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Turkish universities continue headscarf ban despite constitutional amendments

[JURIST] At least 10 Turkish universities have continued to enforce a ban on headscarves [JURIST report] despite recent amendments to the Turkish constitution [text] lifting the ban, according to Monday media reports. Head of the Higher Education Board Yusuf Ozcan said in a weekend statement that universities "have the duty and responsibility to adjust practices in line with the constitutional amendment," signed into law [JURIST report] by Turkish President Abdullah Gul on Friday, but universities in Ankara and several other cities turned away students wearing headscarves.

Headscarves and other forms of Muslim traditional religious dress [JURIST news archive] have long been banned from many public places in modern Turkey, a majority Muslim country despite official secularism. The new law alters the constitution and Higher Education Law No. 2547 [HRW backgrounder] to allow scarves tied at the chin. Chadors, veils and burqas reportedly are still banned. BBC News has more.

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