Ban on Wearing Hijab in Turkey can Cause Serious Divergence of Opinion: Experts

Azerbaijan, Baku, 7 March / corr. Trend R. Hafizoglu/ The officials of some Turkish universities do not consider that not allowing religious girls to the Turkish higher schools are violation of law, even after the elimination of the official ban on wearing hijab.

In spite of the parliament's elimination of the ban on wearing head covers, the part of clothing of the religious women, several universities of Turkey still forbid the wearing of hijab. The heads of the universities expect a positive decision of the Constitutional Court regarding the appeal of the opposition parties on the elimination of ban on wearing the Hijab.

The Turkish researcher Mohammad Fatih said that the rectors of universities, forbidding the wearing of hijab under the influence of Masonic and Zionist forces, want to create a political tension in the country. "If we approach the wearing of hijab from Islamic and judicial point of view, the ongoing ban on hijab can be assessed as the violation of human rights at least," Fatih, the director of Vakithaber new agency said to Trend on a telephone from Istanbul on 7 March.

The fact that those who protest against hijab use the principles of Mustafa Kamal Ataturk- the founder of Turkey, which is not right. The ongoing illegal ban on hijab can cause serious divergence of opinion. The problem of head covers should be solved in line with the law, Fatih said.

Merve Kavakchi, the expert of Washington University said that the ongoing illegal ban on hijab at universities originates from the fact that Turkey is not fully a jural state. "Even if Turkey looks like a democratic country, the recent developments casts doubt on its democratic character," Kavakchi said by electronic mail from U.S on 7 March.

He said that the hijab problem in Turkey will not be solved until the statement of Ataturk 'government belongs to people' is fulfilled.

The Turkish human right activist Fatima Benli said that the ongoing illegal ban on hijab can cause serious divergence of opinion in the Turkish society. "The ban that has existed for over 10 years, does not have a legal basis," Benli said to Trend on 7 March by electronic mail from Istanbul.

According to Benli, in spite of the divergence of views, there is a similarity between Taliban who bans the girls from being educated and rectors of the universities creating obstacles for the religious women to get educated. "I believe that the problem will be solved sooner or later," Benki said.

"Though wearing of head covers is included in the freedom of faith, the rectors of the universities fear that the problem can assume a political coloring in the future," Arif Keskin, the Turkish political scientist said to Trend . According to the political scientist, the management of Universities is waiting for the final decision of the Constitutional Court regarding the ban on hijab.

"The ongoing ban on hijab at the universities originates from the wish of the rectors, to insure the democratic future of Turkey," Keskin, the political scientist of the Research Center of Eurasia said on a telephone from Istanbul on 7 March.

"Not allowing women wearing hijab at the universities is not the violation of law," the professor of the Bogazichi University of Turkey who wished to keep his/her name secret said to Trend on 7 March.

According to the professor, by exaggerating the hijab problem, some powers want to destabilize situation in the country. "The Universities are not meant for propagandizing religion, but for education," the professor said from Istanbul stated on telephone. According to the professor, wearing hijab inside the universities is nothing more than discrimination against the students.

"We are waiting for the final decision of Constitutional Court and we hope that the Court will eliminate the law creating discrimination among the students," he said.

The Turkish women were banned to come to universities with hijab until 2008. The religious women wishing to get education had to take off their veils. On 9 Feb, the Turkish parliament eliminated the law banning hijab. However, several universities of Turkey have still continuing the ban and do not allow women to come to the universities wearing hijab.

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