Published: 17 September 2010
Prime Minister of Turkey and chairman of the ruling AKP party Recep Tayyip Erdoğan publicly announced that men are women are not equal. Erdoğan, who made a keynote speech during a meeting with representatives of women’s associations in Istanbul on July 18th 2010 stated that he doesn’t “believe in the equality of men and women. They can’t be equal but can only complement each other.” The Turkish press reports that these words shocked the audience, especially female attendees who were expecting the prime minister to utter words of support for women’s rights. Erdogan later stood behind his brazen contempt for women’s rights by reiterating the exactly same words during a pre-referendum rally on July 31st 2010 in Hatay. He said “Women are women and men are men. They can in no way be equal.” This attitude is perfectly consistent with the fundamentalist Islamic ideology that God created man and woman to make them each other’s complement.
On the occasion of a World Health Organization award ceremony in Istanbul on July 19th 2010, Erdoğan suggested that citizens should “eat fruit, such as grapes,” from which alcohol is made, instead of drinking alcohol. Respected columnist Sedat Ergin commented in his article dated July 22nd in the Turkish daily Hurriyet that he recalls no Turkish prime minister making such a statement on alcohol in his 35 years as a journalist, and added that AKP is taking the country backwards by laying its “conservative” world view on top of the society.
While the U.S. foreign policy makers keep sleeping, the sick extremist cadre that holds Turkey in its grip is driving the country to an abyss.