Among the myths propagated by conservatives is that women in Muslim societies are treated as second class citizens and do not enjoy equal rights. This is certainly true in many Muslim nations, but it is also true in many Çhristian and Jewish nations. Turkey has worked for many decades to address this issue, and, while equality has yet to be achieved, its courts assist such efforts. A Turkish woman, Sevin Akat Ekri applied for the right to keep her maiden name after being married. Lower courts denied her that right, but the Turkish Constitutional Court ruled that every woman in Turkey had the right to keep her maiden name under provision of Article 17 and under provision of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights. However, the woman must also keep her husband’s surname in addition.
No, women do not in Turkey have complete equal rights, but the battle to attain them is progressing. This simply proves that it is perfectly compatible in a Muslim nation to be Muslim and provide equal rights for women. Consider the plight of single women in American society who raise children abandoned by husband, and are denied free childcare so that she can enter the job market. We, in America, also have a long way to go before equality is guaranteed for women.