The issue of women's virginity is still an important factor in many relationships in Turkey, affecting women from all social and economic backgrounds and involving complex intersections of cultural and religious values.
The failure to maintain virginity until marriage can for a woman mean social alienation, forced marriage with an inappropriate match, physical abuse and even death in some cases.
“The rise in hymenoplasty doesn't mean that the hymen and virginity have gained importance, but indicates that women are increasingly possessed of more spending power and medical knowledge and that physicians are less conservative with regard to these operations,” psychologist Dilek Akıcı Tayanç explained in an interview with Sunday's Zaman.
“Women have gained economic strength and knowledge over the years, but this development hasn't enabled them to break the taboos regarding virginity, but to more effectively be able to protect themselves from the results of these taboos.”
A popular İstanbul OB/GYN, agreeing to speak with Sunday's Zaman on the condition that she be identified only as Dr. Ö., performs an average of 10 hymenoplasty operations a month. In addition, she says 20-30 women make their way to her office each month for consultations related to the procedure.
H/T: Women Against Sharia