The Supreme Court vindicated the lawyer with the headscarf
By Manolis Kostidis – Ankara
In the secular state founded by Kemal Ataturk in 1923 all Islamic symbol, like the Islamic headscarf, were forbidden.
In the years that passed this ban was lifted for women who were out on the streets, but not in public services where women employees were required to take the headscarf off (if worn), as well as female students. The Turkish generals who with three coups had an influence on political developments stopped all efforts and were negative towards any request.
The government of the pro-Islamist Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan lifted the ban on universities, where female students can now attend classes wearing a headscarf.
Now it is the court’s turn.
The Turkish Supreme Court ruled for a lawyer who had attempted to get in trial wearing a headscarf. The judge had refused her entrance a year ago and had asked to remove the headscarf in order to defend her client.
As a result, she appealed to the Constitutional Court, which with 15 votes in favor and one against rulled in her favor on the grounds that there was a “violation of the rights of equality and religious freedom”.
The question that emerges is how can this decision go hand in hand with the principles of the secular people’s state of religious tolerance Kemal Ataturk envisioned.
Within this “climate”, the mufti of the city Zonguldak announced that those men or women who fast should not go to the same beaches, “otherwise fasting is invalid”. Next Friday begins the Ramadan, Muslim’s fasting.
In Sakarya Islamists visited one of the town’s beaches, and with speeches and pamphlets asked from women not to wear swimsuits and to wear headscarf, and generally to not reveal their body.
Strange developments in a country in which a few years ago one did not dare to publicly express such views and no one could ask for the implementation of the Islamic laws without consequences from the services of the state.