The focus on Muslim women’s attire continues to make headlines, this time again for the right reasons. Scotland’s Police Force and Canada’s Royal Canadian Mounted Police recently passed permission to allow Muslim women to wear Hijab as part of their police uniform. Now, Turkey has been able to get rid of a ban on Hijab in the police force – one which was put under the secular rule of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.
Female police officers “will be able to cover their heads” under their caps or berets with a headscarf “the same colour as the uniform and without pattern” while on duty, the official gazette and AFP reported on Saturday.
Rulings published in the official gazette come into force immediately. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Islamic-rooted Justice and Development Party (AKP) has long pressed for the removal of restrictions on women wearing the headscarf in the officially secular state.
In 2010, an official ban on headscarves in universities was lifted throughout the country. Three years later, women were allowed to wear the hijab in state institutions and the prohibition was abandoned for students in high schools in 2014. Though, the ban still remains on female judges and soldiers.
Erdogan’s critics have long accused the president of eating away at the secular pillars of modern Turkey as set up by its founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk when he established the Turkish republic in 1923.
But pro-government media pointed out that several Western states have already granted female officers permission to wear the headscarf.