(AFP) Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday declared that women are not equal to men and launched a bitter attack against feminists in Turkey, claiming they reject the concept of motherhood.
Speaking at a summit in Istanbul on justice for women, the devoutly Muslim president said that biological differences between women and men meant they cannot serve the same functions in life.
He recalled: “I would kiss my mother’s feet because they smelled of paradise. She would glance coyly and cry sometimes.
He went on to say that women and men cannot be treated equally “because it is against human nature.”
Erdogan was apparently referring to the practise during and after World War II for women in Communist states like the USSR to do heavy manual work in factories or in roles such as tram drivers.
The Islamic-rooted government of Erdogan has long been accused by critics of seeking to erode the country’s secular principles and limiting the civil liberties of women.
Erdogan has also drawn the ire of feminist groups for declaring that every woman in Turkey should have three children and with proposals to limit abortion rights and the morning-after pill.