Erdoğan: Violence on Women Worldwide Problem, New Action Plan Coming
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Sunday that violence against women is a worldwide problem and anyone responsible should be punished. He announced a new economic and social action plan for women at an event that was organized on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and, at the same time, he criticized the main opposition Republican People's Party's (CHP) leader, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, for making insensitive remarks on the issue in which he legitimized domestic violence. Kılıçdaroğlu drew criticism on Thursday after his comment on domestic violence in a speech that made it seem like domestic violence against women was acceptable in times of financial difficulty, Daily Sabah reports.
"If a man is unemployed and can't bring enough money home, he will come home and take his anger out on his wife," the CHP leader said ironically at a women's gathering in Istanbul's Beylikdüzü district.
While heralding that the new action will be launched in the new year, the president said whoever praises violence against women has a serious problem, and Kılıçdaroğlu's remarks were scandalous and legitimized domestic violence.
"Can there be such a twisted mentality? Can there be a perspective that is so degenerated? This is an understanding that obviously sees violence against women legitimate," Erdoğan said.
In the same speech, Kılıçdaroğlu argued that there is a direct link between a man's financial situation and violence against women.
Erdoğan, on the other hand, commemorated all women who lost their lives due to domestic violence and said, "Centers to prevent violence and women guest houses are generalized in 81 cities. We took major steps in increasing women's role in economic and social life."
"As the women laid claim to their own matters, we have taken and continue to take braver, more effective steps forward. Violence against women can never be accepted. As a president who declared violence against women as an act that betrays all of humanity, I say that everyone involved in this crime should be punished. This is not a matter that concerns our country alone, but rather a matter that affects the whole world," he said.
"Without women, you only have half of the society," he said.
Erdoğan said early marriages is another problem waiting to be solved. He highlighted that the percentage of early marriages have dropped to 4 percent thanks to the increase of education among girls. He also emphasized the increase in women's participation in the labor market, giving examples such as the micro credit policy that was provided to 160,000 women.
"Our only request from women is that they support our struggle. Those who try to turn women's rights into an exploitative tool of an ideological obsession are the ones harming women's rights the most," he said.
Domestic violence and the murder of women by their husbands, partners and/or relatives has long been a thorn in Turkey's side, where broader media coverage over recent years has made this scar in society even more visible.