In Turkey, President Erdogan proposed a referendum on wearing the headscarf

“If you dare, come on, let’s put this to a vote (…) and let the nation decide,” began the Turkish head of state, addressing Kemal Kilicdaroglu, the leader of the main opposition party, who had originally proposed it. A law that guarantees the right to wear the veil.

In response to the Turkish President, Mr. Kilicdaroglu rejected the idea of ​​a referendum on Saturday evening, accusing him of following Hungarian nationalist leader Viktor Orban.

“Are you thinking of following Orban, Erdogan? (…) Where do you get the vote? If you don’t run, will women have the courage to solve this question?” He tweeted that.

The veiling debate has recently heated up in Turkey ahead of presidential and parliamentary elections scheduled for 2023.

With a Muslim majority but secularism enshrined in its constitution, Turkey has long been a country where the veil is banned in public service, schools and universities.

But restrictions on wearing the veil were lifted by Mr Erdogan’s government in 2013.

The Turkish president often casts himself as a defender of Muslims against the secular “elite,” implying that without him, “gains” such as the lifting of veil restrictions would be at risk.

While wearing the veil sparked heated debates in the 1990s, no political movement has proposed its ban in Turkey today.

“We have made mistakes in the past about the veil… it is time to put this question behind us,” CHP (Republican People’s Party, Social Democrat) leader Mr. Klikdaroglu started and proposed a law. Guarantee the right to wear the veil.

Created by the founder of modern Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the CHP is known as a staunch defender of secularism.

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According to the audience, Mr. For Kilicdaroglu’s conservative voters – traditionally AKP, Mr. They would have wanted to show that they had nothing to fear in the event of a power change – which would vote for Erdogan’s party.

Faced with this attempt to win back the conservative vote, Mr. Erdogan responded by calling for constitutional change on the matter in early October.

In a speech the Turkish president now proposes to put to a vote, he announced, without elaborating, that the anti-LGBT provision would also be aimed at “strengthening the protection of the family.”

“A strong family is a strong nation.

“As representatives of the people’s will, we will protect our country from the onslaught of wrong and evil currents,” he added.

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