Traditionally worn by Muslim women, headscarves and other forms of religious dress [JURIST news archive] are banned from many public places in modern Turkey, a majority Muslim country despite official secularism. In 2006, a Turkish court acquitted [JURIST report] retired archaeologist Muazzez Ilmiye Cig [personal website] of charges of insulting religion after postulating in her book that headscarves were originally worn before the founding of Islam by ancient Mesopotamian priestesses who initiated young men into sex. The case also drew criticism from the International Association for Assyriology (IAA) [group website; IAA appeal] and from the European Union, which had warned Turkey that its laws infringing freedom of expression may delay its entry into the union. Reuters has more.
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