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New Obstacle to Headscarves in Turkish Universities


A Turkish court has introduced a new obstacle to government efforts to allow female students to wear Islamic headscarves at Turkish universities.

Turkey's top administrative court Tuesday ruled that the body that supervises Turkish education overstepped its boundaries when it ordered universities to permit students to wear headscarves.

Last month, Turkey's President Abdullah Gul approved constitutional reforms that lift a decades-old ban on women wearing such scarves at schools.

Still, many universities defied the constitutional amendment and blocked female students with headscarves.

University officials are among secularist forces who say allowing Muslim headscarves in universities will undermine the separation of state and religion.

They say a different law governs university activities and that more legislation is needed for the constitutional amendment to apply to their schools.

Secular groups have challenged the reforms, and Turkey's Constitutional Court is considering the validity of the amendment.

The administrative court today did not address the issue of constitutionality.

Turkey banned head scarves in public places, schools and universities in the 1980s.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

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