Travels to Turkey

My incredible travels to Turkey in 2007

The Chador vs. the Scarf

Posted by Mardee on May 7, 2007

When I first started reading about Istanbul, everything I read led me to believe that this cosmopolitan city contained few women who covered up. On the contrary, everywhere I go I see women with their hair covered, or even more. That being said, there seems to be a level of degrees of covering in the city.

The least restrictive and most common is just a simple headscarf – it is a silky scarf, usually with a pattern, that covers all the hair. Most woman wear this with regular clothing – jeans, skirts, etc. The next is a scarf worn with a skirt – the skirts seem to be low calf length, and are worn with a variety of tops.

A more restrictive application is a scarf worn with a long coat over a long dress or skirt. The coats are usually a neutral color – tan and/or beige is the most common color – and are very plain in appearance (but the scarves remain colorful).

Last is the chador – these women wear black, very plain robes that cover the hair and whole body. Unlike other chadors/burqas, they leave most of the face exposed – the fabric is pinned together below the mouth, covering the chin). I haven’t found out the differences in these degrees of clothing styles, but I plan to do some research. I’m also trying to get a picture but I don’t want to sneak one, so I’ll have to ask – and I’m not sure how someone will react.

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