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Headscarf Returns to Turkish Parliament

Four female deputies from Turkey's Justice and Development Party went on the hajj and are now making history by returning to parliament wearing headscarves. 
Turkey's ruling AK Party (AKP) lawmaker Sevde Beyazit Kacar arrives to the general assembly wearing her headscarf at the Turkish Parliament in Ankara October 31, 2013. Four female lawmakers from Turkey's Islamist-rooted ruling party wore their Islamic head scarves in parliament on Thursday in a challenge to the country's secular tradition. Four female lawmakers, Nurcan Dalbudak, Sevde Beyazit Kacar, Gulay Samanci and Gonul Bekin Sahkulubey, from Turkey's Islamist-rooted ruling party AKP wore their Islamic h

In May 1999, when Merve Kavakci of the Islamic Virtue Party walked onto the General Assembly floor of the Turkish parliament wearing a turban (a certain style for Muslim women to cover their hair), the majority of parliamentarians banged on their desks in protest and shouted, “Get out!” Then-Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, who was known for his politeness and even temperament, also rose to his feet in anger and said, “This is not a platform to challenge the state.”

Fourteen years after that incident, and after the Islamist Justice and Development Party (AKP) was elected to power three consecutive times since 2002, the parliamentary equation has changed. Today, Oct. 31, Sevda Beyazit Kacar, Gonul Bekin Sahkulubey, Nurcan Dalbudak and Gulay Samanci walked onto the General Assembly floor in parliament with their heads covered.

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