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    Erdoğan: "How can you discriminate among women?"

    Turkish President offers ‘Turkish-style’ women’s rights

    Baku. 8 March. REPORT.AZ/ Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has declared the country should develop its own unique values of gender equality, finding inspiration from his will to have a new constitution which will pave the way for an authentic “Turkish-style” presidential system, Report informs referring to the Turkish media.

    Erdoğan’s brainchild came as he criticized members of the Kurdish problem-focused Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) and indicated parliament should use its constitutional authority to lift the immunities of HDP deputies, whom he has frequently accused of siding with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

    “Those who impose their understandings on this nation are the enemy of both our women and our people. This issue is not a matter of lifestyle,” Erdoğan said on March 7, while delivering a speech at an event held by the Confederation of Righteous Trade Unions (Hak-İş) on the occasion of March 8, International Women’s Day. 

    “On the contrary, this issue is an issue for our country’s and our nation’s future. We had that saying, ‘Turkish-style presidential system, Turkish-style constitution.’ On this issue [women’s rights] too, we are obliged to develop a Turkish-style model and implement it. We don’t necessarily have to express, defend and implement women’s rights in the format and style that exists in the West,” Erdoğan said.

    “We can all together take steps to strengthen the presence of women as human beings and as individuals in the light of our history and cultural background, by correcting mistakes and by eliminating shortages. Believe me, this way it will be much more effective. If the defense of women’s rights had existed in the West in the literal sense, then they would not have remained silent about the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Syrian women along with their children,” he said.

    On several occasions, Erdoğan used a metaphorical explanation in which he likened himself and his comrades to bees. “With the skillfulness of a bee, let’s gather our share from flowers and then turn it into honey,” he said at the time, suggesting that they would eventually form an “authentic presidential system framed by Turkish customs and traditions.”

    “How can you discriminate among women by saying, ‘She has a headscarf, she doesn’t have a headscarf?’” Erdoğan asked. “For years, there was discrimination in this country. They didn’t let those wearing headscarves into universities, schools and public offices. We changed it,” he said.

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