Turkish President proposes referendum on right to wear headscarves in the civil service, schools, universities

News Network
October 23, 2022

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has proposed a referendum on the right of women to wear headscarves in the civil service, schools and universities. Erdogan, who courts a devout Muslim base, has previously reversed some of Türkiye’s secular laws.

“If you have the courage, come, let’s put this issue to a referendum... let the nation make the decision,” the president said in parliament on Saturday, in remarks aimed at opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu. 

Kilicdaroglu had proposed a law guaranteeing women the right to wear a headscarf in public buildings, in a bid to reassure Muslim voters that his secular party would defend their religious rights, AFP reported. Erdogan’s call for a referendum is likely an effort to win the support of devout Muslims ahead of elections next year.

While Kilicdaroglu once supported a ban on headscarves, Erdogan has long positioned himself as a warrior against such secular policies. 

Türkiye has been a secular state since 1924, although Islamic headscarves were not officially banned in public institutions until the late 1990s. Although the country’s constitutional court struck down an attempt by Erdogan’s ruling AK party to lift the headscarf ban in 2008, the Turkish president managed to end the restriction in 2013.

While no political party in Türkiye is proposing a return of the ban, enshrining the right to wear a headscarf in the constitution would represent a significant step away from the secularism of previous decades. 

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News Network
November 19,2022

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New Delhi: The Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) MLA poaching case summoned BJP National General Secretary (Organisation) BL Santhosh to appear on November 21, failing which he will be arrested.

This comes after the Telangana High Court on Tuesday rejected the BJP’s plea to hand over MLAs’ poaching case to the CBI and made the SIT probing the case independent. The court also ruled that a judge will monitor the investigation into the case.

The court has also asked the SIT to submit a report on November 29 on the progress of the probe.

Notably, the Telangana government formed the SIT on November 9 to investigate the case. The SIT has six police officers and is headed by Hyderabad Police Commissioner.

It is to be noted that Ramachandra Bharati alias Satish Sharma, Simhayaji and Aand Nandakumar were arrested by the Cyberabad police from a farmhouse at Moinabad near Hyderabad on the night of October 26, when they were allegedly trying to lure four TRS MLAs with offers of money.

Cyberabad police conducted the raid on a tip-off by Pilot Rohit Reddy, one of the MLAs, who alleged that the accused offered Rs 100 crore to him and Rs 50 crore each to three others.

Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao had called a press conference on November 3, where he showed videos that he claimed backed up the TRS charges of poaching against the BJP. He had also linked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah with the alleged poaching bid.

However, refuting the claims, the BJP had said the allegations are "staged" and that the videos are "recordings with hired actors".

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News Network
November 14,2022

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Bengaluru, Nov 14: Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Monday defended the government's move to paint the thousands of school classrooms to be constructed under the newly launched 'Viveka' scheme with saffron colour.

Under the 'Viveka' scheme named after Swami Vivekananda, the Karnataka government has proposed construction of 7,601 classrooms across the state.

Bommai launched the scheme on Children's Day by laying the foundation stone in Government Higher Primary School at Madiyal in Kalaburagi district.

Asked to comment about the move of colour coding such classrooms with saffron that has sparked controversy, the CM said: "What's wrong to have saffron colour? There's saffron colour in the (national) tricolour. Swami Vivekananda himself used to wear saffron robe".

"They (Congress) aren't interested in comprehensive development of education," Bommai charged. He said there is a tendency to create controversy on any progressive changes made. "Naming schools after Swami Vivekananda will help children draw inspiration from him and a good atmosphere will be created in schools," the CM opined.

School Education Minister B C Nagesh said if architects recommend to the government that saffron colour looks good on such classrooms, it will be done. "We have left the decision to architects. The government does not decide on what kind of paint, window, door and steps (are to be done). We will take a decision on what they (architects) say," Nagesh said.

"Some people have allergy towards (saffron) colour," he said. Taking a dig at the Congress, the minister said: "I want to ask them, there is saffron colour in their (party) flag. Why did you keep it? Remove it," Nagesh said. 

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News Network
November 13,2022

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If it is a World cup final, Ben Stokes is your man. After being the star of England's 2019 Cricket World Cup triumph on home soil, Stokes once again stepped up to the occasion by scoring a half-century and helping the Jos Buttler-led side lift the T20 World cup trophy for the second time in history with a five-wicket win over Pakistan. England have become the first team in history to hold both the 50 and 20-over World Cup trophy at the same time.

England captain Jos Buttler won the toss and stuck to the tried and tested plan of bowling first from the semi-final. Pakistan made a slow start to the game as Mohammad Rizwan was dismissed for a score of 15 in 14 balls. Mohammad Harris did not have a day to remember and departed early.

Adil Rashid continued his brilliant form and bowled a remarkable spell that saw him take two wickets for just 22 runs which included the big wicket of Babar Azam with an extraordinary catch on his bowling after bamboozling the Pakistan skipper with a googly.

Sam Curran continued to be England's go-to man with the ball and finished with sensational figures of three wickets for 12 runs in his four-over spell. Shan Masood was Pakistan's highest run-scorer with a knock of 38 in 28 balls. Chris Jordan also scalped two wickets in the slog overs as the Men in Green struggled to get a big finish. They managed a total of just 137 on the board.

Shaheen Afridi gave Pakistan a brilliant start by dismissing Alex Hales in the first over. Haris Rauf put a huge dent on the 2010 champions' chase by dismissing both Phil Salt and skipper Jos Buttler in the powerplay. Shadab Khan bowled another fine spell which produced the dismissal of Harry Brook.

The Men in Green did a formidable job in putting pressure on England and with the pair Ben Stokes and Moeen Ali struggling to get a move on. However, an injury to Pakistan's ace pacer Shaheen changed the complexion of the game as Babar was forced to turn to the part-time spin of Ifthikar Ahmed. Stokes capitalized on the spin on offer and England did not look back from there.

While Wasim did produce the wicket of Moeen in the 19th over, it was a consolation prize as Stokes completed his half-century to seal England's wicket and crown them as the T20 World Cup champions.

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