Turkish Merve Kavakci

Want to learn more about Turkish Merve? Read on for the controversial parliamentary candidate from Turkey’s Fazilat party who managed to get the secular parliament of Turkey in frenzy over her head scarf…

Merve Kavakci is the name of a Turkish woman who was elected to the Turkish parliament from Istanbul to represent the virtue party. Merve was rather an assuming individual who attracted a lot of media attention because of her head scarf which she wore to the parliament during her oath taking ceremony.

The headscarf has been the subject of much debate and controversy in Turkey. Ever since the demolition of the Ottoman Empire, Turkey has been making the move towards secularism. All efforts are in place to remove religion from social, economical and particularly from political domains. One such move initiated by the secular government of Turkey was to ban any female member of the Parliament from wearing the headscarf at service.

Merve Kavacki in direct opposition to this restriction put on her head scarf and made her way to the oath taking ceremony on December 2nd. But, naturally the secularists were less than happy to see her and many of them screamed at the lady to get out of the building. The number of those protesting this act of hers went up in hundreds.

Kavakci insisted that she was fulfilling a religious duty placed on her by her faith and she refused to yield to the demands of the secular party. This act naturally brought upon her the wrath of the majority secular population of the parliament. Her act was also going to impact the Fazilat Party of which she was a candidate.

The chief persecutor of the country, Vural Savas actually initiated legal action to ban the Fazilat Party by May 7th. Following this brave act of defiance on the part of Merve, a great number of Muslims started protesting against the ban on the hijab, that is, the head scarf, in the streets of Malatya. Police made use of teargas and set off against the protestors in their armored vehicles in Malatya town. A large number of protestors suffered injuries during the clashes with the security forces.

About Merve Kavakci

The controversial parliamentary candidate is a computer scientist as per her educational background and she has also had religious education during which she memorized the Quran. She was pursuing her medical studies at Ankara University when she decided to opt out due to a ban on the wearing of the headscarf at all educational institutes. She had to migrate to the United States in order to complete her education.

Merve’s mother had been laid off from her position as a professor at Ataturk University because she refused to comply with the demands of the secular government to remove the head scarf. Her father, who was serving as the dean of Islamic studies at the same university was also forced to vacate his post because of the support that he leant to the women with regards to their having the rights to wear the headscarf.

In a recent interview she told the media that she wanted to test the so-called democratic spirit of the secular government of Turkey. She is quoted as saying “In the twenty-first century, they must allow us this freedom.”

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