Turkey lifts ban on trousers for women MPs

Erdogan's ruling AK Party proposed the relaxation of the trouser ban and the opposition parties CHP, BDP and MHP backed the plan.

Turkey lifts ban on trousers for women MPs

World Bulletin/News Desk

Turkey's parliament has lifted a ban on women lawmakers wearing trousers in the assembly, in a further liberalisation of dress rules following a landmark decision to allow female deputies to wear headscarf.

Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's ruling centre-right AK Party proposed the relaxation of the trouser ban and the opposition parties - the secularist CHP, the pro-Kurdish BDP and Turkish nationalist MHP - backed the plan.

Parliament approved the measure late on Wednesday.

The Turkish parliament witnessed historic scenes at the end of October when four AKP female lawmakers wore headscarves for the first time in the assembly.

The headscarf is viewed by secularists as an emblem of political Islam and thus a threat to the republic's secular identity, but the AK Party has argued that the restrictions on its use violate the principle of religious freedom.

Secularists made only subdued protests to the move, highlighting a shift in attitudes in Turkey about religion after more than a decade of AKP rule. The headscarf ban has also been lifted in other state institutions as well as parliament.

Last Mod: 14 Kasım 2013, 12:49
Add Comment