With only ten days to go until Turkey’s elections, controversial remarks made by the country’s deputy prime minister over female modesty causes outrage.
In regards to the issue of “moral decline” in the country, Bülent Arinc, Turkey’s deputy prime minister, and co-founder of the current ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), has sparked anger over his attack on women.
According to Channel 4 news, Arinc at a gathering for the Islamic festival of Eid al-Fitr, stated, “[A woman] should not laugh loudly in front of all the world and should preserve her decency at all times.” Inevitably, there has been a backlash on social media, fueling anger about AKP’s views on women.
Where do AKP stand on the question of women?
Controversial remarks made by AKP ministers about women are not uncommon. In 2010 prime minister Tayyip Erdogan asserted his opinion that,“women and men are not equal. They only complement each other”. AKP has been accused by many for being sexist, and for not being concerned about the treatment of women in Turkey. In the 2013 Gender Equality report of the World Economic Forum Turkey ranked in 120th position among a total of 136 countries.
Will This Affect the Election Result?
Arinc’s speech has so far inspired many to retaliate via social media, however AKP remains a strong political party in Turkey reaping in support from conservative Turks. Many however fear for Turkey’s future under Erdogan’s presidency.