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Turkish Ruling Party Says Top Court's Headscarf Ruling Violates Constitution


Turkey's ruling party is accusing the country's top court of overstepping its authority by annulling a law that allowed Muslim headscarves to be worn at universities.

The AK party's deputy chairman said Friday that the constitutional court had "violated" Turkey's separation of powers by interfering in parliament's authority to pass laws. Dengir Mir Mehmet Firat was speaking after an emergency meeting of party officials in Ankara.

On Thursday, Turkey's top court scrapped constitutional reforms passed by parliament earlier in the year that lifted a ban on university students wearing headscarves. The court said the reforms violated Turkey's secular values and that its decision is final.

The AK party official said Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will discuss the ruling with lawmakers in parliament on Tuesday. The official gave no other details of the party's next move.

The Islamist-rooted party says wearing headscarves at universities should be a matter of personal choice. But, secular Turkish institutions, including the military and judiciary, see the headscarf as a threatening symbol of political Islam.

The AK party faces the threat of being dissolved in a separate case filed by a Turkish prosecutor who accuses the party of anti-secular activities. The party denies the charge and says it is committed to Turkey's secular system.

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

Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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