Turkey's top general in self-criticism over headscarf barring

Turkey's top general found barring Turkish PM's wife from entering a military hospital because of her headscarf "indefensible".

Turkey's top general in self-criticism over headscarf barring

 World Bulletin / News Desk

Turkey's top general found barring Turkish PM's wife from entering a military hospital because of her headscarf "indefensible".

The incident that took place in 2007, emerged last week when Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan revealed it during a debate in the parliament.

Turkey still insists on imposing headscarf ban as a country whose population is 99 percent Muslim.

In an interview, General Staff Chief Gen. Ilker Basbug spoke of the ban on Emine Erdogan who wears headscarf for the first time.

General Basbug told Turkish Daily Hurriyet, "we cannot defend it today."

During the fierce debate in the parliament, Erdogan said, Gulhane Military Hospital (GATA) denied entry to his wife, Emine Erdogan who wanted to visit an ailing actor because she wears headscarf.

PM also hinted that they had suffered similar bitter experiences in the past, saying they could do nothing.

But the prime minister declined to go into details "on the grounds that the country would not be able to bear the burden."

"To be honest, this is a special situation. It really has a humanitarian side. I wish it had never taken place. I do not want to blame anybody. If we look at the issue from a humanitarian point of view, we cannot defend it today," Basbug told the interview.

Turkey imposes the ban at all public domain, particularly universities in a country majority of women wear headscarf as a religious practice.

Erdogan leads the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) that aimed to lift the controversial ban earlier last year.

But the effort failed and it was cited as evidence when a closure case was filed against the party.

Last Mod: 09 Şubat 2010, 15:58
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