Turkish women have much more to lose if secularism is destroyed and a religious order is introduced


Turkey Istanbul – young women on the fun fair in Eguep photographer: Claudia Wiens

“Turkey’s government is in danger of losing the secularism that sets it apart from other Muslim countries.Over the years statements have been made about women that undermine its moderate appearance to the rest of the world. Turkey is a country where Muslim women have more freedom than Muslim women in other Muslim countries but that freedom is under threat. 

Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan, forever touted as a real “moderate” in the Muslim world, has a few choice words for women who choose career over motherhood: you’re deficient half-persons.

“A woman who abstains from maternity by saying ‘I am working’ means that she is actually denying her femininity,” Erdogan said in a speech in Istanbul on Sunday. He went on to clarify that such women are “deficient” and “half-persons.” NBC reports

“A woman who refuses maternity and gives up housekeeping faces the threats of losing her freedom. She is lacking and is a half [a person] no matter how successful she is in the business world,” he said according to excepts of the speech translated by the Hurriyet Daily News newspaper.

On May 30, Erdogan — who was prime minister for 11 years before becoming president in 2014 — said Muslim families should not engage in birth control or family planning. He has come out against cesareans, equated birth control with treason, and opined that women should avoid laughing in public — all the while using his strong Muslim faith to justify his ideas.

“We will multiply our descendants. They talk about population planning, birth control. No Muslim family can have such an approach,” Erdogan said in a televised speech on May 30. “Nobody can interfere in God’s work.”

Erdogan’s conservative worldview clashes with a vocal but beleaguered liberal minority that is struggling to hold fast to Turkey’s secular foundations as envisioned by the country’s first president, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.

Prominent Turkish author Elif Shafak called Erdogan’s comments “totally unacceptable, wrong and alarming,” and said they represent a dangerous pattern on the part of the president and his Justice and Development party (AKP).

“Turkey’s AKP government has, over the years, increased their statements against women,” she told NBC News via email. “They are openly questioning secularism. If secularism is destroyed and a religious order is introduced, there is no doubt in my mind that we women have much more to lose than men.”

We would like to know where all the Western leftists are in decrying Turkey’s backward views on women. Too busy boycotting Chick-Fil-A and Israel, we assume.



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