The ban on headscarves in the civil service was established 90 years ago, under the leadership of Mustafa Kemal Atuturk, founding father of "modern" Turkey, and emerging Turkish Republic in 1923. Atuturk wanted to transform the former Ottoman Empire into a more modern, democratic, and secular country.
Turkey is presently led by Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Prime Minister and member of the Justice and Development Party (AKP). The AKP is the largest political party in Turkey, and has 327 members in the Turkish parliament. The AKP is a traditional Islamic party.
Erdogan pledged to remove the ban on headscarves when he came to power as the Turkish Prime Minister in 2003. Since Erdogan has been in power, the government has targeted alcohol consumption by banning alcohol advertising, increasing alcohol taxes, and trying to raise the drinking age. Erdgoan has also cracked down on freedom of the press in Turkey, and has exercised greater censorship control.
In May and June of this year, the country experience protests against Erdogan's policies. The protests started as a sit in, in Istanbul, and further escalated. The Turkish police responded with force and tear gas. The crowds were eventually removed, but Turkey is still experiencing tension between Islamic fundamentalists and advocates of a more secular Turkish leadership.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan met yesterday with Hamas chief Khalid Mashaal. This is Mashaal's third visit with Erdogan since September 2012. ABC News reports the meeting lasted about 3 hours and was closed to the media.
Hamas is the Palestinian Sunni Islamic governing body in the Gaza Strip. Hamas has launched thousands of rockets into Israel, threatening the lives of close to a million Israeli civilians who live in the region.