Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Headscarf Vote Due Tomorrow as Protests Mount

I witnessed my first protest in İzmit today in opposition to the recent legislative moves to lift the headscarf ban. I did not have my camera and am thus unable to post photographs, but the demonstration basically consisted of 40-50 some odd protestors. Most seemed to be university students from Kocaeli University. I was able to ask one young türban-wearing woman who if this changes her hopes to attend university. She just graduated from her lise and is taking the year to improve her English. She responded that she would simply wait and see. Her excitement was evident, but there also seemed an underlying skepticism as to whether the amendments will actually pass and survive being challenged at the Constitutional Court and all this sans military interference.

As to news about the legislation, the first round of voting is due tomorrow after which a second vote will be held on Saturday. If the amendments are approved, the provision to the Higher Education Board (YÖK) Law will be introduced in Parliament. The commission leading the legislation commenced on Friday.

No comments: