Earlier this year, the Islamically-oriented AK party attempted to lift a ban on women wearing head scarves entering Turkish universities. The effort was then overturned by the Constitutional Court, which ruled that the wearing of head scarves violates Turkish secular norms. For many secular Turks, the head scarves represented an attempt to Islamicize the universities, but for advocates of lifting the ban the scarves are simply an expression of personal freedom, in this case to dress conservatively. With the ban in place, religiously conservative Turkish women must either forego a university education or compromise their morals.
President Gul, a member of the Ak party, passed over candidates for rectors' positions when those candidates worked to thwart the lifting of the scarf ban.
Turkish Professors Quit as President Rejects Rectors Who Opposed Lifting Head-Scarf Ban - Chronicle.com