Turkey: Are they role model on social equality of women?

Turkey has recently become the target of systematic propaganda in the Western media. Anti-Turkey news, which has been increasing since the Gezi Park Incidents, has now reached a peak especially following the intervention of USA against ISIS and the recent Kobani protests. Looking at these news reports, it is possible to categorize the accusations against Turkey in the following groups:

  1. Turkey is straying away from its aim of joining the EU, thus from its efforts for democratization and alliance with the Western world,
  2. There is an effort to limit freedoms, most notably the freedom of expression,
  3. A modern, enlightened, progressive understanding with an emphasis on women, has weakened

One of the mainstays of the claim that “Turkey breaks away from the West” is what has happened during the EU process. Many circles claim that Turkey is not as willing to join the EU as it was before. The missing piece in these allegations is that they never mention the EU’s attitude towards Turkey, which is far from being fair. However, despite the negative attitude of the EU, it is also a need of the region and the whole Islamic world that Turkey continues its friendly ties with the Western world as a more modern, enlightened, democratic, and progressive. Turkey is the need of not only our nation, but also of all the Islamic societies. Some values that the Eastern world is falling behind in such as democracy, human rights, valuing all people, better living standards, an appreciation for art, and a quest for a more pleasing landscape, can be supported with stronger ties with the Western world. The model in the European Union can be taken as a basis in efforts to promote these values, which are part of the essence of Islamic values.  Turkey thus can set an example to the whole Islamic world. However the anti-Turkish propaganda in question does not concern itself with these facts. The European left and America’s deep state are trying to introduce a new model in the Middle East, in an attempt to replace Turkey. In a completely inaccurate picture that is being painted, the PKK is shown as a “modern actor” with which the West can ally. This represents a real danger that calls for immediate measures. A close examination of the Western media points to a clear effort to show the PKK as a so-called modern and enlightened structure with an emphasis on ‘women’. Women terrorists on magazine covers, life stories of women in the PKK covered by news shows, statements by PKK leaders “focusing on women” are common sights in the Western media. On the other hand, in the image created about Turkey, the country is shown as a place that “sees women as second-class citizens where they are oppressed”, that even “frowns upon pregnant women leaving their homes”, that “does not see women even as worthy of laughing, being cheerful, and participating in social life”, and that “discriminates against women who wear modern clothes such as bikinis”. Regrettably, the statements of some people in Turkey only add fuel to the fire and reinforce these suspicions.

Many of our leaders, most notably President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, frequently emphasize the fact that all ladies are equal regardless of their outfit and that they are all sisters, and that they are all very precious. These statements should be supported with progress in different fields of life.

It is important to ensure that more women take up leadership positions in the Assembly, in the administrations of political parties, and in the public institutions. Furthermore, it is of paramount importance to ensure that ladies with modern clothes are a part of political and social life as much as the ladies with headscarves.  For instance, women from all walks of life, outnumbering men in party meetings and rallies would serve as a great example. Once the number of ladies in the government and in the AK Party management increases, with or without headscarves, the criticism from the Western media will be effectively countered once and for all.

The general tendency that is usually popular amongst some circles in the USA, Russia and Europe is “favoring dictators rather than Islamic leaders even if it is against the wishes of the people there.” This idea is usually propelled by the desire to see leaders ‘that are easily manageable’. However, the image of  ‘strictly conservative, stern, backward” practices that are very common and promoted in some Islamic countries also play a role in this tendency. Turkey is a modern, democratic Republic and not Islamist as some claim; it has the right and honest understanding of Islam as told in the Qur'an. Therefore it is essential that the world is shown this truth with real-life examples. After that the anti-Turkey propaganda can be refuted with ease.

The PKK is portrayed as the defender of women rights even though it does not respect them a bit. It is a known fact that PKK sees women only some material to be used and is known to have executed many women members amongst its ranks. It shows itself as respectful of religion even though it is irreligious and does not think that the religious people, or indeed people with any thoughts other than its own, have the right to live. It is one of the most ridiculous propaganda efforts in history that a Stalinist, oppressive organization like the PKK - which aims at a proletarian dictatorship - is presented as a libertarian, democratic, women-respecting, environmentalist organization.

It would be a historical mistake to keep quiet as this propaganda goes on or to try to downplay it with classic politic maneuvers. Our modern, enlightened, and democratic government, which is the real defender of women’s rights, should be more active in showing this quality and not let the PKK show itself like that when it is clearly not the case. Supported by a strong movement of youth and women who are active, dynamic, enlightened and who use all the opportunities of the modern world in the wisest way and who are guided by their moral compass, our government should both set an example to the Middle East and destroy the propaganda of the PKK

Adnan Oktar's piece on MBC Times & Daily Mail:



2014-12-04 17:09:10

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