World Bulletin / News Desk
The team of a student who was not allowed to take part in a debate tournament by a TED Ankara College Foundation High School official because she wears a headscarf took first place in the tournament on Tuesday.
The quarterfinal of a debate tournament organized by the Debate Community of Middle East Technical University (ODTÜ) was going to be held at TED Ankara High School on Monday. Five students wearing headscarves were among the 150 students from various universities who came to the college for the tournament, but college officials stated that they could not admit headscarved students. The tournament organizers changed the venue for the event.
An official from the TED Ankara High School press office who spoke on condition of anonymity has told Cihan that since they did not organize the event but merely agreed to provide the location, the high school can't be held responsible if students wearing a headscarf weren't allowed into the school. The official refused to give any other information about what happened, maintaining that the responsibility lies with the universities organizing the event.
But an official from ODTÜ, who also asked not to be named, told Cihan that although the debate was being organized by ODTÜ's Debate Community, the responsibility lies with TED Ankara High School, since it is the school that was to provide the venue for this particular debate. “ODTÜ has nothing to do with this matter,” the official maintained.
The tournament finished on Tuesday and the team, including a headscarved student named Kübra Bulut from Fatih University, came in first. Moreover, Bulut's teammate, Semra Bayık, was selected as the best speaker and Bulut was selected as the second best speaker of the event. Saying that they feel a bittersweet happiness, Bayık told reporters that the team's victory is a reply to the officials from the TED Ankara High School who think that only a specific part of society should participate in the tournament.
Meanwhile TED Ankara High School released a written statement on Tuesday stating that the person who was responsible for not admitting the headscarved students made an arbitrary decision. The school administration stated that they will take the necessary action with that official and will host any activities related to education.
Until 2010, students wearing headscarves were not allowed into universities in Turkey, and today the ban is still valid in state institutions. Public institutions do not hire women wearing headscarves, and covered women are also denied employment in most private companies despite the fact that there is no law that prohibits the use of the headscarf in private businesses. They are also not eligible to serve in Parliament.Güncelleme Tarihi: 12 Aralık 2012, 17:58