Turk legislators slam top court's reasoning for scarf ruling

Several legislators have hit back at the Constitutional Court, criticizing its reasoning for annulling a package of constitutional amendments that would have lifted the country's long-standing headscarf ban on university campuses.

Turk legislators slam top court's reasoning for scarf ruling

After the top court annulled the headscarf ruling, reportedly on the grounds that it was considered a "threat" to the country's secular order, democracy and the state's regime, many legislators harshly criticized the members of the Constitutional Court and the stance they adopted against lifting the headscarf ban.

Professor İlyas Doğan from Gazi University, in particular reference to a news report that found wide coverage in the Turkish press reporting that the Constitutional Court annulled headscarf amendments on the grounds that they were interpreted as an attempt to change the country's regime and hold parliamentary elections once in every 20 years instead of the current four, said: "Such attempts violate the Constitution. They cannot even feature on Parliament's agenda."

Professor Hasan Tunç, a constitutional law expert, agreed, adding that the top court should not have annulled the ruling based on such assumptions. "Even if deputies propose holding elections once every 20 years, the speaker of parliament will undoubtedly reject their proposal. Constitutional amendments to end the headscarf ban do not aim to distort the state's secular order. It is not plausible to annul these amendments based on such assumptions. Laws do not allow you to hand down rulings solely based on assumptions," he said.

Doğan, a professor of public policy, termed the top court's headscarf ruling an "unfortunate decision."

"Attempts to amend the Constitution to hold parliamentary elections once every 20 years and eliminate the principle of separation of powers violate the Constitution. However, the top court's decision has to do with freedoms and the right to education. The state used to deprive certain people of their right to education before this ruling, and the Constitutional Court announced with its decision to annul the amendments that the state should continue its policy of discrimination. It is an unfortunate decision," he added.

Today's Zaman

Güncelleme Tarihi: 09 Haziran 2008, 12:21