Turkey’s Defence Ministry lifted the ban on female officers wearing the Veil, local media reported.

The Ministry on Wednesday issued a decree to the commanders of land, air and naval forces noting that female military personnel are allowed to wear headscarves if they wish, Efe news reported.

The decree is considered a significant change for the Turkish military, as the veil has always been considered a political symbol of Islam in Turkey.

Since the republic was declared in Turkey in 1923, women covering their heads in public has been a matter of social debate.

However, since the Justice and Development Party rose to power in 2002, restrictions on wearing the veil have been alleviated.

In August 2016, the Turkish interior issued a decision allowing female members of the gendarmerie and coast guard forces to cover their heads.