The Justice and Development Party of Turkey passed two constitutional amendments in 2008, in order to lift the headscarf ban in higher education. This act of Parliament stirred up Turkey's perennial debate over the role of religion in a secular republic. This article attempts to clarify the sides of the debate, and present an accurate account of their arguments. It places this topical issue in a historical context by discussing briefly the evolution of political Islam in Turkey, and the legal background of the headscarf issue. Finally, the article draws connections between the current headscarf debates and the endemic problem of gender inequality in Turkey.