Anti-headscarf MP to set Turk opposition policy on women

Nur Serter, a Republican People's Party (CHP) deputy who defends that headscarf-wearing women are "second-class citizens," has been promoted to the CHP Party Assembly and is to determine the party's policy on women.

Anti-headscarf MP to set Turk opposition policy on women
Serter, notorious for the "persuasion rooms" she established to "reform" headscarf-wearing students while deputy rector of İstanbul University, is also deputy president of the Atatürkist Thought Association (ADD).

In the past the CHP has frequently focuses on the plight of headscarf-wearing women in Turkey in apparent efforts to attract more votes. But following its 32nd assembly tow weeks ago, the CHP appointed figures known for their staunchly anti-headscarf views to its administrative board.

Party leader Deniz Baykal first nominated Serter and Necla Arat -- another academic known for her staunch secularism and active role in organizing anti-government rallies attended by millions last year -- as deputies, then as CHP Party Assembly members. Baykal also assigned Serter to the CHP Central Executive Committee (MYK), charging her with the duty of devising the party's policies on issues regarding women.

During parliamentary deliberations on removing the headscarf ban at Turkish universities, Serter said, "The headscarf is second-class attire that degrades women to second-class citizenship and that eliminates male-female equality."

Baykal also appointed Onur Öymen as CHP deputy leader. In a statement to a German daily Öymen was reported to have compared headscarves to "Nazi Brownshirts in Germany or Fascist Blackshirts in World War II Italy." Upon publication of the interview, Öymen denied having said any such thing. However, the German journalist released an audio record of the interview, which countered Öymen's protestations.

Another strong headscarf opponent, CHP İzmir deputy Canan Arıtman, was also appointed a CHP Party Assembly member. She was previously quoted as saying that "in Sumeria, prostitutes would cover their hair." She has also termed headscarf-wearing women "extras," in the acting sense.

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Last Mod: 09 Mayıs 2008, 11:51
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