President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Saturday lashed out at a prosecutor who had said the removal of a ban on religious headscarves within the Turkish military was against secularism.
“Who do you think you are?” Erdoğan said, addressing the prosecutor from the Council of State in a speech in İstanbul. “How could you ask for cancellation [of the easing of the headscarf ban] while everything is based on the law?”
The Liberation of People Party (HKP), a minor political party in Turkey, went to court demanding continuation of the headscarf ban within the military. The prosecutor said in his opinion that the freedom to wear headscarves in the military goes against secularism, but the Council of State denied the request for any change.
Since the establishment of the Republic of Turkey in 1923, a strict version of secularism had been in place until the Erdoğan government eased the ban on the Islamic headscarf in state institutions.