Lifestyle & Belief

Scarves in Turkey

This political science student arrives at school with a headscarf but she's not allowed to wear it on campus. In the parking lot she takes off the headscarf and puts on a hat. She doesn't want to show her hair. She wants to do it for her religion. She prefers to wear her headscarf but she says this is as close as she can come. This official says these women are being deprived of a higher education because of their religious views so the party is trying to lift the ban. The measure has met fierce opposition. This university professor says secular Turks are worried about the Islamic Party because of its religious troops. The leader of that party has been said to believe in political Islam. The professor says the government respects the rights of religious Muslims more than those of secular Turks. The headscarf is now a hot political issue and sparks almost daily protests. This crowd is pro-scarf. The crowd shouts about civil freedoms and equal rights. Secular crowds worry that lifting the ban on headscarves will put pressure on women who want to stay uncovered. This woman says she wants to wear her headscarf but not out of hidden agendas, she just wants to get an education. This week the parliament is expected to pass the change in law, but the secular opposition has already said it will challenge that decision in Turkey's constitutional courts.