The Turkish women’s magazine Âlâ first gained notice in the summer of 2011 by putting the most controversial piece of fabric in Turkey, the Islamic headscarf, on its cover. Four months later, Turkish secularists and traditional Muslims alike are still debating: Can fashion and Islam comfortably coexist?
The brainchild of advertising agency account executives Mehmet Volkan Atay and Burak Birer, Âlâ (Beautiful Lifestyle) targets Turkey’s growing number of observant Muslim women with a monthly selection of clothing advice, interviews with Muslim designers and businesswomen, travel tips and feature stories. It claims that its circulation has quadrupled to 40,000 copies since the first edition hit newsstands last July, and is widely reported by Turkish media already to have surpassed sales of Vogue and Elle.
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Constanze Letsch is a freelance writer based in Istanbul.