ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç. DHA photo
There is no prohibitive article in the Constitution that interferes with a woman's preference for clothing, Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç said Thursday.
"In our laws, such a situation cannot be found. There is no such prohibition in the Constitution," said Arınç.
He said there are two laws, one about the dress code of male civil servants and the other about clothing of religious clerics.
Until 1998, there were no prohibitions about the clothes of students. That year, however, female students wearing headscarves were banned from entering universities after an article was sent by YÖK to universities.
After implying there was no need for a new constitution to resolve the headscarf issue, Arınç said the Justice and Development Party, or AKP, and the Nationalist Movement Party, or MHP, said “yes” in Parliament to the law proposal concerning the equality of the students in universities.
“When 441 representatives said ‘yes,’ the CHP [Republican People’s Party] didn’t participate in the vote. However, before the act became law, the CHP went to the Constitutional Court about the act,” Arınç said.
“The Constitutional Court annulled this law even though there was nothing about headscarves in it, after that the Constitutional Court opened a closure case against our party. But for the MHP, such a case didn’t exist," he said.
When they asked about the headscarf decision of the High Education Board, or YÖK, Arınç said: “In none of our articles is there a law regulating women’s clothes. There are two laws; one banning male clerks from wearing hats, and the other one is about the clothing of religious workers.”
Arınç continued, saying: “In the Constitution, there is no prohibition like that. Those prohibitions are in their mind and we will get rid of them.”
Kılıçdaroğlu: Headscarf is not a priority
In the Central Anatolian province of Eskişehir, CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said the headscarf problem needed to be addressed, but implied that it was not his party’s priority.
“Headscarf, turban, whatever you choose to name it, there is a problem here. We will resolve this problem,” said Kılıçdaroğlu.
His remarks came in response to a question from a headscarf-wearing girl who asked: “The headscarf problem exists and is still not being resolved, you are being asked the question. However, you are still unable to bring any solution to the matter whatsoever. You are not doing anything about this. I am forced to take my headscarf off as I pass through this door. When will you explain how you will resolve this problem? If you are sincere enough to explain it to us, what you will do about it?”
“The means of resolving this problem is one that requires sitting at the table together with the ruling party and the opposition parties,” said Kılıçdaroğlu.
“We have made a call to the prime minister. Why does he postpone the constitutional changes to 2011? He should come and we should sit down and talk. I have told him, but he says ‘no,’ he says, ‘Just bring it.’ We have priorities too, the Prime Minister has his priorities, but don’t we?” he asked.