A 92-year old Turkish historian has been cleared of insulting Muslim women and inciting religious hatred. Muazzez Ilmiye Cig was prosecuted over a book she wrote in which she linked the origins of the headscarf to prostitutes 5,000 years ago.
In her work “My reactions as a citizen”, Cig said headscarves were worn by prostitutes working in temples during the Sumerian period to differentiate them from women priests. According to the historian, women often presided over the temples in the ancient polytheistic civilisation.
She is the latest in a number of intellectuals including Nobel prize winner Orhan Pamuk to have been prosecuted over the past year over alleged insults to Turkey. Although predominantly Muslim, Turkey is a secular country where headscarves are banned in the public sector.