Our leaders may be slow in fulfilling this columnist's prophesies, but they certainly try hard.
Back in 2008, I suggested that the (Islamic) headscarf must be allowed not only in universities, but also in kindergarten.
My 2008 prophecy for little girls in veils in kindergarten was almost fulfilled when a 2012 primary education bill allowed families to send their fourth grade daughters (daughters!) to imam schools, although there are no female preachers in Islam. Also, fourth grade girls would be allowed to wear the headscarf during Quran/Islam classes in primary schools.
Turkish experimentalism regarding various different annals of Islamism is always fascinating – and fun! Two years ago, Turkey's Islamists moved to make legislation to create the world's first female imams. A few weeks ago, the same men moved to make the world's first Christian imams, as a central examination system automatically enrolled children belonging to Turkey's tiny Christian minority to imam schools – by mistake, explained the authorities.
Back in 2012, under a bill drafted by the Environment and City Planning Ministry, shopping malls, corporate management buildings, wedding halls, cinemas, theaters, opera houses, museums, schools, hospitals, public buildings, ports and airports, hotels, university dormitories and metro stations had to have a small mosque (masjid) and a kindergarten on their premises if they wished to be granted building licenses. Finally, the mosque and the kindergarten had come together!
And more recently, the government decided to allow 10-year-old (and older) female students to wear the headscarf. Thank you, gentlemen, for not disappointing this columnist about his prophecies. Headscarves at kindergartens, soon.
Whether it might arouse a man's sexual desire if a piece of a 10-year-old girl's hair is visible should normally fall into the sphere of criminology/psychiatry. Sadly, in Turkey, it falls into the scope of political science.
Whether it might arouse a man's sexual desire if a piece of a 10-year-old girl's hair is visible should normally fall into the sphere of criminology/psychiatry. Sadly, in Turkey, it falls into the scope of political science. But simple logic tells us that a man who thinks the visibility of a 10-year-old girl's hair may trigger such passion should be aroused by the sight of a 10-year-old girl's hair. Right? Right.
Yes, a piece of garment is semantically critical in Turkish politics. Just like (abstinence from) alcohol and pork. Yes, semantics. Which explains why, despite eight election victories in the last 12 years and heading for the ninth, Turkey's Islamists still say they must keep on fighting for "the cause." The cause is manifest Islamism; a dream to build Chastitystan. Hence the headscarf, female imams, Christian imams and all (semantically) else.
Too bad, the Islamic Chastitystan is a more distant utopia than any other utopia. Even a 10-year-old girl, with or without the headscarf, would know that the Turkish Sunni Islamists are – sorry, gentlemen – more than three decades behind Iran's Shiite Islamists. The Persian Chastitystan! Where the headscarf is "law," not choice. Or the first thing most Iranian ladies throw away when they travel abroad.
More than three decades ago, Iran's mullahs thought that they could create a Persian Chastitystan by imposing the headscarf – along with stoning to death and other medieval practices. Iranian ladies have obeyed – unless they went abroad or had marginal parties at their homes.
More than three decades later, the mullah's Chastitystan boasts the highest rate of drug addiction in the world – in 2013, 2.2 percent of Iranian adults were hooked on drugs. Earlier this year, Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli said that some 6 million Iranians are affected by problems related to drug addiction.
We may ignore another finding that one-third of Chastitystan's youth aged between 16 and 25 say they would abandon the Islamic republic if given the option. But, more recently, an 82-page document released by Iran's parliamentary research department found that 80 percent of unmarried females, including secondary-school pupils, had boyfriends. In both Sunni and Shia faiths, pre-marriage relationship with the opposite sex is sinning and, apparently, the headscarf does not stop it.
Iran is a good example of where sociology may bring a country if states tend to religiously purify society by indoctrination and/or police force.
Burak Bekdil is a columnist for the Istanbul-based daily Hürriyet and a fellow at the Middle East Forum.