Turkish prosecutor dismisses complaint on headscarved first ladies

Turkish prosecutor dismissed a criminal complaint on Hayrunnisa Gul and Emine Erdogan who both of them wear headscarf, making a striking judicial decision on the controversial ban.

Turkish prosecutor dismisses complaint on headscarved first ladies

World Bulletin / News Desk

Turkish prosecutor dismissed a criminal complaint on Hayrunnisa Gul and Emine Erdogan who both of them wear headscarf, making a striking judicial decision on the controversial ban in Turkey.

Hayrunnisa Gul is the wife of President Abdullah Gul, and Emine Erdogan is the wife of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The complaint was filed against Hayrunnisa Gul and Emine Erdogan by the Sultan Atıcı, who lives in Germany and is the president of the European Turkey Women's Association since 1999 for wearing headscarves in public.

Ankara deputy chief public prosecutor Nuri Yigit declared to proceed no further with a criminal complaint against wearing headscarves "in public sphere" by the spouses of Gul and Erdogan.

Turkey still insists on imposing headscarf ban as a country whose population is 99 percent Muslim and majority of women wear headscarf as a religious practice.

"No such crime"

Prosecutor Yigit declared verdict of non-prosecution for the criminal complaint, saying there is "no such a crime defined in Penal Code against headscarf and no sanctions."

In the decision, it is stated that, "the Turkish Penal Code or special penal laws has to define offenses and penalties in order to consider a criminal act."

"No criminal definition for the regulation and sanctions exist for the alleged incident in terms of criminal", and "there is no legal bases for administrative investigation, therefore the investigation documents cannot be transfered to another administrative authority for further proceedings."

The complaint petition had alleged that, ''as the representatives of the Turkey, Hayrunnisa Gul and Emine Erdogan committed a crime by wearing headscarves during the international negotiations and domestic tasks, the official days specified by Constitution and the law."

"First"

Meanwhile, lawyers praised the decision, saying "it is a first."

Prof. Dr. Mumtaz'er Turkone told Turkish Daily Star, there is no phrase in Turkish law as "public space" and the headscarf ban is a ban imposed in universities and government officials in Turkey. "In fact, it is legally possible to use headscarf every public space.There is no ban against it. The main problem in Turkey actually is not on the field, but on attribution" he said.

Prof. Dr.Dogu Ergil also supported the desicion and stated there is no law against the headscarf in the public domain. "When there is no law, there is no enforcement" Ergil said.

Prof. Ergun Ozbudun, who prepared the draft civillian Constitution a while ago, asked, What is public sphere?, Are streets on public sphere?, saying there are no definitions for that.

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) attempted to lift the ban earlier last year, a move that was cited as evidence when a closure case was filed against the party on grounds that it had become a focal point of "anti-secular activities."

Last Mod: 28 Nisan 2010, 15:25
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