AKP drafts constitutional changes for headscarf freedom

AKP drafts constitutional changes for headscarf freedom

AKP drafts constitutional changes for headscarf freedom

A draft constitutional amendment that permits the use of headscarf in the public sphere will be introduced to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Oct. 10, the justice minister has said.

“We have begun our works for a constitutional change within the frame our president has drawn. We will conclude our works and present it to Mr. President on Monday,” Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ told reporters late on Oct. 6 in Ankara.

Informing that the draft is being written with the participation of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), Bozdağ said it can include more than one article of the current charter. The move comes after Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu proposed legal changes in October to remove obstacles to using the headscarf in the public sphere.

The draft bill submitted to the Parliament suggests that there will be no dress code restrictions for the women who are employed in public institutions and organizations.

“Women, who are employed in public institutions and organizations and who perform a profession in connection with professional organizations in the nature of public institutions and their superior organizations, cannot be subjected to any coercion in a way that violates fundamental rights and freedoms, such as wearing or not wearing clothes other than those they must wear within the scope of the performance of their profession such as gowns, aprons, uniforms, etc.,” said the law proposal tabled by the CHP.

In response, Erdoğan said if the CHP wants to prove its sincerity over the matter then these changes should be constitutional and the main opposition should back the proposal to be given by the Justice and Development Party (AKP).

The CHP officials underlined that the new constitution will be the business of the new government after next year’s elections. “We are honest in our move, but they [the AKP] are not,” Kılıçdaroğlu said, stressing they did not propose this for vote.

The AKP and the MHP need at least 24 additional votes to take the constitutional amendment to referendum.