Sezer Launches Investigation Against Headscarfed Public Employees

Turkish President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, who never invites the wives of parliamentarians who wear a headscarf to receptions, is now after covered women claimed to be working at municipalities.

Sezer Launches Investigation Against Headscarfed Public Employees

Sending an official paper to the Istanbul governor's office, Sezer has given the instruction to launch an investigation to find out whether there are female workers wearing headscarves at municipalities. Sezer's instruction has been received with harsh reactions by NGOs. Hulya Sekerci, president of Ozgur-Der, an organization voluntarily working for freedom, said that the president adopted an approach that did not allow decent lives for headscarfed women. Mustafa Ercan, the president of the Istanbul branch of Mazlum-Der, another organization struggling for the oppressed on legal grounds, commented that "it is very unfortunate that our president should have an investigation launched on something which Turkish people don't have any problem with," while Husnu Tuna, chairman of the Lawyers Association, stressed that the written instruction should be recalled: "If the presidency is really eager to have information on this subject, it has to appeal to the authority in charge. It has no legal authority to issue an instruction and devolve it downwards directly to the head official of a district asking them to provide certain information on anything."

The general secretariat of the presidency demanded that the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, the Istanbul Municipality Waterworks (ISKI) and Istanbul Gas Distribution Inc. (IGDAS) find out whether they have any women employees wearing a headscarf. Upon the instruction of the presidency, Istanbul Governor's office sent a written order on Dec. 1 to the administrative districts of Beykoz, Buyukceme, Catalca, Eyup, Gaziosmanpasa, Kartal, Sariyer, Silivri, Sile, Umraniye and Tuzla. According to the presidential order issued, the officials in charge are to launch an investigation. The results must be delivered to the governor's office by Dec.12.

People from all walks of life in Turkey have reacted to President Sezer in one way or another. Some say that Sezer is trying to 'complete his mission' before his term of office expires in April 2007; a mission designed to rid all state institutions and facilities of headscarfed women. Sezer has been known to take a stance against the women wearing a headscarf - or hijab, as English-speaking Muslims call it – particularly during the receptions he has given, which divulge his disapproval of Muslim women practicing what they believe is a religious obligation. Husnu Tuna, president of the Lawyers Association, commented that the president must not act like a prime minister. He further emphasized that the system of presidency in Turkey was different than America's and the president of Turkey did not have the authority to implement an executive action within the current administrative structure and could not directly launch such an investigation.

However, the Turkish General Staff retired a brigadier general in 2004 for issuing similar orders in light of which an investigation was conducted, which was aimed at gathering information on all officers who were supporting the European Union or the United States. The order was also telling the members of the army to closely watch the minorities, the high society, and the children of wealthy people, sects, masons and Satanists.

The General Staff admitted that the news was true. However, the then-Chief of Staff Hilmi Ozkok said that he was to blame as the head of the Turkish army but stressed that the order was the result of a personal initiative and not important.



Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16