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11:17, 22 March 2018 Thursday
Update: 17:19, 01 November 2013 Friday

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Turkish leaders hail headscarf freedom in parliament
Turkish leaders hail headscarf freedom in parliament

Four MPs entering the parliament wearing headscarves contributes to Turkey's 'normalization', President Abdullah Gul says.

World Bulletin / News Desk

Turkish President Abdullah Gul thanked Friday members of the Turkish parliament for what appeared as the undoing of a long-standing taboo in the country as four MPs entered the assembly wearing headscarves.

"As you see, everyone became happy. I want to thank all parties that contributed to this instance of normalization,"Gul told journalists before departing for Edinburgh for a Turkish-British forum.

Turkish Parliament evaluated the process with maturity regarding the MP's who entered the parliament wearing headscarves, which Turkish Parliament has never experienced, said Turkish PM Tayyip Erdogan after the Friday prayer. 

Erdogan said, no one is entitled to prevent the rights given by the nation, and he added, "I evaluate the process as one of the most important normalization steps for the democratization process of Turkey." 

Hoping the same atmosphere in the future in the Turkish Parliament, Erdogan stressed, "If Turkish Parliament would maintain the same process over the fundamental rights and freedoms, democratization process, and for the benefit of the nation, there is no obstacle Turkey can't overcome." 

The arrival into the assembly of the four MPs, Sevde Beyazit, Gulay Samanci, Nurcan Darbulak and Gonul Bekin Sahkulubey, all members of Erdogan's Justice and Development (AK) Party, was largely uneventful, a far cry from the last time fourteen years ago. Headscarves are now allowed in all public offices except in the judiciary and military.

Former Turkish MP Merve Kavakci had been forced to leave the assembly on her first day as MP amid a torrent of applause on May 2, 1999.

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