AKP to submit charter changes on headscarf this week - Turkish Justice Minister

Türkiye Materials 5 December 2022 22:30 (UTC +04:00)
AKP to submit charter changes on headscarf this week - Turkish Justice Minister

Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag has said the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) will submit a brief constitutional amendment proposal on the use of the headscarf in the public and private sphere to the Parliament within days, Trend reports citing Daily News.

“This proposal will be submitted to the Parliament. It is opened for signatures of the parliamentarians. Our lawmakers will endorse it by signing the proposal,” Minister Bozdag said in a televised interview on Dec. 5.

“No woman can be deprived of using her fundamental rights and freedoms in the field of education, employment as well as her right to elect and be elected because of wearing a headscarf in line with her religious faith,” Bozdag stated.

The second amendment is to protect the family, the minister said, informing that the union of marriage is between a man and woman according to the new changes.

“We had talks with other parties over the changes. I hope they will support our changes. Who can oppose a proposal that underlines that the union of marriage can take place between a man and woman?” he said.

Supported by the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), the amendments are expected to concern articles 24 and 41, on freedom of religion and conscience and protection of the family and children’s rights, respectively. A change in Article 24 will provide new guarantees to female public servants and private sector workers that they can’t be restricted by any sort of dress code. AKP officials say this amendment will guarantee both covered and uncovered female workers.

Bozdağ recalled that the AKP and the MHP do not have enough seats to pass the constitutional amendments without the support of other parties. “We have 335 votes, but we need at least 360 [to take the amendments to referendum]. We cannot pass it from the Parliament without the support of the IYI [Good] Party or the HDP,” he stated.

The Good Party and the People’s Democratic Party (HDP) have not yet officially replied to the AKP’s proposal, but they recalled the fact that fundamental rights and freedoms cannot be taken to referendum.