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September 10, 2009
Female soccer players shoot down Turkish taboos

In much of Turkey, playing soccer is something girls simply don’t do. But some women players are challenging the norms and taking to the field.

As Worldfocus correspondent Gizem Yarbil and producer Bryan Myers discovered, part of the resistance to women playing soccer is religious and part of it is cultural.

Also, explore an interactive feature and Q&A on women’s soccer around the world.

For more Worldfocus coverage of Turkey, visit our extended coverage page: Turkey between East and West.




[…] me, our story about women’s football in Turkey is about women being capable of doing anything. We still have a long way to go in Turkey. […]


[…] Female soccer players shoot down Turkish taboos 10 09 2009 This feature story aired as part of the Women in Islam series on the international news program Worl… […]


Nice video and nice work. I hope the womens league will improve. I think he conservatism etc are just being exaggerated, 90% people in Turkey would support these women be successful. It is amazing how some comments here are ignorant and just political… “szhizophrenic identity”? WTH?


great story gizem! i once did a story on the pakistani womens cricket team that faced similar problems. a lot of progress needs to be made on womens sports in these countries.


I believe this is a great piece, but the girl with beetlejuice haircut is not.


Aferin hepinize!


bize misafir olan world focus televizyonuna teşekkür ederiz.bu şekilde adınızden söz edilmesi gurur verici.sporun dostluk kardeşlik olduğu bir kez daha kanıtlanmış oldu.


Girls rock hurray


I am always in awe of the people who follow through with their dreams and use their talents in spite of the difficulties they face. The world of sports truly opened up for women in the United States after title 9 was instituted. As a 46 year old female athlete I didn’t see sport as something to take past high school at that time, but with a mother and father in sports I never questioned the role of women as athletes. I was blessed with the opportunity to be whatever I wanted. I often wonder if this wasn’t available to me if I would have the courage to fight for something that brings me so much joy and seems so natural. I am cheering like a rabid fan should for these girls and hope that they realize their dreams to use the gifts that God gave them. They will make it all possible for the women who follow.




I think Turkish women should keep this up. You rock TURKEY!


Very good piece. It’s fascinating how Turkey has such a schizophrenic identity, and this comes across in the piece, as you see the differing opinions on womens position in society. I would be interested to see how opinions are changing there to the Kurdish issue and Islam itself (as the AKP is now the party of governance). It seems to me that hardened opinions on a range of very important topics are thawing and Turkey is embracing a more open and conciliatory approach to its historical difficulties… More please!!


Turk kadinlari sizlerle gurur duyuyoruz. Tarih bunu ispat etti…. Ispat etmeye devam edecegiz.Buyuk ulkem Turkiye. Tesekkurler World Focus. Turkiye ye dikkatinizi yonlendirin. Tarih ve Kultur ulkesi.


I would like to thank World focus to inform people abroad about this amazing story from my dearest county Turkey. Although I consider my self well aware about my country, frankly speaking I have had no idea about the women soccer players in Turkey until today. If you ever you look back to history, our women ancestors had played a great role in wars. Today we are still proud to hear the existence of some of the women leaders such as Guler Sabanci on the financial market and many of the others in different areas in Turkey and abroad. It is also shameful to read some of the rude comments especially coming from the Turkish un intellectual men living in NY.




I watched this tonight and thought I’d leave a comment because I thought it was a very good piece. I have to say my knowledge of Turkey and its social issues is not as good as it should be. I had an idea that it was somehow different to the rest of the Muslim Arab world in its attitudes to women, but the journalist here shows that not all is rosy there.

But it seems things are changing in the right direction there, and I salute the girls who are defying these social conventions to express themselves. Really appreciate this, and I liked how the story of these moving tectonic plates was told through the story of soccer (which is a subject about which I know a bit more, as do most Turks!) ….


Teşekkürler bu büyük hikaye için


Fascinating story and nice report! Go Turkish female soccer players! Go Turkiye! Greetings from a Taiwanese living in Washington who used to speak some Turkish!


Kizlar futbol oynamaz la,
yapmayin bole habarlar.
Karinin yeri evidir!

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