It has been pointed out earlier (in Chapter 2) that some observers have characterised the Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi (AKP) policies on Islam-related cultural issues as the ‘politics of avoidance’. On the other hand, it has been observed that a majority of Turkish voters (obviously including but not limited to the AKP voters) are attached to religiously inspired conservative values. Finally, the sensitivity of the ultra-secularist state elites (including the military and judiciary) and of the main opposition party, the Cumhuriyet Halk Partisi (CHP), to demands for greater religious liberties has been an important restraining factor. Such a combination of confl icting pressures has led the AKP government to engage in a highly diffi cult tightrope walk. During its fi rst term in power, the AKP government generally avoided addressing itself to such issues, except for the two abortive attempts to recriminalise adultery and to improve the chances of the graduates of imamhatip (prayer leaders’ and preachers’) high schools at university entrance examinations, although no attempt was made to lift the headscarf ban for female university students. These cautious policies lend support to the ‘politics of avoidance’ thesis. After its impressive victory in the 2007 elections, however, the AKP attempted to lift this ban through a constitutional amendment that led to dramatic events as described later.