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.
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.
A 15-year-old Muslim student was sent home from a French school because she was wearing a long black skirt.
The girl, named as Sarah, was twice blocked from classes because the principal said her skirt broke a ban on religious signs in schools.
The girl removed her headscarf but said the skirt was not a religious symbol.
The case has provoked angry reactions online.
The hashtag #JePorteMaJupeCommeJeVeux (I wear my skirt how I want to) has had more than 45,000 tweets since April 28.
Sarah was sent home in Charleville-Mezieres in the northern Champagne-Ardenne region twice in April, according to reports.
Nicolas Cadene, an official advising the prime minister on secular issues, has said that wearing a long black skirt to school does not break the rules.
A ban on Muslim headscarves and other “conspicuous” religious symbols at state schools was introduced in 2004, and widely welcomed in a country where the separation of state and religion is enshrined in law.
However, critics say some schools are increasingly imposing extreme interpretations of the ban.
Eight Muslim students were told to change by their school in Montpellier when they arrived in long skirts last month, local media say.
The Collective Against Islamophobia in France (CCIF) said they had recorded nearly 130 similar incidents in the country last year.
In 2011, France became the first European country to ban the full-face Islamic veil – the niqab – in public places.
Most of the population – including most Muslims – agree with the government when it describes the face-covering veil as an affront to society’s values. Critics – many outside France – say it is a violation of individual liberties.
The European Court of Human Rights upheld the ban in July 2014 after it was challenged by a 24-year-old French woman, who argued that it violated her freedom of religion and expression.
France has about 5 million Muslims – the largest Muslim minority in Western Europe – but it is thought only about 2,000 women wear full veils.
Katherine Russell Tsarnaev, the widow of Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was pictured leaving her parents home wearing a traditional Muslim headscarf yesterday – countering reports that she has turned her back on her adopted religion.
Katherine Russell, or Karima Tsarnaeva by her married name, is living at her parents’ home in Rhode Island with her daughter by Tamerlan Tsarnaev.
According to reports, her Christian parents have been encouraging her to turn her back on the religion she adopted when she married Tamerlan Tsarnaev, a Chechen who encouraged his wife to join him in a strict interpretation of his faith.
However, Katherine Russell, 24, countered any suggestion they had won her over yesterday – leaving their suburban home fully covered and wearing a headscarf.
Katherine Russell, or Karima Tsarnaeva by her married name, is living at her parents’ home in Rhode Island with her daughter by Tamerlan Tsarnaev
A report by the National Enquirer earlier this week said she had been turned away from the religion since her husband’s death in the bombings he allegedly perpetuated alongside younger brother Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
“Katherine is slowly starting to change,” a source told the National Enquirer, adding that she is already wearing fingernail polish and eating at fast food restaurants.
She also changed her name back to Katherine Russell, according to the report.
However, if she is converting back to Christianity it is indeed happening slowly, according to her appearance yesterday morning.
Katherine Russell was seen getting into a car with her 2-year-old daughter.
Her mother Judith Russell loaded the vehicle with a child seat wearing a t-shirt and shorts.
Katherine Russell then emerged wearing sunglasses, carrying her keys and a can of soda cutting a stark contrast to her mother’s summery look with her body fully covered in a floor length purple skirt and black long sleeve jumper.
It had previously been reported that she drastically changed after meeting Tamerlan Tsarnaev while at a club during her college years.
“Katherine was completely subservient to him,” a source told the Enquirer.
“She cowered around him.”
She is cooperating with officials in the investigation, but claims she had no idea her husband was plotting to bomb the Boston marathon as she was working 80 hours a week as a health care aide.
Katherine Russell has not been accused of any wrongdoing, but the FBI have questioned her to find out if she had any clue as to Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s plans.