A list of controversial “dos and don’ts” regading sexual relations for Turkish women has been published by the Directorate of Religious Affairs. According to the much debated list(it is not law in Turkey) people should avoid having illegal etra-marital affairs and engaging in such behaviors as flirting and dating that might lead to adultery. Turkey is a nation in which some women are blatantly western in their normal behavior while others adhere more closely to traditional ways of behavior.The web site of the Directorate said “women have to be more careful since they have sexual stimulants.” It cited women who wear perfume outside fthe home as displaying immoral behavior because “Our Prophet Mohammed did not approve of women who wear perfume and fragrances outside their homes and he descried this action as immoral.”
The list in itself is an expression of free speech and one can accept or reject the suggestions. The danger lies in having the list used by men who wish to harass women who don’t follow its precepts. It is doubtful if western thinking women and men will cease flirting and dating because of a list published on a web site.
Ironically, the list of “dos and don’ts” as well as opposition to abortion would probably meet with approval by many American rellgious fundamentalists. Perhaps, Jerry Falwell and James Dobson should pay more close attention to their similarities in thinking with Muslim fundamentalists. They may have new allies in their fight against immorality and abortions.