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Friday, October 11, 2013

Turkey Partially Lifts Decades-Old Ban On Head Scarves

Merve Kavakçi pictured at a panel discussion in Geneva, Switzerland, sponsored by the Becket Fund. (mervekavakci.net)

Merve Kavakçi pictured at a panel discussion in Geneva, Switzerland, sponsored by the Becket Fund in 2005. (mervekavakci.net)

On Tuesday, the Turkish government partially lifted a ban that kept women from appearing in state offices wearing Islamic head scarves.

The ban dates back to 1981, and has socially and professionally isolated Turkish women who wear the scarf.

Though the religious call the ban oppressive, secular Turks fear that lifting the ban promotes a conservative state.

Here & Now‘s Robin Young speaks with Merve Kavakçi who was voted into the Turkish Parliament in 1999, wore a head scarf to her swearing in ceremony.

She was immediately dismissed from her position, banned from politics, and eventually stripped of her Turkish citizenship.

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