Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Thursday, “We will have women candidates wearing headscarves in local elections.”
Speaking on a Turkish private TV channel, Erdogan discussed the recent developments in Turkey with prominent journalists.
In the scope of the democratization package, which was revealed earlier this week, the ban on the headscarf, which constitutes an impediment for women in being employed and taking an efficient part in work life, will be abolished.
“The By-Law on the attire of personnel working in public institutions and organizations included restrictive provisions for both male and female officers,” Erdogan said Monday. “These limitations violated the freedom of thought and faith, right to employment, and included discrimination.”
Those who have to wear formal suits, including members of Turkish Armed Forces, Security Directorate General as well as judges and prosecutors, are excluded, he said previously. However, they can make the necessary regulations in the relevant legislation, he said Thursday.
Upon being asked whether he wanted to be the President of Turkey, Erdogan said “I do not have an exact decision yet to become the President of Turkey.”
He said they had a system based on ‘consultation’ which he said was the key point for Justice and Development (AK) Party.
“I will do whatever my party wants me to do,” he said adding that the person who was approved by the party would be the president.
Prime Minister Erdogan also touched on Turkey’s missile defense system tender, which he said China seems to be in a “favorable position” to take, among rival bids by the US, Russia and a France-Italy consortium.
Erdogan said China promised to deliver the ballistic missiles for the least amount of cost and with the shortest deadline among bidders, pointing to a difference of at least fifty percent in time frame between China and others.
Turkish Premier Erdogan also cited China’s willingness – unlike its contenders – to share technological know-how with Turkish engineers as a reason for choosing the country.
Erdogan dismissed as “contrary to facts” recent claims that China-made missiles would encounter issues of inter-operability with NATO systems.
Turkey, a NATO ally, does not possess a missile defense system of its own, using NATO-deployed Patriots in its southern border against possible aggression from neighboring Syria.
Erdogan also discussed the issue of Syria crisis and said, “Syria is being dragged into a sectarian war.”
Emphasizing that the word ‘Islam’ derived from the Arabic word which meant ‘peace’, Erdogan said, “Some groups try to equate Islam with terror, however anyone who believes in Islam cannot kill the civilians.”
The period of the compulsory military service in Turkey, by the way, may be shortened to 12 months, Erdogan added.