Battle Goes On About Headscarf Ban In Turkey

Turkey’s top generals signaled the military is opposed to lifting the ban on women wearing a headscarf in university settings. Chief of General Staff General Yasar Buyukant told reporters that “All segments of Turkish society know what the military thinks about the headscarf issue. To say anything would be nothing more than stating the obvious. This is why I do not want to say anything.” The military regards itself as the protector of the secular state that has endured for most of the past 100 years. General Buyukant reaffirmed he would not meet with Iraqi President Jalal Talabani when he visits Turkey. The Turkish military is not satisfied with efforts by Iraq to take effective action against Kurdish rebels who operate on Iraqi soil.

The ever present danger in Turkey is potential military action if the current religious Muslim Justice and Development leaders continue efforts to bring a greater religious sense to government. The military opossed the election of Gul as president because they regarded him as too religious minded. It is still unclear if the push for religion grows stronger how the militay will respond. In the past it has overthrown governments it regarded as threatening the secular foundation of Turkey.