Harsh tones, provocative language, and a call to defend Muslim freedom: these are some of the characteristics of the discourse he uses Turkish President Erdogan. Items clearly recognizable even in the past few hours, when he trembled from his pulpit against a ruling European Court About the use of the veil for women.
Last Thursday, judges of the Luxembourg court expressed their support for a ban on the wearing of headscarves or headscarves in the workplace. A sentence that is obviously primarily concerned with Muslim women. The European Court was categorical, repeating a similar ruling in 2017: “The ban on the wearing of any visible form of expression of political, philosophical or religious beliefs in the workplace can be justified – as stated in the ruling – the need for the employer to present a neutral image towards clients or to prevent social conflicts.
So the focus is on the concept neutrality, to be checked on a case-by-case basis and only if there is a clear excess on the part of a particular employer. According to Erdogan, the ruling aims to punish Muslim workers. And from here provocations She launched in the past few hours: “The Court of Justice must change its name because what has been judged has nothing to do with justice – the Turkish President declared – the Court of Justice cannot not take into account the freedom of faith and religion.”
An even more obvious impulse came in the second part of his speech: “Let them apply the same decision to those who wear kippahIs it possible? Erdogan thundered pointing, certainly not by chance, at one of the symbolic garments of Judaism. All the main representatives of the Turkish leadership lined up with him. According to Ankara, the European Court’s decision is discriminatory towards all Muslims.
What is behind Erdogan’s words?
The case against the ruling of the Luxembourg judges was not launched from anywhere. Erdogan thundered strongly over this decision during his speech in the parliament of the Republic Northern Cyprus. It is the state located in the northern provinces of Cyprus, which was occupied by Turkey in 1974.
A republic recognized only by Ankara which is destined to become in Erdogan’s plans outpost Turkish interests in the eastern Mediterranean. The presence of the Turkish leader in northern Cyprus has been the subject of controversy in the south, with the international community recognizing the Greek-speaking government and a member ofEuropean Union.
A visit already fraught with tensions, which Erdogan turned into The theater Perfect for attacking Europe. Behind the defense of the right of Muslim women to wear the hijab, there are two special elements. One has a purely personality ideologicalErdogan was distinguished within Turkey by the gradual Islamization of society. The program also preceded new laws, approved between 2009 and 2018, that gradually reinstated the possibility for women to wear the hijab. Previously, however, to emphasize the secular character of the republic, it was forbidden in Turkey in universities and offices.
The other element is political. Erdogan aspires to become a reference point for the entire Sunni Muslim world. We saw it when he had a meeting a few years ago Show video From the attack on a mosque in New Zealand, to strengthening protection measures for all Muslims. It is clear that Ankara has now evaluated the idea of defending the veil issue in Europe. A seemingly symbolic intervention: Erdogan’s words will have a powerful impact on many Turkish communities located on the Old Continent.