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Anna Secor Read more from our interview with Dr. Anna Secor on women and Islam in Turkey.

This dovetailing of this consumer society with Islamist lifestyle in Turkey I think is something that has arisen specifically from the conjuncture of globalizing economics in Turkey as well as a relative freedom of expression and an increasingly educated Islamist community and [being] increasingly urbanized. I think that it can be, in a way, an export of Turkey to other places in the Middle East and I think that it has been. These people often distinguish themselves by their lifestyle and talk about themselves as conscious Muslims, and as choosing a Muslim lifestyle.

And, interestingly, for women, this often means becoming educated and working outside the home. And this is ostensibly contrary to the teachings of Islam and even contrary to some of the suggestions that you'll find in the women's Islamist magazines that say your real obligation is to be a mother and to be in the home. At the same time, who is it that is writing these articles? These are women journalists, women Islamist journalists. So even as they are proposing this ideology, they are actively participating in public life. Recent studies have suggested that these women, these young women justify their own lifestyle in terms of well, it's part of my job to spread Islam and to be a good Muslim and to be a good Muslim in public and to be a good Muslim in places where I can reach other people as well, not just in my own home. At the same time, it will be interesting to see down the line whether these women feel pressure to return to the home and many of them are now unmarried and many of them are now without children and after the marriage and after the children, will they feel pressure to return to the home or will they continue with professional careers?

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