Court clears lifting of headscarf ban in Turkey’s secondary schools
AA PhotoThe Council of State has refused an appeal for a stay of execution of an Education Ministry circular allowing the wearing of headscarves at secondary schools in Turkey.
The ruling came following an appeal made by a student’s parent, who demanded that the administrative court adopt a motion for a stay of execution of the ministry’s circular, claiming that it violated the principle of secular education and the needs of the Turkish education system.
The court issued its initial ruling on April 29 declining the appeal, underlining that a stay of execution can only be implemented in the case of an open violation of the law. Having turned down the appeal, the court will now continue its deliberations on the issue.
The Turkish government had announced a lifting of the ban on the headscarf in schools, allowing girls from the fifth grade and upwards to cover their hair in the public schools, through a ministry circular in 2014.
Education Minister Nabi Avcı said that “beginning with the fifth grade, everyone can practice this,” making it clear that girls as young as 10 years old would be allowed to wear headscarves in schools.
The issue has long been a political hot potato in Turkey, with some opposition figures accusing the government of abusing religion for political purposes.