Company apologizes after uproar over headscarf ban

Published 29.11.2019 16:51

A recruitment firm apologized and fired a staff member after it was revealed on social media that it turned down the employment application of a headscarf-wearing woman.

A Twitter user with the handle "Gonca_JK" had shared a screenshot of the rejection message by the company on Nov. 28. "We are sorry, we don't hire personnel with a headscarf," the message reads.

She had applied for work at an Ankara store for Mavi Jeans, a prominent jeans brand and received overwhelming support on social media at a time of increasing attacks targeting headscarf-wearing women.

Mavi Jeans officials said in a statement on Friday that the company had "no such policy" of not employing headscarf-wearing applicants and the rejection stemmed from Parlar, a recruitment company they worked with.

Officials said they terminated the contract with the company upon the incident. In a separate statement, Parlar apologized to the applicant and said the rejection was "the work of a staff member acting on her/his own." They said they terminated the contract with the staff member on Thursday.

Headscarf-wearing women occasionally make headlines for the discrimination they face in the private sector in Turkey where they have been barred from schools and the public sector for decades.

Last year, the Turkish Human Rights and Equality Agency (TİHEK) fined a publisher and a job website for posting a job advertisement that barred headscarf-wearing individuals from applying.

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