News / Middle East

Turkish Fashion Magazine Targets Female Islamic Professionals

Models wear creations by a Turkish Islamic fashion house for its spring-summer 2008 ready-to-wear collection in Ankara, Turkey, Monday, March 3, 2008.Models wear creations by a Turkish Islamic fashion house for its spring-summer 2008 ready-to-wear collection in Ankara, Turkey, Monday, March 3, 2008.
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Models wear creations by a Turkish Islamic fashion house for its spring-summer 2008 ready-to-wear collection in Ankara, Turkey, Monday, March 3, 2008.
Models wear creations by a Turkish Islamic fashion house for its spring-summer 2008 ready-to-wear collection in Ankara, Turkey, Monday, March 3, 2008.
Dorian Jones
ISTANBUL The fashion industry is booming in Turkey as a result of a youthful population and strong economy. And with that trend has come the emergence of a new fashion magazine called Ala, whose target audience is the young Islamic professional woman. 
 
In a swanky five-star hotel in old Istanbul a fashion shoot is taking place. But it is not for your typical fashion publication. It's for Ala, a magazine catering to pious head-scarf-wearing, working woman.
 
Within a year it has shaken the Turkish fashion world, attracting a number of subscribers rivaling its secular counterparts.
 
The woman behind Ala, 24-year-old Hulya Aslan, said "This magazine is aimed at conservative women who need a magazine to offer alternatives in their lifestyles, she says. The other magazines did not represent them, they could not find things that corresponded to their needs and desires. They did not offer them a lifestyle they aspired to. They were in search of something and at that moment we offered them Ala magazine and filled a gap in Turkey."
 
Turkish Fashion Magazine Targets Female Islamic Professionalsi
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Dorian Jones
July 14, 2012 12:16 AM
The fashion industry is booming in Turkey as a result of a youthful population and a vibrant economy. And with that trend has come the emergence of a new fashion magazine called Ala -- whose target audieuce is the young Islamic professional woman. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul.
The magazine has tapped into the growing Islamic middle class in Turkey that has prospered under the Islam-inspired Justice and Development Party of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. 
 
The party eased a ban on the wearing of religious dress for women in universities, a ban that forced Aslan to forgo her education.
 
"Before, our covered friends, covered sisters were not even able to study at universities, they did not have the way of life they wanted, she says. They were constantly being subject to obstacles. They could not even work in state offices. So then, the situation was like that there was not even a possibility of such a magazine.  But in the last 10 years, the situation has changed and with this change the needs and demands increased. By answering to these demands Ala magazine has gained incredible success," she said. 
 
Such is the success of the Ala magazine, it has given its name to a new generation of Turkish women, who balances her religious beliefs with a desire for fashion. Ala Fashion Editor Tuba Tunc explains, saying, "Both feminine and covered, chic and with quality. I want to say this in all my sincerity, this is my goal, because this is how I am and I love being like this, she says. This is an Ala woman and this is what our magazine represents."
 
But Ala magazine has been criticized by some in the pro-Islamist media. One writer accused Ala of corrupting women and said the fashion publication undermines the principal of Islam which he claimed calls for women to dress modestly.  
 
But Tunc dismisses such criticism. "Being covered does not mean you do not follow fashion. I think any woman whether covered or not can follow and dress up according to fashion if they want and if they do it correctly. Tunc says.  There is no problem in that. I want modern, covered, attractive, elite women who know how to dress and who can carry well what they wear," said Tunc. 
 
With Turkey in the midst of a consumer boom and Ala circulation over 200,000 and rising, in one of the fashionable high streets of Istanbul it is not difficult to find an Ala woman. 
 
"The stores we can shop from are very limited. Ala magazine is helping us with that. They offer alternatives to us such as recommending outfits in stores, places to go that are appropriate for women like me," said one woman. 
 
And with the magazine already well established in the Turkish fashion world, it is already planning a fashion TV program, and ultimately editions in the Arabic world and in European countries where large Muslim populations live.
 

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by: Jenifer from: USA
July 16, 2012 12:02 PM
Islam CORRUPT...??? no way!!! they are Muslimes - can't be corrupt... must have been some misunderstanding... maybe we need more Islamic "education"... to see that what we thought was corruption and decay, malevolent betrayal and sleaze... is but a rosy glow of benevolence... and we are just "ignorant" - yeah sure...


by: Anonymous
July 15, 2012 12:10 PM
Hollie Lawrence,
Ignorance has only one cure and that is knowledge. Instead of blaming a faith, it is best to investigate and study. For the first time in the history of human kind, Islam gave the equal positions to both men and women. The crimes are always crimes, for every crime committed by criminal Muslims we should not blame Islam for it. Lets watch the reality shows how innocent women are killed in numbers. Hundreds of women are slaughtered, mutilated and even body parts are eaten. I cannot blame this to Christianity, only individual criminals are responsible for it.


by: robert from: new jersey
July 14, 2012 5:07 PM
If God didn't want men to see face or hair of a womenor body of a women, than, god wouldn't give woman a face or cover the face thyself and wouldn't give women hair. Who the hell are all these man who decided to override God. It is not God, it is some perverted old man who is marrying underage girls and have multiple wives.


by: Worry from: Northwest
July 14, 2012 1:00 AM
Well Nikos, slave owners used the same sort of reasoning to justify what they called "Their Peculiar Institution" in the United States. Oppressors will almost always refer to their oppression as something other than what it actually is. Remember, a flour sack or full length garbage bag enhances your beauty. Believe it, or Else! :)


by: Wilberforce from: Northwest
July 14, 2012 12:54 AM
Let them wear their slave rags. It will be liberating for them.


by: Turky Chicken from: Greece
July 13, 2012 6:13 PM
hey Erdogan, whats with the makeup..??? shouldn't she be doused with acid...??? shouldn't she be disfigured by acid burns...?? Hey, i am just asking... following Sharia you know


by: Talat from: Pasaoglu
July 13, 2012 3:56 PM
I am shocked by the comments "back to " language! If one go on, one might say " you European Americans go back to your continent." and the article doesn't mention Christian killings of innocent Jewish people or Christian slaughtering each other . So Christian friends you are not innocent, and you don't have any right to insult Muslims. Poor greek aren't included, they can insult as much as they want. We can't take their freedom of insult, so they can free their mind form the crisis!


by: Shawn from: California
July 13, 2012 1:03 PM
Hey Ahmed, go back to Egypt you troglodyte. what are you doing here??? just go back we don't want you here. you are a contamination wherever you are - Europe hates you, Canada can't stand you, Africa regurgitate you, and we had enough of you... just leave please...we don't want you on our welfare or on our unemployment lines... we just had enough of you, and are sick and tiered of subsidizing your degeneracy.


by: ahmed from: detroit
July 13, 2012 11:10 AM
Holli the Nazi lawrence Modest means not to dress in a way that shows a women's beauty to anyone she can marry. so if she leaves her house she must not dress attractivley or wear perfume. muslim women don't have a problem taking orders from God... you do...so how many guys have been with that you were not married to.. if you were a muslim it would be zero..or a real christian.. or a real Jew but oh wait you don't take your scripture seriously go back to Germany


by: Holli Lawrence from: USA
July 13, 2012 10:47 AM
Hey "Taha" as a woman I feel that you should not provide this soft focus to the Islamists. I have Jewish friends and Catholic friends that chose to dress modestly... (modestly means cover their hairs... not cover themselves in corps like burkah that Islam forces on women). "taha" you should be ashamed of yourself, living as you appear to be in "western" society, to give legitimacy to islamic rape rooms - executions - mutilation disfeaguring acid burns that Muslims throughout the world have been practicing on defenseless women (Acid mutilations - you would probably call "desirable facial enhancements"...). Please, taha, consider moving back to a Muslim country... please, just go back, you are not welcome here

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