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    Turkish court says lifting headscarf ban harms principles of republic

    HotNewsTurkey Staff
    22.10.2008 - 09:24 | Son Güncelleme: 22.10.2008 - 11:04

    Lifting the headscarf ban harms the secularism principle and made the basic principles of the republic "nonfunctional", Turkey's Constitutional Court said on Wednesday. (UPDATED)

    The court released the reasoned decision in its ruling to annul constitutional amendments to lift the headscarf ban in universities. The court handed down its decision to annul the legislation in June.

     

    "This legislation violates the Article 2 of the constitution which defines the articles that cannot be changed or even proposed to be changed," the court said.

     

    The 2nd Article of the Turkish Constitution describes the characteristics of the republic in which secularism is included. The first three articles of the Turkish Constitutional cannot be and even proposed to be changed.

     

    It also slammed the legislation, saying lifting the ban "indirectly changes and makes nonfunctional the basic features of the republic".

     

    WARNING ON OTHERS' RIGHTS

    The ruling party AKP-sponsored law amended Articles 10 (equality before the law) and 42 (right and duty of training and education) of the constitution. The Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the Democratic Left Party (DSP) appealed to the constitutional court on Feb. 27.

     

    "It is decided that the amendment of Article 10 and 42 of the constitution implicitly violates the secularism principle at its essence as it would limit other people's rights and damage the public order by taking pervious verdicts of the Turkish Constitutional Court and the European Court of Human Rights into consideration," the reasoning said.

     

    Lifting the headscarf ban is a sensitive issue in Turkey's political landscape as it is seen as the symbol of political Islam.

     

    Many fear that lifting the ban would intensify pressure on students who do not cover their heads, and pave the way for the lifting of a similar ban in high schools and government offices.

     

    The court confirmed that the headscarf is a political symbol and said it has the potential to create pressure on other students who have different life styles, political views and beliefs.

     

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