Turkish Parliament to solve 'trousers problem'

Turkish Parliament to solve 'trousers problem'

ANKARA – Hürriyet Daily News
Turkish Parliament to solve trousers problem

Parliamentary regulations currently prevent women deputies, such as the CHP's Şafak Pavey, from wearing trousers. DAILY NEWS photo

Parliament’s Constitution Commission will hold a meeting in the coming days in a bid to resolve the controversy over the ban on trousers for female deputies.

Currently, Parliament’s related article on internal regulations states only that “Ladies wear skirts.” The Commission plans to amend it to state, “Ladies wear skirts or jackets with trousers.”

The Constitution Commission will discuss the issue either later this week or next week.

The ban, which has long been a source of complaint among female deputies, returned to the agenda after four ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) deputies entered a General Assembly meeting wearing headscarves on Oct. 31.

Following the entry of those deputies, Parliament Speaker Cemil Çiçek said the trousers issue could be resolved through reconciliation and without any amendment in internal regulations, as was the case with headscarves.

However, main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy Şafak Pavey, who has a prosthetic leg and has not been allowed to wear trousers due to Parliament’s internal regulations, has insisted on not wearing trousers until the internal regulations are changed.

At Parliament’s Planning and Budget Commission on Nov. 4, Çiçek used the presentation for his office’s budget for 2014 as an opportunity to once more express his regret over the absence of a consensus on amending internal regulations on a number of issues. He also lamented the absence of a breakthrough at the Constitution Conciliation Commission, which is still working to dry to draft a new Constitution.

“We haven’t yet arrived at a consensus on the Constitution, and this consensus still seems rather far away. At least, we should have an opportunity to draft a bylaw which will provide an effective and productive Parliament study,” he said.