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Turkey Lifts Islamic Headscarf Ban for Female Police Officers

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Turkey has decided to allow female police officers to wear the Islamic headscarf.

Policewomen will be able to wear a headscarf under their caps or berets, provided it is plain and is the same color as the uniform.

Headscarf bans on university campuses and state institutions – except for the judiciary, military and police – have also been lifted in recent years.

The Islamic headscarf has been controversial in Turkey for years. Secularists regard it as a symbol of religious conservatism.

Photo Wikipedia

Photo Wikipedia

Since the 1920s, Turkey has had a secular constitution with no state religion.

The opposition has accused President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Islamist-rooted Justice and Development Party (AKP) of trying to reinterpret secularism.

However, public debate has also evolved to accept the hijab as an expression of individual liberties, correspondents say.


No strong opposition has been voiced against this latest move.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan has long embraced Turks’ right to express their religious beliefs openly, but he says he is committed to secularism.

In 2010, Turkey’s universities abandoned an official ban on Muslim headscarves.

In 2013, women were allowed to wear headscarves in state institutions – with the exception of the judiciary, military and police. That year, four lawmakers wore headscarves in parliament.

Most people in Turkey are Sunni Muslims.

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