Turkey lifts ban on headscarves in public

Oct. 8, 2013 at 2:53 PM

ANKARA, Turkey, Oct. 8 (UPI) -- Among several policy changes announced Tuesday, the Turkish government has lifted its ban on wearing religious headscarves in public places, officials said.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan made the announcement in the government's official newspaper. The government also will stop requiring public school children to recite the country's official pledge of allegiance, will allow private schools to use primary languages other than Turkish and put in place new rules allowing for greater political dissent. The 10 percent electoral threshold for entering Parliament as a minority party may be lowered, Today's Zaman reported.

But the headscarf rule had the greatest cultural impact.

"A regulation that formally intervened in freedom of clothing and lifestyle -- a source of inequality, discrimination and injustice among our people -- has become history," Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag said on Twitter.

The ban remains in effect for public employees, judges, prosecutors and members of the Turkish military.

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