RIGHTS > Millions sign petition against headscarf ban


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An umbrella trade union known as the Confederation of Public Servants’ Trade Unions (Memur-Sen) has collected 12.3 million signatures in a petition campaign to lift a ban on wearing headscarves in government offices.

“We do not want to wear the uniforms designed by pro-coup mindset and we declare that we will not wear them,” said head of Mmeur Sen Ahmet Gündoğdu said yesterday, according to the union’s website.

The “10 Million Signature Campaign for Free Dress Code in Public Areas” reached its target in a short span of time as Memur-Sen, which is the biggest confederation of public servants with 650,000 members, held various events, including a demonstration in front of Parliament on Nov. 30, 2012, and a civil disobedience action on Jan. 2 that involved going to workplaces in clear violation of the dress code.

“We will hand the 12.3 million signatures to the Prime Minister’s Office to convey the wishes of our people to lift the bans. From now on the responsibility belongs to the government and Turkish Parliament,” he said.

On Jan. 25, following the revoking of a regulation banning the headscarf in judicial institutions by the Cabinet, a female lawyer entered a Turkish court wearing a headscarf for the first time.

Lifting the ban for public servants has been spurring debates in the politic arena for decades. The general ban on wearing Muslim religious headscarves in government offices and public primary schools continues, although the ban has not been enforced in universities and is often ignored in some workplaces.


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american american

3/4/2013 9:55:13 PM

what about the public worker's right to overtime pay? oh yeah, that actually helps

Misses Ataturk

3/1/2013 1:53:50 AM

Well said Murat. I shall proudly wear my hotpants and bikini top walking past that mosque! While all those women shall defend my rights too! 'Respecting my humanity' right?!?!

young genius

2/23/2013 8:26:10 AM

If these people are defending covered women, will they defend uncovered women one day?

mara mcglothin

2/22/2013 4:53:11 PM

Also, don't you think that if the AKP truly wanted covered women in Parliament, then it would have happened by now? The answer is yes, but in reality the AKP and other religious people have no respect for the opinions of women and think it in appropriate for them to be serving in positions that should be reserved for "men" and should they serve:(1) How will they meet privately with male collegues? (2) How will they shake hands? (3) How will they vote against their husbands ideas? and on and

mara mcglothin

2/22/2013 4:50:39 PM

Spot on! MESUDE AND MURAT You can't have your cake and eat it also! If you allow religious clothing then prepare for Jewish beanies and mini skirts and so on. Also a private employer should have the right to select a dress for their employees. Also in industrial settings their should be no headscarves as they pose a serious threat to workers, and also it is not hygienic to have a headscarf UNDER a hairnet when working with foodstuffs as seen in many pictures in previous articles.

mesude salihli

2/21/2013 9:14:17 PM

Half of the signatures belong to men, the other half belong to slaves.


2/21/2013 8:31:04 PM

I would sign it myself. Nonsense to dictate to people what they should wear or not, especially religious matters. It is of course hypocritical for these same people then to complain about mini skirts and other ways people choose to dress. No driver license or passport photos though with sun glasses or head covers or hats.
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