Turkey will allow headscarves for women working in public institution

Turkish Prime minister introduced today “democratization package” in Ankara. Photographed while review on the notes before the speech. Photo: courtesy of Twitter account: @RT_Erdogan

Published Monday, Sept.30 5.54 p.m. CEST

With the promise of respecting international human rights, European Union acquis and the peace process, Turkish Prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdoĝan introduced  “democratization package” during the address he made today in Ankara.  The address was broadcast and live-streamed on main Turkish media and further open question whether the package really brings reform or introduces only a make-up for the basic issues in the country.

Overall, the analysts emphasize the process as positive, although with room for improvement.

‘Not enough but positive’: broad view of analysts I’ve spoken to so far (Hugh Pope, Ziya Meral, Asli Aydintazbas) about the reform package, tweeted freelance journalist Alex Christie-Miller on his Twitter account @AChristie-Miller.

Main opposition Republican People’s Party expressed discontent with the reform package, although they announced further evaluation of the 11-year effort of the government in the process of democratization, by their president Kemal Kiliçardoĝly.

Gültan Kışanak, co-chairperson of the Peace and Democracy Party, reports Hyrryiet Daily News disagree with the reform and stated neither resolves the “Kurdish problem, belief difficulties of the Alevis, and the allowing of all those alienated in the country to contribute to its rule”.

At the cornerstone at the reform package presented today in Ankara by the Turkish Prime minister is lifting the ban for headscarves in public institutions.

One of the biggest points of the package is lifting the ban of wearing headscarves in public institutions, although the package excludes members of the judiciary, police, prosecution and army. That could mean the job places in those sectors will not be open for women wearing hijab.

After eighty years of secularism in Turkish Republic the lifting the ban in the 99,8 percent Muslim country is perceived as a part of democratization.

On his Twitter account, Turkish daily Vatan correspondent of Washington D.C. posted that “finally the headscarf ban, a country which is 99% of population Muslim, for the government workers is removed today”.

The package represents the key reforms Turkish society should embrace after 11 years of preparation of the society for those changes.

Reform package mostly anticipates the rights of 18 percent Kurdish minority of 75 million population of Turkey. The key points of the “democracy package” are possibilities for learning different languages and dialects of minority groups in Turkey in private schools.

According to Hurryiet Daily News website, the measure will not include “guaranteed mother-tongue education in public schools” as requested by the Kurdish Peace and Democratic Party.

“The most significant part of the package would be the contribution to peace, democracy, and the solution process,” she said, adding there were no regulations on ‘education in the mother tongue’ and an ‘anti-terror law”, told Vice Chairman of BDP, Meral Danis Bektas to Anadolu Agency on Monday.

The package includes end of sanctions for use of letters “q”, “w” and “x” that are part of Kurdish alphabet.

Improvement of other minority rights in Turkey within the “democratization package” embraces Alevis, Syriac and Roma community.

  1. Renaming Nevșehir University to Alevis medieval scholar Haci Bektași Veli;
  2. Returning the land of Mor Gabriel Monastery to Syriac community foundation;

  3. Cultural and language institution for Roma culture will improve right of Roma population in Turkey.

The reform process introduces possible changes in the electoral system and permission to run political campaigns in other languages than Turkish.

In an introductory speech to the package in Ankara, Prime minister Erdoĝan said: “The major obstacle toward reforms in Turkey is the darkness of May 27”, on which Hurryiet Daily News writes that Erdoĝan referred to “Turkey’s first military coup on May 27, 1960”.

Follow the link for photo explanation of the future reform from democratization package: http://bit.ly/15GxKmC


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