Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Monday took issue with gender equality, saying that women and men cannot be equal because they have different “natures and bodies.”
“You cannot make women and men equal; this is against nature,” Erdoğan said while addressing a meeting of an association promoting women rights in Ankara. “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 president then went on to explain that Islam exalts women as “mothers” and said that when he was a child he used to kiss his mother’s feet, referring to a hadith of Prophet Muhammad that says “Heaven lies at the foot of your mother.”
“My mother would be shy, but I used to say, ‘Mother, don’t pull your feet away, because the scent of heaven is there.’ Sometimes, she would cry [when I would say that],” Erdoğan said.
He also slammed feminists, saying they “don’t accept the concept of motherhood.”
“But those who do understand are enough for us. We’ll continue down this path with them,” he said.
Participant forced out of conference hall
A conference attendee was forcefully taken from the hall when she interrupted a speech by Family and Social Policies Minister Ayşenur İslam and said she wanted to ask a question.
The participant raised her hand while İslam was delivering her speech, but the minister said she would take her question afterward. When the participant insisted, security guards grabbed her, covered her mouth and took her out of the conference hall.