RIGHTS > Turkish woman barred from public bus by religious fanatics


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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."


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Handin Dglove

7/7/2012 10:05:25 AM

This woman has every right to be angry. First of all, she had to work on a Sunday. Second of all, they probably cut her off in line. That's just what they do. It happens all the time. All of a sudden a group of women with headscarves will come in front of you as if you weren't even there. As if where they are going is more important. What could be more important than going to work?

Fr Grey

7/7/2012 5:07:25 AM

@Selim Egeli On June 13, I made similar comment. (Before me, there was also another commenter.) I feel the newspaper gradually falling into the side of the most comments, rather than standing honestly and neutrally on facts. Unfortunately, I only know this English newspaper in Turkey. Maybe the most efficient way to make the newspaper more popular is to say something to arouse their negative emotions.

coskun toktamis

7/6/2012 5:36:28 PM

It is totally unacceptable and rude...to display a fanatic front like that. Ignorance will destroy our country and will stoke the fire for more un-settlement in the country overall..in the end...We are heading for a waterfall where the destruction will be complete....It is up to you all to put all these stupid displays on hold....!!

Moiz Ali

7/5/2012 6:56:58 PM

According to me there are two parts to this story. First, in an Islamic country a woman should dress modestly. I am at loss to understand the statement of the women on the bus, "We would sin if you get on this bus, you are causing us to sin." Is there something wrong the way we interpret sex/female!! Secondly, although we should be the conscious of the society, we should stop being the police! Use your cell phone to call the authorities.

Ameer Raschid

7/4/2012 10:16:21 AM

We see similar harassment by ultra-orthodox Jews in Israel even for modestly dressed girls. Covered women have been similarly harassed by Kemalist secular fanatics blaming them for electing Erbakan. Emphasizing boobs and buttocks or other latest foreign fashion must haves is the standard for most modern elite. Decolette, even daytime is their emblem of modernity while covering bosom and hair is backward."LlIVE AND LET LIVE FOR EVERYONE" Respect Turkish tradition regarding modesty and life style

Tekion Particle

7/3/2012 8:36:08 PM

Ignorance on the rise, tolerance on the decline and democracy is about to be flushed down the toilet. I can understand why she did not complain to the bus company and the police which are probably dominated by the Islamist who are working hard to turn Turkey into a prehistoric country like Iran or Saudi Arabia where a few barely literate authoritarians decide how the millions they have literally enslaved (for the lack of a better word) should live.

Eric Martin

7/3/2012 12:31:43 AM

Who in Turkey is wearing Turbans?

Selim Egeli

6/29/2012 7:16:47 PM

If this woman wanted to make a complaint, she would have made it easily. She knows the bus stop, she knows the time that she tried to get on the bus, which would make tracing and identifying the bus and the bus driver very easy. She doesn't go to the police or to the bus authority but she tells her story to some marginal newspaper. Definitely, there is another side to this story that is not heard. Hurriyet should be more careful in selecting which articles to publish.

Selim Egeli

6/29/2012 6:32:54 PM

In Istanbul, or Fatih, buses are filled up with women with more "sinful" than sweatpants, yet we don't see any similar complaint commonly reported. In Islam, a woman with sweatpants doesn't cause other women to sin. It would be logical if men barred the woman from entering the bus but it doesn't make sense when women say these things. Also, if an ultra-leftist newspaper is the only source on this incident, I have every right to doubt its authenticity.

In A Flap

6/29/2012 3:35:14 PM

this is what happens when a government panders to religious groups. this is just the start of the talibanisation of turkey. Ataturk created turkey to avoid this form of persecution and hatred and the current government is dismantleing all he achieved. It will only be a matter of time before girls are no longer allowed to be educated and dancing will be banned. those that do not conform will find their heads on a sheet. You had the chance to move forward and chose to move backwards.
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