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AKP to attempt to legalize headscarves once again

18 October 2010 [10:53] - TODAY.AZ
With his ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP, gathered at its annual retreat, PM Recep Tayyip Erdoğan lists the hot-button issues of the day, starting with the headscarf. Also on the party’s radar are the Kurdish issue, the fight against terrorism and the 2011 elections. ‘We are at a time of working, not talking. Everyone needs to contribute,’ he says.

It has been on Turkey’s agenda for 30 years, and now legalizing the headscarf for university students has been brought under political scrutiny yet again.

The ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP, held its annual party retreat at a thermal spa hotel in Kızılcahamam over the weekend where the headscarf issue was discussed along with the Kurdish issue, the fight against terrorism and preparations for the 2011 general elections.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan gave instructions at the camp to contact the main opposition Republican People’s Party, or CHP, to solve the headscarf issue. The ruling AKP had previously proposed constitutional changes in 2008 to allow headscarves at universities, a decision repealed by the Constitutional Court upon a complaint from the CHP.

The process to legalize the headscarf is set to be discussed at the AKP Central Executive Committee meeting Monday, with the favored strategy reportedly being to make constitutional or legal changes with the support of the Peace and Democracy Party, or BDP, and the Nationalist Movement Party, or MHP.

According to reports, the AKP will try to find common ground with the CHP, which supports students wearing headscarves, but will not force the issue with them. If the CHP does not cooperate, the AKP will reportedly prove their “insincerity” and move on.

/Hurriyet Daily News/

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