A Turkish school teacher has reportedly conducted what is being called as a "veiling party" in which students were forced to wear headscarves for the event.
An investigation has been launched into the matter whether the teacher had exerted pressure on the pupils to wear compulsory veils or it was voluntary. The issue has also been raised at the Turkish parliament with the main opposition party claiming the photographs from the event show the children have been abused. No other information about the teacher has been shared.
"We cannot supervise all of the teachers at the same time... We have talked with the teacher that organized this event over the phone, she told us about the incident and said the demand for the event came from the students themselves," school authorities told the Turkish outlet Hurriyet Daily News.
Officials from the education department in the southeastern Sanliurfa province said the teacher was conducting the event as part of the religious culture and moral education classes.
Students were also seen in photographs holding heart-shaped placards which read campaign slogans like 'From now on, I am veiled,' 'I have veiled myself,' 'Thank God I am veiled,' 'Luckily I have veiled myself,' and 'Come on, you too veil yourself.'
Several photographs were also floating in the Turkish social media stoking discussion over the alleged event, 'veiling party'.
Turkey, a Muslim-majority nation, officially remains a secular state but the topic of headscarves is a controversial one in the country. Only in 2017, the Turkish government had lifted an army-imposed ban on female officers wearing the Islamic headscarf. In educational institutions and public offices, the country had gradually allowed women to wear the headscarves after withdrawing the years-long ban.