A woman's group is stirring controversy in Turkey with a campaign to elect headscarf-wearing women to parliament. Some of the fiercest opposition to the initiative is coming not from secularists, but from religious conservatives.
With just over two months to go before Turkey’s parliamentary balloting, the country’s political leaders are starting to assemble party lists of candidates. The number of seats any given party wins is determined by the percentage of the vote it receives. The higher an individual candidate is on a party list, then, the better the odds of that person becoming a MP.
Turkish women's groups have been traditionally divided along ideological lines. But they are uniting behind the initiative, launched in March by a non-partisan group called Women Meet Halfway, to have women who wear headscarves placed high enough up on party lists so that they stand a decent chance of being elected.
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Nicolas Birch specializes in Turkey, Iran and the Middle East.