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Turkish Military Allows Islamic Head Scarves For Officers


A head-scarf ban had already been lifted for the military headquarters' civilian staff, the coast guard, and the paramilitary police force.

Turkish defense officials say Turkey's military has changed its regulations to allow women to wear an Islamic-style head scarf on duty.

An official said February 22 that the change in regulation applies to all women soldiers and military school students who want to cover their hair while wearing their uniforms. The official spoke on condition of anonymity.

They will be allowed to wear a head scarf under their caps or berets as long as they are the same color as their uniforms and are not patterned, Hurriyet Daily News reported.

A head-scarf ban had already been lifted for the military headquarters' civilian staff, the coast guard, and the paramilitary police force.

Although a majority-Muslim country, Turkey is officially secular. Head scarves were long banned in the civil service and in universities.

Since coming to power in 2002, Turkey's Islamic-rooted Justice and Development Party -- founded by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan -- has gradually lifted Turkey's strict bans on wearing head scarves in official settings and schools.

Based on reporting by AP, Reuters, and BBC
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