Turkish govt denies opposition claim over France refusal

Turkish prime minister's office denied the claim that France rejected headscarved wife of Turkey's PM during an official visit.

Turkish govt denies opposition claim over France refusal

World Bulletin / News Desk

Turkish prime minister's office denied the claim that France rejected headscarved wife of Turkey's PM during an official visit.

Turkish opposition leader on Tuesday claimed, "Sarkozy told Erdogan not to bring headscared wife to the official visit to France".

The remarks came while he comments the military barring on Erdogan's wife, Emine Erdogan at a military hospital. The incident took place in 2007.

The prime minister's office on Tuesday made an official statement to deny claims by Deniz Baykal, chairman of main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP).

Meanwhile, Baykal's statement was also later corrected and the oppositian party CHP, said, "such a request came from former French President Jacques Chirac".

The statement released the harsh statement that also asked for an apology.

The statement said, "No state authority of any country can not dare to send such a message to the Prime Minister of the Republic of Turkey ever. Prime Minister of the Republic of Turkey, if received such a message, will never remain silent."

Last week during a debate in parliament, Erdogan admitted that Gulhane Military Hospital (GATA) denied entry to Emine Erdogan who wanted to visit an ailing actor because she wears headscarf. General Staff Chief Gen. Ilker Basbug said, "we cannot defend it today."

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

Stating that "None of the French Presidents, directly or indirectly, never send such a message" and "make the wife of Prime Minister as a subject matter of diplomatic relations", the statement reminded that Turkish PM went to France many times, and accompanied by his wife Emine Erdogan in some of those visits.

"Mr. Baykal has been invited to apologize to the public," it added.

Prime ministry described such remarks as "flippant slander" based on lies and called on Baykal to apologize openly.

Turkish diplomats said last week Erdogan is expected to make a trip to French capital Paris in April.

Erdogan will probably be in Paris on April 6 to attend the closing ceremony for the nine-month "Season of Turkey in France" activities, diplomats said.

"Season of Turkey in France", a series of hundreds of cultural events aimed at promoting Turkish culture in France, was launched in July. The closing ceremony will take place at the Palace of Versailles.

Erdogan is also expected to meet French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Prime Minister Dominique Villepin during his stay in Paris.

PM Erdogan visited France in 2004 as a part of EU tour over membership efforts. His wife's name appeared in the official list, but she did accompany her husband during the official visit to France.

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.


Related news reports:

Sarkozy rejects headscarved wife of Turkey's PM, Baykal claims

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

Last Mod: 10 Şubat 2010, 17:06
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