Caro, not sure which book you are reading at the moment, but I am reading a very interesting book called The Caged Virgin: An Emancipation Proclomation for Women and Islam, written by Ayaan Hirsi Ali. She is a Dutch member of parliament originally born into Islam in Somalia and a very admired and respected activist for women in Islam. I am very interested in the topic after spending quite a bit of time with SE Asian Muslim women.Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Allen, I think you should get online and google women in Turkey. From what I have been reading, women do not enjoy the same freedoms that men do. According to the US organization, Amnesty International:
"Though Turkey has taken recent steps to bring its laws into line with international standards on human rights, severe problems remain, particularly for Turkish women. The government has passed new legislation prescribing tougher penalties for battering or abusing women, although this legislation is not widely enforced
. Familial violence, including rape, murder, beatings, and enforced suicide is still prevalent".
The meaning of "prevalent" is as follows: prevalent : preferred method superior, dominant widespread. This sounds pretty oppressive to me, however, I do not claim to be any kind of expert.
This does not sound like "freedom" to me, unless "freedom" has some other meaning I am not aware about. Having a woman prime minister does not guarantee that women enjoy the same freedoms as men either. That is a naive assumption. Turkish women are GRADUALLY starting to break the from male domination, they are a far cry away from having freedoms such as many western women enjoy.
You have to realise that often things are not always as they appear on the surface, and what you see, is not really what you get in many cases. Do you get the opportunity to dig deeper into a culture on your "tours"? I doubt you have spoken to many Turkish woman about how they are treated by the men in their families. I may be wrong, but, it seems your idea of a political discussion is "I am right, and you are wrong. End of story". We all have experiences and education to share with each other. And Allen? Going to loads of countries does not automatically make you an expert on anything. It just proves that you have many stamps in your passport.