Female teachers fired in Turkey's 1997 coup go back to work

Many female teachers were fired after Turkey's February 28, 1997 coup for refusing to remove their headscarves.

Female teachers fired in Turkey's 1997 coup go back to work

World Bulletin / News Desk

Over 600 female teachers who lost their jobs due to dressing regulations during the February 28 "postmodern coup" period in 1997 have regained their rights after official authorities approved their applications on Tuesday.

The 665 teachers were reassigned by the Ministry of Education and will begin working on Wednesday, raising the number of people who regained their rights to 3,500.

The ministry officially announced an appeal for reinstatement for those who lost their jobs due to dressing regulations in the February 28 period after the government amended the regulations and permitted the wearing of headscarves at most official institutions, including the Parliament.

The head of the education union's women's branch, Safiye Ozdemir, said the decision is favorable but late, and personal rights should be granted by new regulations.

"During the 'February 28' period, thousands of students, teachers, policemen, soldiers and doctors had been oppressed and dismissed by unlawful practices, or forced to resign," said Ozdemir.

The February 28 military memorandum was a host of decisions issued by the Turkish military in 1997 in response to what it saw as rising Islamist ideology.

Then prime minister Necmettin Erbakan was forced to sign into law of the decisions, which included the enforcement of the headscarf ban as well as shutting down of Qur'an schools and measures to control media.

Soon after the memorandum episode, Erbakan resigned from his post and the government collapsed. The event has come to be called a "postmodern coup" as it ended a government without causing the parliament's dissolution or the constitution's suspension.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 15 Ocak 2014, 10:12