This book questions the 'role model' status of the Turkish Republic with respect to the advancement of female agency in a secular context by using the study of women with headscarves as a case in point. Turkey's commitment to modernization depends heavily on secularism which involves, among other things, the westernization of women's appearance.
Merve Kavakci is Lecturer of Political Science at Howard University, USA. She was elected to the Turkish Parliament, the Grand National Assembly of Turkey in 1999. However she was prevented from serving her term by the secularists because she wears a headscarf. Kavakci's political party was closed down and her Turkish citizenship was revoked, banning her from politics for a period of five years. She took her case to European Court of Human Rights and won in 2007.