Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said that it is not natural for women to be equal with men at a summit in Istanbul.
It is not the first time when Mr. Erdoğan supports this idea. At a conference held by women’s groups campaigning for gender equality he talked about motherhood and how this should be “women’s prime role.”
“You cannot subject a pregnant woman to the same working conditions as a man.
“You cannot make a mother who has to breastfeed her child equal to a man. You cannot make women do everything men do like the communist regimes did…this is against her delicate nature.”
The Turkish President has made many comments that were criticized, and he insisted on how important motherhood is, from a religious point of view mainly. Mr. Erdoğan has previously advocated for women to have three children, and he criticized abortion and birth by Caesarean section.
“Our religion regards motherhood very highly… Feminists don’t understand that, they reject motherhood.”
Other controversial statements made by the Turkish President, include one by which Americas was discovered by Muslims three centuries before Christopher Columbus.
Recent changes in Turkey’s policy canceled the rule by which gay men had to prove their sexuality, to be exempted from military service in Turkey. The rule forced gay men to make their sexuality public, being subjected to discrimination.
Proving their sexuality with sex pictures is no longer mandatory, however gay men who want to be exempt from military service in Turkey still have to undergo examinations by doctors who will “observe their behaviors.” However, the only condition for exemption will be the disclosure of a man’s sexual orientation, excluding the public declaration.
“Being gay in Turkey is difficult, but for a gay of draft age, these difficulties become a hell,” Ahmet K, a 27-year-old gay Turk, told to a major Middle East publication.
This is a substantial change in Turkey’s policy, and brings military regulations in line with basic human rights.