Ankara, February23: Turkey’s Defense Ministry has lifted the ban on female officers wearing Islamic headscarves. After the announcement was made on Wednesday Turkey will allow female military officers and cadets to wear headscarves with their uniforms.The lift on the ban is going to come into effect once the regulation is published in Official Gazette. Women serving in the armed forces "will be able to cover their heads" under their caps or headscarf “so long as the headscarf is "the same color as the uniform and without pattern", said a new defense ministry regulation. The announcement is considered as a significant change for the Turkish military, as the headscarf has always been considered as a political symbol of Islam in Turkey.
While speaking on lifting of ban, Turkish lawmaker Sadullah Ergin said that “our main aim is to end the discrimination experienced by a section of society just because of their personal beliefs.” Defnse officials said that headscarf could be worn under caps, should not cover the face. Also the headscarf should be pattern less and in harmony with the uniform’s color.
Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said that he believed in the removal of the ban was “very positive,” pro-government”. Defense Minister Fikri Isik said that “The problem with preventing the wearing of the headscarf has now been completely removed in Turkey. Those who wish can perform their duties while wearing the headscarf. The gendarmerie and the police lifted this restriction and now the army has.”
Earlier in 2010 Turkey lifted a ban on wearing Muslim headscarf in University campuses. In August 2016, the Justice and Development party also known as AKP government lifted the ban on headscarves in the police force. This announcement lifts the secular law for the military, and marks a symbolic shift for an army that has traditionally seen itself as a guardian of state secularism.