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Turks protest over headscarf plan

ICC Note

The move by Turkish ruling party to allow for wearing of Islamic headscarf is facing opposition. The ruling party is led by devout Muslims and the country has seen upsurge in attacks against Christians recently.

By Sarah Rainsford

February 02, 2008 Turkey (BBC News) – Thousands of Turks have rallied in Ankara to protest against a government plan to allow women to wear the Islamic headscarf in Turkish universities.

The protestors fear such a move would usher in a stricter form of Islam in Turkey , which is a secular state.

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Political symbol

The government – which is led by devout Muslims – is pushing a reform that would allow women to wear the religious headscarf to university.

But Turkey ‘s powerful, secular establishment sees the headscarf as a symbol of political Islam – a threat to their secular way of life, and to the political system here.

Those opposed to the reform include the military, Turkey ‘s judges and university rectors.

They fear it is just the first step to allowing religious symbols into all aspects of public life.

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