Turkish defense ministry officials said today (February 22, 2017) that a rule banning head scarves in the military has been rescinded, according to the Euro News website.
The shift favoring religion indicates a significant change in Turkey's armed forces, which have always seen themselves as the guardians of state secularism in the mainly Muslim country.
The new rule allowing female soldiers to wear head scarves with their uniforms also reflects the influence of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. He has tried to implement theocratic reforms in Turkey in the past, but his attempts have been adamantly opposed by the vast majority of Turks.
Erdogan's Islamist-rooted AK Party has been campaigning to bring religion into public life since taking power in 2002.