The Turkish Parliament voted to lift the ban on female legislators wearing suit pants. It had previously allowed a more liberal dress code, permitting female lawmakers to wear Islamic hijab. The move has been seen as a reaction to the speech of Safak Pavey, MP from the opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP). Pavey who was elected in June 2011, has a prosthetic leg but the parliament rejected her previous request to be allowed to wear pants because of regulations which specified that women should wear suits with skirts.
Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling center-right AK Party, which has Islamist roots, proposed the relaxation of the trouser ban and the opposition parties – the secularist CHP, the pro-Kurdish BDP and Turkish nationalist MHP – backed the plan. The assembly approved the bill on Wednesday.