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Deputy claims headscarf will be banned if ruling AKP loses local elections

A deputy from the governing Justice and Development Party (AKP) argued on Sunday that if their party loses in the upcoming local elections in his home province of Van, women in headscarves will be subject to pressure just like in the past.

Speaking during an election campaign in Van, Abdulahat Arvas said women in headscarves would not be able to walk freely on the streets and that armed gangs would appear if the AKP were to lose the local elections on March 31.

He further argued that businessmen would also suffer and tradesmen would be subject to additional taxation in the event the AKP loses mayoral elections.

Following reactions to his remarks on social media, Arvas tweeted that he tried to create “awareness” and denied accusations of threatening voters. He said he only intended to remind of the past oppression of headscarved women in Turkey.

The AKP Van deputy also claimed that his party is the guarantor of peace and stability in Turkey.

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