I clearly was not wearing a hijab, but in a Muslim culture, a head covering was almost certainly identified as such.
In an effort to end the ambiguity, I took off my cardigan, thereby exposing my arms. In so doing I thought that it would be clear that I was not attempting to wear a hijab- just simply a headscarf.
I think that made it worse.
Retracing my steps from the place of business as I made my way to the station, most people stood in shock and confusion.
They couldn’t figure it out.
And I couldn’t figure out why?
In 2015, when everyone had internet and satellite television and most Turkish people consumed quite a bit of Western media including channels like BET and MTV, I couldn’t understand why a woman wearing a headscarf not as a hijab but as a summer headscarf would attract such attention.
I had worn headscarves already, I believe. Ethnic headscarves but never a solid black one, and that is the only difference that I could attribute to getting that much attention.
I thought about it and thought about it some more.
And I’m still thinking about it.
The point is, is that I’m not sure if I was perceived as rude; as if I were mocking the meaning of the hijab. I believe so- given the response.
But, obviously that was not my intention.
I was simply wearing a headscarf.
So, if there is fault to be given for this situation, whose is it?
Mine, for not thinking about the implications of tying my hair in a headscarf or the people who are not au fait with the use of headscarves by non Muslim #women as a hair accessory and/or maintenance aid; the purposes for which I used my head scarf?
What do you think?
Photo taken and edited by Petra.