From Innocence to Sense?

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The end of an era! Turkey is getting rid of the school uniforms that have accompanied all Turkish grade schoolers since early in the Republic. Images of children in lace-collared blue uniforms intimate innocence, although I can easily imagine the children chafing against the styles as they grow older. I too wore uniforms in a private Catholic grade school (plaid skirts and loafers) and high school (herringbone tweed skirt to mid-knee, white blouse, knee socks, blue penny loafers. Oh and that AWFUL yellow gym tunic with the bloomers). To this day, I can’t wear anything in herringbone.

There were subtle rebellions in high school — we’d roll up the waistband of the skirts to make them shorter, and one daring young woman wore colorful bras that were visible like washed-out tattoos beneath her white cotton shirt. On the other hand, on the one day in the school year when everyone was allowed to wear ordinary clothing, the class status of my fellow students became glaringly obvious. I once admired a girl’s shoes; she told me she had bought them in Aruba.

…The Turkish Ministry of Education has abolished the nationwide monotype uniform requirement in schools and lifted the headscarf ban for religious imam-hatip schools yesterday, prompting fierce criticism from opposition parties, unions and educators…

he amendments to dress codes published in the Official Gazette Nov. 27 will come into effect in the 2013-2014 school year. Students will be allowed to wear casual clothing meeting specific requirements. Transparent, too-tight or sleeveless clothing is forbidden in the new code, as well as any clothes or accessories bearing emblematic political symbols, shapes or writing.

Female students will not be allowed to wear mini or slit skirts or make-up. Students who wish to continue wearing their school uniforms will be allowed to do so…

The regulation also lifted the headscarf ban for imam-hatip schools, while the ban will continue in other schools.  Only students in middle and high schools will be permitted to wear headscarves during elective courses on the Quran, according to the new regulations… (click here for the rest)


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