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Saturday, 18 April, 1998, 21:02 GMT 22:02 UK
Hundreds arrested during headscarves protest in Turkey

More than a hundred people have been arrested in two towns in south-eastern Turkey during three days of pro-Islamist demonstrations.

Clashes were reported in both towns, Batman and Solhan, as police dispersed hundreds of protesters demanding the withdrawal of government restrictions on the wearing of Islamic headscarves.

The conservative government led by Prime Minister, Mesut Yilmaz, has sought strictly to apply a secular dress code on women teachers, students and civil servants in a bid to curb the political influence of Islam in Turkey.

Correspondents say the army is pressurising Mr Yilmaz to take firmer action to uphold the secular constitution.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

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