Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Turkish Headscarves

Turkey looks set to end the ban on headscarves in its universities:
"Turkey's ruling party agreed with an opposition party Monday to lift a decades-old ban on Islamic head scarves in universities of the mainly Muslim but secular nation.

"Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's ruling party and the Nationalist Action Party said in a joint statement that the two parties agreed to make changes in the constitution and the Higher Education Law to allow female students wearing head scarves into universities.

"A constitutional change would need a two-thirds majority in the 550-seat assembly. The two parties have more than enough legislators.

"Wearing of head scarves in universities was first banned shortly after a military coup in 1980 but implementation of the ban has varied over the years."

I didn't realize the ban was that recent.

UPDATE: Gareth Jenkins reports that in order to push through the measure undoing the ban, the AKP cut a deal with an ultra-nationalist party. The price? Plans to amend the law against insulting Turkishness have been scrapped.



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