Opponents fear Erdogan is undermining the military's role as defenders of secularism
A question of whether more or less hair should be on public display has become an issue of controversy in the current febrile political climate in Turkey amid accusations of attempts to Islamicise the country’s military by Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The Ministry of Defence in Ankara has announced that rules will be changed to allow women in the armed forces to wear headscarves with their uniforms. And, at the same time, there are calls from conservative Muslim groups for male service personnel to be allowed to grow beards.
Critics of the government charge that this is yet another attempt to undermine the position of the military as the staunch defender of secularism instituted by Kemal Ataturk, and create a more religious force who will be loyal to President Erdogan.