Adding to a series of gag orders on critical topics, Turkey on Tuesday issued a ban on media coverage regarding a scholarship granted by the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (İBB) to Ravza Kavakçı, a deputy from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party).
According to the T24 news portal, Ravza Kavakçı was employed by the AKP-led İBB in 2008 and, on the first day of her employment, she was sent to the United States for a 4-year PhD program in Political Science.
Kavakçı family has a controversial history in the Turkish political life. The family initially came to public attention in 1999 when Ravza’s sister, Merve Kavakçı caused an uproar when she wore her headscarf to a swearing-in ceremony in Parliament in what some saw as defiance of the secular Turkish Constitution. At that time Turkish law banned the wearing of Islamic-style headscarves in public institutions.
The incident led to the revoking of Merve Kavakçı’s Turkish citizenship after she was found to have acquired US citizenship without informing the authorities; hence, she was prevented from serving in Parliament.
Merve Kavakçı was appointed as Turkey’s ambassador to Kuala Lumpur in 2017 by Erdoğan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) government.