Employment, veils and civil servants’ wives: Sodan v Turkey


In Sodan v Turkey [2016] ECHR 138 [in French] the applicant was assistant to the Prefect of Ankara. In 1998 he was investigated by an Inspector General of Prefects on allegations of separatism and fundamentalism [8]. According to the subsequent report, the Prefect of Ankara had essentially told the Inspector General that, though Mr Sodan’s religious beliefs were known to everyone, he himself had never witnessed any discriminatory behaviour by Mr Sodan in the exercise of his duties; however, his religious beliefs and the fact that his wife wore a veil negatively influenced his “social relations”, he was unenterprising, his lifestyle did not fit with “the modern, Atatürkist and enterprising personality expected of a member of the Prefecture” – and he should be transferred to another department [10]. In 1998 he was duly transferred to the southern province of Gaziantep as Deputy Prefect: his subsequent appeals against the transfer were dismissed [18-24]. Continue reading