What if the government bans makeup?

Erdogan's government bans piercings, tattoos and make-up in class

Brightly colored hair, eyebrow piercing, tattoos: many teenagers are very keen to experiment. In Turkey, however, Erdogan's conservative Islamic government wants to put a stop to this.

In future, make-up, tattoos and piercings will be taboo in Turkish schools, as will colored hair. According to the Turkish media, this emerges from a government decree published in the official gazette at the weekend.

In contrast, the headscarf ban is lifted from the fifth grade on; this allows girls from the age of ten to go to school with a head veil.

"Following corresponding demands in this regard, we have expanded the regulation," said Education Minister Nabi Avci in Ankara.

In the past, all female and male students were prohibited from wearing headscarves. The government lifted this ban in 2008. Last year all women in public institutions were allowed to wear headscarves. However, this was still forbidden to schoolgirls in public schools.

Turkey is officially a secular republic. The AKP-led government and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is accused of wanting to Islamize the country.

According to the decree, boys are also prohibited from growing a beard. This often marks followers of the strict Salafist direction of Islam. Scarves, hats or bags with political emblems and inscriptions are also forbidden in lessons.

According to the English-language online newspaper “Hürriyet Daily News”, the education union Egitim-Bir-Sen demanded the reintroduction of gender segregation in the classroom and freedom from the school dress code after the government decree.

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