Turkish PM links head scarf law to French riots

7th November 2005, Comments 0 comments

ANKARA, Nov 7 (AFP) - Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has linked the ban on the wearing of Muslim head scarves in French schools to the unrest inflaming poor suburbs of French cities, according to a press report Monday.

ANKARA, Nov 7 (AFP) - Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has linked the ban on the wearing of Muslim head scarves in French schools to the unrest inflaming poor suburbs of French cities, according to a press report Monday.

In an interview with Milliyet newspaper, Erdogan said "the process begun in France in the schools" was one explanation for the worsening violence marked by the destruction of thousands of vehicles, vandalism of schools and attacks on police stations.

Erdogan, who became involved in Turkish politics through the now-disbanded Islamist National Salvation Party and in 1999 was jailed for four months on a charge of inciting religious hatred, said the law banning the hijab in schools had contributed to migrants' sense of exclusion and "stirred up" the violence.

"We have always defended the alliance of civilisations (between the Islamic world and the West) and to demonstrate how the accession of Turkey to the European Union was important in this respect. But some did not want to understand, above all the French," Erdogan said.

Since the troubles broke out in Paris on October 27, more than 5,000 vehicles have been set on fire and police have made more than 1,000 arrests.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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