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RIGHTS > Turkish woman barred from public bus by religious fanatics

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Hürriyet photo

Hürriyet photo

A Turkish woman claimed she was prevented from boarding a public bus by a group of Islamists because her outfit would "cause them to sin," according to a report by daily Evrensel.
 
Yağmur Yılmaz, 21, said she left home on June 3 to go to work, wearing a pair of sweatpants and a T-shirt.
 
Yılmaz said she walked to a stop in Istanbul's Edirnekapı district to get on a bus going to Fatih district, where she worked. A group of around 15 men and women clad in burqas, cloaks and turbans who were on the bus blocked Yılmaz's path, saying she could not get on the vehicle. Yılmaz said she told the group it was everybody's right to board the bus, to which the women from the group replied, "We would sin if you get on this bus, you are causing us to sin." 
 
The men in the group also harassed Yılmaz, she claimed, saying: "Look at her. Her head is not covered, shame!" 
 
"Nobody in the bus did anything about it, not even the driver," Yılmaz said. "There were other 'uncovered' women waiting at the stop, but they just stood by idly."
 
Yılmaz told Evrensel that she had been using the same bus route for a long time and that it was the first time that she encountered such an incident. "I was wearing sweatpants and a T-shirt because it was a Sunday [when many workers can wear more casual clothes], but no one would have the right to do such a thing even if I were wearing a skirt or a dress."
 
Yılmaz said she was startled by the incident, meaning that she was unable to take the bus' license plate number to file a complaint. "I wanted the public to learn about it," she said. "It was a shameful act and should not have happened in the first place."

June/12/2012

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