Progressive women see their rights restricted by Turkish President Erdogan and his policies. Another word can make this situation worse.
This is a stark contrast to the Turkish housewives that Erdogan is so famous for. After the 2018 election, 60 percent of housewives surveyed said they voted for Erdogan. It is the highest among all social groups.
The president and his AKP party adhere to a very religious-conservative worldview. Women are forced to look after the home and children. This is what attracts pious Muslim women. According to “Spiegel”, a woman said at one of Erdogan’s campaign events: “Erdogan has done so, so much for women.”
“Erdogan gave freedom to Turkish women,” says another. In 2013, students and public sector employees were banned from wearing headscarves. A weak economy causes headaches, but the current president is “the only leader we have in this country.”
However, on the other side of the spectrum, there are already fears of a victory against challenger Kemal Kilicdaroglu. Some young, progressive women are seriously considering leaving the country if Erdogan wins.
25-year-old Irmak Kokar told “Spiegel”: “As a woman, I don’t feel safe now, it sucks.” People stare at her holding hands with her boyfriend. Colleagues must have been amused as the two lived together unmarried.
Progressive women’s groups are trying everything on social media to stop Erdogan from winning the run-off. However, the results of the first round of elections leave no room for optimism.
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