Turkish military women will be allowed to wear the hijab as part of their uniform. This, after a ban that has been in place for decades was lifted. 

The decision comes after a similar move by the U.S. Army earlier this year. Many other Western and Middle Eastern countries allow women to wear the religious headscarf as part of their official uniforms.

Turkey, which is an officially secular country, implemented a ban on wearing the hijab in public institutions in the 1980s. Over the past few years, the government has increasingly relaxed the rule, with the military now becoming the last Turkish institution to remove the ban.

According to the state news agency, the Turkish defense ministry has said that female officers working in the general staff and command headquarters and branches may now wear the hijab under their cap or beret, as long as it is the same color as their uniform and does not cover their faces.

It remains unclear whether the new directive applies to women involved in combat missions, The Guardian said. 

Turkey's Prime Minister called the move, "very positive."

Traditionally, Turkey's military has been the strongest proponent of the country's secularization. It has long been seen as opposed to any Islamic influence on state institutions.

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his ruling party, Justice and Development (AKP), have been accused of moving the country to become more Islamic in nature. Last summer, a failed military coup attempted to remove Erdoğan and his government from power.

But even countries without Muslim majorities have been seeing the importance of allowing the hijab and other religious items in their militaries, out of respect for their diverse societies.

In January, the U.S. Army ordered that all serving Muslim women and Sikh men be granted accommodation for their religious head coverings, if they desired. Canada has allowed women to wear the hijab in its military for many years. The British army also allows Muslim women to serve wearing the hijab.

Other Middle Eastern countries with large Muslim populations, such as Lebanon and countries in the GCC, allow women to wear the headscarf as part of their uniform as well.