Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Freedom and democracy can not be reduced to headscarf


Parliament voted to amend the constitution to lift the ban on Islamic headscarves at Turkey’s universities with the votes of AKP (Justice and Development Party) and MHP (Nationalist Action Party) deputies. And this constitutional change presented as a necessity for democracy and freedom.

But we know that both two parties and the main opposition, CHP (Republican People’s Party) are all against the democratic rights of workers and Kurdish people in Turkey.

Ignoring some other fundamental problems and reducing the freedom and democracy demands to only headscarf ban shows that these parties are real fakers, not democrats.

While the Government and Army insist on the military solution for Kurdish problem instead of a democratic solution, latitude of thought and expression are trampled by the laws like Article 301, religion classes are compulsory at schools and workers’ unionising is banned by laws AKP and MHP just gain nothing but ridicule by making freedom and democracy show with headscarf.

EMEP’s thought of freedom is not same with the Prime Minister Erdogan’s thought as “demanding education in mother tongue for Turks in Germany while banning Kurds even talking in their mother tongue in Turkey”. EMEP supports the freedoms in all fields including headscarf and dress liberty and struggles for establishing a democratic Turkey. But, EMEP esteems awaking the peoples to not believe this “freedom” and “democracy” game, as a duty.

Headscarf is not the only forbidden subject in Turkey. Moreover, it doesn’t have the highest priority among the bans. Freedom and democracy problem can not be reduced to “the freedom for headscarf”.

Definitely, dressing must be free and nobody must be under pressure because of wearing or not wearing headscarves. But this doesn’t mean that headscarf and democracy has the same meaning. Headscarf is used as a political sign aiming exploitation of religion. Apart from being a freedom issue, it’s a feudal pressure item forcing woman to be veiled. Awaking the peoples of Turkey on this subject is also EMEP’s duty.

Necessity for political freedom and democracy of peoples in Turkey is indubitable. EMEP continues struggling for achieving the democracy and freedoms.

Labour Party of Turkey (EMEP)

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