Visit Your Local PBS Station PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Watch Video Donate Shop PBS Search PBS
August 22nd, 2006
Turkey's Tigers
Video: Full Episode

This video is no longer available.

  • Miguel Andújar

    I think it is a great documentary. Most of people do not Turkey and even lest its people. We need to be more exposed to documentaries like this. I am from Latin American I have never had any experience about it. Thank you very much.
    Miguel Andujar
    miguelandujar@ymail.com

  • parvaz

    i am shocked when that lady( the reporter) said Democracy in turky
    for you democracy is only women( how they put clothes)
    but for us democracy is having your own right as others as a minority
    i mean kordish who living in turkey
    is not it rediculos when you westener only t alks abaout what you think( i mean only women)
    of course any body shoud choose what she or he likes to put on closthes,
    but turky is hundreds years behind the EU in terms of human rights
    a kurd living in turky

  • Sezen

    In Turkey, there are many women who use headscarves and there many women who don’t. I’ve been a religious woman but I never thought about using a headscarf and I respect others’ choices. I went to the best schools in Turkey and I plan to become a professor in the future. I wasn’t rich though like the people shown in this documentary; my family was middle-class.We all have the same opportunities in Turkey including people from different ethnic groups and religions. Still, I’ve never been to a place in Turkey that women and men used different gates! I find this a little extreme.
    …and dear Parvaz, instead of dispraising your motherland, could you specify what you mean by your statements? Kurds have the same rights as others and they just had their right to get education in Kurdish, they are also represented in the parliament… Being the poorest part of the country and having horrible traditions towards your women, having ten kids when being unable to feed or send them to school; you can’t blame the government for everything…

  • sezen

    In Turkey, there are many women who use headscarves and there many women who don’t. I’ve been a religious woman but I never thought about using a headscarf and I respect others’ choices. I went to the best schools in Turkey and I never felt excluded from public life. I wasn’t rich though like the people shown in this documentary.We all have the same opportunities in Turkey including people from different ethnic groups and religions. Still, I’ve never been to a place in Turkey that women and men used different gates! I find this a little extreme.

  • sezen

    Dear Parvaz, instead of just dispraising, could you specify what you mean by your accusations? Kurds have the same rights as others and they just had their right to get education in Kurdish, they are also represented in the parliament… There have been many successful Kurdish businessman, singers, prime minister, politicians and so on…There are lots of Kurdish people living in prosperity or doing whatever jobs they want. You can democratically represent your thoughts in Turkey because you have the right. There have been many riots mostly included vandalism and using little children by throwing them in front of police lines. What are you talking about? Stop propaganda pls. Being the poorest part of the country and having horrible traditions towards your women, having ten kids when being unable to feed or send them to school; you can’t blame the government for everything. I am sorry that previous governments supressed your identity, forbid your language but previous governments supressed many people not only kurds and it was wrong. but we should look ahead and work for a better future instead of fighting and accusing each other, humuliating or complaining to other countries.

  • Nancy Schulz

    The final thoughts, comments near the close, of the documentary are right on. It is not uncommon to find closely knit religious communities in the Heartland of the US. Unlike the urbanized fragmented coastal areas with little sense of community and no poor moral values. The Heartland has strong farming communities. We have a farm in Kansas, where a lot of conservative Mennonites reside. The Mennonites wear either smaller black coverings or white gauze caps. The members work closely with each other and make religion a part of the occupations they participate in. Women spend more time with each other at social functions and men with men, but they are not required to “stay at home” and many of them participate with family business or have their own jobs or their own businesses. If you were to stay with a family, you would be surprised by the daily worship, scripture reading the family does together. The community activities much like the business weekly luncheon featured on the documentary. Everyone is expected to either participate or provide an opportunity to provide time to worship with the community (Wednesday nights, Sundays). Very similar to the conservative businessmen of Anatolia. Perhaps the only difference was the Infill vs. the Koran. I really enjoyed the documentary, these sorts of shows need to be made to show it is possible to be any religion and freely elect leaders. My only grumble is I wish this program was available on DVD for purchase.

  • Shahida

    Turkey’s Tigers was an amazing and valuable documentary and I am very glad I watched it. Although it showed how a model of Islam would look like secular and does offer more opportunities for women, it still reveals that even a secular Islam would still contain a great deal of gender policing.

    The first thing I noticed was that the tenets of Islam were being reinterpreted within a capitalist framework. Basically, all the businessmen justified their wealth as a means of giving up a portion of it to charity, and fulfilling one of the pillars of Islam. While I think charity is great, I also think it’s more of a rationalization of their immense wealth more than anything. There is no need to have mansions or pools just to give to the poor. Giving to the poor what you have is enough, and I think in Islam it’s more important that you give what you have than run the risk of becoming obsessed with material things. Education and family seem more important than money in this religion.

    Secondly, it is important to note that Turkey’s fashion industry does offer opportunities in the workplace for women. However, it was glaringly obvious that the very wives of the businessmen do not get to share in this priviledge, as “most husbands don’t want their wives to work” but will send out their daughters. This appears very hypocritical to me, especially since there was only ONE interview with the wife of a businessman which revealed that she is tucked away safely in the domestic space while her husband does all the outside work. It turns me off to think of her not having opportunities for employment, and of having to get married at sixteen with no knowledge of whether “this was going to be an old man, blind man” she was going to marry. There is something deeply disturbing about this set-up, and what was even more deeply disturbing was another businessman’s declaration that, “My wife has freedom, she has a car, she has a driver’s liscence. But she wants more.” …Of course she does!

    And she has every right to want whatever she desires….it is clear to me that this “SECULAR ISLAM” in Turkey is actually just a socially sanctioned form of gender policing that only offers opportunities to women who are not married to the businessmen themselves and still expects women to have a family, get married and dress in a traditional way. It is clear to me that this “SECULAR ISLAM” is actually just a way to strengthen patriarchial, homosocial relations between men, enhance the greedy, capitalist power of these men so they can continue to dominate the family life.

    It is interesting that men are the ones designing the products; THEY are clothing the women; THEY decide what is fashionable or not; THEY are monitoring the bodies of these women. Yes, the dresses are all very fashionable and glam. Yet the important thing they do is that they CONCEAL. They conceal their wives, their daughters, their prospective mates. Basically, men cover up what they don’t want other men to see/compete for. There is something seriously wrong with this secular brand of Islam — and I really doubt Turkey is an ideal government for a feminist interpretation of Islam — but a capitalist, money-hungry, male-dominated one? Sure, why not?

Produced by THIRTEEN    ©2014 WNET.ORG Properties LLC. All rights reserved.