Appropriating the masculine sacred islamism, gender, and mosque architecture in contemporary Turkey
Religious duties for men and women differ in Islam, and they determine how the two appear in public. While men are required to perform Friday and Eid prayers in the mosque with the congregation, women are not. This has historically led to the formation of the mosque as a masculine space, in which men use the main prayer hall and women occupy a secondary and separate women’s section. The 1990s witnessed a global tide in women’s demand for equal mosque space, contesting gendered conventions. In Turkey, this tide coincided with the rise of the Islamist Justice and Development Party to power in 2002. After this, women came to the foreground not only as users but also as designers of mosque spaces. This chapter analyzes two recent mosques built in Ankara and Istanbul, both of which embody significance in terms of long-lasting tensions between modernity and tradition in mosque architecture.