrut is a graduate of Bogazici University. She studied Sociology & British Literature, with a minor in Film Studies.

While at University, Zumrut happened to become friends with a girl who was wearing hijab.  After meeting her, she became aware of the affects of the hijab ban on individuals. She heard about Cennet Dogan, a Turkish young girl who was prevented from attending school in Belgium, due to her hijab. To protest the ban, Cennet shaved her head and went to school!

Zumrut was very touched by Cennet's story. Her story, along with her new friend Merve, a student at Bogazici University, led her to an idea to do a short film about the hijab ban.

With the help of a few contacts in the media sector, Zumrut was able to write and direct a very professional short film.

Her film WET (ISLAK) is now competing for the Women's Voices Film Award.

If you click on this link
you can vote for Zumrut's movie and leave comments for her.

I thank Zumrut for trying to make a difference in the world and fighting for women's rights to an education, no matter who they are or what they wear.

A few notes about the movie:

1.) The movie was filmed in Turkish, with English subtitles.

2.) The 3 girls in the movie are the same 3 girls whom Zumrut was friends with while at University.

3.) The main character Merve, is the same youngirl who had to fight for her right to wear hijab. She agreed to do the movie under the condition that she wears a wig. So please keep in mind, that she does not show her hair, or take off her hijab. She is wearing a wig!

4.) The young man in the movie is Merve's husband!

5.) At the end of the movie, Merve's protest is fiction.


“Islak” is the story of a young woman in Turkey, who is forbidden to enter the University because she wears a headscarf. The film questions the concept of “openness” and “closedness” and asks what is really is “closed/covered”, Merve or the gates that are closed in her face?

Islak from Women's Voices Now on Vimeo.

The main reason I wanted to post this movie is to share with my readers what girls do to fight for hijab. You already know my take on hijab, if you're new to the blog, you can read it here CLICK

The fact of the matter is, those of us who live in the US really have the most freedom. Women all over the world, die (literally) for their right to wear hijab! If you are debating wearing it because someone might make a tiny remark about your outfit, or that your friends will no longer be your friends, you really need to think again!

That which doesn't kill you can only make you stronger!


  1. Thank you so much for sharing that, was a real eye-opener. Subhanallah we (I) take for granted that the UK has no Hijab ban, alhamdulillah

  2. wow, so powerful! thanks for sharing this, Elif! alhamdulillah for the freedom we have in the U.S. may Allah protect the hijab for us.