Turkey’s interior minister admits police remove female detainees’ headscarves

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Süleyman Soylu

Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu admitted on Thursday that police in detention centers remove female detainees’ headscarves “for security reasons,” the ilkha news website reported.

Soylu implied that the suspects could possibly commit suicide with their headscarves.

“We take off their headscarves [in detention centers], where there is no male personnel,” Soylu told reporters.

However, opposition deputy and human rights activist Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu contradicted Soylu, stating that women were put in detention centers with male detainees and that male personnel were dealing with them.

Soylu’s remarks came after a speech in parliament by Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) deputy Hüda Kaya in which she said that police officers had removed the headscarves of female detainees last week after taking them into custody from a local Batman branch of the party.

The women were demonstrating at the party building in solidarity with jailed HDP Leyla Güven, who has been on a hunger strike for more than two months.

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