During my time in Turkey, I have become used to seeing veiled women. Showing their face but covering their hair, the younger generation has even made wearing the veil fashionable with the Islamic chic concept. I no longer take a second glance at veiled women and have on the odd occasion when social decorum calls for it, worn a veil myself.
It was a different story when I arrived in Beypazari, a region close to the capital of Turkey; Ankara. The area is steeped in Ottoman history and was an important trading post on the old silk route running from the East to the West.
Any plans I had to blend in and not stand out as a tourist were soon forgotten. I could not stop staring at the older generation of Beypazari women! I was unable to be discreet because their style of head scarves captivated me.
Longer in length than normal styles, it resembled a shawl rather than a veil. Worn outside of the house, the shawls covered the top of their bodies and I spotted a variety of colours and designs. It is an important part of the wardrobe for an older woman and along with the Bindalli dress, forms part of their identity.
I never spotted any of the younger generation wearing the long shawls / head scarves, which leaves me with one question. Will they adopt the fashion as they get older or will the bürgü veil of Beypazari be confined to the history books in 50 years’ time? Dress trends always change over the years and I will be following this one with great interest.