School Uniforms in Turkey

School uniforms were used in all public and private institutions. There were several exceptions and most kindergartens did not require school uniforms. The uniforms varied in their appearance; primary schools used one-piece blue uniforms, while in secondary and high schools boys wore dark grey trousers with white shirts, jackets and a tie. Girls had skirts and shirts coloured like the boys' uniform, plus a tie. Most private institutions have their own uniforms. School uniforms for primary schools were black until the 1990s. None of the universities or higher-education institutes have uniforms.

School uniforms abolished in 2012 and schools gave an poll to families to select uniform or casual cloths. Dress code says that students' shoulder should be covered, girls cannot wear leggings or miniskirts. This caused a controversy in Western cities since some students were wearing mini's, shorts and leggings. New law says that students can wear hijabs at school but it's prohibited to wear makeup, tattoos, piercings, dye ın hair etc. This caused a huge controversy too.

School uniforms have a long history in Turkey. They were first introduced because normal clothing would give hints about the child's family's economic situation. In order to prevent groupings amongst children from different social classes, uniforms were accepted.

However, school uniforms were officially abolished on 27 November 2012, when the Turkish Ministry of Education suddenly abolished the nationwide uniform requirement in schools (international/foreign schools are excluded) and lifted the headscarf ban for religious imam-hatip schools, prompting fierce criticism from opposition parties, unions and educators. Opponents claim that economic differences cause pedagogical traumas for children and that permitting headscarves harms secular education. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan defended the move, saying education in uniform has drawn complaints for many years. But students attending minority schools (Greeks, Jews and Armenians), which are also part of the Turkish Ministry of Education, have been excluded from this change, and are still required to wear school uniforms.

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