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Turkish president signs constitutional amendments easing headscarf ban

[JURIST] Turkish President Abdullah Gul [official profile] Friday approved amendments to the country's constitution [text] that will ease a current ban on Islamic headscarves [JURIST report] in universities. Gul's office said in a statement that the amendments did not conflict with the country's "basic principles." Opposition parties have said they will appeal to the nation's Constitutional Court [official website, in Turkish], and many critics say that ending the ban is intended as a political statement against secular principles.

The Grand National Assembly of Turkey [official website] earlier this month passed [JURIST report] the amendments by a final vote of 403-107. Headscarves and other forms of Muslim traditional religious dress [JURIST news archive] are banned from many public places in modern Turkey, a majority Muslim country despite official secularism. BBC News has more. Reuters has additional coverage.

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