Thursday, March 15, 2012

Merve Kavakci: One Woman's Stand

Dr. Merve Kavakci Islam, answering the media's questions, after her speech in Ankara, Turkey on March 10, 2012. She was invited to speak at a panel on Women's Rights and Violence Against Women in the Media.

My sister Dr. Merve Kavakci Islam has recently been all over theTurkish news, again. She has attended several panels and has done many interviews. She is going through the Turkish legal system to ask for the reinstatement of her rights. Most of you know her story and follow her closely, but just to recap her story, she was the first and only woman in the history of Turkey, to walk in to the Turkish National Assembly wearing hijab. She was also the only Member of Parliament to be prevented from taking her oath, which was necessary formally to become a parliamentarian. Before and after the elections she was targeted by the Turkish media and a lynching campaign was held against her.

Imagine being attacked by the paparazzi 24/7. Imagine needing 4 body guards at once to protect you. Imagine being a single mom with 2 kids and an old grandma. Imagine the media harassing you and your kids when you take them to school. Imagine the media ringing your doorbell relentlessly at 3 in the morning. Imagine the media camping out in front of your apartment. Imagine a judge unlawfully banging on your iron door threatening to break the door if you don't open it. Imagine him screaming to tell you he has the right to arrest you. Imagine only having your own family and relatives and only a few friends who stand by you. Imagine the president going on TV live, to announce you as an "agent provocateur". Imagine having to live away from your kids because you are a threat to their lives. Imagine having millions of fans who support you but have no say in what happens to you. Imagine a country against you. Imagine being stripped of your citizenship in 11 days. Just imagine...

All because you wear hijab. 1 yard of silk fabric that you put on for the sake of Allah. Imagine being a woman with huge dreams who plans on being a voice for the hijab ban and many other human rights discriminations and violations.

My sister's story is very unique and you can soon read about her whole struggle in Richard Peres's latest book The Day Turkey Stood Still: Merve Kavakci's walk in to the Turkish Parliament.

Here is Peres's latest interview about his book and what has become known in history as "The Kavakci Affair"

Elif Kavakci for HijabiTopia


  1. Thanks for the post. Salute the bravery & courage of Kavacki family and all other exiles. Convey our salam-cum-greetings to Ustadh Dr.Yusuf Ziya, one of the greatest living Islamic scholars, may Allah bless and preserve him, the mureed/disciple of the legend Dr.Hamidullah(ra) Hyderabadi.

    1. You are most kind! Thank you so much!!!