By Nicolas Birch
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
June 29, 2005
ISTANBUL -- Graduation celebrations this month were tarnished at a few universities by decisions to bar entry to female relatives wearing kerchiefs.
'I was turned away like a common criminal,' wept Sabire Karsi, sitting outside Ataturk University in Erzurum, where the youngest of her sons was receiving his degree. Her elder son died in the army fighting Kurdish separatists in 1995.
'This was an isolated and provocative event,' said university rector Yasar Sutbeyaz. 'Carrying out the state's instructions makes the state strong.' He was referring to the touchstone of Turkish republicanism, its staunch secularism. "
More:Kerchief symbol of political woes-The Washington Times