Turkish scarf ruling facing opposition

Oct. 24, 2008 at 11:52 AM

ANKARA, Turkey, Oct. 24 (UPI) -- A ruling by the Turkish Constitutional Court regarding the use of headscarves on university grounds is indicative of a "juristocratic regime," critics say.

Professor Ergun Ozbudun said this week's ruling by the Turkish court that reversed a new law allowing headscarves to be worn at universities represented a movement away from democracy in Turkey, Today's Zaman said Friday.

"The situation that has emerged today is more compatible with the definition of a juristocratic (administration of judges) regime rather than that of a democratic one. In the judicial literature, this expression does not signify praise but humiliation," the constitutional law expert said.

The court's ruling Wednesday prompted opposition from a number of students in Turkey who gathered Thursday in front of the Constitutional Court.

Bianet reported the court has released its official reasoning for its controversial ruling, saying the presence of headscarves at universities would only prompt social polarization.

"This regulation which is based on covering one's self according to one's religious principles may lead to clashes and mutual pressures between believers and non-believers, Muslims and non-Muslims, when religiously worn clothing are turned into political symbols," the court release said.

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