Turkey lifts ban on hijab for women army officers

Since the AK Party came to power in 2002, it has been moving to lift the decades-long ban on Muslim headscarfs in many areas of public life.

Photo by: AA archive photo
Photo by: AA archive photo

Women in the Turkish police force have been allowed to cover their heads under their caps or berets since August 2016.

Turkey's military on Wednesday lifted its ban on the headscarf or hijab for all female army personnel.

The move applies to all women officers working as general staff and also in command headquarters and branches.

Turkey's government at the time first imposed the ban in 1978, preventing civil servants from wearing hijab at work.

In 1982, Turkey's Board of Higher Education banned hijab at universities.

The Turkish Security Council moved on February 28, 1997 to ban hijab inside all public institutions, although the civil service and political spaces were the key target.

Merve Kavakci, an MP who wore hijab, was forced out of parliament on May 2, 1999, 20 days after she was elected, for refusing to bow to the security council's edict.

The AK Party came into power in 2002. One of its policies has been to lift the ban on hijab.

The Higher Education Board lifted the hijab ban for university students in 2007. In 2013, government employees were granted the right to wear hijab at work.

Since August 2016, women in the police force have been permitted to wear hijab while on duty.

TRTWorld and agencies