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المحرر موضوع: Turkey PM hints at new removal of headscarf ban  (زيارة 1252 مرات)

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Turkey PM hints at new removal of headscarf ban
« في: يوم 01-10-2010 , س 01:29:51 am »
Says ban in universities against freedom of belief
Turkey PM hints at new removal of headscarf ban



ANKARA (Reuters)

Turkey's prime minister said on Wednesday a law that prohibits women wearing the Muslim headscarf at university was against freedom of belief, in his strongest hint yet the AK Party might try again to lift the ban.

Turkey's Constitutional Court struck down in 2008 an attempt by the ruling AK Party to remove the ban. But after voters approved constitutional changes in September to overhaul the court, AK Party officials have put the sensitive issue back on the government's agenda.

"We agree with society on the headscarf issue," Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said in a speech to university students in Istanbul, which was broadcast live.

"We do not want to disappoint our youth. There is no sense in being so interventionist in freedom of belief and education anymore," Erdogan said.

His comments come months before a election that will herald a new constitution if his party wins.

Wearing the Muslim headscarf is a touchy issue in European Union candidate Turkey, an overwhelmingly Muslim nation with a strictly secular constitution.

Headscarves are not permitted at public universities and civil servants are banned from wearing them at work. Religious-minded Turks say the ban is a violation of their individual rights; secularist Turks say it is needed to defend the secularist republic founded by Kemal Ataturk in 1923.

After winning a Sept. 12 referendum on constitutional reforms, Erdogan declared plans for a brand new constitution after elections that are due by July 2011.

The AK Party, which has roots in political Islam and has evolved from banned Islamist parties, is deeply mistrusted by rivals, who suspect it of using liberal reforms as a cover to roll back the republic's secularism.

The pro-business AK Party, in power since 2002, sees itself as akin to Europe's conservative Social Democrat parties, and accuses opponents of scare-mongering.

The referendum victory in September has boosted Erdogan's chances of winning the election, when the AKP will seek a third consecutive term of single party rule.
Rivals fear an emboldened AK Party will push legislation to please its conservative power base in the religious heartland and that their secular lifestyle is under threat.

Kemal Kilicdaroglu, the new leader of the staunchly secular opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), has said he is willing to discuss the issue of the headscarf and said his party is ready to start collaborating on a new constitution.

via : alarabiya.net