Turkey Lifts Scarf Ban on Women Soldiers

Turkey’s Army has lifted a historic ban on women officers wearing the Islamic headscarf in the officially secular country.

Order by the Defence Ministry applies to officers working in the general staff and command headquarters and branches.

Women may wear the headscarf underneath their cap or beret so long as it is the same colour as their uniform and does not cover their faces.

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) co-founded by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has long pressed for the removal of restrictions on women wearing the headscarf.

Turkey lifted a ban on the wearing of the Muslim headscarf, known as the hijab, on university campuses in 2010.

It allowed women students to wear the headscarf in state institutions from 2013 and in high school in 2014.

Turkey in August 2016 for the first time allowed policewomen to wear the Islamic headscarf as part of their uniform.