Turkish President says women are not equal to men

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday was accused of blatant sexism after declaring that women are not equal to men. He also claimed that feminists in Turkey reject the idea of motherhood. The president said that biological differences meant women and men cannot serve the same functions, adding that manual work was unsuitable for the “delicate nature” of women. He also said that women and men cannot be treated equally “because it goes against the laws of nature.” His comments ignited a firestorm of controversy.

Our religion [Islam] has defined a position for women: motherhood. Some people can understand this, while others can’t. You cannot explain this to feminists because they don’t accept the concept of motherhood.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Aylin Nazliaka, an MP from main opposition party said Erdogan “ostracised” women by portraying them as “delicate”, “weak” and “powerless” human beings and limiting their role to the “motherhood”. Sule Zeybek, an anchorwoman of Turkish broadcaster Kanal D, hit back at Erdogan’s comments live on television during a news bulletin. Erdogan has previously drawn the ire of feminist groups for declaring that every woman in Turkey should have three children and with proposals to limit abortion rights, the morning-after pill and Caesarian sections.

Erdogan has publicly committed a hate crime… But I will continue to fight this man who sees no difference between terrorists and feminists.

Aylin Nazliaka, an MP from main opposition Republican People’s Party