Turkey: headscarves for public officials legalized

National daily oath for students also removed

08 October, 12:23

    Turkish Muslim girls with headscarf during a pro Islamist demonstration in Istanbul,  Turkey, 02 February 2008 Turkish Muslim girls with headscarf during a pro Islamist demonstration in Istanbul, Turkey, 02 February 2008

    (ANSAmed) - ANKARA, OCTOBER 8 - Turkey's government has officially lifted the ban on wearing a headscarf for public-sector workers and ended the reading of the national oath, which non-Turks have criticized for its nationalist language, in the country's schools, as daily Hurriyet online reports. Kurds and other groups have long been angered by much of the oath, which ends with the phrase "Ne Mutlu Turkum Diyene" (How happy is he who says "I am a Turk"). According to the publication of the resolutions in the Official Gazette late yesterday, public officials will be permitted to don a headscarf, with the exception of officials wearing a uniform, meanwhile the Ministry of National Education has removed an article that required primary school students to tell an oath every weekday. The decision also was published in the Official Gazette late on Monday and entered into force. The student oath has been in force since 1933. The decision was unveiled by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on 30 September as part of a wide range of reforms package. The secondary school students quit telling the oath last year. The student oath was as the following: "I am a Turk, honest and hardworking. My principle is to protect the younger to respect the elder, to love my homeland and my nation more than myself. My ideal is to rise, to progress. Oh Great Ataturk! On the path that you have paved, I swear to walk incessantly toward the aims that you have set. My existence shall be dedicated to the Turkish existence.

    How happy is the one who says "I am a Turk!" (ANSAmed).

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