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Women of Turkey: Between Islam and Secularism
A Film by Olga Naccache
Lebanon/Turkey, 2006, 52 minutes, Color, DVD, Subtitled
Order No. W111023
In this thought-provoking documentary, veiled and unveiled women explore relationships between Islam and secularism in present-day Turkey, where millions of women, many of them educated and urban, wear the headscarf or hijab. For her survey, filmmaker Naccache, who was born in Turkey and raised in Lebanon, draws on historical footage and individual visits with Turkish women from across the professional spectrum. Among them are the owner of a gallery devoted to Islamic art; a left-wing journalist whose politics stem from her religious convictions; a young intellectual adhering to a spirituality based on no single religion; and the film critic and columnist for a popular online newspaper. Their wide-ranging interviews, which analyze the background and impact of controversial bans on headscarves in universities and civil service, yield fresh perspectives on Turkish women’s integration of Islamic culture and modern lifestyles, as well as their far-reaching achievements and priorities for the future.


  • Beirut Film Festival
  • Istanbul Film Festival
  • New York Film Festival
  • Dubai Film Festival

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    "Women of Turkey: Between Islam and Secularism" uses the issue of the veil as an anchor point in the examination of gender issues, the separation of religion and state, and the relationship of Turkey and the European Union. The subjects of the film provide a perfect example of how gender, nationalism, and religion can intersect in complex ways, ones that transcend stereotypes about Muslim women. The multi-faceted portrait of Istanbul that emerges is fascinating and invaluable in complicating Western discourses about Turkey in particular, and more broadly about Islam.
    Dorit Naaman
    Film Studies, Queens University

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    Women of Turkey: Between Islam and Secularism is included in the following Special Collections.
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WMM offers film collections on a variety of specific subject areas, including the collections VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN: Ending the Silence, BODY IMAGE, and AFRICAN-AMERICAN: Celebrate the Lives of African-American Women.

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Women Make Movies is a multicultural, multiracial, non-profit media arts organization which facilitiates the production, promotion, distribution, and exhibition of independent films and videotapes by and about women. contact us