Oct. 31 - Four female lawmakers wear their Islamic head scarves in parliament, challenging their country's secular tradition. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
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They are protesting with their heads.
On Thursday four women wore headscarfs in parliament a challenge to the country's secular tradition.
The deputy from Turkey's ruling party says it is an important step.
.(SOUNDBITE) (Turkish) DEPUTY OF RULING AK PARTY BELMA SATIR, SAYING:
"As of today, hopefully women lawmakers who prefer to wear headscarves in their private lives, will be able to come to parliament with their headscarves. This will help the different segments of society embrace each other and the bans will be lifted. Although the ban did not exit legally it was practically applied causing problems."
The last time a lawmaker attempted to wear the head scarf in parliament in 1999 she was expelled from the assembly.
At least one member of the opposition suspects the motives.
(SOUNDBITE) (Turkish) DEPUTY OF MAIN OPPOSITION CHP PARTY DILEK AKAGUNYILMAZ, SAYING:
"They are exploiting this matter in order to gain votes. But we believe that people will not be duped by this step."
While there are no specific restrictions on wearing the head scarf in parliament, opposition from secularists as well as a ban in other state institutions, which was lifted this month, have previously deterred women from wearing them.
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