After the 10th World Taekwondo Championships held in Lima, Peru in October Turkey got a new star. Though the entire Turkish team showed an outstanding performance in the tournament and won five gold for the country, Kubra Dagli, made headlines more than others did. In other words, her headscarf gained her more popularity.
The hijab-wearing Taekwondo champion is now the target of both adversaries and admirers.
But, the Taekwondo practitioner minced no words when people’s interest focused on her dress rather than on her performance.
They don’t speak of my success, but of my headscarf. I don’t want this. Our success should be discussed. We made so much effort. We made our country and our team world champions. This is our joint prideKubra Dagli
While moderate practicing Muslims congratulated her and presented her as a new face of the veiled Turkish woman, the orthodox Muslims are not happy with her achievement. According to them, she should not have participated in the championship and practiced Taekwondo which needs lots of 'actions.'
“Naked feet, covered head, hips and thighs out there, you are a commodity, what of it is proper?” one angry user spotted as giving free advice to her on Facebook.
Why is your head covered, as you already open your legs, enter every position, you can do it with your head uncovered too, this way be sure is more problematic, may Allah give you common senseanother Facebook user
Some of them urged her to stay at home and try a hand in competitions like Quran reading, instead of action-packed items.
But determined Dagli knows how to handle them and deal with this conservatives
“Insensible people do that. I don’t read it and I don’t even care.I realized my dream. I was waking up each morning thinking of becoming a world champion,” she said in an interview.
Other main rivals of Dagli are secularists and Kemalists in the country who question her decision to cover her head. Turkey, as part of the creation of “modern nation' during the time of Ataturk, had imposed more restrictions on wearing Hijab. According to the Kemalists who are still active in the country, Hijab is not fitting the ideals prescribed by the secular nationalist project.
Countering them and supporting Dagli's decision, famous Turkish anthropologist Sertac Sehlikoglu said that so-called secularists should have an open mind to tolerate all sections of society.
“A secular person would have a hard time understanding headscarved women’s engagement in sports and fitness,” he said.
A columnist from daily newspaper Milliyet Asu Maro has also come up supporting her in her decision to represent the nation in Hijab.
One [sexist ideology] is against covering women’s heads, another against her uncovering, but they unite with the same demand: ‘Stay at homeAsu Maro