Turkis Lawmakers Attend in Parliament With Head Scarves
The move—widely expected after being officially sanctioned in a September legislative package—is the first time female politicians have attempted to wear a head scarf in parliament since 1999. At that time, lawmaker Merve Kavakci was rejected from the chamber after angry shouts from secularist parliamentarians and later deprived of her citizenship.
CHP lawmaker, Safak Pavey, spoke in favor of head scarves in parliament, but warned that many Turkish girls were forced to wear them at an early age and that rights groups had highlighted Turkey’s poor record on women’s rights.
“There is a knife-edge relationship between a head scarf and freedom. On one hand, it represents freedom of religion, but on the other, the pressure by religion,” she said.
Ms. Pavey was herself a victim of parliament’s strict dress codes, having been prevented from wearing trousers in parliament to hide her prosthetic leg.
Other parties in parliament welcomed the liberalizing of head scarves in public institutions, underlining the seismic shift in Turkish society since the AKP captured power a decade ago.