September 04, 2010

headscarves, flowers, and stupid rules

Headscarf is a highly controversial issue in Turkey. No worries, i will not bore you to death with the never ending political issues...  well, at least not now. But just listen to this.

At first there weren't any bans and girls with headscarves could study in the university as freely as anybody else (pun intended: universities are not free in Turkey but this is just another very boring political stuff). Then suddenly, in mid 90s came the ban: and girls with headscarves were not allowed in the universities any more. Internet is full of articles on this ban, trying to convince you whether this is evil or good, depending on who wrote it. Read them all, and maybe you will be as confused as i am on this matter.

Today, there is still supposed to be an headscarf ban even though the prime minister Erdogan had promised to lift the ban entirely before he was elected. He could not lift the ban, at least not officialy, but you can bet that the tolerance pitch against this ban is really very high.

So, in the early days of this ban, when it was applied pretty much strictly, some of the girls had invented a very interesting, a genius solution for themselves: they wore wigs. Yep, wigs. The purpose of headscarf is to hide your hair, because Allah says you so in Koran. But Allah does not say how you will cover your hear. So, what happens if you cover your original hair with a wig? Err, I honestly don't know. But you surely cover your hair and you surely enter from the university gate.

So, from techical point of view it is a great solution. But in reality, it is just ridicolous.

And enter the smoking ban

It has been like 2 years since there is a vert smoking ban in Turkey. Generaly speaking it is a good thing. But, there are also some extremely ridicolous almost impractical aspects of it, too. Just look at the picture below which i captured while watching the movie The Greatest Game Ever Played on TV.

Do you see that interesting blue thing on the face of the guy right handside? That is a flower added later on to the movie to cover the cigarette the guy is smoking, because showing people while smoking on tv is banned by laws.

It is just a very neat solution, but it is also absolutely ridicolous. What does it really matters as long as everybody knows what is under that flower. Then why do you even care?

I am sure there must be some sort of a conclusion, a lesson to be learned from this whole thing but i am not really very sure what it might be. So you are very welcome to enlighten me.


Ayak said...

Well I'd love to enlighten you but I don't understand all this either. As far as the smoking ban is concerned, Turkey has followed the rest of Europe with banning smoking in bars, restaurants, shops etc, but this censoring of cigarettes on TV by adding a flower to cover up the cigarette is utterly ridiculous. It's carrying things to an absurd extreme.

I too have had enough of reading about headscarves. Whatever my personal feelings are about the wearing of headscarves (and I won't go into that) I really don't know why the wearing of a headscarf in university should be a problem. I'm all for freedom of choice, and people should be allowed to wear what they like..within the bounds of decency of course.

Nomad said...

I've had my own rant about the stupidity (and let's face it, is there a better word?) of putting fuzzies and flowers on TV smoking. I am an ex-smoker and I am happy about the ban in public places. It makes giving up smoking so much easier if you don't have to watch other puffing away everywhere you go. However this TV smoking ban is so weird and it just calls MORE attention to smoking. I even read somewhere they even took a pic of Atatürk and photoshoped the cigarette out. So now you have a pic of Mustafa Kemal with his hand inexplicably poised in the air, fingers slightly spread.
Take a look at this!

One of the problem with ridiculous laws is that it teaches people to ignore ALL laws. Because some laws are just too silly to follow, it gives the message to citizens that they can decide which laws to follow and which to ignore. This is very dangerous, of course.

But bottom line, if governments treat their citizens like children, then, generally speaking, that's exactly how the citizens will behave.

jedilost said...

u r so right Nomad. these impractical rules really give a very wrong message.

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