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Turkey eases headscarf ban

Feb. 22, 2008 at 1:27 PM
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ANKARA, Turkey, Feb. 22 (UPI) -- Turkish President Abdullah Gul approved an easing of the headscarf ban at universities Friday.

He said he believed the bill aims "to enforce the equality principal and the education right," Hurriyet reported.

"Some of our citizens' concerns are understandable and the arrangement to ease those concerns must be put in place," the president said in a release.

Gul, whose wife wears a headscarf, said he "believes that maximum sensitivity and effort should be made in order to ease these concerns."

The government's move to ease the headscarf ban, imposed in 1980, is as controversial as moves in other countries to ban it. Some see it as a gradual encroachment of Islamism into Turkey's secular society but Human Rights Watch has called the ban discriminatory against women seeking an education.

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