09/20/2007, 00.00
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Rectors mobilise against headscarves in university

The presidents of Turkish universities say they might take the case to the European Court of Human Rights if the ban on headscarf inside universities is lifted as desired by the government.

Istanbul (AsiaNews) – The issue of allowing women to wear headscarves in Turkish universities might reach the European Court of Human Rights. The possibility of a step in such a direction was raised by Turkish university rectors who are attending today a meeting called by the chairman of the Board of Higher Education Erdoğan Tezic to decide how to oppose a constitutional change promoted by the current Islamist government headed by Recep Erdoğan that would repeal the headscarf ban from the constitution adopted under M. K. Atatürk.

For Middle East Technical University (ODTÜ) Rector Professor Ural Akbulut, the headscarf is a religious symbol and should not be allowed in educational institutions because, once allowed in universities, those who do not wear headscarves will feel pressure.

For his part, Aegean University Rector Mustafa Akaydin spoke of “a civilian coup against modern Turkish women,” adding that “if the headscarf can be worn at universities, there will be serious pressure mounted against girls not wearing the headscarf.”

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