Recep Tayyip Erdogan,
Mr Erdogan said
It was unfair that some girls were denied a higher education because they were not allowed to wear the headscarf at state universities, he said.
It was a political issue that could not be ducked, he said, in spite of a swirling controversy in
“The right to higher education cannot be restricted because of what a girl wears. There is no such problem in western societies but there is a problem in
It was part of a wider ambition to introduce a fully civilian constitution for
Mr Erdogan promised that a wide-ranging debate would be held on the new constitution, which is being drafted by a team led by constitutional scholars.
“We want a constitution that is going to provide and protect a state that is a democratic, secular, social state of law,” he said. “This constitution is going to point Turkey in a certain direction and it is our duty to debate it and consult with people in the widest possible sense.”
Women have not been allowed to wear the headscarf on state university campuses since 1982.
“What we are trying to achieve is not a new process,” Mr Erdogan said. “In
But several commentators have warned that any removal of the ban at state universities would be the beginning of a slow but inexorable move towards forcing all women to cover their heads in public. Many in
Source: Financial Times