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Turkey PM Asks Court to Explain Headscarf Ban

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has asked the Constitutional Court to explain why it overturned a decision to allow women to wear headscarves at the country's universities.

Erdogan, who leads the ruling Justice and Development Party or AKP, said that the court could not override the will of the parliament.

"It's everybody's duty, especially the duty of the constitutional court and judiciary ... to be very careful," Erdogan said in parliament on Tuesday.

Erdogan was speaking for the first time since the court ruling on Thursday to annul constitutional amendments moved by the Islamist-rooted AKP.

"The Constitutional Court must certainly explain why it examined the contents of the reform in the case," Erdogan said.

He also warned that Turkey was being drawn into a conflict of authority because of the ruling and the way the secular opposition was challenging the government in the courts.

"Every attempt breaching the rule of law will damage our nation's conscience," he said.

"We should specifically avoid damaging the image of the Constitutional Court... We have to be sensitive on that otherwise the whole nation, Turkey, will be harmed as a result."

The headscarf issue is also part of separate proceedings before the same court against the AKP that could see the party closed down and Erdogan banned from politics for five years.

Secularists fear the government's moves to allow the headscarf into universities is proof that the AKP seeks to ultimately introduce Sharia or Islamic law in Turkey.

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