Permit for Wearing Hijab Likely to Hinder Turkey’s EU membership: Turkish experts

Permit for Wearing Hijab Likely to Hinder Turkey’s EU membership: Turkish experts

Azerbaijan, Baku, 8 February / corr Trend R.Hafizoglu / The cancellation of a ban on wearing hijab (head covering), which is part of a Muslim women garment, at the Turkish universities can become an artificial obstacle for this country's entry to the European Union (EU). "The cancellation of a ban on wearing hijab at the Turkish universities can be used as a pressure on this country," Merve Kavakchi, former Turkish MP, an expert of the George Washington University.

During the first reading at the Turkish Parliament on 4 February many MPs supported the cancellation of a ban on wearing hijab. On 5 February the leader of the Turkish Great Poeple's Party ('CHP'), Deniz Baykal, made strict statement on Prime Minister Erdogan's address, stressing that he might be executed should the changes injected in the Constitution.

"The cancellation of the ban on wearing of hijab at the Turkish universities at present cannot be an obstacle for Turkey's entry to the EU," Kavakchi wrote in his e-mail comments for Trend from Washington

"By-stage resolution of this problem is a step taken by the current Government for save time. Ban on wearing hijab is not applied with respect to all universities. The existence of the problem at military schools does not mean full resolution of this issue," the expert said. Incomplete solution of this issue is likely to result in serious problems in future.

Kavakchi considered the statements by Deniz Baykal the political mistake to Erdogan's address. "Deniz's statements serve to the maintenance of his political authority. Such statements will consolidate the Prime Minister's position,' the expert said.

Akif Emre, a Turkish political expert, said that incomplete cancellation of a ban on hijab at universities was the EU's order. "The EU is on the alert of Turkey's Islamic aspirations. The resolution of the hijab problem indirectly serves to the EU's interests. "The EU will sooner or later put this issue on agenda to admit Turkey to the organization," Emre stated to Trend via e-mail from Istanbul.

The failure in the full resolution of the problem is related to the Government's non-readiness to solve this problem.

He estimated the statements by the leader of the CHP to Prime Minister Erdogan's address as political mistake and blackmail.

Meanwhile, Arif Keskin, the Director of the Eurasian Strategic Researches Center in Turkey, also did not rule out that the cancellation of a ban on hijab would raise difficulties for Turkey's entry to the EU. "Transition of hijab from the notion of religion and conscience to a political notion will be an obstacle in Turkey's entry to EU," Keskin said over a telephone interview for Trend from Istanbul on 8 February.

Despite the strict statements addressed by the leader of the CHP to Prime Minister Erdogan, Keskin does not think then to cause any military coup d'etat in the country.

Elif Kosharoglu, an independent Turkish law-defender, considers that the resolution of the problem of hijab will not be an obstacle for Turkey's entry to the EU.

"Hijab is the freedom of religion and conscience. The solution of this problem will not be an obstacle in becoming a member of the European Union. Woman with covered head exist even in Europe and study there," Kosharoglu said over a telephone interview for Trend from Istanbul.

The head-geared women in Turkey were banned to enter the universities and official state establishment wearing hijab. It actually made the believer women, wishing to receive education, to put off their hijab.

The second hearings at the Turkish Parliament over canceling a ban of head gearing are scheduled for February.

In 1960 Adnan Menderes, the Turkish Prime Minister, was executed after the military coup d'etat in the country due to its pro-Islamic policy.

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