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Turkey's Ruling Party Holds Emergency Meeting on Headscarves Ruling


Turkey's ruling AK party has held an emergency meeting a day after the country's top court upheld a ban on wearing Islamic headscarves at Turkish universities.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan chaired Friday's meeting in the capital, Ankara.

On Thursday, Turkey's top court annulled constitutional reforms that lifted a decades-old ban on wearing headscarves at schools. It said the reforms violate the country's secular principles.

Turkey's President Abdullah Gul approved the reforms in February, but many universities defied it and blocked female students with headscarves.

A senior member of Mr. Gul's AK party criticized the court's decision, saying it opens up all government legislation to possible attack. The Islamist-rooted party says wearing headscarves at universities should be a matter of personal choice.

Analysts say Thursday's court ruling may strengthen an attempt by Turkey's top prosecutor, Abdurrahman Yalcinkaya, to shut down the AK party. He also wants to bar about 70 AK party members, including President Gul and Prime Minister Erdogan, from politics.

Yalcinkaya has accused the AK party of working against Turkey's secular system. The party has denied the charges and calls Yalcinkaya's bid to shut it down anti-democratic.

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

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