Despite mass protests by secular groups, the Turkish parliament has taken a first step towards the relaxation of a ban on Muslim headscarves in public institutions. A first round vote has come out in favour of a change to the constitution to allow the wearing of headscarves at universities. A second vote is expected on Saturday.
The secular movement, which includes army generals, judges and university directors, fears Turkey’s separation of religion and state is under threat. The reform is being proposed by the Islamist-rooted ruling AK party and an opposition party.
On EuroNews, one woman against the plan said she will be among those who will be frightened of what others with headscarves think of them. She says they will feel ostracised.
Another woman said the change had been hastily introduced to parliament and it has caused polarisation in the country. But those in favour reject that secularism is at risk.
EuroNews heard from one woman who said had a hard time when she went to university and had to wear a wig to school. She says the reform will reflect the needs of her beliefs, as well as justice and democracy.
The amendment to the constitution is expected to easily get through parliament as the parties supporting it occupy more than two-thirds of the seats.